Useful Information on European Holidays - Post Brexit

Travel insurance

No one can escape the daily news updates and uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Ffestiniog Travel is here to provide up to date information when available. As a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) we are able to share information prepared by ABTA, which will hopefully alleviate concerns. The political process is still ongoing, and we don't yet know the final outcome. However, there have been some reassurances recently around flights and visas, please see below.

It is important that we emphasise that all of the tours featured in the Ffestiniog Travel 2020 brochure have a price guarantee and no currency surcharges will be applied.


Travel after 31st January 2020

The UK departed the EU on 31st January 2020 and have now entered a transition period until 31st December 2020. During this transition period everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel without any changes. 

Will flights still operate?

All flights will continue to operate as normal until 31st December 2020.

Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

No, UK travellers will not need a visa to travel to the EU during the transition period.

Advice for Travellers

This information only covers areas where you can take reasonable action or put plans into place now. We will provide additional, updated information on areas where the situation is still unclear once it has been clarified.


Check the date your passport expires. When travelling to the EU after 31 October 2019, the UK government recommends that you have six months left on your passport on the date of your arrival to 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. The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules.

You can renew your passport online or by going to a Post Office with a Check and Send service. You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

European Health Insurance Card and Travel Insurance

EHIC Cards are still valid until 31st December 2020.

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. It has always been advisable for 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.

Driving Licences

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 31 October 2019 may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit. These cost £5.50 and are available directly from the AA, the RAC or the Post Office. The Government is working to extend the network of Post Offices where you can apply for an International Driving Permit and has plans to roll these out in more branches across the UK during 2019.

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.

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 31 October 2019.

Taking Pets Abroad

In the event of a no-deal, pets would continue to be able to travel from the UK to the EU, but the requirements for documents and health checks would change. If you wish to take your pet to the EU on or after 31 October 2019 pet owners would need to discuss preparations for their pet’s travel with an Official Veterinarian at least four months in advance of the date they wish to travel. Pet owners should keep an eye out for any further instructions issued by the UK Government.

Data Roaming

Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK. This is anticipated to remain the same during the transition period. Before you travel, check with your mobile phone provider about the costs of using your phone in the EU.

Ffestiniog Travel, via AITO, is grateful to ABTA for permission to reproduce this important information for our customers. You can check for further and the latest information at: If you have any specific questions about our European holidays please call 01766 512400 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

24/7 Support


Ffestiniog Travel provides 'out of hours' support for all independent travellers in the event of an emergency.

Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service


Pharos Response AITO Quality Charter