1 In 10 Holidaymakers’ Travel Plans Affected By Expiring Passport

A new study by the UK’s fastest growing online independent travel agent has revealed that a tenth of British holidaymakers have previously planned or attempted to travel abroad with an expiring passport, only to discover they were unable to do so.

According to a study by a leading online independent travel agency, 8% of British holidaymakers have face passport expiry issues when attempting to travel abroad in the past. A further 24% thought you could travel using your passport right up until the date it expired on, which isn’t always the case.

The poll was conducted by www.sunshine.co.uk, in a bid to discover more about holidaymakers’ understanding of passport regulations and policies. 1,302 people in the UK subsequently took part in the study, each of whom had been on holiday in the past five years. Respondents were asked questions about their own passport knowledge and experiences.

When asked, ‘Has the expiry date on your passport ever affected your travel plans when you tried or planned to go abroad?’ 8% of those polled answered ‘yes.’ Total respondents were then asked to specify whether or not they were aware of how the expiry date on passports could affect travel.

A quarter, 24%, thought you could travel abroad using a passport providing you left before the date on which it expired. However, tourists often need up to 6 months left on their passport to travel to certain destinations.

To gain more of an understanding about holidaymakers’ knowledge of passport policies, sunshine.co.uk questioned respondents further. 13% of those polled thought Britons didn’t need a passport when travelling within Europe, whilst 3% thought it was possible to travel to the US without a passport, providing there was another form of photographic ID present.

Respondents were also asked about their knowledge of passport fees, should they need to renew it. The majority, 53%, of those asked thought a new adult passport or renewal cost ‘around £100’ which is more than the £77.50 it actually costs.

Chris Brown, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, commented on the findings:

“Our customer service team often receive enquires about passport regulations and it’s surprising how confused some people are on the matter. If you’re going on holiday, it’s important you do your homework and check that everything is in place to make your trip run smoothly.”

“You’d be surprised how common it is for people to turn up at the airport, only to be told they cannot fly because they only have a few months left before their passport expires.  Even if you are due to return to the UK before your passport expires, you often need a few months left on your passport to be able to travel in the first place.”