The start of February always makes parents think about half-term, and this half-term might cause more concern as this is first school holiday since the UK left the EU. Here at I love meet and greet we have been monitoring the situation closely so we can understand how people’s travel might be affected. And we have some straightforward guidance on travel during this half-term which will hopefully answer most questions.
The first thing to know is that there is plenty of advice available online – you can look for information on the Government’s website and you can ask in person at Citizens Advice Bureaux – find your nearest one here .
Although the UK left the EU at 11pm On Friday 31 January we are now in the so-called transition period until December 31, 2020. This simply means most things for us will remain almost exactly the same for the next 11 months and we have to follow most of the EU’s rules and regulations until then.
Even though we will no longer be EU citizens we can still enjoy seamless travel throughout Europe until the end of the year.
This means that your plans for half-term, Easter and the summer holidays do not need to change, and you will not yet need a visa to travel to EU countries.
It is expected that this will change for 2021 when we will probably have to apply for an European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver. The prices and duration of these waivers are yet to be decided.
One of the most visible changes will the colour of new passports. It is expected that from early 2020 new passports will blue, with all new passports being blue from the middle of the year.
If you have a valid passport, it will still be valid until its expiry date and all the normal rules will still apply.
Next year you may need to show your onward ticket when travelling in the EU and there will separate passport lanes for British citizens at airports.
Your driving licence will be valid for all this year and can be used as normal. After 2020, you’ll have to get hold of an International Driving Permit which can be bought from post offices at a cost of £5.50. Make sure you tell the counter staff which country you wish to drive in, as there are different types of permit.
Your European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) will still be valid until December 31 meaning you are guaranteed free or reduced-cost medical treatment in the EU.
Other costs to consider
Most of the major mobile phone networks have stated they will continue to offer free roaming, which was forced upon by the EU. Exchange rates can fluctuate greatly, the pound rose significantly after the election but keep checking in the weeks before you travel to see what the overall trend is.
So for the first post-Brexit school holiday it looks like most things will be the same, including I Love meet and greet offering the best airport parking for families, with car drop-off and collection on terminal forecourt.