What do I need to travel to Europe? Your comprehensive guide
Europe has long been a popular destination for UK holidaymakers, with many of us travelling to the continent regularly. However, after a pandemic-enforced break, and with new post-Brexit rules coming in, it’s natural to have questions about what you need to do to travel across the channel.
To help you plan your next continental adventure, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about what you’ll need to visit Europe.
DO I NEED A VISA TO VISIT EUROPE?
As the country is no longer in the EU, UK travellers must follow a different set of rules than before. You can travel to the Schengen zone without a visa, as long as you’re in the area for less than 90 days in any 180-day period. If you plan to work in Europe, you will need a visa regardless of your trip duration.
In 2024, the ETIAS program will require UK visitors to arrange and pay for a visa waiver before travel. The waiver is valid for trips of up to 90 days each and will last for three years or until the end date of your passport, whichever is sooner. It will cost around 7 Euros.
What do I need to travel to Europe?
In order to travel to Europe, you’ll need the following;
- A UK passport, valid for at least six months after your return date.
- If you are staying longer than 90 days or working, you’ll need to arrange a visa.
- In 2024, you must arrange an ETIAS visa waiver before you travel.
- You should also take your GHIC/EHIC card with you.
- Europe travel insurance
WHAT ARE SCHENGEN AREA COUNTRIES?
The 26 Schengen countries, all located in Europe, are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Although most Schengen countries are in the European Union, you should distinguish the Schengen Area from the EU.
DO I NEED A COVID PASS TO GO TO EUROPE?
You are not currently required to have a Covid pass for travel within Europe. However, the situation can change quickly, so it’s worth keeping up to date with the FCDO travel advice. You should also ensure you have sufficient Coronavirus travel insurance for your trip.
DO I NEED A GHIC TO GO TO EUROPE?
While you will be allowed entry to Europe if you don’t have a GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card), it’s well worth applying for one. It gives you access to healthcare as if you were a citizen of the country you’re in, and means that the cost of treatment may be lower or even free in some countries. However, don’t be surprised if you have to pay for some services that would be free under the NHS.
You can apply for the GHIC for free, and it can save money if you require medical treatment. If you have to make a medical claim on your travel insurance, using the card also means you won’t have to pay an excess
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE TO GO TO EUROPE?
While the GHIC does give you cover for some healthcare in Europe, it doesn’t cover all potential medical expenses. There’s no substitute for a quality travel insurance policy.
The GHIC won’t cover you for:
- cancelling your trip due to a medical issue before you travel
- the extra costs of travelling home after an accident or illness
- lost or stolen baggage and belongings
- flight delays or missed departures
- any medical treatment needed outside of the EU
All of our policies come with access to a 24/7 emergency assistance team, who can ensure you get the right treatment while abroad and can speak directly to the medical staff helping you.