It can be cheaper to fly to Berlin for the weekend than get a train from London to Cornwall these days, so it’s no wonder we’re all jetting off on European breaks on no frills airlines.
But when you mark your ballot paper on June 23 you might want to consider whether Britain leaving the EU would have an impact on your summer holiday.
According to a survey conducted by travel insurance company Holiday Safe, 33% of UK travellers say that ease of travel in the EU has a bearing on how they will vote in the EU Referendum.
According to the Treasury’s research, a Brexit vote could cause the pound to fall by 12%, increasing the cost of accommodation, food and drinks for those travelling overseas.
Travel money provider FairFX says this could see the daily spend of a European break rising to nearly £100 a day at the most expensive destinations. They say, post-Brexit, a European holiday could cost nearly £10 a day more – totalling £70 per person for a week’s break or £280 for a family of four.
Another issue concerning holidaymakers is a potential hike in flight prices.
Budget airline agreements for new routes and reduced fares was all set with the help of the EU removing old restrictions on air service agreements and introducing more open competition on routes between EU countries.
The single aviation area gives airlines freedom to fly across Europe and, since it’s introduction by the EU, decades of restrictions that had previously limited air transport markets and prevented cross-border investment by European airlines have been removed.
It means, in the case of Brexit, the agreements might have to be renegotiated. And if competition is reduced, fares could increase.
Andrew Shelton, MD of the global flight search and travel deals platform Cheapflights.co.uk, said: “We saw an increase in searches for flights to European destinations of over 40% when the referendum was announced in February as Brits looked to book flights before a potential price hike in the event of a Brexit.
“Since then, demand has steadied to a 20-22% increase year on year. That suggests Brits are concerned by the potential for an increase in flight prices – but there is a lot of uncertainty.”
There’s also the potential loss of benefits which EU membership has afforded over the years, like the EU directive which sets out requirements by law for compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled. If we were to leave the EU we may not be entitled to compensation at all for flights from the UK to a European country.
The European Health Insurance Card is another benefit we have of currently being in the EU – giving UK citizens free or reduced cost treatment in other EU countries.
And even Instagramming your Spanish beach selfies could cost more. The EU is responsible for plans to abolish mobile roaming charges by June 2017, so we won’t benefit from that if we leave.
It’s not all about added expense though. The EU set out requirements for higher standards of beaches and water quality and England’s beaches have improved, with a sharp reduction in sewage pollution around our own coastlines, to meet tough EU standards.
And it works both ways. Research commissioned by travel deal website Travelzoo, in conjunction with Bournemouth University, suggested that leaving the EU could cost as much as £4.1 billion a year in international tourist spending. The research, conducted in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, found that a third of Italian, Spanish and German travellers – and a quarter of French – say they will be less inclined to travel to the UK if Britain votes to leave Europe.
Better book a £12 flight before June 23 then!