There are a few things to think about before heading out on the trip to Europe that you planned. A part from who is going to take care of your stuff at home while you are away, or how many copies of the passport you should to print for safekeeping, there are also some fundamental rights, privileges and obligations to consider when travelling in the EU.

Documents

Check what travel documents you'll need to cross the border into another EU country. Find out what documents you need for your spouse, children or other relatives if they are not EU nationals.

Passenger name records (PNR)

PNR data is information provided by passengers during the reservation and booking of tickets and when checking in on flights, as well as collected by air carriers for their own commercial purposes. In 2011 the EU and the US agreed on a new PNR Agreement regulating the transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) by air carriers to the US. This agreement entered into force on 1 July 2012.

In sickness and in health

As an EU citizen, if you unexpectedly fall ill during a temporary stay abroad - whether on holiday, a business trip or to study - you are entitled to any medical treatment that can't wait until you get home. You have the same rights to health care as people insured in the country you are in. The European Health Insurance Card is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.

Smoke and drink

If you enter the EU from a non-EU country, goods having no commercial character in your personal luggage can be imported free of customs duties, VAT and excise duties within the limits. Visitors from outside the EU are entitled to get a refund of VAT paid on goods they have purchased during their stay in the EU provided that the goods are produced to Customs on departure from the EU together with the VAT refund documents. These documents are normally prepared by the merchant from whom the goods have been purchased, and the refund is made directly by the merchant, rather than the customs service.{adselite}

There are no limits on what private persons can buy and take with them when they travel between EU countries, as long as the products purchased are for personal use and not for resale, with exception of new means of transport. Taxes (VAT and excise) will be included in the price of the products in the Member State of purchase and no further payment of taxes can be due in any other Member State. However, special rules apply in the case of goods subject to excise duty, such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

Travelling with pets

In the European Union there is legislation on what action you need before you travel with your pet to another country. Non-commercial travel across borders within the EU are harmonised with legislation for three kids of animals; cats, dogs and ferrets. For any other pet you have, you should contact the destination country's authorities.

What you need

Entry into all Member States: Valid anti-rabies vaccination is the sole requirement as regards rabies.

Entry into Finland, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom: Dogs must be treated against the tapeworm Echinococcus. The treatment shall be administered by a veterinarian within a period of not more than 120 hours and not less than 24 hours before the time of scheduled entry into Finland, Ireland, Malta or the United Kingdom. The treatment shall be certified by the administering veterinarian in the relevant section of the passport.

More information on travelling with pets here.

Roaming charges

The European Union saw an end to roaming charges 15 June 2017. No extra charges when calling, texting andsurfing for people who periodically travel in the EU.

Further reading on your rights and obligations when travelling in Europe can be found in this brochure.

Bon voyage!