Travelling to Europe after Brexit- Here’s what you need to know

For any of you following the Brexit debate, there’s alot in the air. Whilst we don’t know for sure what situation we’re going to be in after the UK leaves the EU, there a few things we can all be aware when it comes to going abroad, because lets face it we all want to still do that. So without further a due, lets get into it, Travelling to Europe after Brexit!


The key things to note after Brexit, if you live in the UK and you’re travelling the Europe, make sure: 

  • Your passport has at least 6 months of validity on it.
  • Note that no passport is considered valid after 10 years of it’s issue (at the moment you get an extra 9 months to apply for your passport after the date your passport expires. This will no longer be the case).

If you don’t live in the UK…

You’ll need to show a valid passport or national identity card if you’re a citizen of either:

  • an EU country
  • Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

EEA national identity cards will be phased out for travel to the UK during 2020. If you’re not a citizen of one of these countries, you’ll need to show a valid passport.

You can still enter the UK using a passport which expires in less than 6 months.


So a little bit of good news…

  • UK travellers will not need visas for visits to Europe of up to 90 days in every 180 days – in other words, you can spend two stretches of three months in the EU each year, but they have to be at least three months apart. This will have an effect on people who like to spend the winter in Spain. 

…and now for the not so good

By 2021, UK citizens will need to apply in advance for an Etias, the “Euro-visa” that non-EU citizens from favoured countries must obtain. 

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, what you’ll need to enter the UK will not change until 2021.


To take a dog, cat or ferret abroad on after Brexit, i.e. 1st November 2019, you should have contacted your vet on 1st July to begin the process, because it is not clear what veterinary rules the European Union will apply…safe to say wait 4 months before you apply.

Long-term effects on travel

So it’s not exactly clear whether the “open skies” agreement will extend to Britain after Brexit, which may reduce choice and increase costs.

But the likely effects we think will happen are as follows:

  • Fewer EU visitors to the UK as a result of the government’s insistence that tourists from the EU must have a full passport rather than an ID card. It’s estimated that 100 million EU citizens have ID cards but not passports.

If this happens, it will reduce the transport links to and from Europe

  • The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias Visas) will come into play and will cost €7 for three years – though many websites will inevitably seek to prey on travellers and charge much more.

So immediate effects don’t appear to be too bad when you look into it as we mentioned in another Brexit article we wrote.

Medical treatment

The government recommends: “You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.”

But many travellers rationally use the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) as a substitute for insurance. From midnight on 31 October, in the event of no-deal, this will cease to be valid.

The government says: “It’s particularly important you get travel insurance with the right cover if you have a pre-existing medical condition. This is because the Ehic scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.” 

Mobile phones

UK travellers currently benefit from free roaming across the European Union. After Brexit, this will definitely be brought into question. To be honest, it’s really not the end of the world…we still have wi-fi.

Nevertheless, check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get after 31 October 2019, although they may be adopting a wait and see approach too until Brexit day.

N.B Users are protected from mobile data charges above £45. “Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad.  

Some mobile phone firms, notably Three, have said they will not reintroduce charges.


Drivers will need an International Driving Permit (IDP), an antiquated document available at larger post offices. Take your driving licence, a passport photo and £5.50. You may need more than one; a 1949 IDP covers Spain, Cyprus and Malta, while a 1968 version is valid everywhere else in the EU.

Motor insurance will no longer automatically extend to the EU. Insurers will provide on request a “Green Card”, for which an extra charge will be made.

The government says: “Allow one month to get this from your vehicle insurance company.”

Want more Information?

Visit the Government website. We found this to be really useful and gets updated regularly. It has some really useful information about other areas that Brexit may affect, so definitely worth checking out! 

In Summary…

Let’s see what happens in the coming days, there’s still a chance our exit out of the EU may get extended yet again…

However, the top points we think you need to consider after Brexit:

  • Check your passport validity.
  • Ensure you have the right insurance that covers you – medical and motor!
  • Check your roaming charges before travelling with your mobile phone provider.
  • If you want to take pets, get in touch with your vet for the most up to date information.

We hope you found this article useful, we’ll definitely share more information as it becomes available after 31st October 2019. 

So the countdown begins guys…see you on the other side!

6 thoughts on “Travelling to Europe after Brexit- Here’s what you need to know

  1. Great information here which is on top of all of us British peoples minds! I am driving to Disneyland Paris next month so I have been unsure as to what I need to do with such little time knowing if we will leave or not so this post has really gave me an in site to what I need to know, Thank you.

  2. This is very useful in these uncertain times. Most of the issues you discuss aren’t yet fully cleared so it will be interesting to keep following the progress. As for the currency at least nothing has to change after Brexit!
    You speak about American Citizens travelling. Do you have any information for Europeans? Will we need a visa? Or will a valid passport be enough at the border?
    Thank you so much for bringing it up and researching this topic. I hope you will continue to inform us!
    Great job!

    1. Hey Jana, Thanks very much for the support. Europeans will no longer be able to travel using an identity card and will need to use their passport. A Vis would not be required but may be phased in moving towards 2020. Here’s a link after Brexit that you may find useful.

  3. Very interesting article! To be completely honest I didn’t know that this was happening being from Australia. The world is forever changing isn’t it.

    I have quite a few friends over in the UK who love to travel on the regular so I will be sure to pass this detailed information on to them for a read.

    Thanks for writing this article and I can’t wait to see what else you post in future 🙂

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