- 78% of holidaymakers think that Brexit will affect the cost of their holiday,
but are still expectant to pick-up last-minute deals for holidays in 2019
- 71% believe that mobile phone roaming charges will increase
- Nearly 80% of pet owners are preparing for their animals to be placed in quarantine on returning to the UK
- 82% of UK travellers expect the EHIC to be renegotiated
With Brexit negotiations still in a state of flux, UK travellers are continually trying to unravel the conflicting messages on what potential travel disruptions they could face post-March 2019. However, according to the latest research* from consumer awareness initiative travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk, 78% of the 2,000 UK travellers surveyed said that they expect their holidays will cost more, but are still planning to book holidays during 2019.
Recent news reports that from 2021, travelling to EU states could mean holidaymakers paying a fee of €7 every three years to pre-register for an electronic visa waiver, a system similar to the US-based ESTA scheme, is just one added cost burden for those who enjoy sunshine holidays on the Med. The fluctuations in the Sterling exchange rate against the Euro and a hike in both holiday and flight prices could be the major consideration for budget-conscious travellers. Of those surveyed, 71% said they expect mobile phone roaming charges to increase, which may impact those who rely on their phone when organising their travel experience (such as flights, hotels or excursions) or prefer cashless payments rather than carrying large amounts of cash. Credit card fees could also increase, said 55% of UK travellers, again adding to the overall cost of enjoying a holiday break abroad.
Another factor is that since the introduction of pet passports in 2004, UK pet owners have been able to take their dogs, cats and ferrets freely across borders. But if the UK enters a ‘no deal’ scenario with the EU, then these passports will be invalid. Of those surveyed, 78% are preparing for their beloved animals to be placed in quarantine on returning from holiday.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), formally the E111, has been a backstop for those who need emergency medical treatment in the EU but this could be in jeopardy if negotiations breakdown. 82% of travellers agreed that the EHIC would have to be renegotiated which would impact their welfare while travelling abroad. One factor that might need to be considered is this could lead to higher travel insurance premiums due to the ever-increasing medical bills in EU hospitals.
Fiona Macrae from travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk said:
“The Brexit negotiations have posed many questions but very few answers. Travellers are navigating a minefield of information, sometimes mis-information, on what the impact of withdrawing from the EU really means. However, our research shows that the UK holidaymaker is willing to accept the cost of Brexit to still travel into Europe. Of those surveyed, many understand that costs could rise for visas, mobile phone roaming charges, credit card fees and access to EU states for their pets will change. If border control queues become longer and slower, disruption could hit travellers’ timings and lead to missed departures and cancellations.
“Fundamentally travel insurance cover will become essential, especially if the access to the EHIC is lost for UK citizens. A travel policy that offers emergency medical cover and cancellation for any reason which you could not have been seen to foresee or avoid will be desirable if certain aspects of a ‘no deal’ Brexit are implemented.”
Travelinsuranceexplained.co.uk offers these top five tips:
- When taking out a travel insurance policy, especially now Brexit is posing a threat to travel plan, it is important to ensure the cover is suitable for your needs. This may now include taking out a policy that has a higher level of cover than you would have previously considered.
- The EHIC should never be a substitute for travel insurance, even less so now there is a possibility of renegotiaiton. Holidaymakers should ensure thier travel insurance offers cover for emergency medical treatment and that they declare all exisitng medical conditions.
- If pet quarentine is brought back, some holidaymakers may chose to leave thier beloved pets are home. Some travel insurers will offer to cover the cost of pet care if their return flight is delayed so this may be something to look out for.
- Most travel insurance policies will not cover for missed departure due to queues or security at check-in. With this in mind, always ensure you are allowing time for longer queues and look for a travel insurance policy that will offer this cover, there are a few that do.
- After Brexit, holidaymakers travelling to Europe will need to ensure they have at least six months left on their passport so check the passports expiry date before booking a holiday.
*FWD Research undertook 2,000, 15-minute online interviews among UK residents who have recently travelled or intend to travel abroad on holiday in 2019. Fieldwork ran during the last two weeks of November and first week of December exploring attitudes towards international travel during 2019.