Travelling in Europe is going to be different from 1st January once we have left the European Union. Check out our handy loveholidays guide to make sure you are totally prepared for your holiday, so all you need to worry about is which way your sun bed is facing, what flavour ice cream to pick or which cocktail to try at the beach bar.
First up…. Passports
Check your passport carefully as the rules are changing. On the day you travel, your passport must be less than ten years old AND still have at least 6 months left to run. Check the issue date very carefully as even if it has more than 6 months left on it, you can no longer travel to Europe if the date of issue is more than 9 years and 6 months ago.
Check out this handy official government passport checker so you can be certain your passport is valid for your holiday and won’t face any nasty surprises when you arrive at the airport. If you do need a new passport, make sure you apply well in advance of your holiday date.
Next, mobile phones
You don’t want to find yourself facing a huge bill after your holiday because you’ve been endlessly posting pics and vids to make your friends at home jealous. Free roaming charges in Europe are no longer guaranteed and may apply so check carefully with your mobile phone provider to avoid any nasty surprises. Luckily, there’s a law that protects you from spending more than £45 in charges unless you choose to opt in and spend more, but it’s still important to be aware of this change.
What about driving a car?
…This is also changing, and in some countries, you will need an international driving permit as well as your UK driving licence. They are available over the counter from your local post office and currently cost £5.50. You must be over 18, have a full valid UK photo-card driving licence and take along a passport standard photograph.
We all know how important it is to be covered for any illnesses or unexpected accidents on holiday and from 1st January, EHIC cards (European Health Insurance Cards) won’t be valid for UK residents. Make sure you have travel insurance which includes healthcare coverage in case you need any medical treatment while on holiday.
Finally, how about Duty Free Shopping?
Duty free ended in Europe seven years after the EU single market arrived in 1992 but is still allowed for travellers going to non-EU countries. From 1st January 2021, British travellers going to EU countries will again be able to take advantage of duty-free shopping. You can buy duty-free alcohol and tobacco products as long as you transport them yourself, they’re for your own use (e.g. you will use them yourself or give them away as a gift) and you have paid customs charges and tax in the country where you bought them. So, there are savings to be had on alcohol bought duty-free on the way to the EU.
For more details on any of the changes, visit our Brexit FAQ page where you can find the answer.
With an up-to-date passport and travel insurance sorted, Europe’s amazing choice of destinations for all tastes and budgets are ready to be discovered in 2021.