Keep Calm and Carry On: A Brexit Travel Guide

With May re-entering negotiations after narrowly surviving a no-confidence vote, it looks like a no-deal Brexit, a new-deal Brexit, and a second referendum are all on the table.

No one knows for sure how it’s all going to play out, but to help you prepare for every possible outcome, we’ve put together a handy Brexit-proof travel guide.

How will Brexit impact my travel plans?

The European Commission has confirmed that Brits will still be able to travel freely within Europe this summer, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The US has also agreed to an open-skies agreement with Britain, which will entitle the UK to the same level of access they receive under the EU-US open-skies agreement. Internal European flights should also be unaffected.

However, a few things are likely to change:

  • If you’re driving in Europe you may need an international driving permit, as well as a proof of insurance known as a Green Card
  • From 2021, you might need to pay a €7 fee to enter the EU
  • Your EHIC card may no longer be valid
  • Free mobile data roaming in EU countries will no longer be guaranteed. However, most providers will continue to offer the service
  • Your next passport will be blue (but don’t worry, you can still use your red one until it expires)

How will Brexit affect the Pound?

Given the unpredictability of the foreign exchange market, no one really knows exactly what Brexit will do to the value of the Pound. It’s likely to go down, but nothing is certain.

This is how the events of Brexit have impacted the Pound so far:

  • Before the referendum, the Pound was fairly strong against the Euro, with £1 getting you a rate of €1.32. After the vote, it plummeted to a rate of £1 to  €1.16.
  • Since then, the rate has been volatile amid Brexit uncertainty, hitting a low of £1 to €1.08 in August 2017.
  • With Tuesday’s vote putting a second referendum back on the table, the Pound has strengthened slightly, with £1 getting you €1.1036 as of this morning. Whilst this isn’t as high as it was before Brexit, given the uncertainty ahead, now could be a favourable time to get your travel money.

Where should I go to get the best value for money post-Brexit?

While Brexit shouldn’t affect your right to travel in Europe, some destinations are likely to become more expensive. Just as the Brexit vote resulted in a slump in the Pound’s value, our exit in March is likely to have the same impact.

To get the most value for your Pounds this summer, we’d recommend looking choosing a holiday destination with a good exchange rate, which might mean looking outside the Eurozone.

Our top 10 destinations where you should still enjoy good value, even after Brexit, are Turkey, South Africa, Mexico, Morocco, Egypt, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.

Destination Price of a three-course dinner (pp)*
Marmaris, Turkey £12
Cape Town, South Africa £15
Acapulco, Mexico £16
Marrakech, Morocco £10
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt £13
Sofia, Bulgaria £22
Bucharest, Romania £22.50
Krakow, Poland £20

*according to data collected by Numbeo

How can I get the best deal on travel money?

The best way to guard against any negative fallout from Brexit is by planning ahead. Given the volatility of the market, now may be a good time to get your holiday money for 2019 – before further political developments impact the exchange rate.

Rather than waiting to see what happens to the Pound and hoping for the best, order your currency in advance with ICE’s Click & Collect or Home Delivery service for discounted rates. We also offer a Price Match Guarantee, so if you find a cheaper rate for your currency online we promise to beat it.

Another way to minimise the impact of a drop in Sterling is uploading your travel money onto a pre-paid card. Our new ICE Clear card will allow you to lock-in your exchange rate, so if you top-up your card when the exchange rate is strong you can avoid any fluctuations that might occur as a result of Brexit. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind by knowing exactly how much travel money you’ll have to spend on your next trip.