Simon Calder issues urgent warning Britons heading abroad – must tick two boxes


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Booking a holiday and heading to the airport only to be turned away because of a passport issue is an absolute travel nightmare. Simon Calder told Rip Off Britain how holidaymakers can ensure they can board smoothly without any passport problems.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the issue and expiry dates on passports.

But knowing what they are may mean be the difference between staying at home and heading on holiday.

Simon Calder stated: “There is some really, really awful information online but luckily it’s quite straightforward.

“Your British passport is valid for travel to the European Union if it meets two tests.

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“On the day that you intend to go out to the EU, has it had less than 10 years since it was issued?

“And on the day you intend to come back, has it got at least three months before its expiry date?”

He explained that if you can tick both boxes, you should be “absolutely fine”.

This requirement is a little different for children, as their passports automatically qualify for the first condition.


This is because kids’ passports are issued for a maximum of five years and nine months.

As for travel outside the European Union, different countries will have different rules.

As reported by the Post Office, for those visiting Australia, your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay.

This is the same for Canada, although if you have less than six months validity it may take longer to pass through immigration control.

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For both China and Egypt, your passport should have at least six months validity.

Britons travelling abroad are advised to check the guidelines for the relevant country they are visiting.

In addition to this handy passport information, Simon Calder gave Britons some insight into a cheap holiday destination they may not have thought of.

In terms of saving money, he stated: “If you’re going abroad you just have to be very careful about your choice of destination.

“I find, for instance, that Portugal is way cheaper than Spain or Italy. You can quite happily get a coffee for under one euro or a meal for €10 or less.”

He explained that a train from Faro to Lisbon, despite being almost a 200 mile distance, costs around £4.

He called the holiday destination “really good value”, and extended this claim to “anywhere that’s east of the former Iron Curtain.

He cited Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania as great value destinations.



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