7. Check how you're affected by other Brexit changes

Even after Brexit, most trips to Europe are going to be easy and hassle-free. Spain, Italy, Greece and all our other favourite tourist spots want tourists, so they're not going to put barriers up just for the fun of it.

That said, some things have changed since January 1st, so it's worth being aware of the main changes and checking whether you need to do anything differently this time.

  • If you normally take a pet with you, pet passports have changed and you should check out the details
  • If you drive to (or in) Europe, it's pretty much the same as before except you may need new paperwork in some of the Schengen countries that aren't in the EU - again, check out the details
  • There are new rules on what you can take across the border (including some fairly strict rules on meat and dairy products that mean some people have seen their cheese and ham sandwiches confiscated on arrival - not even joking). It's worth checking what's allowed and what isn't before you set off.

Your questions about travel during Coronavirus answered

Yes, we really found a stock photo of someone having their sandwich checked by airport security



Book your holiday extras early.

It pays to book your airport parking, airport hotel or your lounge as soon as you book your flights.

8. Work out how you're getting to the airport

There's no point starting your first proper break since 2019 stuck in a three-mile tailback at 4am.

If you've got an early flight, have a look at hotels near the airport. You can drive up the night before when the roads are empty, then start your trip by waking up refreshed and enjoying a spot of breakfast next to the terminal.

If you're driving, it pays to book your airport parking in advance. Prices get higher as the date approaches, and the price you pay on the gate is often 70% more expensive than if you pre-book.



Your questions about travel during Coronavirus answered

Start your holiday early in an airport hotel



9. Check when your EHIC card runs out

The EHIC is the European Health Insurance Card, a reciprocal deal between EU member states so that everyone can use everyone else's health service while visiting.

Now we've left the EU, the EHIC has rolled over into the GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card), a functionally-identical bilateral deal between the UK and the EU.

If you still have an EHIC card, in date, it'll still work in Europe. If it runs out, you can get the new GHIC - but like everything else, once lockdown ends everyone will do it and you'll have to queue. So check now, and if you need to renew your card this year do it in advance and beat the rush.

Check with the UK government's GHIC page for details (and watch out for scam adverts - the GHIC doesn't cost anything, so any website charging you for one shoud be avoided).


10. Sort out your travel insurance

EHIC or no EHIC, there's no substitute for a good travel insurance policy. As soon as you book a trip, we recommend getting your insurance in order so you're covered in case you need to cancel.

If you haven't flown since 2019, your travel insurance has probably run out.

Most standard travel insurance policies also aren't valid if you're flying against FCDO (UK government) advice, so even if you've got an annual policy you should check it covers you right now.

However it's possible to get specialist travel insurance that covers trips even to countries where the FCDO advises against holidays. You might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable a policy is - for non-FCDO trips we've partnered with battleface, a specialist provider, and there's a link to them below.


Travel Insurance - Non-essential travel

Holiday Extras offers travel insurance policies for countries that the FCDO currently advises are suitable for non-essential travel (such as holidays). If you are travelling to a country which has an FCDO advisory warning you may need a specialist insurance provider. battleface is a provider of flexible insurance plans for travellers going to unconventional locations, including those under government "essential only" travel advisories.


11. Make a travel checklist

There's 12 things on this list. You also need to get your travel money, make sure you have the right adapter, set an alarm, pack at least three different colours of mankini and buy one of those little timers that fool unobservant burglars into thinking you come home on the dot of 7.42pm every night.

Luckily, we have a more detailed holiday checklist. If you'd like to keep it all in one place, we're happy to help.


Make your travel checklist

Flights? Check. Hotel? Check. What about foreign currency, a dogwalker while you're away, turning off the heating and packing the right coat for the weather? Our holiday checklist will help make sure you haven't forgotten any of the extras you need for your trip.


12. Tell your family and friends

It's no good you getting your passport, zlotys, travel insurance and suitcase prepared three months in advance if you're all going to get held up at customs by one grandkid who didn't get the memo about not bringing cheese and ham sandwiches.

So if you've found our guide useful, pass it on to everyone you're travelling with, or just tell your friends with the sharing buttons below.

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