Checks for all types of travel
You may need to do extra things before you travel to an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, such as:
- check your passport
- get travel insurance that covers your healthcare
- check you have the right driving documents
- organise pet travel - contact your vet at least 1 month before you go
Check the travel advice for the country you’re visiting for the latest information.
You’ll need a permit or certificate to take some items - for example, certain beauty products, exotic leather goods and wooden musical instruments. Check if you’re taking an item protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Travelling for work or business - including carrying goods to sell
There are more things to do if you’re travelling for business - for example:
- going to work meetings and conferences
- providing services (even with a charity)
- touring for art or music
- taking goods to sell - even if it’s a small amount or you’re selling to a friend or relative
Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), read the advice for travelling during the pandemic before you plan your trip.
Passports: check if you need to renew
How much time you need on your passport depends on the country you’re visiting. Check the travel advice for the country you want to travel to - read the entry requirements section.
You may need to renew your British passport before you travel if there’s not enough time left on it.
If you’re travelling to Ireland, you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
Healthcare: check you’re covered
If you’re travelling to an EU country
Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) will be valid if you’re travelling to an EU country.
If you’re travelling to Switzerland
There are different rules for using your GHIC or EHIC card in Switzerland.
To use your GHIC or EHIC in Switzerland, you must be one of the following:
- a British national
- a Swiss national
- an EU citizen
- a refugee
- a stateless person
- the dependant or survivor of someone with one of these nationalities or statuses
If you’re travelling to Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
In Norway you can use a UK passport to get medically necessary healthcare (for example emergency treatment or to treat a pre-existing condition).
If you’re travelling to Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you should get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you travel. Make sure it covers any pre-existing conditions that were previously covered by your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
You can read advice on buying travel insurance with the right cover.
Who can apply for a new EHIC
Some people can apply for a new UK EHIC that they can use in EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
People who can apply for the new card include:
- nationals from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who started living in the UK before 1 January 2021, and their families
- some British State Pensioners who started living in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein before 1 January 2021, and their families
- UK students who started living and studying in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein before 1 January 2021
Entering other countries
Border control: you may have to show your return ticket and money
At border control, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
Your passport will be stamped.
Visas for short trips: you do not need one if you’re a tourist
If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. You can stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
If you visit more than one of these countries within a 180-day period, check that you do not spend more than 90 days in total across all the countries you visit. That’s because most of these countries apply the 90-day limit as a group.
There are different rules for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania. They each have their own separate 90-day limits. The time you spend in other countries does not affect how long you can spend in each of these countries without a visa.
You can travel to and work in Ireland in the same way as before 1 January 2021.
Taking meat and dairy products into the EU
You cannot take the following with you into the EU:
- meat or products containing meat
- milk or dairy products
There are some exceptions, for example certain amounts of:
- powdered infant milk
- infant food
- special food for the dietary management of a diagnosed disease, disorder or medical condition
- pet food required for medical reasons
Check the rules about taking meat and milk products into the EU on the European Commission website.
Taking fruits, vegetables, plants and plant products into the EU
You cannot take the following into the EU unless you pay to have them inspected before you leave and get a ‘phytosanitary certificate’:
- fresh fruit (apart from bananas, coconuts, dates, pineapples and durians)
- plant products
Check the rules about taking fruit, vegetables and other plants or plant products into the EU on the European Commission website.
Find out how to get a phytosanitary certificate.
If you’re taking your own vehicle, you’ll need valid vehicle insurance and a UK sticker.
You might also need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway if you have:
- a paper driving licence
- a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man
Check with the embassy of the country you’ll be driving in.
Pet travel: allow at least 1 month to arrange
You cannot use the existing pet passport scheme. Instead you’ll need an animal health certificate (AHC) for your pet. Allow at least 1 month to arrange this and relevant vaccinations.
Follow the guidance for taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad.
Free mobile roaming: check with your phone operator
The guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway has ended.
Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you may have to pay.
A new law means that you’re protected from getting mobile data charges above £45 without you knowing.
Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell how you can do this.
Compensation if your travel is disrupted
Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.
Your consumer rights have not changed since 1 January 2021. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation. Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more.
If the travel company you’ve booked through goes out of business
You’re protected if you buy a package holiday and the company goes out of business. You get this cover even if it’s an EU company, as long as the company sells to UK customers.
Otherwise, you can claim compensation if you used your credit card to buy it - you’ll be able to claim for payments between £100 and £30,000.
If you live in the EU or you’re an EU citizen
There’s different guidance if you’re: