Travel to Europe will be different, so it is important you plan early to make sure you have everything in place in time for your trip.
It is also important that you check how the coronavirus pandemic may affect your travel plans. When planning a trip and before you travel, check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice for the destination you are visiting. ABTA also has advice on travelling during the pandemic.
Steps to take when travelling to Europe from 1 January 2021
Check to see if your passport will still be valid
If you have a British passport, you will need to have at least six months left on your passport and your passport must have been issued within the last 10 years. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired and extra months were added beyond its standard 10 year expiry date, be aware that any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum needed.
You can use the Government’s passport checker to see if you need to renew your passport.
Take out travel insurance with adequate healthcare cover
We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential and adequate travel insurance is a condition of your contract with us. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is suitable for your particular needs, including pre-existing medical conditions.
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.
Check your mobile phone company’s policy on data roaming
Rules around mobile data roaming are changing meaning 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.
The UK Government also has advice for people travelling to the EU after 1 January 2021.
Other things to be aware of when travelling to Europe
- If you are going on holiday, you will not need a visa for short trips to Europe.
- At border control you may need to show a return ticket and that you have enough money for your stay.
- When going through passport control you may not be able to use the EU or EEA lanes.
- You won’t be able to take any meat, milk or any products containing these items into the EU. There are exceptions for powdered baby milk, baby food, or pet food required for medical reasons.