Do you need a visa?

To enter some countries you need an official authorisation added to your passport. This is called a visa. If your holiday destination requires a visa and you don’t have one then you may be refused entry. It’s very important to find out if you need a visa and to leave plenty of time to apply for one. You can find out if you’ll need a visa by visiting the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) website. Look at the travel advice for your destination and check the entry requirements section. Even if you’ve visited the country before you should check, as visa requirements can change.

  • Check if you’ll need a visa at the FCO website at


Do you need travel vaccinations?

When travelling outside the UK you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases that are found in other parts of the world.

Some vaccines are available on the NHS and some are only available privately. You should check if you need vaccinations four to six weeks before you travel.

  • You can find out the current advice for your destination on the NHS Fit For Travel website at

Should you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

An EHIC entitles you to state funded medical care in a European Economic Area (EEA) country. The EEA countries are:

  • the European Union countries and
  • Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

This means your treatment costs will be reduced or may even be free. You need to apply for a card for each member of your group, including babies. You should get an EHIC as well as medical insurance as some companies will waive the excess charges on claims if you have one.

If you’re travelling outside the EEA you may be entitled to reduced cost or free healthcare if the country has a healthcare arrangement with the UK. You can check the rules for different countries on the NHS choices website.

Apply online for an EHIC, get an application form from your post office or phone 0845 606 2030

Check the healthcare rules of different countries on the NHS Choices website at

Buy travel insurance as soon as you book

Travel insurance can give you extra protection if your holiday doesn’t go as planned and you should make sure you have cover if you’re planning a holiday. Without insurance, medical emergencies abroad can end up costing you thousands of pounds. You need to make sure your policy gives you the right level of medical insurance for your trip. It’s particularly important to have travel insurance if you’re travelling independently because you may find yourself stranded with no way to get home and no-one to help sort out your holiday problem.

For help from Salford Citizens Advice visit your local bureau in Eccles, Irlam and Cadishead, Salford City, Swinton, Walkden or at Salford Royal.

Telephone our advice line: 0844 826 9695 (if calling from a landline or if calling from a mobile 0300 456 2554).


Happy Holidays!

Tom Togher