Passports, national parks, and museums, oh my. How the government shutdown could affect you

First of all, let me say that a government shutdown is gonna really suck. Hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans who have jobs with the federal government, won’t get paid.

Although a lot of the essential services will still be operating as usual—including air traffic controllers and airport security screeners—many travel-related services will come to a screeching halt. One of those directly impacting travelers would be the passport office. If you need to renew or get a new passport for a pending trip, here’s to hoping your application gets processed in time.

Do your travel plans involved visiting a national park? You may need to go with Plan B. If you’d made a reservation a year in advance for your favorite campsite for your family’s spring break vacation, or you made plans to visit Fort Sumter for all the activities planned to commemorate the start of the Civil War, you might be out completely.

If you have any activity in your itinerary that involves the federal government, keep a close eye, and find out what’s open and what’s not.

Website has a pretty comprehensive list of everything that might be affected, including the following:

According to the House Committee on Natural Resources, parks would be closed to public use. “Critical” personnel would be kept in place for resource protection (and to tell people that arrive that they are closed). The National Park Service has informed the Natural Resources Committee that they do not expect to close access to open‐entrance park land, such as the National Mall and the GW Parkway. According to CRS Report RL34680, while not indicative of future behavior, 368 National Park Service sites (loss of 7 million visitors) reportedly occurred in a previous shutdown.

We’re talking about one big bummer if you had plans to visit the various Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C.

Here’s to hoping they agree to a compromise soon, and that the government doesn’t have to shut down at all.

[And if I may voice my opinion, threatening to take your toys and leave the sandbox because you don’t want the government to help fund women’s health centers is nothing but shameful. I bet Al-Qaeda opposes women’s health care, too. You’re not being patriotic by holding the country hostage.]

One Comment

  1. Appalling, it’s disheartening seeing the country turn defund vital services so that politicians can impose their religious beliefs on an entire nation.

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