Travelling to Europe after Brexit

Over half of Brits fear that Brexit could cause them to ditch their European travel plans.

Sam Smith

by , UK Communications Executive

With Brexit just around the corner, there are various possible scenarios that may impact British travellers. From the reintroduction of roaming charges to longer passport queues, trips to Europe might not be quite as simple as they once were. Finder asked Brits what outcomes would make them reconsider heading to Europe for a short break. Would you be put off by any of the following scenarios?

What’s stopping people?

Our report reveals that increased flight costs are a key concern for Brits travelling post-Brexit, with almost 2 in 5 (38%) claiming they would travel less to the EU as a result. This is followed closely by uncertain exchange rates, with a third (33%) reporting that a devaluation of the pound after Brexit would deter them from taking trips to the EU.

The generation most concerned about the impact of Brexit on their European travel plans is Brits aged 18-38 (67%). Increased flight costs would deter 44% of this generation, and 38% say that a devaluation of the pound would cause them to re-think European mini-breaks.

Roaming charges to blame

Rumours surrounding the return of roaming charges after Brexit have also heightened anxiety among young people, with nearly 1 in 5 (19%) of 18 to 38-year-olds expressing their reluctance to travel to the EU if a separate roaming deal is not successfully negotiated with the UK.

The region most concerned about the re-introduction of roaming charges is Scotland, with 22% of Scots claiming that this would affect their travel plans. Conversely, fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) of those in the East Midlands feel it would influence their decision.

Top tips for avoiding costly mobile data fees on your travels

  • Turn off data roaming in advance of your arrival abroad, as unintentional background processes, such as email, can result in hefty charges.
  • Wi-Fi is commonplace throughout Europe and should be readily available in cafes, restaurants and hotels. Always ensure you’re connected to Wi-Fi for emails, browsing and Internet-enabled services. You could also download music and podcasts before you head out.
  • If you do a lot of travelling, you should look into pay-as-you-go SIM cards. Usage will be far cheaper than paying roaming charges, but your number will be different when you’re using an alternative SIM.

Longer passport queues

According to Finder, many Brits are concerned about the prospect of longer passport queues after the UK leaves the EU, with a quarter of respondents (25%) reporting that it would result in them travelling less to the EU.

Those in Scotland (33%) and the North East (31%) believe that this would be a major factor in their decision making when planning a short European break.

Brexit and the pound

Thinking about a weekend away? Keep up-to-date with how recent Brexit developments are affecting the value of the pound with Finder’s interactive currency exchange rate tracker.

Loss of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the EHIC will no longer be valid. While the government claims to seek agreements with countries on health care arrangements, 21% of Brits feel that the lack of free European health cover would cause them to take fewer trips. Interestingly, generation Z is the most concerned about health cover, with 31% stating this would impact their holiday plans.

Which regions feel their travel plans will be most affected by Brexit?

Regionally, those in Northern Ireland (65%) and the North East (64%) feel that their travel plans will be affected the most by Brexit. In comparison, the South West (49%) and the West Midlands (50%) reported the lowest amount of people feeling that they will be affected.

“It’s understandable that higher costs may influence people to opt for more staycations, but it’s surprising that roaming charges, health insurance and passport queues have such a bearing on the choice of destination.

Although the EHIC does offer great benefits, it won’t cover you for repatriation, nor does it cover for delays or cancellation. For less than £10, basic European travel insurance will give you the same benefits of the EHIC as well as offering additional cover and benefits. There are also many ways that you can avoid roaming charges should they be reintroduced after Brexit.”

Jon Ostler, CEO of Finder UK

Methodology

Finder commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
Head of UK Communications
M: +44 747 921 7816
T: +44 20 3828 1338
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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