If the latest Brexit rumblings have left you feeling concerned about your upcoming school trip or are simply putting you off planning that school trip within the EU you’re not alone. However, you don’t have to let Brexit ruin your travel plans! Rejoice because the world is still very much your oyster and that perfect school trip could be a lot easier than you think! At Adaptable Travel we’ve kept our fingers firmly on the pulse of Brexit updates and what these mean for our groups traveling in the EU.
We’ve removed the Brexit jargon and compiled our own ‘Brexit Travel Tips’ to help you plan your next school trip and ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
Check Your Passports
We know this probably sounds like travelling 101 but, checking yours and your students’ passports has never been more important, with Brexit bringing about new rules for passports. In order to enter EU countries your passports must now have at least 6 months left and be under 10 years old. It’s important to know that the second rule will still apply even if your passport has 6 months left, so it’s better to check these both.
The UK Government have a great time saving tool that makes checking passports quick and easy, you can find it here.
It’s worth knowing that any travel to Ireland will be unaffected by these rules, so as long as passports are valid during travel your groups will be fine.
If the thought of potential visa limitations or complications are putting you off planning a school trip outside of the UK, don’t let them! It has been confirmed by the EU parliament that all UK travel into the EU can continue without the need for visas, even if we leave the EU without a deal. We would, however, suggest checking the issuing countries of students’ passports as this can sometimes mean visas will be required for any passports been issued outside of the EU. As a tour operator we can’t arrange visas for any passengers travelling with us, if you’re unsure of the requirements for non-EU passports we suggest contacting the relevant embassy for advice in order to avoid any complications during travel.
For more information regarding visas and how to apply for these visit our visa information page here. Please note that students must apply for visas themselves, neither the school nor Adaptable Travel can arrange these on their behalf.
The validity of EHIC (European Health Insurance Cards) is still dependent on whether or not the UK manages to secure a deal for our departure from the EU. If we leave without a deal, these will no longer be valid for medical treatment in any EU countries. In order to travel with us, we think it’s important that our groups are covered. We require that all our groups take out travel insurance, as there are certain limitations to EHIC coverage and it’s better to travel with peace of mind that your whole group is covered. Once the UK has left the EU this important area of our T&C’s will remain the same, ensuring that you are all covered ahead of travel. When booking your school trip, it’s worth checking what coverage your school has in place before taking out a plan, as it is not uncommon for some schools to have a degree of coverage.
If your group needs coverage and you’re not sure what you’ll need to include, Adaptable Travel work in partnership with Endsleigh, offering a fantastic and affordable option specifically designed to meet coverage requirements for school trips. Find out more about prices and policy information here.
Deal or no deal, any flights operated by UK airlines will be unaffected until December 2020, continuing as normal. In the event of a secured deal we will enter a transition period meaning flights will only change after this 2020 deadline. If we don’t reach a deal all flights between the UK and EU regardless of the airlines will be covered by legislation set out by the European Commission. Basically, what this means is that whether you’re worrying about a trip you’ve booked or you’re debating booking a school trip you can rest assured that any flights will operate as usual.
All coach travel between the UK and EU countries is expected to remain the same after Brexit, whatever the outcome. The only predicted disruption to coach travel is expected in non-EU countries, which may affect trips to Andorra and Switzerland. However, the UK government is hoping to ensure that travel to these countries continues as normal. Any updates regarding this will be shared to our Brexit Updates Page.
Eurostar, Eurotunnel and Ferries
The good news is, all three of these travel methods are expected to remain unchanged between the UK and the EU. Of course there has been talk of long-delays at Dover and Calais. We are Assured Members of the School Travel Forum, who are working closely on our behalf with the Port Authorities to stay on top of contingency plans and the current plans are in place to minimise all delays for school groups travelling through the ports. The ports do of course have a history of dealing with delays and as such are well placed to deal with Brexit related delays. We are working with our coach suppliers to ensure we have plans in place to make sure you get to your destination in a timely manner.
The fool proof way to cover your trip is book with a package provider. As a package provider ourselves, we are a member of both ABTA and ATOL meaning you can book with confidence that should anything prevent your trip from going ahead, you’re covered. This means that in the unlikely event of Brexit interfering with any of our trips it’s our responsibility to provide alternative arrangements or refund your group if we can’t rectify the situation.
Although the future of Brexit is uncertain, our promise to deliver the perfect school trip isn’t! With so many fantastic locations and brilliant learning experiences on offer travel around Europe is a truly rewarding adventure and nothing should stand in the way of your students experiencing it. If you want to stay in the loop with Brexit updates and what these mean for travel check our Brexit Updates Page, which we update regularly.
If you need some assistance planning the perfect school trip contact a member of our fantastic team today and start planning your next European school trip today.
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