Brexit for Travellers:

With the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union without any transition agreement being in place (A ‘no deal Brexit’) many of the existing international agreements that let us travel abroad fairly freely may no longer be valid – at least until alternative arrangement are negotiated. Some weeks earlier I wrote about the EU Citizens Settlement scheme – and this week I look at holiday travel and any areas of disruption that could be expected. It’s important if you right to reside in the UK is limited that you take advice before you leave the country. This advice is written from the perspective of UK nationals travelling in the European Union.

Here are some Brexit holiday planning considerations:

Package holidays:

You may have more protection if you book a package holiday. The holiday provider has more obligations to you than is otherwise the case. A holiday provider will have more duties to re-organise your holiday rather than being an independent traveller. Using a credit card for purchases over £100 also gives more rights.

Passports having enough time on it:

The government is advising that travellers take care to make sure that passports have at least six months left on them before travelling – and your return travel date. There is some possibility that this should be nine months for other ‘Schengen area’ countries. It is useful to know that when a UK passport renewed you can add up to nine months ‘credit’ to your expiry date.

Currency fluctuations:

You might want to limit your exposure to any sudden change in the value of the pound – you could do this by buying foreign currency before you need it. Buying an ‘inclusive holiday’ might be another way to reduce the amount of money you might need to exchange.

Travel Insurance:

EU Citizens are currently entitled to be treated in other EU states on the same basis as local citizens. This is something quite likely to stop. Existing European Health Insurance Cards are quite likely to no longer be valid. You should think about buying free travel insurance.

Leaving plenty of time at the ferry or airport:

It is very possible that there might be longer delays than you are used to – especially in you travel at a date that coincides with the Brexit date – and this could shift. Keep an eye on the government’s advice for travellers’ website, as well as the ferry, train or airlines’ website that you are travelling with. Be sure you leave plenty of time to travel.

Driving aboard:

Currently European Driving licenses are valid in other European states. This may end abruptly if no alternative arrangements are made. If you plan to drive in the EU you may need to apply for an international driving permit. You might also find it difficult to hire a car.

Pet Passports:

At the moment you are able to get permission for pets to travel with to other EU countries – the Pet Passport scheme. This is likely to be adversely affected if there is a ‘no deal Brexit’ you may find it is not possible to travel with a pet, as it has been before. The government’s advice for travellers website is probably the best thing to keep an eye on.


Tom Togher,

February 2019.