We are open today until 6:30 pm. Call 020 7590 0610
Tuscany in autumn

Your guide to post-Brexit travel

What to expect when the UK leaves the EU

Article content

30 December 2020 by David Warne

With the UK having officially left the European Union on 31st December 2020, we’ve updated our Brexit travel guidance to give you access to the latest information on visiting Europe.

As you’re no doubt aware, from the start of 2021, travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein changed, and there are some things you’ll need to take into consideration when planning and booking your holiday.

You will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training. That said, from 1st January 2023, travellers to the Schengen area will be required to obtain an ETIAS visa waiver, an electronic system similar to that operated by the USA.

As with all things at the moment, details can change at short notice. With that in mind, we recommend you visit the government website dedicated to post-Brexit travel for the most up-to-date information.

In summary, some important points to consider are:

  • Passport validity – you’ll need at least 3 months validity on your passport from the date you leave your EU destination, and for it to be less than 10 years old on the day of travel. If you renewed your current passport before its previous expiry date, you may have been granted extra months on top of the usual 10-year validity. These additional months may not count towards the minimum 3 months needed. You can check if your passport meets the requirements herePlease note there have been reports of airlines providing incorrect advice that you must have at least six months left on your passport - and even denying travellers from boarding; as such we would recommend renewing your passport before you are within 6 months of its expiry date where possible.
  • Travel insurance – EHIC health cards will remain valid for use in EU member states up to their expiry date. However, from 1st January 2021, they will no no longer be excepted in Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein. When your EHIC card expires, you will be able to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). We recommend you obtain adequate travel insurance prior to travel to all destinations. 
  • Driving documents – you will be able to drive in Europe with your UK driving licence and will not require an international driving permit, unless  you have an old-style paper licence or your licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. You must, however, display a UK sticker when driving in the EU (except Ireland) and the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) - note the UK sticker has replaced the former 'GB' sticker. You no longer require an insurance 'green card' to guarantee adequate third-party cover when driving in the EU and EEA, as well as Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland. Your UK insurer will now automatically provide third-party cover when driving in these regions.
  • Passport lanes – UK passport holders will no longer be able to use EU-designated immigration lanes, unless otherwise indicated on arrival
  • Travel for pets – You must contact your vet at least 4 months before travel
  • Food & drink – Travellers will no longer be able to take some food and drink into EU countries. See the EU Commission website for details

You can also find out more information on post-Brexit travel, based on your own circumstances, by using the government's Brexit checker tool.

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0610 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 50 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected