With a hectic and very much travel free year coming to a close, many of us will be trying to stay positive and hoping to get away in 2021. I know I will! But let’s just remember that in the midst of the global pandemic we Brits also have to think about how Brexit affects our travel plans. So what will travel be like after Brexit?
Leaving the EU has posed many problems for the UK Government, trade, and freedom of movement is some of the hottest topics in the media a late. Travel is obviously a massive part of UK life and many of us will be worried about how Brexit will affect our Summer holidays. So without further ado here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about travel post Brexit!
The main things you need to make sure you do before traveling from the UK to Europe are;
check your passport
We’ve all had that mad rush an hour before leaving for the airport when you try to find your passport. Well, that could be the least of your worries. Going forward, there are some changes to passport requirements:
You need to make sure your passport has at least 6 months left on it before your date of travel. It must also be less than 10 years old, even if it has more than 6 months remaining! If your passport doesn’t meet these requirements, then you won’t be allowed to travel. Make sure you check before you leave, or you might be left disappointed at the airport!
This won’t affect travel to Ireland, just make sure you have a valid passport and you’ll be fine.
make sure you have the right insurance
Now we have left the European Union you’ll need to make sure you have Travel Insurance that covers you for healthcare. As part of the Brexit deal, the government has agreed with the EU that all EHIC cards issued before the end of 2020 will continue to be valid until they expire. Once this card has expired then the government will launch a new health insurance card called the UK Global health insurance card (GHIC).
There are exceptions for applying for new EHIC cards, they are as follows:
- UK students studying in the EU
- Some British state pensioners living in the EU
- EU nationals living in the UK
When you’re at the border you may be asked to provide some additional documentation as well as your passport:
- You may be asked to show a return or onward ticket for travel
- Show that you have enough money for your stay
- You will have to use separate lanes from EU citizens when queuing for passport control
When visiting an EU country, you will not need a visa if you are a tourist / are only staying for a short time. As a tourist, you are permitted to stay in Europe for 90 days in a 180 day period. You may however need a visa or permit to stay for longer periods of time and things such as work, study, and business travel, so make sure you check before you travel!
driving after brexit? Make sure you have the right documents
ROADTRIP!!! We all love a good adventure and driving through a country yourself can be one of the best ways to find hidden gems and get off the beaten path. But driving in Europe is changing after Brexit.
If you’re planning on driving in the EU, then you may need to carry some additional documentation to normal.
Are you planning on taking your own car to Europe? You’ll need to make sure you’re displaying a GB sticker and you’ll also need to be carrying a green card. You may also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in certain EU countries so plan and check if this is a requirement of where you plan to visit.
pet travel, sort it out early!
Taking your dog to the beach? There are some changes to the regulations around pet travel. The current pet passport scheme has been scrapped; you’ll now have to obtain an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet.
The government is advising you to allow at least a month for this and also ensure that your pet has all the necessary vaccines to be able to travel.
mobile phone useage
Gone are the days where we had to pay for roaming calls, texts, and data… or so we thought! From 01 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming in the EU will end! You’ll need to check with your provider to see if they will continue to offer the service or if you’ll be charged for using your phone abroad.
There is however a new law to prevent you from being overcharged. Spending is capped at £45 above your normal tariff and you’ll have to opt-in if you want to continue spending more. (I know I won’t be)!
disruptions to travel and your rights
If you’re worried about how Brexit will affect your rights as a tourist, don’t be. From 01 January 2021, your consumer rights will not change. This means if any of your travel is delayed or cancelled you may be able to claim a refund or compensation dependant on the terms and conditions of your booking.
If the company you’ve booked your trip with goes out of business you’ll still be covered too, as long as the company sells to UK customers. If you want some added peace of mind then book your holiday using a credit card, this will cover you for any payments between £100 and £30,000.
It is always important to check your travel insurance and make sure you have the right level of cover too.
useful links for travel after brexit
If you need any further advice or have questions, I’d advise checking out the .gov website on travel after Brexit. They are keeping the page up to date with changes as and when they happen and have a lot more detail on how travel has changed.
If this is all a bit too stressful then you can always just take a staycation in the UK and keep supporting local businesses and tourism boards!