5 post-Brexit UK travel tips and advice

The UK officially left the European Union in January 2020. Since then, new rules and regulations now threaten the simplicity of travel we once all knew.  Now, how you travel, what you may need to be able to travel and what you need while abroad have changed.  Read on for 5 post-Brexit UK travel tips.

Contents

1. British Passports after Brexit

With Brexit comes a whole new rule for British passport holders.  

Now we’ve left, you need to make sure you have at least three months remaining on your passport before the expiration date. 

 

  • This needs to be for the time you are leaving for the EU and when you arrive back in the U.K. You also can’t have more than 10 years on your passport anymore.
  • If you need to renew your passport, make sure you do it with enough time before your trip. It can take up to 10 weeks to be renewed and returned to you.
  • British passport holders must make sure they get their passport stamped on the way out of a European country.  If they do not, then it will appear as though you’ve overstayed past the visa visiting allowance of three months i.e., 90 days in 180.  Your passport will get stamped on the way in and you must make sure they stamp it on the way out!

2. Medical and travel insurance post Brexit

EHIC to GHIC

We can no longer use the EHIC (UK European Health Insurance Card) medical cards. Since Brexit, there’s now a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which replaces the EHIC card.  If your EHIC card has expired or you never had one, apply for the new GHIC one here.

Travel insurance

Make sure you sort out your travel insurance as soon as you book your trip because if anything happens between booking and departure — for example, you’re unable to travel or your flights get cancelled — you’ll still be insured. 

You may also want to check if you have covid insurance as part of your cover. If not, try to get it included. 

It’s also a good idea to get comprehensive cover since you may not be entitled to some things as you would have pre-Brexit. 

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3.  Driving after Brexit

Unfortunately, your UK driving license alone may no longer be enough to hire a car while in Europe. This will not apply to everyone and varies depending on the licence.  

If you still have a paper licence, you will need a relevant IDP as you will not be able to use your one on its own.  If your license was issued in Jersey, Gibraltar, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, then you should check as you might need an IDP.  If you do have a photo card license, you probably will not need an IDP for several EU countries.  You may still need one for some countries so it’s best to confirm this. 

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Car hire check

What is an IDP?

An IDP (International Driving Permit) allows UK nationals to drive in several countries where your UK licence alone will no longer be recognised.  There are different IDP’s to choose from depending on the country you want to visit.

Before travelling, obtain the right IDP if you still have a paper license or if your licence was issued in one of the places named above.

If you’re based in the UK, head to the UK government website to see the list of all the IDP’s here and which one you may need.  You should also check the Driving Abroad page as things are likely to change or be updated.

NOTE — IDP’s are not free as there’s a cost which will not cover all countries. Groups of countries require a different IDP.  Depending on your license and where you plan to travel, you may need to buy more than one.  IDP’s are available from your local post office.  

Always check the GOV.UK website for its Driving abroad guide for more up-to-date information.  

4.  Shorter stays and pay to stay…

Holiday stay restrictions — 90 days in 180

Brexit now means restrictions on how long UK nationals can stay in Europe.

Before Brexit, UK passport holders had unlimited stay and free movement across Europe with limited restrictions. Now, UK passport holders can only stay for 90 days within 180 days without an official visa or residency permit.  If you’re a UK national, you’ll have to complete an ETIAS allowing you to travel in Europe.

Pay to go on holiday in Europe?

British nationals previously had free movement across Europe before the UK left the EU due to Brexit by the end of 2022 and be in place by 2024. UK travellers with a British passport will need a visa waiver (pre-authorisation) to travel to Europe.

While you won’t need a full visa for short stays, you’ll soon need an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System application, which is like a waiver. An ETIAS will be required even if you’re in Europe for a short stay under 90 days. 

The cost for the ETIAS will be about €7 (2022). 

5.   On the plus side…

Travel cancellations and delays 

So, although there’s been a few changes, there’s some good news. 

Like before, all UK passport holders will be entitled to compensation for flight delays or cancellations.  

With some airlines, claiming is straightforward, and you can do it directly. In some instances, you may want to use a middleman like Refundor.

These are just some of the new restrictions and rules since Brexit that now affect how we travel.

I hope these 5 post-Brexit UK travel tips and advice help you ahead of your next travel getaway!

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