With nearly three quarters of all trips abroad made by Britons in 2014 being to EU countries, EU countries are by far our most popular foreign destination. As many families prepare for their trips, both in the UK and abroad, Anneliese wants to make sure people are in the know on latest developments for travelling in Europe.
Anneliese said: “This summer, like thousands of people in Sussex, I’m looking forward to going on holiday with my family. Whether you’re flying to mainland Europe, or visiting one of our excellent Blue Flag beaches in the South East, like the Littlehampton Coastguards beach in Sussex, it’s important that you know your rights and what to expect on your holiday.
“From introducing a cap on roaming charges across the EU to make mobile phone bills cheaper, to bringing in high standards for clean beaches so you can be sure you’re swimming in safe water, the EU has done much to make holidays both at home and abroad safer and easier. Getting ready for a holiday, with all the packing, planning and remembering passports can be stressful, so it’s great that being part of the EU means you don’t have to worry about emergency healthcare, or spending thousands of pounds on phone calls back to the UK.”
Here are Anneliese’s six top things to remember before going on holiday:
- It’s easier than ever to move around Europe – you don’t need to worry about getting a visa to travel in the EU – all you need to move between countries is your passport.
- The beaches are cleaner than ever – there are 18 Blue Flag beaches in the South East, which means they meet the highest standards for water quality and safety.
- You don’t have to worry about healthcare bills – The European Health Insurance Card allows you access to the best free emergency cover anywhere in Europe – and best of all it’s completely free to get one.
- Making calls will soon be as cheap as home – from April 2016, you can’t be charged more than 4p per minute for calls, 1p for texts and 4p per MB of data. Better still, from June 2017 there will be no charges at all.
- Flights are the cheapest in years – meaning that holidays on the continent don’t have to break the bank. This is thanks to the EU ending airline monopolies.
- You can shop with peace of mind – no matter where you are in Europe, you are entitled to a refund within 14 days of unwanted items being returned. Also, if you have flight difficulties, and are travelling with an EU airline, they must help you if your plane is cancelled or delayed. This can involve booking you on the next flight or giving you a full refund.