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Whether you like it or not, Brexit happened. If you’re an avid traveller, you’re probably wondering what this means for your upcoming trips to Europe. Well, the reality is, travel won’t be awfully different, so you don’t need to cancel those flights in a hurry. But there are a few things that will change from 1st January 2021. Here’s all you need to know.
(Note: The information stated below is correct at time of writing on 30 November 2020 - please always check www.gov.uk for the latest information as it can change)
From 2021, to travel to Europe you’ll need a minimum of 6 months left on your passport and it can’t be any older than 10 years. This might mean you have to renew your passport earlier than you thought, so always check the dates! Note that Ireland is an exception to this rule, and you can go and stay there for as long as your passport is valid.
Do you need a visa?
The short answer for ‘holidays’ is probably not. For most EU countries (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), you can stay for 90 days visa-free within a 180-day period. This means if you jet off to one of those countries tomorrow, you can stay in any of them for a total of 90 days within the next 180 days. If you’re planning on staying for longer or travelling for work or study purposes, you’ll need to look into getting a visa.
There are some exceptions to this rule, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania – I recommend checking out the government travel guidance on wherever it is you’re visiting before you go. Again, there is no change with regards to travelling to Ireland.
Travel insurance is something you should always be looking at when you book a trip, but now you’ll have to take extra care when choosing policies, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition. If you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), it’s only valid until the end of 2020 – this covers pre-existing conditions, whereas many travel insurance companies do not. So, if this applies to you, double check your insurance policy.
You may be asked at border control to show your return or onward ticket as well as prove that you have enough money for your stay. You’ll also need to remember to queue in a non-EU lane from 2021.
If you’re driving between countries, you may need some extra documents such as an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Travelling with pets? The pet passport scheme will no longer be in use from 2021, and the new process takes 4 months. Make sure you’ve planned your pet travel well in advance!
Bad news for phone addicts – free date-roaming within Europe will end from 2021, so you’ll need to check charges with your operator. We’ll find out more about this in due time.
For full details of government advice provided for this article can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021
Now that you’re a post-Brexit travel expert, why not start searching for your next getaway to Europe.
Author: Gemma Small - 30th November 2020