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Travelling in Europe after Brexit

We don’t need to remind you that along with Covid-19, there’s been another big thing going on with the UK recently: Brexit. With holiday companies promoting summer deals right now, you might be wondering what you can do in terms of Brexit rules if a holiday is safe and possible. 

Clio Paterson
· 6 min read

We don’t need to remind you that along with Covid-19, there’s been another big thing going on with the UK recently: Brexit. With holiday companies promoting summer deals right now, you might be wondering what you can do in terms of Brexit rules if a holiday is safe and possible. 

It’s time to get inspired and to get in the know! Here is your comprehensive guide to travelling in Europe after Brexit. 

Can I travel in Europe after Brexit?

In short, yes. According to the deal struck, you can travel to Europe. Things will be different when you get to the airport, however. You won’t be able to join the same fast-track queue for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and you may be asked to show your return ticket on your way out. 

They may also ask questions at the security desk, such as whether you have enough money for your stay. All in all, it may well take longer to cross the UK border, but you can still travel to Europe for your holiday.  

What will happen to travel in Europe after Brexit?

Aside from the potential longer wait times at the airports, there are a few other things to note when travelling in Europe from the UK. 

You will need to check the rules around taking pets into a European country or driving—more on those two in a moment. New rulings also affect taking plants and food and drink, across borders, with some exceptions, such as baby formula. 

Another significant consideration is free mobile roaming. Sadly, this has ended. You will need to contact your mobile operator to discover what that means in terms of charges. Generally, you’ll need to be careful with your phone usage when you’re abroad to avoid coming home with a hefty bill! 

How long can I holiday in Europe for after Brexit? 

Here’s the big one. You do not need a visa when travelling to Europe for a short trip, but you may need them if your stay falls outside particular remits. 

In terms of the “short trip” definition and what that means, here’s a summary from the Government:

  • Up to 90 days in total.
  • You can only spend a total of 90 days in Europe in a 180-day period. 
  • This applies to any EU country and also includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
  • You may need a visa to stay longer, work, or study in a European country.

Will I need a new passport to holiday in Europe after Brexit? 

You will need to make sure that your passport is in date. It must be no more than ten years old and have at least six months left on it. So dig it out now! And check it's up to date before you book your break. The same goes for children’s passports, so remember to check everyone’s in your household. 

To help you out, the Government has set up a passport checker page. If in doubt, hop on there and find out if you need to take any action. 

How will Brexit affect travel insurance for European holidays?

Both travel insurance and health insurance should be a top priority when you travel abroad. That hasn’t changed, but the way it all works has. 

The changes vary, depending on where you travel to, but here’s the summary:

  • If you have an in-date European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), it will still be valid. If you apply for a new card, you’ll be issued a GHIC rather than an EHIC.
  • In Norway, you can use your UK passport to get emergency medical assistance or get help for a pre-existing condition.  
  • You will need to get the right healthcare insurance if you are travelling to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein.

Before you get to the booking stage, you can look up the destination you’re planning to visit to find out exactly what you need to do to stay covered.  

Can I take my pets to Europe on holiday post-Brexit?

Yes, you can, but you can wave goodbye to your old pet passport. From the 1st January 2021, you’ll need to get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) to take a pet on board with you. That includes trips to Northern Ireland. 

To get an AHC, you will need to:

  • Visit the vet to obtain it, no more than ten days before your trip.
  • It must be signed by a vet, and an “Official Vet” at that. So, ask to see an OV before you arrange the appointment. 
  • The AHC must be valid for ten days when entering the EU or NI. 
  • Your pet must also have a full, up to date vaccination record.
  • Your pet must be microchipped.  
  • If travelling to Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Norway or Malta with a dog, you’ll need to treat them for tapeworm. This includes assistance dogs. 

What driving documents will I need to travel in Europe after Brexit? 

If you’re hiring a car at your destination, you don’t need to worry about taking any additional documents. And if in doubt, you can always check with the embassy of the country you’re visiting.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, things are a little more complicated. Here are some headlines to bear in mind:

Travelling in Europe after Brexit

For any of these questions, it's always better to be in the know than to get caught out. Read up on the rules, get yourself covered and equipped with the right documents, and you’ll be good to go.

Clio Paterson

Clio Paterson

Clio is a freelance lifestyle content writer and a mum of two. Based in Manchester and specialising in travel, health, beauty and fashion, Clio has written for some of the most exciting brands across the U.K. and Europe.