How Brexit will affect your half-term holiday including passports and EHIC


FAMILIES across the UK will be heading on holiday from this week as schools break up for half term, meaning a week off from school for kids.

However, a trip to Europe could face a number of problems ahead of Brexit.

Your European holiday could be at risk this half term

The UK is expected to leave the EU on October 31 – which is in the middle of one of the half term weeks.

Some schools break up this week (October 18) while other schools stop the following week (October 25).

This could cause issues for Brits, including their passports, method of travel and travel insurance.

We explain everything you need to know for your half-term holiday if the UK leaves the EU.


Brits currently travelling to a country in the EU just need to have a valid passport.

However, this could change if there is No Deal.

Instead, Brits will need up to 15 months left on their passport to be allowed to travel.

This is because the UK will be subject to the same rules as a non-EU country which means Brits will need six months on their passport to be able to travel.

Why do I need 15 months left on my passport?

At the moment, Brits who renew their passport before it’s expired can carry up to nine months over to their new passport.

So a new passport can have the maximum validity of 10 years and nine months.

In a No Deal Brexit scenario, Brits visiting Schengen Area countries, including Spain, France and Greece, will be governed by the same rules as visitors from non-EU countries.

This means that they will need at least six months left on their passport to enter the EU, and their passport must have been issued in the last ten years.

It creates a loophole that makes the extra nine months that were carried over invalid in the Schengen Area.

That’s why Brits who carried over the full nine months when they last renewed would need at least 15 months left on the passport after Brexit – nine months to account for the now-invalid time carried over, plus six months for the required validity.

The Government has a free passport checker that you can use to check whether you need to renew your passport before you travel,which you can find here.

The additional nine months are because passports can have up to 10 years and nine months validity if they were renewed with up to nine months left on them.

However, these additional months are invalid, resulting in the need for 15 months.

Brits have also been warned to check their passports now – but would need to pay for a fast track service to allow it to arrive on time.

We explain everything you need to know about renewing your passport.

You might need up to 15 months on your passport for it to be valid in the EU
You might need up to 15 months on your passport for it to be valid in the EU


Visas are not currently needed if travelling to a country in the EU.

This is unlikely to change if the UK leaves the EU, if travelling for up to 90 days.

Any trips longer than this within an 180 day period will require a visa.

You may also need to show a return flight as well as whether you have enough money to cover the stay in the country.


Currently, Brits are entitled to the same healthcare in an EU country thanks to the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

If there is No Deal on October 31, these are likely to become invalid.

Thankfully, some countries have already formed agreements even if the UK leaves without a deal.

Spain and Portugal will allow Brits the same healthcare treatment as long as they can show their passport.

EHICs may not cover you for any healthcare in EU countries if there is No Deal
EHICs may not cover you for any healthcare in EU countries if there is No Deal

Travel insurance

While the EHIC covers some healthcare, Brits are still urged to take out travel insurance in case of any serious accidents or pre-existing medical conditions.

Brits are urged to check their travel insurance to see if it covers Brexit-related problems such as travel disruption.

Anna Sant, travel insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket explained: “This depends on your provider and the level of cover you have within your policy.”

Flights, ferries and road travel

Ferries are covered by international maritime convention so there won’t be any changes.

The same applies with Eurostar – Brits will still be protected byEU regulation on rail passengers’ rights, as that’s being brought into UK law.

However, passengers may experience delays if there are additional checks carried out.

Eurostar and ferries are expected to run as normal
Eurostar and ferries are expected to run as normal

Bus and coach services to EU countries, as well as the Eurotunnel, will also run as normal.

If you’re travelling to non-EU countries like Switzerland or Andorra, you may find that bus and coach services won’t be running – the government is currently working to make sure these services will continue.

There may also be road disruption in the UK due to delays at the ports, which could affect Brits.

If you’re planning on driving around Europe by car, you may also need additional documents – with millions currently unaware they could need a Green Card in the event of No Deal.

Mobile calls and data streaming

Brits currently make the most of being able to call, text and stream data in EU countries without any additional charges to their data plan.

If there is a No Deal Brexit, the current rules could end, meaning charges could apply.

Some schools break up for half term this Friday, between October 18 and October 28.

Brits who are not affected by the Brexit date can still take advantage of cheap holiday deals to Europe.

Concerned families can instead opt for a British staycation, with hotel deals starting from 39 per person.