Martin Lewis has issued key holiday advice ahead of Brexit which is due to take place on 29 March 2019. The Money Saving Expert told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning what Britons heading abroad need to watch out for. Three key areas are passports, travel insurance and EHIC cards, Lewis explained to ITV audiences. The government have recently issued a new tool to enable Britons to check if they need to renew their passports.
Should the UK quit the European Union without a deal, you need to have at least six months left on your passport from the date of your arrival to an EU country.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also stated: “If you renewed a passport before it expired, up to nine extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date.
“Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.”
This means, if you renew your passport before it has actually expired, you no longer get an extra nine months added on there as you did before.
In short, if you had plans for a summer holiday and your passport has 15 months or less left on it, you’ll need to start renewing.
“If you leave and have less than six months left on your passport it will not valid and you’ll have to return home,” Lewis said.
“You won’t be able to travel to the vast majority of the EU,” he added. “You should check your passport if you have a holiday booked after March.”
Britons who order a passport now will get a 10-year passport and it will say EU on it.
After Brexit, it won’t say EU, and, after October, the document will be blue, should a no deal take place, said Lewis.
EHIC cards are another area of confusion for some people. “Five million go out of date each year and no one checks,” Lewis warned.
He explained if there was a no deal Brexit, EHICs will no longer be valid – although this may be renegotiated in the future.
Nevertheless, Lewis urged Britons to get themselves a valid EHIC card. Travellers should remember this is always free. Any service that requires you to pay is fraudulent. EHIC cards can be obtained via the NHS or EHIC site.
Lewis also cautioned that travel insurance is likely to go up in price if there is a no deal Brexit.
However, no matter what happens to the fate of the UK within the EU, he encourages Britons to buy travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday rather than just before they travel.
This is so you are completely covered ahead of your trip should you fall ill or there is a family bereavement.
“Don’t get travel insurance in April if you’re going in summer,” Lewis said. “Get it now – you’re missing half the point of what you’re paying for if you wait.”
For travellers worried about flights after Brexit – in a no-deal scenario, the European Commission has advised that UK airlines will still continue to operate flights between the UK and EU. If flights have been booked through companies protected by ABTA, they are fully protected under Package Travel Regulations.