Great Britain

What you need to do NOW to avoid unexpected phone bills and other issues on EU holidays

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The UK has left the EU - and that means the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end on January 1 2021.

Using your phone or tablet abroad outside of the UK or EU has long been a headache for travellers scared of running up huge bills for calls, texts and data while on holiday or travelling for business.

So to prepare as we transition to our new relationship with the EU, it's important we are all aware of how things are about to change for those holidaying in Europe from next year.

Many operators have indicated they will not charge for roaming, but as the guarantee of free roaming will end, it's best to check with your provider.

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From January 1, a new UK Government law will also come into force to stop your mobile phone spending getting out of control.

Once you reach £45, you need to opt in to spend more so that you can continue using the internet while you’re abroad. Your phone operator will tell how you can do this.

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Travel to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein will also change from January 1 2021 - and we all need to make sure we're ready for this exciting new chapter.

Travellers should continue to follow official advice during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Things we ALL need to check before travelling to the EU

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Check your passport is valid

Check your passport is valid for travel to Europe from 1 January 2021 and if it's not, renew your passport to make sure you can travel as planned.

To check if your passport meets these requirements, visit

Get travel insurance that covers your healthcare

Make sure you get travel insurance with healthcare cover for travel to the EU. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may not be valid from 1 January 2021.

It’s important you get travel insurance that has the right cover for your needs, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Visit to check what your travel insurance should cover.

Be sure you have the right driving documents to drive in the EU

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You might need an international driving permit to drive in some countries.

If you’re taking your own vehicle, you might also need a ‘green card’ or valid proof of insurance and a GB sticker.

Organise pet travel

Contact your vet at least four months before you go - don't leave this to the last minute.

From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to use your existing pet passport to enter the EU.

Follow the guidance about pet travel to Europe from 1 January 2021. 

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