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How to plan ahead if you're travelling to Europe on 29 March or after

I am travelling to Europe on 29 March and am worried that we could still go out then with a hard Brexit.

I'm hoping for a delay, but what can I do to make sure I'm as prepared as possible for a no-deal exit?

There have been plenty of scare stories around about flights grinding to a halt on 29 March 2019 - but that's unlikely to happen

Sarah Davidson, of This is Money, replies: You are not alone in having this fear. Barely an hour goes by without yet another update, showdown or u-turn on how Government plans to deal with Brexit on 29 March.

It looks like Brexit might now be delayed but there is still a possibility that we will tumble out of the EU next week with no deal.

Political dilly-dallying aside, there has been considerable preparation done to try to avoid disruption to people travelling between Europe and the UK in the event that Britain exits the European trading bloc with no deal.

Some of this preparation should allow you to plan ahead, at least insofar as driving abroad, purchasing euros and making sure your travel insurance is valid are concerned.

We asked a travel expert from comparison website MoneySupermarket to give you a run down of what you need to know. Here's what they said.

You can still use your passport after Brexit

Don't worry - you'll still be able to use your current passport after 29 March 2019.

But you won't be able to use the EU passport channels at airports - so expect bigger queues and factor in more time to get past the border.

A bigger issue is that after 29 March 2019, British visitors to the EU will be limited to a stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

Will you need a visa to go to Europe after Brexit?

After 29 March 2019, there will be a transition period during which Brits won't need a visa to go to Europe. But that will change when the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is implemented in 2021.

From 2021, British travellers will need to complete an online ETIAS application form before going to Europe. It will cost EUR7 to register for three years and you'll need to do it 72 hours before you want to travel.

The ETIAS isn't a visa - it's a visa waiver and will work in a similar way to the ESTA visa-waiver scheme in the US.

Will flights be grounded on 29 March?

There have been plenty of scare stories around about flights grinding to a halt on 29 March 2019 - but that's unlikely to happen.

In short, airlines need permission to fly over other countries' airspace.

The UK government has said it would envisage granting permission to EU airlines to carry on as normal and would expect EU countries to reciprocate.

However, experts have warned about flight delays and disruption at airports in the days immediately after 29 March.

Can you claim if Brexit derails your plans?

PACKAGE HOLIDAYS ARE COVERED

Travellers can protect themselves by buying a packaged holiday as package travel regulations will remain in place.

These ensure you get a refund if Brexit (or anything else) results in your package holiday being cancelled by the tour operator.

Another option is only to book hotels with free cancellation - then you won't be liable for your room costs if travel delays result in you abandoning your trip.

Under the current EU regulation EC 261, passengers may be entitled to compensation of up to EUR600 for any flight delay of three or more hours, a cancelled flight or if they're denied boarding. These rules apply if the departure airport is within the EU, or the flight lands in the EU, and is operated by an EU-based carrier.

At this stage we don't know if the UK would apply to remain within the EC 261 jurisdiction.

Some transport providers have added 'Brexit clauses' to their terms and conditions. These generally state that they will not be liable for 'consequential losses' (such as hotel bookings and car hire) if travel plans are disrupted.

Although we still don't know exactly what will happen after 29 March 2019, it's highly likely you will need at least six months validity on your passport to travel to most countries outside of the UK.

Can I still drive in Europe?

At the moment UK drivers don't need any additional documentation to drive in Europe.

But this could change after Brexit.

How to plan ahead if you're travelling to Europe on 29 March or after

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, motorists driving their own car or a hire car are likely to need an International Driving Permit

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, motorists driving their own car or a hire car are likely to need an International Driving Permit (IDP) which costs GBP5.50 from select Post Offices.

There are two different IDPs used in various EU states so check which one you need before you set off and get it organised as far in advance as possible.

There might be changes to insurance too. Currently car insurance policies issued in the UK are valid throughout the EU as well as Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland.

But post-Brexit motorists are likely to need a 'green card' from their insurance company to prove they have third party insurance (the legal minimum level of cover to drive abroad).

There may be an admin charge for green cards - we don't know yet and it could vary between insurers.

When should I buy my euros?

Currency always fluctuates and it's hard to say when the best time is to change up your pounds into euros. If you're worried about rate changes, you could consider buying some currency now and the rest at a later date, or closer to your holiday.

How to plan ahead if you're travelling to Europe on 29 March or after

A credit card offers great protection for overseas spending, but make sure you choose one that won't charge you for spending abroad

The key to cost efficiency is planning ahead.

Too many of us leave picking up our currency to the last minute at the airport, where you're likely to get a much poorer exchange rate. Instead, you could pre-order cash online for home delivery or collection at the airport.

Another option is a pre-paid currency card, which is safer than carrying cash, can be topped up online and is likely to offer a more competitive exchange rate.

Alternatively, a credit card offers great protection for overseas spending, but make sure you choose one that won't charge you for overseas spending and avoid using it for cash withdrawals as you'll be charged interest from day one (even if you pay off the balance).

THIS IS MONEY'S FIVE TOP TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS AFTER BREXIT

This is Money has put together a checklist for you if you're holidaying in Europe in April.

1. If you're unsure, contact your travel insurance provider directly to find out what they will cover you for.

2.

Depending on whether you've booked yet, try to purchase everything for your holiday that costs over GBP100 on a credit card. If your holiday is affected by Brexit and you don't get what you bought, you're entitled to claim compensation under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act - a UK-based law that doesn't rely on the EU.

Remember to repay the full balance back at the end of the month though, to avoid paying hefty interest charges.

3. Apply for your international driving permit two weeks before travelling at a minimum if you plan to drive in Europe after Brexit.

4.

Apply for a green card from your car insurer if you plan to take your car to Europe after 29 March. You must do this a minimum of two weeks ahead. Even if you don't end up needing it, you'll be covered.

5.

Don't leave buying your euros until the airport.

The regulator has warned foreign exchange firms to treat customers fairly in the event of a no deal Brexit causing the pound to plummet.

But to be safe, start buying your currency now and plan to buy a set amount each week before you go to even out volatility.

THIS IS MONEY'S FIVE OF THE BEST HOLIDAY MONEY DEALS

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