We have had a few glimpses of Spring here in the UK, but it’s safe to say many will be wanting to head abroad to escape the rain and chilly temperatures. But, with new travel rules and regulations in place, how can you make sure you are not caught out at the border this year?

If you’re a regular here, you will know we tell all travellers to check the Foreign Travel Advice website when booking their trip and before they are due to travel. The website houses information about entry requirements, safety and security, health information including vaccinations and what medication can be taken into the country and how to get help if you need it while away. The Foreign Travel Advice will also alert you of any incidents which have occurred including terror attacks and adverse weather and whether or not the country is safe to travel to.

A huge talking point at the moment is passports. Since the UK left the EU, rules for travelling in Europe have changed. In order to enter another country, your passport must be less than 10 years old on the date of entry. You will also need to ensure your passport is valid for at least 3 months after the date you leave the country for travel in Europe. Some further afield countries require you to have at least 6 months remaining on your passport, so be sure to check the entry requirements carefully.

In addition to your passport being within the correct dates, it is important to keep it in good condition. If your passport is ripped, creased, marked, has pages missing etc you may be refused entry. This is particularly important if you are travelling to a country that uses E-gates as the system may not be able to scan your passport if there are imperfections. Some countries will also require you to have a number of blank pages left in your passport.

Moving along to visas. Many countries require you to have a visa in order to enter the country and arriving without the correct paperwork usually results in denied entry. It is important to check visa requirements when booking your holiday and ensure you allow enough time for the visa to be approved. You will also need to check if children require their own visa.

Despite there being talks of a visa-exemption required for travelling to Europe (ETIAS), this is not due to come into play until mid-2025.

If you are travelling to a country that requires you to have vaccinations, you may need to show proof of this at the border. Some vaccinations are time sensitive so be sure to check this and book your appointment accordingly. For more information on vaccinations please head over to the Travel Health Pro website.

Other paperwork required to enter a country usually depends on your individual circumstances.

If you take medication you may need to show border control a copy of your prescription and a letter from your GP detailing the condition, medication and dosage. In some cases, you will need to obtain a letter of approval from the country’s embassy. It is extremely important you check if your medication is legal in the country you are travelling to. Taking banned medications into a country without the correct approval or documentation could result in a fine, being barred from the country and/or imprisonment.

The rise of ‘babymoons’ has seen people travel abroad while pregnant for a relaxing holiday before the baby arrives. According to the NHS, travelling isn’t harmful to you or your baby, but you should discuss any health issues or complications with your doctor or midwife. In terms of travel requirements, if you are more than 28 weeks pregnant the airline may ask you for a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming your due date and that you are not at risk of complications. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get your letter as it may take several weeks.

If you are travelling as a single-parent with your child and share parental responsibility, you need a child travel consent form or a letter from the other parent/guardian. This should include information of the trip and the other parent/guardians contact details. It is also a good idea to take your child’s birth certificate and/or a marriage/divorce certificate if you and your child have a different surname. If you are taking someone else’s child abroad, you will need a letter of permission.

Other entry requirements include, but are not limited to, proof of accommodation, proof you have enough money for your trip, a return ticket and proof of a negative COVID-19 test. All entry requirements for the country you are travelling to can be found on the Foreign Travel Advice website. If you are unsure of the entry requirements for your individual circumstances, you should contact the country’s embassy for clarification.

Attempting to enter a country without the correct documentation could result in you being denied entry and missing out on your holiday. If you are denied entry to a country, your travel insurance will not cover the costs of the holiday, fines or any additional travel required to get you home.