Know Your Rights When Travelling Abroad

Travelling abroad can often be a stressful time if an unexpected problem arises, whether it is falling ill, delayed flights or package holidays not going according to plan. If you are an EU citizen travelling within the European Union, you are entitled to many rights regarding these issues that you may be unaware of.

As an EU citizen, if you unexpectedly fall ill during a temporary stay in another EU country - whether on holiday, a business trip or studying abroad - you are entitled to any medical treatment that can’t wait until you get home. You have the same rights to health care as people insured in the country you are in.

You should always take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you on all trips abroad. This card is the proof that you are insured in an EU country.

If you don’t have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or you can’t use it (for instance, for private health care), you can’t be refused treatment, but you might have to pay for your treatment upfront and claim reimbursement once you get home. Find out more information here about health cover for temporary stays.

As an air passenger, you have many rights regarding issues such as extra costs, unexpected cancelled flights, compensation and refunds. Check out these FAQs regarding air passenger rights for more information about your rights when flying.

As a holidaymaker booking a package holiday and/or linked travel arrangements, you benefit from a high level of consumer protection under EU rules. If you buy a package, you have well-defined rights before and throughout the booking process, and up until your holiday ends, for example the right to pre-contractual information, the organiser’s liability for the proper performance of travel services included in your package and insolvency protection. These rights apply to packages purchased online or face-to-face, from a tour operator, travel agent, or any other trader that is acting as the organiser of the package. More limited rights apply to so-called “linked travel arrangements” (LTAs). Click here to learn what rights you have when buying a package holiday.

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