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Checklist for a hassle-free holiday - 23/07/2012

Flags of the EU’s 27 member countries on flagpoles © EU

EU agreements on borders, medical treatment, pets, roaming charges and passenger rights make travelling in Europe a lot easier.

You will need your ID card or passport – to board a plane, or to enter or leave Ireland, the UK, Bulgaria, Cyprus or Romania. Even if you're travelling between countries inside the EU's border-free area, it’s still a good idea to carry these documents in case you need to prove your identity for any reason.

Remember your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) When in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, you are entitled to the same health services and benefits as nationals of the country you are visiting.

Download a mobile healthcare app to help you navigate differences in rules among healthcare systems in various countries. It provides general information about the EHIC, emergency phone numbers, coverage, costs, reimbursement and who to contact in case it is lost or stolen.

Get a pet passport for cats, dogs – and ferrets! – travelling with you. This proves your animal has had its rabies vaccination. Check national rules before you travel. National rules also apply for other animals.

Contact your mobile phone operator. EU roaming rules protect you from “bill shock” when using your phone abroad. You can set higher or lower limits if you plan to use your phone a lot, especially for web and e-mail. Roaming charges for calls and texting have also been capped.

Note the EU’s emergency number: 112. Call this number if you have an emergency. It works in any EU country and operators speak a variety of languages, depending on the country.

Know your basic rights as an air or rail passenger You can also download the Commission’s new mobile app on passenger rights to have these at hand if you encounter problems.

Use the Commission’s information service, Europe Direct to find out more about what the EU can do for you. Queries are handled in all official EU languages.

Outside the EU you have the right to assistance from another EU country's embassy or consulate if your own country does not have one where you are.

More about travelling in Europe

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