British holidaymakers warned 'important' passport rule to avoid paying hundreds of pounds

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New rules could leave holidaymakers vulnerable

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Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net


Published: 17/06/2024

- 14:39

Holidaymakers have been urged to check the validity of their travel documents before booking their holidays

As Britons prepare for their European getaways this summer, travel experts have urged them to double-check the expiry date on their travel documents.

It is a common mistake to ignore the expiration date on a passport before travelling, as most people assume that they can travel if their passport hasn't expired.


They must check that the expiry date is longer than three to six months away, however, because soon-to-be-expired passports could stop them from entering some countries.

The little-known travel rule, which was implemented after Brexit, continues to catch out Britons abroad.

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Travellers shouldn't ignore the expiry dates on their travel documents

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People travelling to any country in the EU, or Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland should ensure their passports have been issued less than 10 years before the date they enter the EU country.

Entering or exiting these countries with outdated documents could force travellers to pay fees for new travel documents.

Gov.UK says the fee for a new passport is £207.50, adding: “The earliest you can get an appointment is two days after you apply.

“You will get your new passport at your appointment. You can only use this service to renew an adult passport.”

Travel documents should also be valid for at least three months after the day the traveller plans to leave (“date of expiry”).

Gemma Brown, head of commercial and travel expert at Travel Republic shared a fresh warning. She said: “If travellers make it all the way to their boarding gate without checking, airlines can refuse those holding passports that were issued over 10 years ago.

“In this instance, passengers should be aware that denied boarding is reasonable due to inadequate travel documentation.

“The likelihood is that travel insurance providers would cover any costs associated with invalid or expired passports, as it's down to the traveller to triple check their documentation is correct."

The expert continued: “Our advice would be to ensure that your passport is within the 10-year issue date and is valid for at least six months from the date of departure to ensure you will be accepted into most countries.

“Regardless of passport rules, it’s important for all travellers to research the country they plan to visit and ensure they know what travel documentation is required upon entering and leaving.

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Replacing a soon-to-be-expired passport can cost hundreds of pounds

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“You can find foreign travel advice on the government website to make sure you have everything covered.”

Checking the validity of your documentation during check-in or while travelling to the airport could prove too late to save a holiday.

To avoid all inconvenience, documentation should be checked before holidays are booked.

Data released by the Home Office suggests the rules could leave 32,000 people vulnerable.

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