Travel after Brexit: Can Britons travel to Europe as usual post-Brexit?

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While travel plans have been scuppered for most British travellers this year thanks to coronavirus, 2021 will throw the Brexit curveball at us. Travelling to Europe post-transition period is going to look very different for a number of reasons.

From January, the UK will no longer be following EU rules and travellers may need to take extra measures.

The Government has now launched its Check. Change. Go campaign highlighting the differences between pre and post-Brexit travel.

Wendy Morton, the minister for the European neighbourhood, said the campaign would help travellers “by bringing together all the information they need to know in one place so they can plan in advance and get on with their trip.”

Most crucially, Britons will lose freedom of movement when we fully break from the EU – meaning many of the liberties we once enjoyed when it comes to travelling for work or holiday will now change.

Passport

The crucial piece of advice is to check your passport validity.

On the day of travel, your passport will need to have at least six months left on it, and be less than ten years old, even if it has six months left of validity.

Whether you have one of the new blue Brexit passports or the EU burgundy one, these are still valid for travel.

Border control

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

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Cost

By all means, traveling abroad is probably about to get a lot more expensive.

Not just in terms of buying goods – with the Euro edging closer and closer to the pound – but you’ll need to buy a whole host of new things for your trip.

Brits will no longer be covered by EHIC – while you should be getting travel insurance out anyway when you travel, if you didn’t need it before you will definitely need it now.

You will also need an international driving permit if you want to drive your own or hire a car in Europe from now on.

They only cost £5.50 and can be picked up from a post office, but make sure you check which one the country you are visiting requires – there are different types.

For those British expats living in Europe, driving on their UK drivers licence, they will need to be swapped over for a local licence before December 31, 2020.

Roaming charges will also be implemented on British phones once the transition period has ended – but this will depend on your provider.

So far, many of the big providers have said they do not plan to reintroduce roaming charges, which were only abolished a few years ago.

You should check with your provider to see if they are implementing charges.

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