If you’re heading abroad soon, it’s a good idea to check certain things about your destination ahead of time.
For one, it’s best to be on top of your jabs, so check what vaccinations you may need. Whether or not you need visas or authorisation to travel is another - even if you’re only making a changeover.
We've checked the visa requirements for the top 40 destinations from the UK. There's presently no visa required for the lion’s share of these, although some do have other hoops to jump through before you'll be authorised to enter. We'll go into them here.
The following assumes you’re a British passport holder.
USA & Canada
The United States is the fourth most popular destination for outbound travellers from the UK.
Although visas aren't required to travel to the States for trips of less than 90 days, you do need electronic authorisation for each before you'll be allowed through immigration. For the USA, you need to complete and application for an ESTA.
What is ESTA?
An ESTA is a mandatory travel authorisation needed if you're visiting America by sea or air. At the time of writing, an ESTA to USA costs $14 online and be sure to only apply through the official ESTA website as some sites cash in on unsuspecting tourists by charging a checking fee.
ESTA - when to apply
It's absolutely vital you do this ahead of time otherwise you could be sent back to where you came from. And this is the case even if you're only landing in the US to make a connecting flight. It's recommended you apply at least 72 hours before your trip.
How long does an ESTA last?
Your ESTA covers you for multiple trips over a two-year period from the date it's approved, or until your passport runs out - whichever's first.
Canada has a very similar system called eTA, and it costs $7 CAD. Again, be sure to apply through the official eTA website.
You don’t need a visa for up to three months’ tourism in Morocco. However, be sure to get your passport stamped, as some travellers have experienced trouble attempting to leave when they couldn’t show a stamp.
United Arab Emirates
Off to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or any of the other Emirates? You apply for a visitor’s visa on entry, which is valid for 30 days. It can be extended for a further 30 days for a fee.
There’s a visa exemption for 30 days’ visit to Thailand, meaning you can travel visa-free for that period. Longer stays require a 30-day extension on top.
Overstaying will incur a fine, and you risk being detained and deported at your own expense.
No visa is required for up to three months.
Yes, you’ll definitely need a visa. There are a number of different types, so be sure to get the right one for your type of visit and duration. You can apply via the Indian High Commission.
You’ll most likely need a visa for Egypt. Although it’s possible to get one on arrival, it’s better to organise one ahead of time via the Visa2Egypt website. This’ll save you any potential complications on arrival. It lasts for three months.
You’ll definitely need a visa for entry to Cuba. There’s a tourist visas card to apply for. There are also other visas for different types of traveller, so be sure to get the correct one. Contact the Cuban Embassy to get the right one.
You can visit Jamaica for 90 days without a visa. The date you need to leave by will be stamped in your passport. Beyond that, you should get in touch with the Jamaican Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency.
You need a visa to visit Oz. You can get a three-month eVisitor visa from the Australian Department of Home Affairs for free. Otherwise you can apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) through your travel agent or airline. A service fee is likely to apply, usually $20 AUD.
You can visit Mauritius visa-free for 60 days, but you’ll need to show evidence or return or onward travel.
Although you don’t need a visa, you’ll be granted a period for which you’re allowed to stay, and will need to contact the Barbados Immigration Department if you want to stay longer.
EU visa after Brexit
As we're still in the transitional period after leaving the EU, visitors can enjoy visaless travel around the EU until at least 31 December 2020.
From 1 January 2021, visitors can travel to countries in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland for short trips without a visa. This means you can travel for up to 90 days in any 180 day period.
Read more about this and other changes to European travel in our guide: Travel in Europe from 2021.