As we enter 2019, the year that the UK will leave the European Union, there is one question that we keep getting from group leaders – how will Brexit affect my school trip?
Already booked your trip with Halsbury?
If you've already booked your school trip then it is very unlikely that Brexit will have any significant impact on it.
What about exchange rates?
If you’ve booked and paid your first deposits, and received your confirmation and invoice, then you don’t need to worry that you’ll be asked to pay a surcharge should the exchange rates fluctuate.
Will my passport be valid?
With regards to passports, if there is no deal struck, then it is likely that from 29th March 2019 you will need 6 months of validity left on your passport before you travel. If this does turn out to be the case, then it will be important to remind parents of this requirement as early as possible in the trip planning process, to ensure that all passengers are able to travel with valid passports. Further information and advice can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
If you do renew your passport early in order to ensure you have enough validity, it does seem likely that you will lose any extra months, which is not currently the case, so that is something that is worth bearing in mind.
Will I need a visa to travel within the EU?
There has also been some discussion on the possibility of UK citizens requiring visas to visit the EU after Brexit. For short term visits, such as school trips, this is very unlikely to be the case.
The EU Commission has already stated that Britons will not require visas for short-term visits, as long as the UK offers the same to EU citizens, and it seems likely that this will be the case.
And, in fact if a deal is agreed it looks likely that the UK will enter into a transition period from 29th March 2019 until 31st December 2020. During this period, British and EU citizens should retain the same rights as before regarding visa-free travel.
Planning a future trip?
Our advice for anyone planning a trip would be to get your trip booked as soon as possible, to secure your price at the best exchange rate. Plus, of course, booking early will make the whole process easier for you as Group Leader, and could also make the trip more affordable for students’ families.
If you have any questions or need any further information, please don't hesitate to contact us.