I know what you’re thinking - another day, another Brexit article. But if you’re anything like us and have the travel bug, then you’re going to want to read this one. With Brexit being delayed once again to January at the soonest, there’s no better time to grab a bargain and finally book flights to those European destinations you’ve always wanted to go to.
Flights with airlines like Ryanair and easyJet have been able to stay reasonably priced due to the “open skies” arrangement within the EU. Leaving with no deal means the UK will need to reach a similar agreement to maintain these low fares, otherwise we could be hit with fewer flight routes and more expensive journeys.
If we end up leaving the EU with no deal at all, be prepared for longer queues, more customs checks and stamps all over your passports. Although we still have our “no deal contingency plan” to fall back on for about 12 months, officials at Brussels have confirmed the return of stricter border checks in the event of a no-deal Brexit. British nationals can also be subject to more rigorous questioning at borders, and can be required to provide extensive information on their visits and stays in EU countries. There has been conjecture over whether we will need a European Travel Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS) document to travel around Europe, but most officials have agreed that even if needed, that won’t come into effect until at least 2021.
Above: Brussels, Belgium
It’s not all bad news though - UK nationals will still reserve the right to visa-free travel for short stays in the EU (up to 90 days), as long as the UK gives EU citizens the same rights. British travellers could also potentially get to claim VAT refund on goods purchased in EU countries as well.
What about staying safe whilst abroad, you ask? UK nationals could lose their right to healthcare access through the European health insurance card unless a deal is agreed upon, meaning not only will you have to pay for treatment abroad, but you could potentially need to wait longer to be seen in emergency situations. You might also lose your right to roaming-free mobile phone use, and we might end up having to pay overseas mobile charges when using our phones in Europe, however, some mobile providers have promised to keep European mobile prices in line with prices here at home.
One thing we all love about going abroad is how much cheaper food and accommodation usually is (okay fine, Paris doesn’t really count here) – that might be about to change. It is speculated that due to the lack of economic security following Brexit, the value of the British pound has been steadily dropping, making exchange rates worse for travellers - meaning everything suddenly seems more expensive, and our pounds no longer stretch as far as they used to. The pound still remains fairly strong against currencies like the Polish zloty though, so why not book yourself a holiday to Kraków soon?