There are many things to remember when travelling outside the UK - passport, visa, healthcare, currency and credit/debit card costs.


International air travel may be restricted because of domestic regulations. Other countries may restrict movement, bring in new quarantine rules or even close borders depending on their current situation.

Before planning any travel check the current restrictions at:


Before you travel outside the UK you need to make sure you have a valid passport and the relevant visas.

In the United Kingdom, British passports (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) are issued by HM Passport Office.

In conjunction with the Post Office, it is possible to submit most passport applications at a number of branches.

Alternatively it is now possible to apply for or renew your passport online.

Full details of how to apply, renew or update your passport and passport fees are available from GOV.UK.

Premium (1 day) and Fast Track (1 week) service is also available at this link.

If you loose your passport or your passport is stolen you must cancel it immediately with GOV.UK.

If you are outside the UK and your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full or has recently expired you can obtain an emergency travel document (sometimes called an ‘emergency passport’) at GOV.UK.


A travel visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes you to be in the country you are visiting.

Although many countries require a visa to gain entry, British Citizens can currently visit 175 countries without a visa - details are available this link.

Certain other countries will issue visas on arrival.

To check whether you need a Visa to enter your destination of travel, follow this link.

NHS Healthcare Abroad

While you are abroad, you may be entitled to medical care at reduced cost or sometimes free. Your entitlement will vary based on whether you're going to an European Economic Area country (EEA) or elsewhere in the world.

The rules on travelling now the UK has left the European Union (EU) changed on January 1st 2021. Details of the changes are available at the following link:

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

An EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland. 

As a result of the BREXIT deal the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is to be slowly replaced by the UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).

You can no longer apply for or renew an EHIC card. If you already have an EHIC card you do not need to apply for a GHIC card until your EHIC card expires.

More information on healthcare abroad including how to apply for an GHIC is available at 

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can provide you with financial and practical help if something goes wrong on your trip.

Travel insurance could pay for lost luggage, medical bills, accidents, flight cancellations or theft.

The majority of travel insurance will cover medical bills for £1million and pay for an emergency air ambulance to bring you home for treatment.

For more information on travel insurance go to:

Medical Insurance

Most standard travel insurance policies will include some medical cover, so normally you will not need to buy a specific medical travel insurance policy. 

Travel Money

Changing sterling into euros, dollars or any other currency should be easy but there are many options to choose from to ensure that you get the best deal. 

For a comprehensive guide to obtaining foreign currency and using credit/debit cards abroad go to:

Credit Cards

Travelling with one or more credit cards is an easy and convenient option. They are convenient to pack and carry, are more secure than cash and give you a record of your purchases. 

There are a wide range of specialist cards offering a variety of other benefits.

Specialist Travel cards can give you travel-related perks such as holiday insurance discount, priority boarding, a better hotel room and late check-out.

Reward cards give you points you can then redeem against goods and services or converted into vouchers for in-store purchases and others points that can be traded for special offers in-store or days out.

Prepaid currency cards are topped up with your chosen currency enabling you to make purchases or withdraw money when you’re abroad.

But with any card be aware of any additional fees that the provider may charge.

More informations on using cards abroad is available at the following sites:

Lost or Stolen documents

There are steps you can take to prevent any loss or theft of importatnt documents like your passport or driving licence, as well as ways of making sure you get replacement documents as soon as possible if they are lost.

Full details are available at this link.

Travelling by Air

Under EU rules which will continue to apply to the UK post Brexit, air passengers are entitled to certain rights covering delayed flights, overbooking and lost luggage in the form of financial compensation or suitable assistance from the airline.

A comprehensive guide to travelling by air including your rights, luggage restrictions and how to claim compensation is available at:

Help and Advice when travelling abroad

Check what you need to do to travel internationally.

An A - Z  guide to travelling abroad is available from GOV.UK.

Help and advice for British Nationals oversees is available at this link.

Detailed specific help and advice to 226 individual countries is available at this link.

A comprehensive guide to living abroad is available at this link.

Useful Apps to Download before travelling

Free apps that make travelling easier and enhance your holiday experience are available at this link.

Staying cool in high temperatures

High temperatures can be dangerous to your health. Find advice and tips on how to stay cool at ageUK.

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