With summer holiday season just around the corner, Theresa May due to resign as Prime Minister on the 7th June 2019 and another Brexit negotiation to commence it’s no wonder us Brits are concerned about the safety of our summer breaks. Many have chosen to bypass the EU completely this summer and instead have booked to spend their holiday further afield.
Already this year, travel giants including Thomas Cook, EasyJet and TUI have announced a huge fall in profits and state Brexit uncertainty is largely to blame. For those Brits who are pushing ahead with their plans to spend their holiday along the Mediterranean coast or perhaps the south of France here is how you can Brexit-proof your summer holiday.
Take out travel insurance as soon as possible:
This goes without saying for any holiday, but even more so now there is uncertainty in the air. By taking out a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book your holiday you can be sure that should something happen, be it Brexit or an illness, you will be covered. On this note, only a handful of travel insurance companies have said they will cover for Brexit-related issues so be sure to check this when you buy your policy.
Make sure your passport is valid:
Earlier this year it was announced that 3.5 million British passports would be invalid post-Brexit. The Government has since released a passport checker which will tell you whether you need to renew your passport before your holiday. The process is relatively easy, and you will be asked to enter the country you are travelling to, the travel dates, your date of birth and the issue and expiry date of your passport. We recommend you have at least six months left in your passport from the date of travel.
Pay on a credit card:
If your holiday is costing you more than £100 make sure you pay with a credit card. If something happens, for example a no-deal Brexit or your travel company goes into liquidation, and you are not able to reach your destination, under the Consumer Credit Act you will have an element of financial protection.
Book through a package holiday provider:
More people than ever are booking their holiday’s independently (i.e. each element of the holiday has a separate contract), and although this may work out cheaper it leaves them with little or no protection should something go wrong. For example, if the airline goes bust the cost of the flight may be reimbursed but the hotel that you are no longer able to get to has a no-refund policy. By booking all elements of your trip through a travel company or tour operator you will benefit from ATOL protection, meaning if you are unable to make your trip you will be able to rearrange the holiday or receive a full refund.
Flights and ABTA Protection:
Even with a no-deal scenario we have been assured that flights will not be grounded. However, by booking flights through an ABTA protected company, passengers are covered under the Package Travel Regulations and are entitled to a full refund if their holiday can no longer go ahead.
Brexit-proofing your travel money:
With or without Brexit, exchange rates are constantly fluctuating so waiting around for a significant increase may not be an effective use of your time. Instead, look at a couple of companies and go with an exchange rate you are happy with. Alternatively, booking an all-inclusive resort can reduce the amount of money you need to take with you.
Will the EHIC work?
The European Health Insurance Card, formally the E111, entitles Brits to reduced medical fees abroad. According to travel expert, Martin Lewis, the EHIC will remain valid until December 2020, when the Brexit transition officially ends. He has however suggested that if we leave the EU on the 31st October 2019 with a no-deal it could become invalid immediately. For this reason, it is essential you buy a travel insurance policy that has a suitable level of medical expenses cover – and make sure you declare any existing medical conditions when buying the policy.