Okay so we’ve all heard enough about Brexit now haven’t it? Love it or loathe it, there’s no getting away from the fact that there are a lot of uncertainties out there and nobody knows for certain what will happen and when.
Over the last few weeks we have read a lot of media coverage warning people about the risks of booking a holiday and we have been asked by a number of customers to try and explain. So here is our attempt to bust some of the Brexit travel myths.
Myth One: All European Flights Will Be Cancelled
Jeez … what a disaster that would be! Now, we’re no experts in aviation policies, air space regulations or Boeing 747 flight paths, but seriously this is highly unlikely to happen. Yes there may be some changes, maybe even some temporary restrictions, but both the UK and EU have expressed their commitment to maintaining travel arrangements throughout the transition period. Our advice remains the same as always … book through a reputable travel agent and they will carry the burden of any changes / refunds should the worst happen!
Myth Two: We Will Need Expensive Visas to Visit Europe
‘Oh yes you will, Oh no you won’t’ (sorry … we’re still in the Christmas spirit). Last year it was announced that UK citizens would have to apply for a travel permit (costing around 7 euros) – not a visa. Okay so it’s a little extra bureaucracy, but don’t get your passports in a twist over it! The new permit doesn’t involve an excruciating visit to a foreign embassy. Or a gruelling interview with an over-zealous immigration officer determined to uncover your family secrets. It’s just an online application, similar to the ESTA you may have completed before visiting the US. No sweat.
Myth Three: We’ll All Need A New Passport
Whilst some of you may be excited at the prospect of getting a blue passport, we’re afraid that they won’t be issued until late in 2019. In the meantime any new passports issued will be burgundy – but without the words ‘European Union’ on! But that doesn’t mean that we should all rush out to get a new one. Our current passports are still valid so we can use them as before. Our only advice is to ensure that you have at least 6 months duration left on them when you travel (based on the return date to the UK). If you are travelling in the early post-Brexit period and don’t have 6 months left on your passport then it could be worth applying now so that you don’t get caught up in any kind of backlog. We recommend that you check the validity of your passport using this online tool.
Myth Four – I Wont Be Able to Get Healthcare If I Need It
You will still be able to get health care in Europe, but it is likely that your existing EHIC card will no longer be valid. We always recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance in place to cover you in urgent and emergency – and this is no different. Before you travel just double check to see that you are covered for the activities you will be doing, the areas you are visiting and any pre-existing medical conditions that you have. The UK have plenty of agreements with other non-EU countries to provide reciprocal healthcare, so it is entirely possible that we do end up with with some kind of arrangement with the EU. Watch this space … but for now … make sure you have appropriate insurance! Check out our insurance guide for handy tips.
Myth Five – The British Pound Will Be Worthless and I won’t be able to afford my holiday
GBP is a currency like any other. It will both increase and fall in value over time. Whilst we do know that the Pound has fallen against both the Euro and the Dollar in recent months, we do not know what will happen next. So what does this mean for you holiday? Well we recommend that you prepare for your holiday in the same way as normal. Budgeting what you can afford to pay, and then choosing your destination, accommodation and travel plans in line with this. It may get more expensive after Brexit. It may get less expensive after Brexit. But is that any different to normal? If you’re concerned about the expense when you get there then maybe opt for an All Inclusive or Tour that includes meals and drinks. That way you can have a clearer idea of what you will have to pay for up front. There are also plenty of travel bargains outside the boundaries of the EU!
And whilst we haven’t listed this as an ‘official myth’, we have been told that people in Europe just don’t like us anymore and we are no longer welcome. We couldn’t just let that go so here’s our thoughts on the subject. “If you are disrespectful, rude or ignorant … then this is correct. People in Europe will not like you. But if you continue to travel responsibly, take an interest in your host country and respect their local customs and traditions, then you’ll be just fine.”