• Traveling when the government shuts down

    Patrick Coleman
    Although there is a lot of media coverage surrounding the U.S. government shutdown, its effect on travel, business travel especially, should be minimal.

    Air traffic control and TSA agents are considered essential personnel and remain on the job. And you’ve undoubtedly heard through major media outlets that you will continue to receive mail, as the postal service receives no funding from Congress, and social security funds will continue to be delivered.

    Here are some of the limited ways you might be affected.

    • If this shutdown continues long-term, there may be a slowdown in applying for and renewing passports and visas. If you are traveling abroad in the coming months, check the expiration date on your passport and/or visa and make your renewal arrangements well in advance to avoid processing interruptions
    • If you are traveling for leisure, especially if traveling to Washington, D.C., keep in mind that U.S. national parks, museums and monuments are closed, so you may want to make alternate arrangements.

    Government travelers should follow the guidance of their specific department or agency.

    Having lived in the Washington area during the last shutdown, in 1995, visitors to Washington and commuters in the area actually will find the traffic is significantly lessened but if you want to go to the National Zoo, any of the Smithsonian museums or any of the monuments, you are out of luck.

    For CWT’s full rundown of traveler advice, CWT has issued a Hot News on the shutdown. Also, you can check for the latest traveler advice on the Carlson Wagonlit Travel U.S. website or on Twitter by following the hashtag #cwthotnews.

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