By Philippa J Kaye, travel expert, and avid explorer.
Well, it’s hard to know where to start this year when writing about travel. I’ve had various thoughts. Do we keep it closer to home, discovering (more) of what’s in our backyard, in which case, how fortunate we are to be in Yorkshire with all that it has to offer! Then there’s the day-dream, haven’t we all dreamt about a day out at a spa or even a weekend away? The recent Online Spa Guide awards picked some of our Yorkshire spas as its top picks and I’ll be covering those next week.
There’s the aspirational, far flung destinations that we can’t wait to visit as soon as all this great big blumin’ mess is over and finally, there’s the practical, how will Brexit change how we travel to Europe from now on and what do we need to be prepared?
I figured there’d be nothing worse than borders opening, allowing us to travel only for us to realise that we hadn’t checked new passport rules or driving regulations and so, with that in mind, I had a chat with Stephanie McMillan a personal travel consultant with Not Just Travel from Leeds, and put a selection of questions to her.
See her answers below:
• Will I need a new passport? –If you passport has more than six months validity and is less than ten years old, you will not need to renew your passport.
• Will I incur mobile phone roaming charges? – Free mobile roaming ended on 31st December 2020 so you will need to check with your provider to find out if about any roaming charges you might incur when travelling in Europe.
• What health/insurance cover will I need? – If you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you will still be able to use this if you need medical assistance in Europe. If you do not have a valid EHIC card, or your EHIC card has expired, you will need to apply for the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). You also need a valid travel insurance policy with healthcare cover before you travel.
• Will there be implications for driving abroad? - If you are driving abroad in your own car, you will need a green card and GB sticker. You will need to contact your insurer for the green card. This is proof that you have insurance to drive abroad. You will need to contact your insurer early as it can take up to six weeks for them to send the card out to you. Alternatively, you may be able to download and print yourself. You need to carry your green card with you when driving as you will have to show it if you are involved in an accident. You may also need it if stopped by police or crossing borders.
If you are renting a car, your UK driving licence is fine, but you may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) depending on which country you are driving in. These can be purchased from the Post Office.
• What about duty free? - Duty free shopping has returned, so UK holidaymakers travelling to European Countries will be able to buy duty free alcohol and tobacco from ports, airports, international train stations, ships, aeroplanes and trains.
• Will it take longer to get through passport control? - It is possible that it may take longer to get through passport control as border control may do extra checks. For example, you may need to show a return or onward ticket and proof that you have enough money to stay in the country.
• Is there a maximum length of stay? - You will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
• Are visas required for any European countries? - You will not need a visa if you are a tourist. However, you may need a visa to stay longer than 90 days, to work, study, or if you are travelling for business.
• Will there be a limit on the amount of Euro’s we can take into the country? - There is no limit to the amount of cash you are travelling with. However, if you are carrying over 10,000 Euros, you are legally required to declare it to customs.
Steph is from from Leeds and lives with her husband and two young children aged 9 and 5. She started her business 3 years ago and, Covid aside, loves it! Her passion is helping people plan their ideal trip, whether looking for a cheap and cheerful package holiday or the bucket-list trip of a lifetime. She has travelled to the USA, Australia, Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Germany, France, Greece, Finland and whenever possible hits the road exploring the UK on mini breaks.
If you have any more questions for Steph, her website is
For a comprehensive guide: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021
Philippa is the author of Escape to India available on Amazon.