The impending deadline for the UK to leave the EU may have you worried, especially if you have travel plans on or around that date, however with a few steps you can make sure you are well prepared for any eventuality.
Although there is no final agreement on travel arrangements for British citizens, there is advice from the government, FCO and ABTA, that should help you deal with all possible outcomes. The Ski Club of Great Britain have compiled some of that advice to help skiers and snowboarders understand the changes, and what they might need to do if they are travelling after the Brexit deadline.
Most holiday companies have taken measures to ensure that there will be minimal impact to their guests’ experience, however it is still unclear what effect there will be on things like flights and passport control. Agreements have been made with the EU to make sure flights are not affected before December 2020 but there may be some knock-on effects such as airlines reducing schedules or cancelling routes, the same applies to trains and ferries. If you are taking a package deal that is covered by ABTA, ABTOT & ATOL you will have the same buyer protection as before. You should always purchase travel insurance to make sure you are covered in case of delays or cancellations. If in doubt about arrangements contact your tour operator to make sure there aren’t any changes. It is probably worth adding a little extra time before passport control just in case things aren’t running as smooth as normal.
Both Ski Club Freshtracks and Mountain Tracks holidays are covered by ATOL & ABTOT protection and are guaranteed to run after 12th April regardless of the final Brexit deal. Find out more about Ski Club holidays here https://www.skiclub.co.uk/ski-club-holidays
Most travel insurers will offer the same amount of coverage in EU countries as they did before if you already have a policy with them, in fact many of them are underwritten by large EU corporations. It is possible that premiums might go up after April 12th as we leave the EHIC scheme and other shared healthcare and insurance organizations. If you aren’t sure whether your insurance still covers you, head to their website or give them a call.
Ski Club Insurance will continue to provide the same cover whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. For full Insurance policy details go to www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk
Make sure you have at least 6 months left before your passport expires from the end of your trip, this is a major change from previously only being required to have a valid passport for the duration of your stay. If you need to renew your passport it’s worth doing as soon as possible to beat the summer holiday rush, that way it works out cheaper and there is less likely to be as long a wait time.
Renew your passport here - https://www.gov.uk/renew-adult-passport/renew
Driving in the EU post Brexit is one of the less clear topics. In the event of a no-deal it is possible that UK drivers licences will not be recognised without an additional IDP (International Drivers Permit). You can order one of these, in person, from the post office and require ID to be presented. If you are planning on driving out to the alps in April it might be worth getting one just in case. You can find more details here - https://www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit
You may also need a ‘green card’ to prove that you are insured to drive in the EU. These should be obtained from your car insurance provider and there may be an admin fee to pay. The Association of British Insurers recommend you apply for this at least a month before driving abroad.
Taking a pet
If you are bringing a pet on holiday, then there could be some big changes to the documentation you will need and the vaccinations your pets will require in the event of no-deal. Essentially rabies shots will be required as well as proof of a vet visit within 10 days of travelling. For full information on what you need head here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
Using your phone
Unless an agreement is reached it is unlikely that the flat rate EU data roaming rules will continue to apply to UK networks. Some providers may continue to offer this, but it could revert to premium rates for data use abroad. Where possible use Wi-Fi instead of networks and install a Voice Over Internet app to keep call costs down. Check with your service provider to see what their deal will be.
If you are already abroad
Many of the changes above will apply to you if you are already abroad when the deadline passes, however getting the correct documents may be more difficult.
Pay particular attention to the rules regarding Driving as it may require you to apply for the IDP at a Post Office branch which means returning to the UK to obtain one or sending your passport and drivers licence to someone to apply on your behalf, as there is currently no online or postal option.
If you are abroad with a pet then returning to the UK should only require a EU/UK pet passport and proof of Rabies vaccination but check with your local vet ahead of travelling back.
Your EHIC is unlikely to be valid after April 12th so ensure you have adequate travel insurance to cover the rest of your time abroad.
If you are living or working in the EU after Brexit more information is available here - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-for-british-nationals-travelling-and-living-in-europe