Checklist for families planning a European adventure holiday after Brexit

7 Feb 2019 11:48 by Sam Taylor

Passport Brexit

Read our handy planning guide for families travelling to France and Spain in the event of a no deal Brexit on October 31 2019.

  1. The biggest change in the wake of Brexit is that all family members must have a passport that's valid at least 6 months after the date of your departure. The passport office has a nifty online checker to determine if your passport needs renewing before your adventure begins.

  2. If the UK doesn’t negotiate a deal, families travelling in the EU will need to demonstrate that they have “sufficient means of subsistence” for their stay and return. What this means in practice is that you will need to be able to provide details of your accommodation and return tickets for every family member if asked by border officials or police.

  3. Families travelling after October 31 2019 should allow more time than usual at the ferry terminal or airport in case of short-term disruption caused by crowds and congestion.

  4. Finally, don’t get caught out by unexpected mobile phone charges. The regulations on roaming charges will change if we leave the EU without a deal, so make sure you check with your provider before you travel. 

Brexit Travel Q&A

Will the rules for passports change if we leave the EU without a deal?

Yes, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The Government states that British citizens travelling to the EU after exiting the European Union will need

  • at least 6 months left on your passport when you travel to most EU countries
  • a passport that’s less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

Teachers and pupils visiting the European countries in the Schengen area after October 31 2019 should check the expiry date of their passport to make sure there will be at least 6 months validity remaining on the date of travel. Passport holders who do not meet these criteria, may be denied entry to these countries and should consider renewing their passport before travel in case of a ‘no deal’ scenario.

The new rules will apply for travel to countries in the Schengen Agreement which are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. These EU countries are not in the Schengen area: Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus.

Will my family need a visa to travel to France or Spain?

No, the European Commission has confirmed that British travellers will not need visas to visit the European Union on short stays, even if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Will it cost more to use our phones on our family adventure?

Our advice is to check roaming charges with your mobile operator before your trip. If we leave the EU without a deal, EU mobile operators would be able to charge UK operators for providing roaming services. This would mean that using a mobile phone in the EU may be more expensive after October 31 2019. If in doubt, ask your kids to show you how to turn off data roaming on all your family’s phones before entering the EU.

What about flights to and from the EU?

If the UK leaves the EU on October 31 2019 with no deal, UK and EU licensed airlines lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and EU. Thus, airlines would need to seek individual permissions to operate. However, the government says it would envisage granting permission to EU airlines to continue to operate and that it would expect EU countries to reciprocate.

Can my family still use their EHIC cards?

The latest advice from the government is that the handy European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may not be valid after October 31 2019 and so families must ensure that they have sufficient travel insurance which covers everyone’s emergency healthcare requirements as well as any pre-existing health conditions. 

This NHS website provides country by country information for travellers regarding healthcare arrangements.

Now you've got some clarity on the travel implications, you can breathe a sigh of relief and start planning your next holiday!

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