Going on a trip? Take these tips with you!
If I need help outside Europe but my country has no embassy or consulate there, what do I do?
Go to any other EU Member State's consulate or embassy to ask for help, if for example you are arrested, have a serious accident or lose important documents. You also have the right to assistance in crisis situations, for example if you need to be evacuated.
You can find out if your country is represented at your destination on the European Commission's consular protection website.
What should I do if I get lost?
Call 116 000 for help. Try to find a police officer.
If you are travelling with a younger sibling make sure you always have a "go-to spot" in case you lose each other. Teach your siblings that if they get lost, they are to look for a police officer. If they don't see a police officer, they should approach another mum with a child and tell her that they are lost. If they are near a telephone they should know that they can also call 116 000 and someone will come to help them. When you notice they are missing go to the last place you saw them or to a place where they might think to go.
If I have problems with an airline, a car rental company or a tour operator, who can help me?
Which specific provisions apply if I am a disabled traveller?
You can check the specific information for travelling by air or by train. If you are travelling by car and entitled to use disabled parking facilities in your home country, the EU standard model for disabled parking cards allows you use parking facilities granted to the disabled in other EU countries too.
What do I need to know if I want to take my pet with me on holiday in the EU?
A valid anti-rabies vaccination must be entered into your pet passport and if you travel to Ireland, Finland, Malta or the UK your pet will also need to undergo anti-parasite treatment. These rules are only applicable to dogs, cats and ferrets. For young dogs or cats or any other types of pets, you should check with the competent authorities of the EU country that you are planning to visit.
If you are coming back home from outside the EU, along with the pet passport and the anti-rabies vaccination, your pet might need to undergo tests and wait for three months before entering the EU.
If you are a resident of Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican City State holding a pet passport for your pet you are entitled to travel with your pet within the EU.
For more information read about the movement of pets.
Can I bring back some meat or cheese from my holidays abroad?
You can transport animal products between countries inside the EU as well as Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland.
However, if you are returning home from most countries outside the EU, it is illegal to bring back any meat or dairy products.
For more information on these rules, check out the travel Europa website!
I had problems shopping abroad. Who can I contact when I'm back home?
If you live in the EU, Norway or Iceland, and you bought goods or services from traders based in these countries, you can get free of charge assistance when back home! Contact the European Consumer Centre (ECC) in your country.
The shoes I bought abroad were broken after one week; what do I do?
No matter where you shop within the EU, you have basic consumer rights that cannot be taken away. With the 2-year guarantee the seller must repair or replace faulty goods free of charge. If that is not possible within reasonable time or without inconvenience, you may ask for a refund or a price reduction.
What happens if I need to see a doctor abroad?
If you are travelling to an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, don't forget to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you! The card will help you save time, hassle and money if you fall ill or suffer an injury while abroad. This free card guarantees you have access to urgent treatment under the same conditions and at the same cost as people insured in the country you are visiting.
You can download an application for your smartphone which will give you general information about the card, emergency phone numbers, treatments that are covered and costs, how to claim reimbursement and who to contact in case you have lost your card. Keep in mind that this app does not replace the EHIC!
If you are travelling outside the EU it is advisable you take up a separate international medical insurance.
This article is based on the information provided by the European Commission at Holiday season: useful tips for a worry-free summer