Many of us haven’t travelled for a number of years due to Covid-19 restrictions, and with a number of changes to the way we do things, ensuring that we are protected as consumers is more important than ever.

Brexit has had an impact on the health cover we have when travelling within the European Union. Ensuring we have adequate protection in terms of travel insurance and access to healthcare is important, especially in the unfortunate event when something goes wrong. have put together information and guidance on the more common areas that may impact on Scottish consumers this summer. More information on a range of consumer matters is available in our Knowledge Centre.

In order to know what your rights are in relation to holidays you will first have to know what type of holiday you have. Below you will find the requirements of each of the 3 holiday types.

Package holidays

You have package holiday if the trip lasts for 24 hours or longer, includes an overnight stay and consists of 2 or more of the following, that have been booked with the same travel agent or tour operator at the same time and for the same trip.

  • Transport; flights, ferry, rail or bus travel
  • Accommodation which is separate to your travel arrangements
  • Car or other type of vehicle rental
  • Tourist services such as guided tours

Package holidays are classified as such when – 

  • they are advertised as a ‘package’ or ‘all-inclusive’ deal
  • the holiday is purchased for an inclusive or total price
  • more than one part of the holiday is purchased from one company for one price (e.g., flights and accommodation)
  • you have been prompted to buy another part of your holiday after booking one part, and personal / financial information has been transferred over so you did not have to re-enter them. This was completed within 24 hours.

The Regulations for Package Holidays do not apply if any of the following are true –  

  • you were away on your package or Linked Travel Arrangement for less than 24 hours, unless your trip included accommodation (in which case it would be a package)
  • it was on a not-for-profit basis for a limited group of travellers
  • it was a trip for business purposes

The Regulations only apply to packages sold or offered for sale in the UK. It is important to ensure that whoever you book your holiday with outlines the fact that it is a package holiday, linked travel arrangement or neither of these things at the point of sale. It’s always best to check whether your booking is ATOL protected and get this in writing when you can.

Independent Traveller

You’re an independent traveller if you booked and paid for each part of the holiday separately yourself. For example, you booked your flights with the airline and your accommodation with the hotel. You’ll also have an independent holiday if your trip doesn’t fall into one of the other types.

Linked travel arrangements

A linked travel arrangement is when you book one element of the trip with one trader such as flights, and then using a link that this first trader has provided you then book car hire for the same trip with another company. This must be done within 24 hours of the original booking and you have to provide some or all of your details to the second company.

If you’re on holiday and there’s a problem the law gives you certain rights. These rights may vary depending on what the problem was and the type of holiday you’ve booked.

You may wish to make a claim if;

  • There was a problem with your room for example a fault with the shower or bathroom facilities or general cleanliness issues.
  • The information you were given about the hotels location or facilities was incorrect.
  • Services you booked weren’t provided for example tours or excursions.
  • You or someone in your party had food poisoning after eating hotel food.
  • The hotel’s pool was closed during your stay.

If you have a problem while on holiday you should report it as soon as possible so that it can be put right, this will usually be with the hotel or individual trader initially. If the trader fails to resolve the problem and you’ve booked a package holiday, then you should contact the holiday company or holiday rep at your resort so that they can attempt to fix the issue. If the issue hasn’t been resolved during your stay, then when you return home you can make a claim to your holiday company for damages (appropriate amount of money).

You may also be entitled to damages if the problem significantly impacted your enjoyment of the holiday.

If you’ve booked a linked travel arrangement or an independent holiday your claim will be against the individual trader that the supplied the service for example the hotel. This could make your claim difficult if the trader is abroad as you may not have the same rights as you would in the UK.

If your pursing a claim against a trader in the EU but not in the UK, then you can ask the European Consumer Centre for advice –

Making a claim

Who you send your claim to depends on what type of holiday was booked. If you’ve booked a package holiday, then your claim should go to the travel company that you booked with but if it was a linked travel arrangement or if it was an independent holiday you will need to send your claim to the individual trader that your complaint is with.  It’s best to send your claim in writing and by signed for mail so that you can check it’s been delivered, although some traders may ask that your claim be submitted online or by email. 

If your complaint is still not resolved to your satisfaction, you should check whether the company is a member of a trade association that you can take your complaint to, for example the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Complaints can be registered on the ABTA website.


Legally, airlines must help passengers when flights are delayed or cancelled, or if they cannot board a flight due to an airline overbooking, including options of a refund, or rerouting.

After Brexit, the European Union’s EC261 regulation was transferred to British law, and highlights that airlines must give passengers the option of rerouting to their destination at the earliest opportunity. This includes the offer of a flight on an alternative airline if this is the most appropriate option.

Delayed Flights – ‘Denied Boarding Regulation’

For customers who booked a flight that was with a UK or European airline, or that departed from the UK or Europe, protection is offered by the ‘Denied Boarding Regulation’ or ‘EU Regulation 261/2004’ if your flight is either delayed or cancelled.

The Denied Boarding Regulation is applicable if:

  • You have a confirmed booking
  • You have checked in on time, or if no check-in time was given, then at least 45 mins prior to when your flight was due to depart
  • You are departing from a UK / EU airport, or from a non-EU airport and flying into a UK / EU airport on a ‘community carrier’ (this is an airline with its headquarters and main place of business within the UK or EU – including all European discount and ‘no frills’ airlines).

The airline does not have the same duty to look after you if you are travelling with a non-EU based airline flying from a non-EU destination – you can check the airline’s ‘Condition of Carriage’ to see what compensation you are entitled to (if any). 

Delayed Flights – What am I entitled to? 

Entitlement to recourse depends on the length of the delay and the length of the flight.

Delay of more than 2 hours – Depending on the distance you are flying, and if your flight is delayed for more than 2 hours, your airline must give you –

  • Two free phone calls, faxes, or emails
  • Free meals and refreshments (this should be appropriate to the delay)
  • Free accommodation / hotel transfers if overnight stay is required

When am I entitled to assistance?

Short Haul – Distance up to 1,500km (932 miles) Flight time usually 2 hours or less – You must wait 2 hours or more.

Medium Haul – Distance between 1,500km – 3,500km (932-2,175 miles) Flight time usually between 2 and 4 hours – You must wait 3 hours or more.

Long Haul – Distance more than 3,500km (2,175 miles) Flight time usually more than 4 hours – You must wait 4 hours or more.

Each passenger who is affected by delays is entitled to claim flight delay compensation if the delay is NOT due to EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES.

For flights that are delayed for more than five hours, you are entitled to choose between being rerouted on a different flight or getting a refund, as if your flight had been cancelled (we will look more at cancelled flights later). Each passenger who has been affected by delays is still entitled to claim flight delay compensation if the delay is NOT due to EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES.


If the airline you are flying with can demonstrate that any delays were caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’, then they will not have to pay you compensation. These are circumstances that are out with the control of the airline and may include:

  • Unlawful acts
  • Security risks
  • Political instability
  • Drone disruption
  • Long security queues
  • Severe weather (making flying dangerous)
  • Restricted Air Traffic Control operations
  • Strikes by non-airline staff (e.g., baggage handlers who are airport employees).

If delays are because of airline staff striking, this would NOT be considered an extraordinary circumstance, and compensation will be due if the above criteria have been met.

Just because you are not entitled to financial compensation when there is an extraordinary circumstance, does not mean that you are not entitled to assistance when a flight is delayed. You are still entitled to refreshments, meals, accommodation, and hotel transfers, depending on the length of flight / delay.

The airline used ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’ as a reason for not compensating me, but I don’t agree – what can I do?

You are entitled to challenge the airline’s decision if you do not agree with it. Airlines can sometimes designate a situation as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ when this is not necessarily the case. If you can demonstrate that other flights / airlines are still operating the same / similar flights despite the reason offered by your airline of choice, then you may be able to make a case.

You may also be able to claim in circumstances deemed as ‘extraordinary’ by the airline if this is due to a ‘knock-on’ situation. For example – strikes by baggage handlers (employees of the airport) on a Monday could delay the Monday flights – you may be able to challenge their designation of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ if the delay to your flights on the Wednesday are because of a ‘knock-on’ effect as a result of the strike.

What is the process for claiming flight delay compensation?

For flights arriving at their destination late by three hours or more, each passenger is entitled to claim flight delay compensation.

There are several factors that will influence the amount of compensation you can claim, including the distance travelled, length of flight, and the reason(s) for delay. You can claim flight delay compensation in line with the section below – ‘How much can I claim?’

The airline will be able to provide specific information on how to make a claim through them directly. This can usually be found in booking terms and conditions, as well as on airline websites.

How long do I have to do this?

You can make a claim for delayed flights up to six years after the delayed or cancelled flight – as long as you flew in / out of a UK airport.

How much can I claim?

  • Flight distance up to 1,500km (932 miles) – Arriving more than 3 hours late – Entitled to €250.
  • Any flight in EU over 1,500km (932 miles) or any other flight between 1,500km-3,500km (2,175 miles) – Arriving more than 3 hours late – Entitled to €400.
  • Flight distance more than 3,500km (2,175 miles) – Arriving between 3 and 4 hours late – Entitled to €300.
  • Flight distance more than 3,500km (2,175 miles) – Arriving more than 4 hours late – Entitled to €600.

To claim, for delayed / cancelled flights, you should get in contact with the airline directly. Most airlines will have a process in place on their websites to make a claim, however you can also put this in writing (letter or email).

Compensation for issues with connecting flights 

Consumers are entitled to compensation if a flight departing from the UK is delayed by at least three hours at the final destination, as a result of a missed connection outside Europe.

This mean that if your journey started in the UK / EU and a delay is incurred on a later leg of the journey (e.g., a stopover in Dubai when travelling from London to Australia), for more than 3 hours, or is cancelled, then you will be entitled to claim EU Flight Delay Compensation. 

Extra ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses for delayed flights 

You may be entitled to additional compensation in addition to that owed under EU Regulations 261/2004. Under the Montreal Convention, you may be able to claim compensation if the delay or cancellation caused you to –

  • Miss a night of pre-booked accommodation
  • Miss a concert / event you would have bought tickets to
  • Miss a day of car rental you have already paid for.

This can be quite a difficult argument to prove, and it may be beneficial to seek legal advice from a solicitor when seeking compensation for these types of expenses. 



If your flight is regulated by the EU for example it’s leaving from or travelling to an EU country or the airline is based in the EU, then the airline will have certain obligations to you should your flight be delayed or cancelled.

If your flight was not EU regulated, you should still contact the airline as you may still be able to make a claim, but this will depend on the airline.

If an airline cancels your flight, then you can ask for a refund or you can choose to take an alternative flight, where again you should be provided with food and drink, access to a phone / email and accommodation if required. 
If you choose to take an alternative flight, then you may also be entitled to compensation if you were given less than 14 days’ notice of the cancellation. This amount will depend on the length of delay caused by the alternative flight and how much notice you were given of the cancellation but usually starts at €125.
You can find more information about what your entitled to on the Civil Aviation Authority’s Website;
You are only entitled to compensation if the cause of the delay was within the airlines control for example staffing issues or a technical fault. You can’t claim compensation if the delay was due to bad weather or political unrest *(See ‘Extraordinary Circumstances’ in ‘delays’ section).

How do I make a claim?
To make a claim for a delayed or cancelled flight you should contact the airline directly. It’s usually best to this in writing and send it by signed for mail which will allow you to check that it’s been received, but some airlines may send you a claim form to complete or have an option to submit your claim online.

Appealing a decision – Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

If the airline rejects your claim, you can look at Alternative Dispute Resolution as a way of resolving your complaint. This is a process run by independent third parties to try and resolve disputes between consumer and traders outside of court. It’s generally cheaper and quicker than court action and tends to be less formal.
ADR is not a legal requirement so you’ll have to check if the airline is a member of a scheme you can contact or whether they are willing to use one to resolve the dispute.
If the airline is not a member of an ADR which is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) then you can ask the CAA’ Passenger Advice and Complaints Team to look at your complaint and contact the airline on your behalf. You can find more information on doing this their website;

Purchasing travel insurance offers extra protection, and solutions if things go wrong when on holiday.

It’s a good idea to ensure we have adequate cover before going on holiday, and depending on the type of holiday you are on (e.g., if you are travelling independently or not), ensuring that individual policies are fit for purpose.

Why is it a good idea to ensure we have adequate travel insurance?

  • delays in departure / missed transport for reasons outwith your control
  • cancelled or shortened trip for reasons outwith your control
  • personal injury / death
  • accidental damage / injury caused by you
  • Medical / other emergencies

You will have to pay out of your own pocket for these things if you don’t have adequate travel insurance. Additionally, travel insurance can help if your travel provider goes out of business or cancels the trip.

Places you can buy travel insurance

You can buy travel insurance from a range of places, including –

  • banks
  • travel agents
  • as add-ons at checkout when purchasing a holiday
  • insurance providers
  • some retailers
  • comparison sites

You may already be covered for travel through existing policies or accounts you have. Some banks have accounts where you pay a monthly fee for ‘perks’, and sometimes this includes travel insurance. It is important to check the level of cover existing policies provide. This is particularly relevant for those policies that were set up before the Covid-19 pandemic.

You may be covered for items you take away from home on your home insurance policy. This may mean that you are able to choose a larger excess on your travel insurance policy, which may reduce the cost.

What should a policy cover?

It’s important to ensure policies cover us for our individual circumstances, including any existing medical conditions that we have.  Additionally,  you should check the level of cover provided for –

  • medical expenses / cover for getting you back to the UK if you fall ill or are injured abroad
  • personal injury / cover for accidents / damage
  • lost / damaged items
  • loss of / delays to baggage
  • cancellations / missed departure
  • cover for lost or damaged items

EHIC Cards (The European Health Insurance Card)

As a UK resident, if you already have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can use it until it expires to obtain healthcare in EU countries.

If you do not already have an EHIC, or if this has expired (or will in the time that you are travelling), then you can apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) through the NHS website.

Note – It is still important to obtain travel insurance before you travel – even if you have an EHIC or GHIC.

When hold luggage is lost, damaged or delayed you are entitled to make a claim against the airline responsible. If your journey consisted of travelling with two or more airlines it will usually be the last airline you travelled with that you take your claim to, however you could take your claim to any of them.

There is a maximum amount of £1000 for any claim you make to the airline, although it’s rare that an airline would ever pay this amount. If you have travel insurance or a home contents policy that covers luggage and contents, then it might be easier to make a claim under this and they may pay more than the airline would. Bear in mind you may have to pay an excess for any claim that you make on an insurance policy.


Delayed luggage

If your luggage is delayed, then you can make a claim to the airline for the cost of buying essentials such as underwear or toiletries. You would usually only make this type of claim if your away from home, if you bag is delayed on your return home then you will likely have access to other essentials and not need to buy as much.

Delayed or missing luggage claims can be made up to 21 days after the luggage has been returned.


Lost or damaged luggage

If your luggage is lost or damaged after being checked in with the airline, then you may be entitled to make a claim against the airline.  You may also be entitled to make a claim for damaged cabin baggage but only if the airline was responsible for the damage.

It’s important to note the airline will take into account the age of any items and they are unlikely to cover the cost of replacing an old item with a new one. You will usually be unable to make a claim for any fragile of valuable items that were in your checked luggage or if your luggage was faulty.

Lost or stolen items, or damaged baggage claims should be made within 7 days after your luggage has been returned.


How do I make a claim?

Your first step will be to report the issue at the airport and complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR), if you haven’t done this then you should contact the airline as soon as possible and ask them to confirm in writing that you’ve done this. When it comes to making a claim against the airline this will usually be done in writing although its best to ask the airline what their official process is. It’s likely that you will have to provide;

  • Details of the flight (flight number, dates, departure point and destination)
  • Proof that you reported the problem to the airline
  • Receipts for anything you had to buy or has been lost or damaged (send a copies and keep the originals)
  • Photos of any damaged items

Your right to cancel to cancel a holiday will not only depend on the reason for the cancellation but also whether it’s a package holiday or linked travel arranged.


You’ve changed your mind

If you decide that you for any reason that you don’t wish to travel, or you can’t go on holiday and you’ve booked a package holiday after July 1st, 2018, then you can cancel at any time up until the holiday starts. It’s likely that you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee, but this should be no more than the amount the company has lost as a result of you cancelling.

If you have linked travel agreement or independent holiday, then your right to cancel will depend on the terms and conditions of your contract. You should check these before advising the trader that you wish to cancel.

You can also look at transferring the holiday to someone else, the cost of this may be cheaper than paying a cancellation fee.


Package Holidays

The company makes changes to the holiday

If the changes are considered significant to the holiday, then you can accept an alternative if there’s one available or cancel for a full refund. You must be notified of the change in writing and given a date to respond with your decision, if you haven’t responded by this date, they must send you a further notification and if you fail to respond to this then they can cancel your holiday.

The law doesn’t specify what a significant change is, it could be changing the dates of the holiday so that you leave and return later than scheduled or changing the resort to one that has lesser facilities or is further from local amenities.

The company increases the price

You’ll have to check your terms and conditions to see whether these allow the trader to increase the cost of the holiday after it’s been booked. The price can only be increased because of;

  • an increase in the price of fuel which means transport costs have gone up
  • changes to taxes or fees by third parties – like tourist taxes
  • exchange rates which affect the price of the holiday

If the terms and conditions allow for a price increase, the trader must notify you of the increase in writing and give you the option to either pay the increase or allow you to cancel the holiday.

If the terms and conditions don’t allow for this then the trader can’t increase the price.


Exceptional Circumstances

If there are exceptional circumstances which will affect your ability to travel to your destination or have a significant impact on your holiday, then you can cancel and receive a full refund. Exceptional circumstances can include natural disasters such as flooding or fire, war or the outbreak of a serious disease, and they must occur at your destination or close by.

Before you travel

Booked through a travel firm

If your flights were booked through a travel company, then you should check to see whether they hold an ATOL licence and whether you received confirmation that your booking was ATOL protected. If your booking as ATOL protected, then the company you booked with will be responsible for arranging alternative flights or if you haven’t yet travelled, issuing a full refund.

Booked with the airline directly

Airlines are not included in the ATOL Scheme, so if you booked your flights directly with an airline that has ceased trading you won’t be covered.

No ATOL Protection

Even if your booking is not ATOL protected you may still be able to get a refund.

If you paid on a credit card and the total cost of your booking was over £100 then you can make a section 75 claim under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This means that you can ask your credit card provider to refund you. They will be liable to refund the total amount paid, even if you only paid part of the total cost on your card. For example, the total cost of the booking was £140, then you will be entitled to a refund of the full amount even if you only used your credit card to pay 1p towards the booking.

Some airlines or travel companies offer travel insurance at the time of booking, this can be Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance or something similar which may allow you to make a claim if the airline stops trading, You should check the terms of any insurance policy to see what you’re entitled to claim for as this can differ between policies.

If the total cost of your booking was less than £100 or you paid using a debit card, then you may be able to make a Chargeback claim for a refund. Chargeback is a voluntary scheme so your card provider must be opted in for you to make a claim and there’s a time limit in which to do so, this is usually 120 days after making the payment but can be longer under some circumstances so it’s worth checking this directly with you card provider. Chargeback will also only cover the amount that was paid on the card rather than the total cost of the booking.

You can also raise a dispute you paid for the booking using PayPal, but you can only to do this within 180 days of making the payment.

Already Abroad

If your holiday was ATOL protected then your travel company must arrange an alternative flight to get you home, this will usually be at the end of the holiday as previously scheduled. You will have received confirmation that the travel company holds an ATOL licence and whether your booking was ATOL protected but if you’re not sure contact the travel company to check. Airlines are not included in the ATOL scheme.

If you’re not ATOL protected, then you will have to arrange and pay for a return flight home. You may then be able to claim this back you have travel insurance, but you should always check that your policy covers the return flight and to what amount before you book.

Some other airlines may offer repatriation fares, where they will offer discounted flights to get you home although they may only offer this for a short period of time.

If you paid on a credit card and the total cost of your booking was over £100 then you can make a section 75 claim under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This means that you can ask your credit card provider to refund you. They will be liable to refund the total cost if the original return flight, even if you only paid part of the total cost on your card. For example, the total cost of the booking was £140, with each flight being priced individually at £70, you will then be entitled to a refund of £70 even if you only used your credit card to pay 1p towards the booking.

If the total cost of your booking was less than £100 or you paid using a debit card, then you may be able to make a Chargeback claim for a refund. Chargeback is a voluntary scheme so your card provider must be opted in for you to make a claim and there’s a time limit in which to do so, this is usually 120 days after making the payment but can be longer under some circumstances so it’s worth checking this directly with you card provider. Chargeback will also only cover the amount that was paid on the card rather than the total cost of the booking.

You can also raise a dispute you paid for the booking using PayPal, but you can only to do this within 180 days of making the payment.


1. Travelling by car outside the UK

Drivers from the UK will need to ensure they meet all the requirements / have appropriate documentation to drive in the EU and EEA, in addition to your UK Driving Licence such as:
· International Driving Permits (IDP)
· Displaying number plates/ GB sticker
· Vehicle Registration Documents
· Vehicle insurance / Green Card
· Trailer Registration Details on all of the above can be found at:

1.1. International Driving Permits (IDP)

Drivers from the UK will not need an IDP to drive in the Republic of Ireland. More recently, additional EU countries have confirmed an IDP will not be needed if you have a UK photocard and / or a UK paper driving licence. 

However, please check driving licence requirements and further details at as the length of time you can visit without an IDP varies from country to country.

For car travel within Cyprus and Andorra, drivers from the UK will need a 1949 IDP to drive in these countries.

For car travel within Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Slovakia, and Sweden, drivers from the UK will need a 1968 IDP. Again, please check for further details as 1968 IDPs are also required for other countries if you hold a UK paper driving licence.

For car travel within Liechtenstein, drivers from the UK will need a 1926 IDP.

1.2. How to get an IDP?

An IDP can be bought over the counter from a Post Office. Each IDP (1926, 1949 and 1968) will cost £5.50.

1.3. Number Plates and National Identifiers

The UK Government advises UK registered vehicles travelling in the EU or EEA will need to display a ‘GB’ sticker or sign which must not display the EU Flag.

1.4. Vehicle Registration Documents

Drivers from the UK who are using a UK registered vehicle within an EU (Including the Republic of Ireland) or EEA country should continue to carry the following document(s):
· your vehicle log book (V5C); and
· a VE103 for a hired or leased vehicle. You can get this form from the following relevant organisation:
o British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)
o Freight Transport Association (FTA)
o RAC Motoring Services
o Road Haulage Association (RHA)

1.5.  Vehicle insurance for UK registered vehicles in the EU or EEA

A motor insurance Green Card is evidence of motor insurance cover when driving abroad. The UK Government recommends that you carry a Green Card when driving in the EU (including the Republic of Ireland) and EEA. Some countries also require separate insurance and a Green Card for trailers. You will need to contact your vehicle insurance provider to obtain a motor insurance Green Card.

1.6. Road Traffic Accidents in EU (including the Republic of Ireland)

From 31 October 2019, the UK Government advises that residents may need to bring a claim against either the driver or the insurer of the vehicle in the EU or EEA country where the accident happened. This may involve bringing the claim in the local language.

In the event of an accident in an EU or EEA country caused by an uninsured or an untraced driver, residents of the UK may not receive compensation. This will vary from country to country.

If you need more information you should contact your vehicle insurance company or seek legal advice.

2. Travelling to the EU, EEA, EFTA and Switzerland

UK passport holders do not have the right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals at border control. The European Commission is currently proposing that UK passport holders travelling within the Schengen Area will need a visa if they intend to stay more than 90 days (stays under 90 days will not need a visa). All UK passport holders entering the Schengen Area may be asked to confirm that they have sufficient funds available for the duration of their stay. In addition, travellers may be asked to show a return or onward ticket.

The embassy of the country you plan to travel to should be able to inform you if you will need a visa. Specific country advice and entry advice for each country can be found in the Foreign and Commonwealth website:

2.1 Travelling with animals and pets

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, a current EU pet passport issued in the UK will not be valid for pet travel to the EU.

Instead, your pet will need a new animal health certificate for each trip to the EU.

There are a number of steps to be completed (such as an up-to-date rabies vaccination) in order to obtain an animal health certificate from your vet. You should contact your vet four months before taking your pet to the EU to ensure all requirements are met.

Also, dogs travelling from the UK to EU listed tapeworm free countries (Finland, Ireland and Malta) should be treated for tapeworm before travel.

Those travelling with a horse will need an ID document and additional health documentation.

Please contact your vet for further details and check out the following guidance:

3. Travel Documents (UK Passports) and insurance

3.1 UK Passport Holders

UK passport holders may need to renew their passport earlier than planned. For travel to the Republic of Ireland UK Passport holders – There should be no change to current circumstances when travelling to the Republic of Ireland. For travel to EU countries within the Schengen Area UK Passport Holders – The UK Government recommends that UK Passport holders (both adult and children) should have at least six months left on their passport from the date of arrival. For travel to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania UK Passport holders – These countries are yet to decide on entry requirements for UK passport holders. Travellers to these countries should contact their embassy or consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for visa and travel advice.

3.2 Travel Insurance

You should continue to take out appropriate travel and health insurance. If you are travelling via an Irish Airport or Sea Port, you should ensure that your travel insurance adequately covers you for delays from those points of departure.

3.3 Travel and Emergency Healthcare

The Cabinet Office have confirmed that residents (British and Irish citizens) from Northern Ireland will continue to have the right to access healthcare in the Republic of Ireland post EU exit. Both the UK and Irish Government have committed to taking steps to ensure that this will continue after the UK leaves the EU.

Residents of the UK visiting the EU, EEA and Switzerland should consider buying healthcare or medical insurance before visiting these countries. Those with pre-existing medical conditions should make their insurance company aware so that they are adequately covered.

European Healthcare Insurance Cards (EHIC) are likely to be invalid after 31 October 2019 in the case of no deal. The NHS website gives up to date information on accessing healthcare in countries in the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Make sure you always take out appropriate travel insurance covering your circumstances and travel plans.

4. Package Holidays

You are protected if you buy a package holiday and the company goes out of business, if you have purchased your holiday from a UK based company. If you are unsure you should check with your travel organiser. If your package holiday is provided by a non-UK based business you should check with the travel organiser to see the level of insolvency protection you will have.

In case of insolvencies, under the Consumer Credit Act, you will have additional protection if you bought your package holiday using a credit card. Under the Act, holidaymakers should be able to get their money back. This protection is known as equal or joint liability. Whether you use your credit card to pay the full amount or even just a small deposit, by law the credit card company must help in cases of faulty goods, non-delivery or if the retailer goes out of business.
See our leaflet, ‘Safer Ways to Pay’ for more information at 01/Safer_Ways_To_Pay_2019_.pdf.

If your package holiday has been booked with an Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) member including travel by flight, coach or train, you will have both legal and financial protection. ABTA members are responsible for making sure holidaymakers get the holiday they have paid for.

Holidaymakers should always examine and ensure they understand the terms and conditions of their booking.

5. Air Travel

In the event of a no-deal, flights from the UK to the EU should continue as today. However, you should check with your airline to see if there has been any change to your service.

Your rights in relation to flights departing from the UK will continue to apply as they do today.

For EU registered airlines, EU law will continue to apply in respect to flights to and from the EU.

Passengers should always take out appropriate travel insurance to cover their trip. It is important to fully understand the terms and conditions of your travel booking and the insurance cover. If you have any questions, please contact your airline and your insurance provider.

6. Cross Border Rail Travel (Enterprise and Eurotunnel)

From 31 October 2019 your rights as a rail passenger will remain unchanged. However, we would always encourage travellers to take out appropriate travel insurance and make sure that they understand the terms and conditions.

Passengers should contact Translink for further details on the Enterprise Service, and Eurostar /Eurotunnel for further information. Contact details are available in the useful contacts section.

7. Cross Border Bus and Coach Travel

Passengers should always take out appropriate travel insurance and check the terms and conditions of their booking.

If you have further questions you should contact your travel provider. Please see the list of useful contacts at the end of this document.

8. Ferry and Cruise Travel

Passengers should always take out appropriate travel insurance and check the terms and conditions of their booking.

Further details are available in the useful contacts section at the end of this document. If you have further questions you should contact the individual companies. 

Banks charge fees of up to 3% for most foreign transactions, such as using your debit card to:

  • take out cash from cash machines
  • buy things while you are abroad.

These fees are usually called ‘load fees’ or ‘non-sterling transaction fees’.

Some banks might also add an extra fee – which might be called a ‘non-sterling purchase fee’. These are often flat fees of between £1 and £3, which are applied to every transaction.