Should you book your family holiday before Brexit?



Many people are booking their family holiday and deal or no deal, flights will be operating between the UK and EU. But with the Brexit date looming, it’s only natural that some families are considering delaying their holiday plans until after `the big day` (29th March 2019). I mean, what’s another few weeks? It’s only natural that Brexit is creating some unsettlement, whatever your political viewpoint. 

What we do know for sure is that it’s in nobody’s interest for travel to Europe to stop, or become difficult, or for anyone to stop holiday in France, Italy, Spain and so on. Us Brits play a huge role in Europe’s tourism economy. European travel will continue after Brexit. That is a fact.

So now we know that travel to Europe will continue, should you book your family holiday before or after Brexit? 

If you are wishing to travel on the 29th March, or in the few days following this date, go with the mindset that there may be some delays and travel issues because change is likely to have some impact on travel immediately. If you don’t wish to have such worries and your holiday plans can wait, perhaps wait a little beyond the 29th March.

If you are wanting to get your family holiday booked for the summer, then we can see no reason why you should delay your plans, as long as you are booking with an ABTA Bonded travel operator, such as Acorn Family Holidays or another ABTA bonded company. ABTA have confirmed the following, which offers UK customers booking package holidays great reassurance that their money is protected:

“Customers who book a package holiday with a UK travel company enjoy the most comprehensive consumer protection: if you book a package, your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations, meaning you have a right to a full refund if your holiday can no longer be provided.
The UK 
Government has confirmed that the Package Travel Regulations will remain in the UK law when the UK leaves the EU”.


ABTA have published a really useful article answering many of the questions we all have about travel post-Brexit. We recommending reading the article if you are planning your family summer holiday.

We can see no reasons why people should wait until beyond the 29th March, unless travelling on or around that date (for personal peace of mind). 

The benefits of booking your holiday before Brexit extend far beyond the risks. 1. You get your preferred destination and dates (ahead of the post Brexit crowds). 2. Your holiday is booked, giving you something to look forward to. 3. You can pay a deposit and then have time to save up (the longer you leave it, the less time there is to save) and 4. You can make any other arrangements you need to make (book the time off, plan car hire, flights, etc…)

If you still aren’t sure, we really recommend that you read ABTA’s advice…  It’s ultimately your choice when you book your family holiday, but please be assured that if you do want to book your holiday, your holiday is protected by ABTA when travelling with Acorn, giving you complete peace of mind. Afterall, booking a holiday should be a happy time!

A few travel tips to be aware of post Brexit (as advised by ABTA).

1.       Check your passport expiry date

When travelling to the EU after 29 March 2019, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival in an EU country.

You should also check when your passport was renewed. If you renewed a 10 year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months over 10 years will not count towards the 6 months that must be remaining. 

2. Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid.

ABTA has always advised holidaymakers and business travellers to make sure they have appropriate travel insurance, whether they have an EHIC card or not, as there are limitations to EHIC.

When travelling in the EU and beyond, it is important you take out travel insurance and check that it covers your current circumstances, including any medical conditions. If you have an annual policy, make sure you check the Terms and Conditions and contact your insurance provider if you’re not sure.

3. Check you have everything you need in place for driving in Europe

As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. This is likely to change in a no-deal scenario. UK travellers looking to drive in the EU on or after 29 March 2019 may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit.

These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the Post Office. The Government has extended the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit.

Check carefully which permit is required for each country you intend to drive within, as you may need more than one permit to comply with the law.

You need to make sure you have your International Driving Permit before you travel from the UK as you will not be able to apply for this when you are in the EU.

Green cards for car insurance

If the UK leaves without a deal, UK citizens driving their vehicle within the EU would be required to obtain and carry a physical Green Card in order for your UK car insurance to be applicable in the EU. These cards would be issued by insurers and you may be charged a small fee to cover administration costs.

Speak with your insurer for more information on obtaining a Green Card for any trip on or after 29 March 2019.

For more advice and guidance about travelling in Europe after Brexit please read ABTA's comprehensive guide. 

About Acorn Family Holidays

Acorn is a well established, ABTA bonded travel operator with over 38 years of experience in organising adventure holidays in the UK & Europe. We have nine adventure centres in France, Italy, Spain and the UK. Explore our family adventure holidays.