Brexit is on hold, but it hasn’t gone away.
Halloween, 31 October, is the new date that the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, with or without deal, but if the Prime Minister does manage to secure a deal before then we could leave within weeks. And this could affect your holiday plans.
Take these precautions now and you should enjoy travelling across Europe with minimal disruption, whatever happens with Brexit.
Consider booking through a package holiday tour operator
Internet travel booking has made it so easy to book travel and accommodation that travel agents often don’t get a look in these days. The precariousness surrounding holidaying around Brexit, however, means that it might be a safer bet to book through an ABTA recognised agent this year.
As ABTA explains: “The best way to protect your holiday is to book a package – it is the travel provider’s responsibility to make sure your holiday is provided and to offer an alternative or refund if it cannot be delivered.”
Carefully time the buying of your foreign currency
The sterling exchange rate is up and down like a yoyo the moment. Keep an eye on it and be ready to buy your Euros a little earlier than usual, as soon as the rate is looking in your favour.
Go all inclusive
To protect yourself from the fluctuations in the exchange rate, this year it may pay to book an all-inclusive holiday that covers all of your drinks and meals. If you’re active tie in your sports extras too.
Get medical cover
Currently all UK citizens are entitled to apply for a European Health Insurance (EHIC) Card. This means that you can claim state health care if you’re taken ill while visiting any country in Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA) –this covers all EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
The Government is working on reciprocal agreements with each of these individual countries so that a similar offering will still be available, but there is no guarantee that this will happen and if it does that they would be in place by the Brexit date.
To guarantee that you are covered for medical treatment across Europe after Brexit, make sure that your travel insurance includes comprehensive medical cover. Many policies include this as standard.
Shop around for the best travel insurance
Not all travel insurance policies will cover problems that you experience on holiday related to Brexit, this could include delays, missed connections and cancelled flights. Check the wording of your policy before you buy. Some insurers are also offering separate Brexit disruption cover.
Check your passport remains valid after Brexit
Your existing UK passport will still be accepted in the EU after Brexit, as long as there is at least six months until its renewal date. It gets more complicated than this though, if you happened to have renewed your current passport before the old one expired the additional months may have been added to its expiry date, if they had these additional months won’t be counted in the six months left to renewal. You can check the validity of your passport in the event of Brexit here
Travelling to Europe with your pet
Dogs, cats and surprisingly ferrets, can currently have passports that allow them to travel across Europe. These will still be valid if a Brexit deal is done. If a deal isn’t agreed your pets will still be able to travel, but they will need to obtain additional paperwork from a recognised vet and you will need to get in contact with your vet to start the process at least four months before departure.
Driving in Europe
If you plan to hire a car in Europe after Brexit, if a Brexit deal is not agreed your UK driving licence will no longer permit you to drive in some parts of the EU or the EEA. You will need to obtain a separate international driving permit (IDP) and there are three different versions of these.
The 1949 Convention ITP permits you to drive in Spain, Malta, Cyprus and Iceland; the 1926 Convention IDP covers Liechtenstein; and the 1968 Convention IDP covers Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania (if you have a paper licence), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway (if you have a paper licence), Poland (if you have a paper licence), Romania, Slovakia and Sweden. So if you’re doing a European road trip, you may need all three of these. Each one costs £5.50 and can be obtained from the Post Office.
Some of the countries listed above, have confirmed that they will not require Brits to have an IDP to drive within them while on holiday. An up-to-date list of these countries can be seen here
If you’re taking your own car from the UK to Europe if a deal isn’t done, you will also need to obtain a Green Card from your insurer. It shouldn’t cost you anything and it proves that you have third-party car insurance cover.