Following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 January 2020 there have been a number of changes which will affect groups travelling with us to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
We have picked out those changes we think are relevant for our customers.
Do I need a new passport?
If you are looking to travel to the EU and you have a British passport, you will need to have at least six months left on your passport from the date of travel. Your passport must have been issued within the last 10 years even if has more than six months’ validity. Your passport also needs to be valid for the whole of your trip.
These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay. You can use the Government’s passport checker to see if you need to renew your passport.
Do I need a visa to travel to the EU?
If you are a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
Do I have to show my passport at each border?
We do advise you keep passports handy when travelling throughout Europe, as you may be required to prove your right to travel at border crossings or security checkpoints. At Border Control, you may need to:
show a return or onward ticket
show you have enough money for your stay
use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
You can always check on www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out more about visa restrictions for your destination.
European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance
If you have a European Health Insurance Card it will be valid up to its expiry date. If you apply for a card now, you’ll get a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) instead of an EHIC. More details here.
If you’re travelling to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you should get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you travel. Make sure it covers any pre-existing conditions that were previously covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
ABTA has always advised when travelling to the EU and beyond, that it is important you take out travel insurance. Our tour price includes comprehensive travel insurance as standard. So, unless you advise us that your school or college has its own travel insurance and you wish to decline our insurance, you will automatically have insurance cover with us.
For more information on our insurance go to: Next Generation Travel Insurance Policy
Further advice on travel insurance can be found at www.abta.com/travelinsurance
Rules around mobile data roaming are changing meaning and you may face charges when using your phone abroad, including for making calls, sending messages or using the internet. Check with your mobile phone provider about their data roaming policy.
Other things to be aware of when travelling to Europe
Food and Drink – If you are travelling to the EU from the UK, you are not allowed to bring any meat, milk or any products containing these items with you. You can however bring a limited quantity of fruit and vegetables as well as eggs, egg products and honey.
Don’t worry, a member of our team will be able to help you sort out packed lunches for your group.
Coronavirus Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), read the advice for travelling during the pandemic before you plan your trip.
Travel Advice – For the latest information on the countries you are visiting please take a look at the UK Government Travel Aware site www.gov.uk/travelaware or the relevant page of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website which can be found at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.