General synopsis High pressure is building over Westminster and looks set to continue until the 31 January 2020. Frosty patches are likely in Brussels and Paris, however Storm Boris is likely to wash away any black ice.

Can I travel in Europe in the New Year?

British citizens, who by default are EU citizens, can travel freely in euroland until either, we crash out on the 31st of January or a formal exit agreement is in force.

Upon agreement a transition period will start  which is forecast to end on the 31st of December 2020. Tourists are unlikely to be affected during a transition period assuming friendly negotiations continue.

If UK crashes out of EU on the 31st of January British citizens will be entitled to stay in the EU for 3 months under the Schengen agreement. For example, if Brexit happens on the 31st of January a British citizen would not have to return to the UK until the end of April. Read our blog 4 Must-Do Checks before Entering the EU after Brexit.

Some countries have already implemented their own rules. Find out more about  individual country requirements at 

If you intend to stay in the EU after the 31st January, make sure your passport has at least 6 months left before its expiry date. You can renew a passport here: if you need to renew a passport urgently you will need to go to a passport office, find out more at

Pack a GB sticker as you will have to display this on your motorhome, car and caravan after Brexit.

Most countries have decided that British citizens do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for short visits. Details for Spain and Portugal are below. The exception is France and Andorra. If you intend to drive back through France ensure that you have a 1968 International Driving Permit (IDP). If you intend to visit Andorra a 1949 IDP is required. Both IDPs are available from the Post Office. Further information can be found at and read our blog How to Drive Legally in Europe after Brexit

vicarious media blog france highway


What should I do if Brexit happens whilst I am in Europe?

Firstly, open another bottle and raise a glass for democracy or drown your sorrows. ALSO notify your vehicle and travel insurance companies that you are in the EU. Get a green card from your insurance provider.

Spain has made it plain

Spain has issued the following advice to British tourists

Health care

UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) holders will be able to continue to access healthcare in the same way until at least 31 December 2020. Make sure you’re treated by a healthcare provider within the Spanish state system. Your EHIC will not cover you for private healthcare.

Driving licences

You will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for visits up to 9 months after the date the UK leaves the EU. Then you will not need an IDP for visits up to 6 months, if you have either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence.

If you are in Portugal

Portugal has issued the following advice to British tourists

Health care

After Brexit UK nationals who are temporarily staying in Portugal maintain the right to access healthcare in the National Health Service (SNS) until the end of 2020, if they present a valid UK passport. The EHIC would no longer be accepted, although it is advisable to keep it and show it in the period immediately after Brexit.

Driving Licences

You will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for visits up to 185 days if you have either a UK photocard or UK paper driving licence. You will need a 1968 IDP for longer visits.


photo of ferry vicarious media brexit 2019 blog

Bringing your pet back to the UK from the EU after Brexit 

Your pet must have one of the following documents when returning to the UK:

  • an EU pet passport (issued in the EU or in the UK prior to Brexit)
  • the AHC issued in the UK used to travel to the EU (which you can use up to 4 months after it was issued)
  • a UK pet health certificate (for travel into the UK only)

 If you are already away with your pet during Brexit the UK government states ‘There will be no change to the current health preparations for pets entering Great Britain from the EU after Brexit’.

Pet travel during an implementation period

If a deal is agreed and an implementation period is confirmed, you can travel with your pet to the EU under the current pet travel rules using your current UK issued EU pet passport.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you will have to visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Further information is available at

If you intend to depart for the EU after Brexit read our blogs How to Drive Legally in Europe after Brexit and 4 Must-Do Checks before Entering the EU after Brexit.

About the author

Meli is currently packing her motorhome ready for some Spanish winter sun and Portuguese hospitality. Over the past 13 years she has toured all over Europe in  a motorhome during the research of a suite of  travel guides, including All the Aires Spain and Portugal, Go Motorhoming & Campervanning, and Road Trip Europe.

Vicarious Media is a specialist travel retailer, focusing on European motorhome travel. Vicarious Media has a proven history of finding, and evaluating the best stopovers and campsites for campers, motorhomers, caravanners and road trippers. Since 2006 they have improved the tours of thousands of motorhomers, and hope to transform your travels too.

10 THOUGHTS ON “Brexit forecast for winter sun-seekers”

by john Lyle

Thank you for a useful blog. Just one point if I may, the Schengen Zone rule is more accurately 90 days in any 180 days. It’s a rolling 180 days.
There’s a Schengen calculator at It’s not official but I’ve put in various legal and illegal scenarios and it seems to work.

by John Gilbert

Thanks for clearing up issues I could not find the answers for , not even from the Government website, keep up the good work 🍷🍷🍷

by Ronald Bailey

Very useful info .
Would it be possible to send the acsi book to las Torres in Puerto de mazarron Costa calida Murcia cheers.

by JulieP

Thanks for this we were all set to get two IDPs but will only need the French one! Sadly though in anticipation of things hitting the fan after brexit we have taken out travel health insurance but good to know the EHIC cards will be ok for our winter stay in Spain. The dogs too all good news. Thanks again

by Fran Crisp

very helpful – also amusing – or it would be if it were not so seriously worrying!

by Steve Phillips

Thanks, that’s very useful….
I only wish the Governments website was as helpful !
Let’s hope that Brexit gets cancelled ! It would be much easier 👍

by Stuart Head

Very useful for after Brexit advice

by John and Lucy

Good afternoon from the sunny Algarve, we are on the lovely “yelloh” campsite at Espiche , last time we were here (25 years ago) it was just a small toilet block in the middle of a field !
If you were to visit this site it would be nice to buy you a drink .
Pitch 613 Autotrail scout J8022. GBJ .
Regards John & Lucy .

by IMary Hartley

you keep mentioning British paper driving licences but I believe that these have not been legal for some years now.

by Ian and Anne SHEERMAN

Have used the vicarious books since there inception .
They have removed stress and enhanced our trips to SPain and Portugal and our son in DENMARK