What does Brexit mean for your holidays?

posted on 15th October 2019 by Eddie Saunders
What does Brexit mean for your holidays?

Amidst the current political uncertainty surrounding Brexit, concerns have continued to grow for those who are planning October half-term and Christmas holiday getaways. As the October 31st deadline draws nearer, research commissioned by peer-to-peer travel money provider, WeSwap, unveils that the number one thing on British minds is their holidays – with 15.6 million people saying that they believe their holiday will be the thing most impacted by Brexit.

With so many questions seeming currently unanswerable, and concerns surrounding the future of travel – 54% (28.1 million) Brits are concerned about profound affect Brexit will have on the cost of their holidays – WeSwap helps demystify a few Brexit rumours, concerns and travel misconceptions in light of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit vs The Pound

In the run up to the Brexit deadline, we have seen the pound’s value both increase and decrease by astounding amounts. The volatile state of the pound has been a major concern for British holidaymakers who are looking to exchange money. Unfortunately, it is near impossible to predict how the pound’s value will change post-Brexit. However, it does pay to be aware of upcoming political events which could affect the pound’s value, so that holidaymakers can prepare as much as possible for any outcome.

For those looking to go away during the October half-term, it would be best to exchange money as early as possible. Last minute travel money purchases, in locations such as at airport bureaux, are always likely to lead to less bang for your buck as merchants are able to offer whatever exchange rate they like, knowing holidaymakers have no choice but to accept.  

Passports and visas

According to WeSwap’s research from its 500,000-strong user database, the most popular destination for British holidaymakers is Spain, followed by the USA and then France, Italy and the Netherlands. With many European destinations still remaining incredibly popular, it is worth checking that your passports have six months validity left and that they are no more than 10 years old. This will be the same case when holidaymakers visit most countries in Europe, however, travelling to Ireland will not change, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

As it currently stands, visas are not needed when Brits travel to the EU and even if the UK leaves on October 31st, the rules are very unlikely to change for those travelling for up to 90 days. Any trips longer than this within an 180 day period will require a visa. Holidaymakers may also need to show a return flight as well as whether they have enough money to cover the stay in the country.

EHIC cards

Currently, Brits are entitled to the same healthcare in an EU country thanks to the free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). However, it is possible that these will no longer be valid if there is a no-deal later on this month. Luckily for holidaymakers, some countries such as Spain and Portugal will allow Brits to receive the same healthcare provided they can show their passport.

Whilst EHIC cards are useful, it is always best to purchase travel insurance before going on holiday no matter what time you travel. Travel insurance can often be the last thing on a very long checklist for holidays, with many of us taking the risk and not purchasing any form of insurance at all. However, as there is now more emphasis on experiential travel, travel insurance is becoming the one thing that should be top of the list.  

It is recommended that when looking at different insurance providers we read the key benefits and features information before you buy so you know what you’re actually getting. For those who enjoy package holidays – make sure you’re not already paying for travel insurance extras as part of your package. Also, shopping for travel money can be a great way to make your money go further and savings can be made along the way that should make travel insurance an affordable option for all.

Calling home from abroad

Most Brits are able to make the most of being able to call, text and use data in Europe without any additional charges. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is impossible to know whether the current rules would continue as they are currently and charges could be applied.

In light of the upcoming Brexit deadline, WeSwap has commissioned nationally representative research to find out how the nation believes Brexit will impact their holiday travels: 

•             54% of Brits (28.1 million) are most concerned about the impact that Brexit will have on the cost of foreign currency and holidaying in general

•             63% of millennials are concerned that the cost of their holidays will increase once the UK leaves the European Union

•             64% of Londoners and 60% of Scots are concerned that holidaying in general will become more expensive

•             Out of those aged 55+, who voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, only 24% believed Brexit would not make their holidays more expensive

•             30% (15.6 million) believe that Brexit will affect their holidays more than any other aspect of life

•             43% of those aged 18-34 believed that their travels abroad would the area of life most affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union

“With many people jetting off this October half-term, there is a lot of concern amongst British holidaymakers about how the upcoming Brexit deadline will affect their holidays. Our research has shown that 15.6 million Brits believe that Brexit will affect their holidays more than any other aspect of life. With this in mind, holidaymakers should be aware of upcoming political events and prepare as many aspects of the holiday – such as travel insurance, checking passports and buying foreign currency – as early as possible in order to mitigate risk”. Rob Stross, CMO of WeSwap

“As for travel money, it is always best to exchange money as early as possible. Last minute travel money purchases, in locations such as at airport bureaux, are always likely to lead to less bang for your buck as merchants are able to offer whatever exchange rate they like, knowing holidaymakers have no choice but to accept. As for those who are concerned about the possibility of the pound’s value falling further after October 31st, it may be best to buy half of your holiday money today and half later. That way, you can assure that you avoid paying higher rates on all of your cash.”