Travellers have been warned by the government not to book a holiday abroad until they have checked that their passport is valid and in date.
With the winter months dragging, and the dark nights still looming, many may be looking to plan their holidays for some escapism from the British winter. However, the government has warned holidaymakers not to book travel until they have checked their passports are valid. Travellers need at least three months until the expiry date to travel to the EU, and to many other countries such as the USA they will be required to have six months’ validity.
Some airlines, including EasyJet and British Airways, ask that you have a valid passport before you even get on their websites. Meanwhile, the government website says: “Do not book travel until you have a valid passport - your new passport will not have the same number as your old one.”
When you book a holiday abroad, you need to input your passport number, so doing these things in the wrong order could cause a lot of inconvenience and possibly extra cost if you need to amend a booking. It takes about 10 weeks to get a new passport, so it’s important to check it’s in date before booking.
Travellers going abroad can apply for a new passport on the government website or pick up an application form from your local Post Office to apply by post. However, from February 2 passport prices have increased for the first time in five years.
Passport fee increase - what it means
The passport fee increase will come into force on February 2 and will affect all applications, including children and priority orders. The proposals, which are subject to parliamentary scrutiny, will include the following:
- Standard online applications made from within the UK will rise from £75.50 to £82.50 for adults and £49 to £53.50 for children.
- Postal applications will increase from £85 to £93 for adults and £58.50 to £64 for children. Priority service fees are being aligned so all customers will pay the same.
The government has said the increased costs will help the Home Office move towards a system that meets its costs through those who use it, reducing reliance on funding from general taxation. The higher fees will also contribute to the cost of processing passport applications, consular support overseas, including for lost or stolen passports, and the cost of processing British citizens at UK borders.
How to apply for a new passport
To apply for a new passport visit the government website.