Brexit has been the word on most Brit’s lips for the last few years. Whether you’re a remainer or Brexiter, the future of the UK seems to only get more confusing by the day. But finally, our PM is slowly releasing information to give us clues about what 2020 and beyond may hold for us.
Like many Brits, I love my European holidays, heck I wouldn’t have a travel blog if I didn’t. It’s the cheapest way to explore new cultures and travel on a student budget. During these uncertain times, I’m probably asking the same questions as you: what does this mean for my holidays? Will I be able to visit my family without a visa? Will those all important £5 flights from RyanAir still exist?
Whilst I don’t have all the answers yet, I do have some, from a lot of research. You’d think it would be easy to find information about your own countries future- clearly not! So here’s all the hard work done for you, all the answers I have found that leave me, well … a little confused and most certainly underwhelmed.
The Essential Brexit Travel Information
A no deal Brexit means that the EU are likely to enforce a limit of 90 days to travel in any 180 day period. If you exceed this amount, you will need a visa to get through customs and continue travelling. Of course, all of the usual visa details will be needed, but you are likely to need to supply proof of onward travel and that you have sufficient funds to do so.
This is bad news for backpackers or budget travellers: it’s not difficult to exceed the 90 day limit if you live in a country one month at a time, or even do two lots of backpacking across Summer and Winter holidays. I understand why you need to supply onward travel proof but the entire basis of backpacking is then compromised: it’s about exploring the unknown and seeing where each day takes you- not planning to the last detail and booking everything months in advance.
The good news is that this policy will not include countries outside the Schengen area, so you can travel to Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and Cyprus for as long as you please.
Other things to note are that all UK passengers will have to queue in the non-EU line at each customs airport- meaning you’ll need to leave considerably early when flying home.
Travel insurance is also set to increase with the rules changing on EHIC cards and other logistics. This stuff is a necessity when travelling but it’s already an eye sore to watch the money leave your bank account at the moment. This will ultimately make travelling a lot more expensive.
Lastly, mobile roaming may not be an option after Brexit, it will at the very least be more expensive, meaning that lovely law that makes all our EU tariffs disappear will be charging us through the roof again! Sorry mum, looks like I won’t be texting you to say I landed safely anymore!
So far, there are two options. With a deal, then holidaymakers are looking at participating in a transitionary period until Dec 2020, so there’s plenty of time for all of the logistics to be organised and for the information to filter through to us. But, if there’s no deal there’s a lot more uncertainty. You’re still protected by EU solvency deals but it will depend on who you book with and whether the country has an EU solvency agreement, if they do, you’re entitled to a full-refund should the issue arise. So make sure you read your small print!
Lots of travel companies are reassuring customers with price promises. Thomas Cook are just one of the companies with a Brexit Price Guarantee:
‘You can book now to secure the price of your Thomas Cook holiday! We guarantee the price of your holiday won’t increase, no matter what happens as a result of Brexit. Many Thomas Cook customers are choosing to book all-inclusive packages which give them the confidence of knowing their everyday holiday essentials such as food and drinks have been pre-paid and won’t be affected by the fluctuating exchange rate’
Booking with a price promise takes away all of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and seems like a fantastic option- it’s a shame we can’t get a fixed exchange rate though!
Travelling by Train, Bus or Plane
Finally some good news! It looks like our travel right will remain the same: EU protection when crossing all borders by bus or coach and we’ll still get the same flight and train compensation should your flight be delayed.
BBC News also reported that British people will need to apply for and buy another document to travel to member states, post-Brexit. The ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), which will cost €7 (£6.30) and be valid for three years, won’t come into force until 2021 though. Though this contradicts the GOV.co.uk information saying we’ll get 90 days of free travel, it just goes to show how little we do know for sure and how many things are likely to change between now and March 29th, or beyond- since an extension is now a viable option.
The Bottom Line
Don’t put off your travels because of Brexit. Get it booked instead! Whilst we know our rights as customers are the same until the deal goes through, there’s nothing to stop you booking a holiday , insurance etc before 29th March. It seems that booking with a Brexit Price Guarantee is the best way to control how much you spend and know that you won’t end up paying any more. As for RyanAir, we all saw what happened to BMI this month, and I just hope the same doesn’t happen to them! Clearly the company aren’t in their heyday, but the £5 flights remain so make the most of them while you can!
To find out more information, here are some handy links for you to explore:
- www.gov.co.uk EU Essential Information
- www.gov.co.uk Healthcare
- www.gov.co.uk Package Holidays
- www.gov.co.uk Travel to the EU
- www.BBC.co.uk Brexit Information
Let me know what you think of Brexit and the travelling post-Brexit- tweet me or comment below x