Holidays And Brexit

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by shiney, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    Disclaimer:- This is just a personal opinion.

    As I travel a lot, some members have been asking me for pointers about possible problems with Brexit.

    Always check with your travel agent. If travelling to the EU and you don't normally use a travel agent then I recommend that you do.

    I don't know the technical details but things that I think you should look out for that come to mind are:

    Passports: if traveling outside the EU then there is likely to not be much in the way of change. If travelling in the EU then it may depend on how long there is left on the passport and whether you had renewed it early and whether the amount of time prior to the need for renewal was added to the passport.

    Visas: the EU have said that we are unlikely to need Visas for another couple of years. Visas are cheap and easy to do on line so no need to worry.

    Booking things yourself: I recommend you don't - unless it's a package deal through a tour operator. If you book your own flights and then book your accommodation etc. separately then you may lose out if the flights are cancelled. This could happen if there are more flights booked than in previous years as the EU have said they will put a limit on the amount of flights. If that happens you'll get your money back from the airline for the flight but you can't claim any costs for lost accommodation bookings.

    Two ways round that are to make sure you have proper travel insurance that states quite clearly they cover you for that contingency and book by credit card to give you Section 75 cover.

    Insurance: Never go on holiday without good holiday insurance. I have rarely needed to claim on insurance (usually some 'minor' medical expenses that can sometimes turn out expensive such as - Mrs Shiney had an ear infection when we were on a cruise and just to see the ship's doctor cost $150 a time) but were only recently grateful for the insurance when we had to cancel a three week tour of Burma due to ill health and the insurance paid out thousands without any problem at all.

    Driving in the EU: you will almost certainly need an International Driving Permit (some countries want different ones :doh:) but these are easy to get online and are cheap.

    Holiday money: this is a very personal opinion. The pound is actually quite a bit stranger now than it has been most of last year. If you're travelling to the EU, or anywhere, soon then I would get my currency now.

    Conclusion:- there shouldn't be any real problems but I would definitely get good insurance (check what they offer), not book separate flights and accommodation to the EU if possible. If you're not sure then try booking through a travel agent (ABTA registered) or a tour operator and check that you will be covered for any cancellations.

    Always check with a holiday booking professional. :blue thumb: Although I'm an experienced traveller I still check, and book, through a professional. I quite often sort out all our holiday details direct with the holiday companies (tour operators, cruise lines etc.) and then pass the whole booking procedure to our local travel agent.

    Happy holidays.
     
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    • HarryS

      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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      Some good point there Shiney :blue thumb: For holiday money in Euro land , the rate is now nearly €1.14 to the £ . Last October it was €1.11 ( 4 years ago it was €1.40 ! ) These rates are for ordering online. I use the Post Office , so I can collect at our local one next day usually. Do not exchange money in the departure lounge the rates are abysmal.
      @shiney which travel insurance company do you use . It's virtually impossible to determine good vs bad on a review site . I have used Virgin , the Post Office and now Aviva . As I have never claimed , I don't have a clue whether they are good or bad, they are just big names .
       
    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      @HarryS I usually go for one of the companies recommended by Which?. This can depend on whether you go for single trip, multi trip, European cover or worldwide cover. I usually recommend reading all the benefits and small print first but specifically looking for things that you want covered. Important things are cancellation, illness and or repatriation, luggage, money, documents (passport etc.) and excess levels.

      In my opinion, insurance is well worth it even if it's just for peace of mind. Although those first three are least likely to happen they are also the most important to cover. Aviva get a good score from Which?.

      Cover and cost vary depending on age, so some shopping around is essential.

      The insurer that we have just claimed on is Blue Bear (they are the agent for the insurance company) and we had their top cover (Gold) for Worldwide Annual Insurance (gold covers cruises as well) for rather elderly people :old: :heehee: and it cost a total of £191 to cover both of us. I expect it will go up a lot next time!

      I shall be comparing them with Saga when I renew as they have one of the highest recommendation percentages - but it will depend on the premium. I've just renewed our cars, house and contents insurance with Saga and got a great deal. It's my second year with them and I stayed with them because, after negotiations, they offered me the best price. They came down by a total of £90 on the renewal quote and I told them I would be shopping around. When I got back to them I told them that no other insurer had beaten their price but one had offered a big cash incentive :whistle:. They then came down another £80. :blue thumb: I don't use comparison websites as I always find that they have some part of the cover I require missing from their offer.
       
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      • Sandy Ground

        Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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        Only just seen the very good post by @shiney and read through the replies. A couple of things that I would like to add in regards to both passports and driving licences. I'm guessing that these comments will apply to all EU countries, but I dont know for certain.

        British citizens living here have been informed of two things.

        First, after Brexit, some driving licences will become invalid even with an international driving permit.

        Second, some UK passports will also be judged to be invalid.

        My suspicion is that the phrase "after Brexit" means after March 29th., but being honest, I'm not sure. I cant really see that the information would have been given out now if they mean after the transition period. Not being affected by any of this, I've not bothered to find out more. No reason to.
         
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        • WeeTam

          WeeTam Total Gardener

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          Just make sure your passport has more than 6 months life left it when you travel . If not you will face difficulties.
           
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          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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            Correct. :blue thumb:


            Not quite right! :noidea:

            The six months until expiry has always been a dodgy situation and it has always been recommended that you renew your passport when there are six months left on it. So your passport was always valid from the time you renewed it until 10 years (or five) after the original expiry date. :phew:

            Under the new, dodgy, EU rules they won't accept that extended period and only regard the passport valid for the ten years from the date you renewed - and then they may not accept your passport if it's within six months of that date.

            So you need to check your passport. Mine was renewed in April 2015 (four months before the expiry) and is valid until August 2025. The EU are saying that they will only consider the passport valid until April 2025 and may require a new passport if I travel after October 2024.

            Although a nuisance and, in my opinion, a bit of a con it's not really much bother - unless you forget to do it. In effect, you're paying for a ten year passport when you may only be getting 9 - 9 1/2 years use out of it. The EU are not the only countries that have the six month rule but, I think, the only ones that are purposely going to make things awkward for people who have renewed early.

            Most holiday companies, especially cruise companies, have insisted, for many years, on six months left on your passport before they will take your booking.
             
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            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              I think that may not be what is under discussion at the moment but, to make life more difficult, some EU countries will be insisting on you having different International Driving Permits and only available at Post Offices. So you will need the right one for that country, otherwise your UK driving licence won't be validated. You won't need an IFP for Ireland.

              Once again, not a problem as long as you have the correct paperwork.
               
            • Sandy Ground

              Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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              As regards the IDP and licences, I can only repeat information that has been given out here. As we are a part of the EU, I would expect it to be the same everywhere...no sorry, its the EU, so thats probably incorrect! :)

              @shiney you are spot on with the last sentence. Get the paperwork correct, and there should be no problems. The biggest problem is finding out what is correct.
               
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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                There were also rumours/fake news that we would not be able to fly from the UK to anywhere if crossing EU airspace. That's incorrect. The EU have already stated that until the end of 2021 things will run as normal (although restricting the flights from the UK to the EU to the numbers flown in 2018) and after that they hope to have come to an agreement. It would hurt the EU as much or more than us not to have an agreement. Unfortunately, the EU have banned starting any negotiations between themselves and us before the end of March. :doh:

                There was the original Open Skies Agreement between the EU and the US and we shall not be included in that after 2021. The US have already agreed a separate Open Skies Agreement with us - as have a large number of countries. The ones I can remember, in alpha order, are Albania, Canada, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco and Switzerland. Other negotiations are ongoing but are well into being organised with another 60 or more countries. These are bilateral agreements so take time to arrange.

                The main stumbling block to any Open Skies Agreement with the EU is Spain. They are insisting that they won't allow negotiations if we include Gibraltar in the UK part. I would suggest the simple solution of the government recommending that UK citizens don't go on holiday to Spain.
                 
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                • shiney

                  shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                  That won't be too difficult. We have a number of consumer interest groups that will find all that out for us. Once sorted, all the travel agents should have the info.
                   
                • lolimac

                  lolimac Super Gardener

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                  Thank gawd I don't need a passport for the Yorkshire Dales and the Lakes.:phew:
                   
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                  • Sandy Ground

                    Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                    Nowadays, I do tend to be a bit sceptical over a lot of things. Some years ago, I was told my (Swedish issued) driving licence would be accepted in the UK. It wasnt...

                    Going a little off subject, I nearly fell into a illegal trap with my SatNav last year...how many are aware that they can (not all are) be illegal in some EU countries even if carried as luggage in the boot?
                     
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                    • Sandy Ground

                      Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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                      I do now, so I'm avoiding the whole of the UK in protest! :biggrin: Well, excluding the ROI...
                       
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                      • shiney

                        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                        You don't need one for Shineyland either. :blue thumb:
                         
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                        • lolimac

                          lolimac Super Gardener

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                          Oh yes I know but customs were a bit of a burger:biggrin:
                           
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