Before you fly
Q: What are my duty free allowances?
A:Visit our shopping pages for information on customs allowances and also about the savings you can make when shopping at Gatwick.
Q: What ID do I need to travel?
A:If you are travelling internationally, a valid passport is normally required. For some countries your passport will need to be valid for at least six months after your intended return and you may also need a visa. Before travelling you should check your destination country's entry requirements and allow enough time to renew your passport and/or apply for a visa at the relevant embassy or consulate. Passports do get lost and although it will take time getting a replacement, you can make life easier by taking photocopies with you. It may also be worth carrying additional photographic ID separate from your passport.
For UK citizens – if your passport is lost or stolen you must report it to the UK Passport Service by calling 0871 875 6859. All travellers to the US wanting to travel on the visa waiver programme now need travel authorisation in advance, in addition to having a machine readable passport. The US Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorisation should be done in advance online, here.
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Q: My passport has expired/been lost/stolen. Who do I contact?
A:If you are a UK citizen/passport holder and your passport has been lost/stolen in the UK go to the www.ukpa.gov.uk for further instructions on reporting your missing passport and getting a replacement.
If you are a UK citizen/passport holder and your passport has expired you should also visit the UK Passport Agency website (see above) to find out how to renew your passport.
UK citizens who lose their passports while overseas should report the loss immediately to the local police and the relevant British consulate/embassy/high commission. A list of these can be found at www.britishembassy.gov.uk and it maybe worth noting the details of the nearest embassy to your destination before you travel.
Foreign nationals who lose their passport while in the UK should inform the local police and contact their relevant consulate/embassy.
Having photocopies of all important documents (passport, visas, tickets, European Health Card (EHIC), travel insurance, driving licence, etc.) and keeping them separate from the original documents, will help you resolve matters more speedily should you lose anything. If there are two or more people in your party you could exchange photocopies to minimise the chances of all documentation being lost.
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Q:What are the visa requirements for entry into the UK?
A:There are different requirements for entry into the UK depending on your nationality, country of residence, country of departure and the reason/duration of your visit. Please ensure you have the necessary documents/permissions before you travel or you could be refused entry into the UK. Further information can be found at www.ukvisas.gov.uk/.
You can also visit our Travel Guide section for your departure airport, where our partner Columbus Travel lists information on visa requirements for the UK and many other countries.
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Q:Where can I get advice about the safety of travel to foreign countries?
A:Please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website for information on the safety of destinations worldwide.
Q: What are the rules about travelling with a pet?
A: In a word – complicated. Rules about flying with animals vary from country to country and airline to airline, so you should make sure everything is organised before you travel.
We suggest you contact the authorities in the country heading to as well as asking your airline directly and also get advice from a specialist pet travel agency.
For passengers wanting to take a pet with them from the UK, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) can help with your questions – including information about the Pet Travel Scheme (which lets vaccinated and micro-chipped animals travel without having to be quarantined). Call them on +44 (0)20 7904 6347 or Fax +44 (0)20 7904 6395 or www.defra.gov.uk.
Rules apply to all animals – even guide and hearing dogs – although some airlines will let these travel in the cabin (providing they comply with all the Pet Travel Scheme rules).
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Q: What foods can I bring into the UK?
A: Visit the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website (www.defra.gov.uk) for full details about what you can bring in and what is banned, It is important that you do know the rules because any banned products you try and bring in will be seized and you may be prosecuted.