Brexit advice for travellers

Europe is the number one overseas destination for UK travellers – with over 66 million trips in 2019. With the transition period set to end on 31 December 2020, ABTA is offering advice to holidaymakers about travelling to Europe. 

If you are planning to travel after 1 January 2021, it is important you start thinking about any extra steps you may need to take now to be ready for your trip.

It’s also important that you check how the coronavirus pandemic may affect your travel plans. When planning a trip and before you travel, check the Foreign Office advice for the destination you are visiting. 

ABTA also has advice on travelling during the pandemic.

Travel up until 31 December 2020

The transition period lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time, everything will remain the same, and there are no extra requirements for UK citizens when travelling to Europe. However, your plans may be impacted by COVID-19 so you should check the Foreign Office advice for the destination you are due to visit.


Travel after 1 January 2021

UK holidaymakers and business travellers will still be able to travel to Europe. However, there are some extra steps you may need to take now to be ready for your trip next year.

The UK Government has advice for people travelling to the EU after Brexit


Check to see if your passport will still be valid. If you have a British passport, you will need to have at least six months left on your passport and your passport must have been issued within the last 10 years.

You can use the Government’s passport checker to see if you need to renew your passport. 



The European Health Insurance Card may not be valid from 1 January 2021. You will need to take out comprehensive travel insurance with sufficient healthcare cover, including cover for existing medical conditions and any activities you plan to do. 

ABTA has advice on finding the right travel insurance.



Driving permits

If you plan to drive in Europe, you may need an International Driving Permit for the areas you plan to drive in. You may need more than one depending on where you are visiting. Each permit costs £5.50 and is available from certain branches of the Post Office. 

Find out more about getting an International Driving Permit.


Green cards for insurance

If you are driving your own car in Europe, you may need to obtain and carry a physical Green Card for your UK car insurance to be valid in the EU. These cards will be available from your car insurance provider, but you may be charged a small fee to cover administration costs. 


GB car stickers

You may need a GB sticker for your own car when driving in the EU after the transition period ends.


Travelling with your pets

Your pet passport will no longer be valid. If you wish to take your pet abroad you will need to speak to your vet at least four months before you travel. For more information visit


Mobile data roaming

Rules around mobile data roaming are changing meaning you may face charges when using your phone abroad, including for making calls, sending messages or using the internet. Check with your mobile phone provider about their data roaming policy.