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Five things you should know when travelling abroad

We all love to travel, but do you know what to do if things go wrong? When there is an emergency, your flight gets cancelled or you lose your passport? There are EU rules in place to make travellers´ lives easier. Here are a few key points to remember.

With the holiday season already starting and millions of Europeans intending on travelling within and outside the European Union, there are certain travel considerations that every European should be aware of. Whether these concern having a health insurance, resolving travel disputes with an operator or travelling with a pet, these tips provide a useful insight into the ways in which the EU is working to help and assist EU travellers.

If you are in need of emergency assistance (police, fire, medical):

  • call 112 – this is the free EU–wide emergency phone number which is also used in some countries outside the EU, such as Switzerland and South Africa

Don´t forget your free European health insurance card, which you can get from your national health insurance provider:

  • it entitles foreign travellers to urgent medical aid in all 28 EU member states plus in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland
  • under the same conditions and at the same cost (which in some countries means free) as people insured in that country

If your flight, train, bus or boat service is delayed or cancelled, you are entitled under EU rules to:

  • reimbursement in case of a long delay (at least one to five hours, depending on the transport mode), cancellation or denied boarding
  • assistance (from meals to hotels) while waiting for a delayed journey or rerouting

Learn more about your passenger rights.

If you are arrested, lose your passport or need other consular assistance outside the EU, but your country has no diplomatic mission in that country:

  • contact any other EU member state´s embassy or consulate
  • you are entitled to help from them under the same conditions as their nationals

Last but not least: no need to switch off your phone while in another EU member state because from 1 July 2014 you can talk and surf the internet at a lower cost than before. Learn more about new roaming charges.

In addition on 30 June Parliament and Council reached an informal deal to ban roaming fees for making mobile phone calls, sending text messages or using the internet while in another EU country from 15 June 2017.

Source: European Parliament 

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