In light of the changes that are currently happening in the EU, and with the UK leaving the European Union, there is a lot of confusion surrounding visas. Until the UK left the EU, travelling between the UK and EU countries was simple and straightforward, and visas were not required for holidaymakers. This was because there is a lot of freedom and flexibility of movement between member states, and you could travel from one to another on holiday without having to factor in any kind of restrictions. Now that the UK is no longer part of this, it’s thrown visa requirements into question.
Before you travel to Portugal, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations surrounding doing so. Though they have not changed drastically, it’s helpful to know what to expect. Of course, the following information is liable to change at any time, so it’s always a good idea to check the most recent updates before organising your travel.
Do UK Citizens Need a Visa to Holiday in Portugal?
If you are travelling from the UK, you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without needing a visa. Portugal is part of the Schengen area, so you won’t need a visa if you’re simply heading there for a family holiday or to do a bit of travelling. This applies if you travel as a tourist on holiday, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, sports events, or for short-term studies or training. As long as you do not spend more than 90 days in Portugal over the course of 180 days, you won’t need to apply for a visa. However, if you want to stay longer – which is unlikely if you are heading to Portugal on holiday – you will need to look into entry requirements set out by the Portuguese government.
When you arrive in Portugal, your passport will be stamped by a border officer, and the same will happen again when you leave. This is used to determine how long you have spent in the country.
What Do You Need to Travel to Portugal as a Holidaymaker?
Though you do not need a visa to travel to Portugal on holiday, you do need a valid passport. This means following the Schengen area passport requirements, which state that it must be issued less than 10 years before the date that you enter Portugal. You will also need to have at least three months left on your passport after the day you plan to leave. Before you travel, make sure to check that your passport meets these requirements.
You might also be asked to show a return ticket or a ticket for an onward journey when you arrive in Portugal, though this is not always the case. You could also be asked to show that you have enough money for your stay, but this is unlikely.
If you are travelling to Portugal with a child that’s aged 17 or under, and you are not the legal guardian or parent, you need to have permission for their child. This is something to think about if you are going away on a family holiday, and one of your children is bringing a friend. It’s important to have a letter of authorisation to travel from their parents or guardian. The letter should have various pieces of information on it, such as the adult in Portugal who will be responsible for them during their stay and contact details of the parent or guardian at home. Though you might not be asked to show this when you leave the UK or enter Portugal, not having it could hinder your holiday plans.
Is Travelling to Portugal Easy?
A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that travelling to Portugal is difficult, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite no longer being part of the EU, the UK makes it very easy to travel to and from Portugal. You don’t need a visa or any special permissions, you simply need a valid passport for travel. It’s just as easy as travelling to anywhere else in Europe. This is why Portugal is such a popular holiday destination. Instead of having to navigate a complex visa process, you can book a holiday and go without a second thought.
Not only are there dozens of flights to Portugal from the UK, but the flight time is short. You can travel from the UK to Portugal, and start enjoying some time in the sun, in a matter of hours. There is also no time difference between Portugal and the UK, meaning you won’t find yourself having to get over jet lag, nor will you need to worry about changing to kids’ body clocks.
One thing that we do recommend organising before you travel to Portugal is travel insurance. Like anywhere else, Portugal is a safe and organised place to holiday. It’s unlikely that anything will go wrong and, as is often the case, you won’t actually need to use your travel insurance. However, there is no knowing when something could go wrong. If you have travel insurance, you are covered financially should you need to be. Travel insurance is there to cover medical costs, lost luggage, cancelled flights and cancelled accommodation. If anything goes wrong on your holiday, or you are going to be left financially out of pocket for something that’s out of your control, travel insurance can step in and help.