After years of threats and, essentially, attempted divorce proceedings, Britain finally departed the European Union on Jan. 31.

How has the shift altered travel to the United Kingdom for Americans? Not much, yet.

The U.K. and the E.U. are in the midst of a transition period that will last through the year. It could be extended, though the British government is opposed to that idea. As officials work out details of the split, it's status quo for travelers.

As before, United States citizens can stay in the U.K. for up to six months without a visa. Americans need only carry a passport valid for the duration of their stay. (Anyone traveling from Britain to one of 26 European countries in the Schengen Area will need a passport valid for six months after the trip, as usual.)

Flights between the U.K. and the U.S. remain unchanged. Ahead of Brexit, Britain created open-sky agreements with the U.S. and other countries, which is similar to the long-held open-sky agreement between the U.S. and the E.U.

After the transition period, customs and passport control lines may be longer in European countries, where most airports have two lines: one for EU-member citizens and one for non-EU travelers. Brits will be shuffled over to our line in 2021.

Perhaps the stickiest issue remains to be worked out: border crossings between the Republic of Ireland, part of the E.U., and Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., along with England, Scotland and Wales. The Irish divide is the only land border between Britain and the E.U. A long history of disputes and violence calmed after the Good Friday agreement of 1998, which softened the border. For now, the border remains open.

There is a continuing upside for American travelers in a post-Brexit U.K. Even as Britain irons out thorny issues with its European neighbors, the British pound remains weak. Americans are finding deals.

Contact Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at; follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.