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Brexit: Will it affect your holidays in Europe?

Chris Butler January 21st, 2019 8,606 views

Though we're still yet to know exactly what deal (if any) Britain will be leaving the EU with, the 29th of March deadline is looming. Cheekytrip takes a look at how Brexit may impact your holidays in Europe...


How will it affect flights to Europe?

A deal is agreed: The UK government and European Commission have said flights will run as normal during the transition period lasting until December 2020. If you have a holiday booked through an ABTA registered UK travel company, you'll be covered under package travel regulations, meaning you have a right to a full refund in the unlikely scenario your holiday can no longer be provided. 

No-deal scenario: Even in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has said flights will continue to operate to EU countries (as long as the UK can provide the same reassurances to EU travellers to the UK).  However, Britain would lose the benefits of the Single European Sky, an EU initiative set up for air traffic management to create more efficient airspace.

Will I need a visa for European travel?

A deal is agreed
The European Commission has said visas will not be required. However, from 2021, UK citizens will need to pay a fee of around €7 for a visa exemption as part of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). This is a travel authorisation system applying to all third-country visitors to the EU. 

No-deal scenario
The European Commission has said even in a no-deal scenario UK travellers can still visit the EU without a visa, as long as the same scenario is offered to European citizens visiting the UK. The visa exemption fee (ETIASwill be required from 2021.

What about my passport?

If a no-deal Brexit takes place, the UK would be considered a third-country nation (like the US and Australia). When travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019, the UK government recommends that you have a minimum of six months left on your passport from the date of arrival in an EU country. If it is due to expire soon then you should look to renew it now. The government have released a passport validity checker.


Other changes after Brexit...

European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance
State medical care provided by the EU with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be available in a no-deal Brexit. If a deal is agreed the EHIC should remain valid for the remainder of the transition period. ABTA advises all travellers to have appropriate travel insurance whether you have an EHIC or not.

Driving licences
UK travellers hiring a car in an EU country would likely be asked to pay for a relevant International Driving Permit (fee of £5.50).

Data roaming
Data roaming in EU countries currently costs the same as the UK. In a no-deal scenario, this may no longer be the case. However, some UK providers such as Vodafone and 02 have said they would be willing to continue the same rates for UK customers in EU countries.

Pets would no longer be covered under a UK issued pet passport in the EU. A no-deal Brexit would see UK travellers require new documentation from an official Veterinarian at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel on.


Whatever deal is agreed, the likelihood of any big changes within 2019 or 2020 is minimal. Holidays which have been booked (or you are looking to book) will almost certainly run as normal during the transitional period. Whether any of the benefits of our current EU status will still exist after that transitional period is over remains to be seen, but changes probably won't be drastic.

Do you have any other travel concerns over Brexit? Let us know in the comments below or over on Facebook.

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