European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Essentials for your trip

Almost ready to go! Before you do, here are some of the most important points on travelling abroad.

Your European Health Insurance Card
When travelling to another country there’s a million things to remember, not to mention your ID/passport. But it’s also a good idea to think about what can happen once you arrive. If you fall ill while away, your ID won’t be enough – you’ll need your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

This card is designed to ensure that you can obtain medically necessary, state‑provided healthcare while holidaying, studying or volunteering anywhere in the EU (as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) should you unexpectedly get sick.

The EHIC doesn’t replace travel insurance, but while you are in a foreign country it guarantees you medical treatment under the same conditions and at the same cost as locals insured in that country. If the medical treatment is free for local residents, you will not have to pay. If the country requires payment, you can either ask for reimbursement there, or put in a claim with your health insurer back home. Always remember that the expenses are reimbursed according to the rules of the country where you receive the treatment and each country’s healthcare system is different. So, services that cost you nothing at home might not be free in another country.

It’s advisable that you take up an additional health insurance, particularly for situations that are not covered by the EHIC. For example, if you need a rescue team, private healthcare or a trip to come back home that is not covered by the EHIC. This service is available to anyone insured by or covered by a state social security system in the EU 27, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. The personal card can be easily obtained from your local health authority in your country of residence – just check out your national service online.

Your Travel Documents
Certain forms of ID are required when travelling throughout Europe, so be sure to have your passport and another form of national ID with you! Remember that when travelling to or from a non-Schengen country you must show a valid ID or passport. Before travelling, check what documents you must have to travel outside your home country and to enter the non-Schengen country you plan to visit. For example, Swedish citizens should always travel with their passport.

Keep these documents safe, zipped up and hard to get to. It is also a good idea to have a scanned copy of these documents accessible by you or someone you can contact in case of emergency.

Should you get into difficulty, knowing your national embassy/consulate in your destination country can come in handy. You can search for their location through the European Commission’s consular protection website.

Roaming and Phone Usage
There are no longer any roaming charges for EU residents travelling periodically within the EU. You will be able to use your mobile phone with the SIM card from your country of residence when you travel to other EU countries, with the same prices and allowances for calls, texts and data usage that you have at home.

This means you have no excuse for not staying in touch and sharing your experiences with friends and family!

Getting in touch with the EU
Should you need any other contact info, look no further :

  • On the phone or by email: Eurodesk is a youth information service that answers your questions about European opportunities (e.g. European programmes for volunteering, studying or doing an internship abroad). You can contact the closest Eurodesk infopoint via the interactive map (
  • Online: Information in all the official languages of the European Union is available on the Europa website.
  • In person: All over Europe there are hundreds of local EU information centers.
  • On the phone or by emailEurope Direct is a service which answers your questions about the European Union. You can contact this service by Freephone: 00 800 67 89 10 11 (certain mobile phone operators do not allow access to 00800 numbers or may charge for these calls) or by email.
  • Read about Europe: Publications about the EU are only a click away on the EU Bookshop website.
  • European Commission Representations: The Commission representation offices act as the Commission’s voice and monitor public opinion in their host country. They provide information on the EU through events and the distribution of brochures, leaflets and other materials.
  • European Parliament Information Offices: Their role is to raise awareness of the European Parliament and the European Union and to encourage people to vote in European parliamentary elections.

Published: Tue, 30/10/2018 - 15:10

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