Your Essential Guide to Travelling in Europe

travel in europe from uk

If you’re dreaming of exploring the charming cities and breathtaking landscapes of Europe, there are a few things you need to consider before you embark on your adventure. Whether you’re planning to visit the EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, this guide will provide you with the essential information you need to make your trip smooth and enjoyable.

Check the Latest Travel Advice

Before you set off on your European escapade, it’s crucial to check the latest travel advice on GOV.UK. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there may be additional rules and regulations that you should be aware of. Stay informed and ensure a safe and hassle-free journey.

Passport Validity

One of the first things to consider when planning your trip is to check the validity of your passport. If your passport has less than 3 months left before it expires while you’re traveling, it’s time to renew it. Additionally, if your passport is 10 years old or more on the day you enter the EU country, you’ll need to count the years from the date it was issued. To confirm if your passport will be valid for your trip, you can easily check the requirements on GOV.UK.

Get Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a crucial aspect of any trip, especially when traveling abroad. As a UK resident, if you possess an existing European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can still use it to avail state-provided healthcare in EU countries until it expires. This also applies to UK nationals, Swiss nationals, or EU citizens traveling to Switzerland. However, in Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, you’ll need to obtain a new EHIC. It’s important to note that if you fall into one of the eligible categories, such as being an EU citizen living in the UK or a UK state pensioner living in the EU, you may be able to apply for a new EHIC.

To apply for a new EHIC, simply visit the NHS website and complete the application. Beware of other websites offering EHICs for a fee, as the service is provided free of charge. Alternatively, if you don’t have an EHIC, your EHIC has expired, or you are ineligible for an EHIC, you might be able to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). The GHIC allows you to receive medically necessary healthcare in EU countries at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Remember, even if you have an EHIC or GHIC, it’s essential to have travel insurance, as they do not cover the cost of repatriation should you require medical assistance.

Existing Illness or Health Issues

If you have any existing illnesses or health issues, it’s crucial to inform your insurer before purchasing travel insurance. Most standard travel insurance policies do not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, depending on your circumstances, certain specialist insurance companies may be able to offer coverage. Additionally, if you possess an EHIC or GHIC, you may be able to receive routine medical care for your existing conditions. However, it’s advisable to check with the healthcare provider in the country you’re visiting and make any necessary arrangements before your trip.

Mobile Phone Usage

Using your mobile phone abroad can sometimes result in additional charges. Before you embark on your European journey, it’s recommended to contact your mobile phone service provider and inquire about the charges for using your phone abroad. Familiarize yourself with the process of turning off mobile roaming on your device if you wish to avoid extra costs. If you intend to use data while abroad, check with your provider if you have a data bundle that can be used internationally. Be aware that data usage beyond your bundle may incur charges. Some mobile providers may offer the option to set a limit on your data usage, ensuring you stay within your budget.

Driving Abroad

If you plan to drive in the EU countries, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Make sure you have your valid driving license and vehicle log book (V5C) with you before you begin your journey. Check that both documents are up to date and order a new driving license from GOV.UK if necessary. If you’re driving in a European city that requires an emissions sticker, it’s advisable to apply for one well in advance.

Additionally, depending on your destination, you may need to carry additional items such as a reflective jacket or a warning triangle sticker. The exact requirements vary, so it’s essential to check what you need to take with you. The AA’s website provides a comprehensive guide on driving abroad, including country-specific information.

Travelling with Your Pet

If you’re planning to bring your furry friend along on your European adventure, it’s important to be aware of the updated regulations. The UK pet passport is no longer valid. To travel with your pet or assistance animal, you’ll need a microchip, a rabies vaccination, and an animal health certificate. If you’re traveling to a country that requires it, you must also ensure your dog receives tapeworm treatment. It’s advisable to contact your vet at least 10 days before your planned travel date to discuss the necessary steps and associated costs. Remember to compare prices among different vets to ensure you receive the best value for money. For more detailed information on traveling with your pet, visit GOV.UK.

Travelling in Europe is an enriching and exciting experience. By following these guidelines and being well-prepared, you can ensure a smooth journey and create lasting memories. So, pack your bags, embrace the unknown, and immerse yourself in the wonders that Europe has to offer. Safe travels!

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