Going on holiday is an exciting time but sometimes it can be a little stressful. We’ve pulled our top three most frequently asked questions to give you that added peace of mind before you jet off to distant shores.
This information was correct at the time of writing – for the most up-to-date passport information, please see our FAQs page.
-How long can you use your passport before it expires?
Each country has its own regulations and conditions regarding passport validity. Most European countries allow a British passport to travel up to the expiry date shown. However some countries require you to have a minimum of three to six months left on your passport to be able to enter. Some longer haul destinations may also stipulate extra conditions such as black pages in your passport. For up-to-date information on passport validity including requirements set by each country please see the Gov.uk website.
-Do my children need their own passports?
Yes – all British citizens need to have their own separate passport. Children under the age 16, including newborn babies, must hold a child passport which is valid for five years.
-When should I renew my passport?
It is usually best to start your passport application around eight months before your current passport expires. The application process should take around three weeks but can occasionally take a little longer so it’s best to be safe as you may require a full 6 months left on your passport to make it valid for travel into certain countries.
Tobacco and cigarette duty free allowances
-From countries within the EU
When buying tobacco and cigarettes from countries within the EU, you will have paid the correct duty or tax upon purchase. Because of this, there is no set limit on the amount of tobacco you can bring back into the UK. However, you are more likely to be asked questions if you are carrying over;
1kg of Tobacco
Remember tobacco products cannot be sold on in the UK. Anything brought in must be for personal use or intended as a gift. For customs purposes the Canary Islands, the north of Cyprus and the Channel Islands are not part of the EU and fall under the ruling for countries outside the EU.
-From countries outside of the EU
When buying tobacco and cigarettes from countries outside of the EU, you will not have paid the correct duty or tax. Due to this, any passenger is only permitted to bring the following into the UK;
250g of Tobacco
For customs purposes the Canary Islands, the north of Cyprus and the Channel Islands are not part of the EU and fall under this ruling.
Laptops and electrical devices on planes
Each airline may have different restrictions for electrical items or devices that are allowed as hand luggage. This may also differ depending on the flight origin. Flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have specific restrictions that also apply to connecting flights regardless of their original origin.
Flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia state that items such as laptops, tablets and e-readers must be placed in hold luggage if they are larger than any of the measurements listed below. Accessories such as external hard drives, keyboards and power supplies must also fit within these guidelines.
16cm in length
9.3cm in width
1.5cm in depth
Please note flights from Antalya, Bodrum, Istanbul Sadiha Gökçen or Izmir airports in Turkey and Luxor, Hurghada or Marsa Alam airports in Egypt do not follow these guidelines. Instead, follow the restrictions for all other flights to the UK.
All other flights to the UK allow the following to be taken in hand luggage; mobile phones, laptops, tablet devices, mp3 players, hairdryers and straighteners, travel irons, electric shavers and E-cigarettes. Spare battery packs, portable chargers and E-cigarettes must be taken in carry-on luggage only.
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