Booking any form of international trip may feel optimistic at the moment, but with a variety of new rules coming into force for British travellers on 1 January holidaymakers should start to plan now to avoid frustrations and disappointments next year.
Covid-willing we will be able to travel the world again next year, but outside the European Union British travellers will soon be expected to fill out more forms and pay more fees to enjoy the same benefits we once had for free as EU citizens in various countries around the globe.
The biggest changes for UK travellers next year will be on the continent. Instead of flowing quickly through the EU lines at airports, in less than three months Brits will be left to queue in the lines for the “Rest of World” to cross EU and EEA borders.
Brits looking to holiday in Europe in 2021 will need to make sure their passport is less than 10 years old and have at least six months left to enter an EU or EEA country. We will also need travel insurance, as British-owned EHIC health insurance cards will no longer be valid, and depending on the country may need an international driving permit (IDP), green card, and GB sticker if we want to drive once there.
Pet travel will also become significantly more stressful, with the pet passport scheme coming to an end for British travellers and the alternative can take up to four months to arrange.
The travel requirements for British citizens to enter the US have not be impacted by the UK’s decision to leave the EU and should not change next year if the world manages to contain the current pandemic. As such, most British citizens with a valid machine-readable passport, a return or onwards travel ticket, and with plans to stay less than 90 days in the US will quality for visa-waiver programme and will be able to travel visa-free with only an ESTA for USA.
As now, it is critical for people travelling to the US to take out travel insurance due to the steep cost of private healthcare in the country, but according to the US travel guide 2021 Brits do benefit from being able to drive in the US without any additional permits as long as you are over 21 years old and have held your license for over a year.
British Citizens do not usually need a visa to visit Canada for short periods, but you will need to get an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before you travel to be able to board your flight. Luckily, you can apply for eTAs directly from Canadian authorities online and they cost just $7 CAD.
It is always advisable to have travel insurance to travel abroad and despite being part of the Commonwealth Canada is no different. British driving license holders also do not generally need any additional permits to drive a car in the Great White North, but some car hire firms will ask for an International Driving Permit and you should have your license on you at all times.
Brits can easily obtain a visa to enter Australia for a holiday either via their travel agent for A$20 or with a free eVisitor visa directly from the Australian Department of Immigration & Border Protection.
As with other locations, British citizens are strongly encouraged to take out travel insurance before visiting Australia, especially with its reputation for being home to many of the world’s most deadly insects, spiders, and snakes. But again, a British driving license will allow British holidaymakers to drive legally on Australian roads without the need for additional permits.
New Zealand is popular with travellers around the world for its beautiful landscape and thrilling adventure sports. The country has currently closed its borders due to coronavirus, but once the world reopens British citizens can enter New Zealand on trips of up to six months without a visa. However, you will still need to get a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before you travel, which costs between NZD $9 and NZD $12 depending on how you apply, and pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of NZD $35, both of which can take up to 72 hours for processing.
British citizens should take out holiday insurance before visiting New Zealand, but like Australia a UK driving license will allow you to drive around the country without the need for additional permits.