Welcome to the February edition of the newsletter. Regular readers will notice that we are doing it slightly differently this month. Rather than our usual PDF, we will now be putting the newsletter straight onto our website. You will still get your reminders every month via email and it will still contain all the information it used to - just in a different format.
Well we were all hoping that this year wasn't going to start like this - but here we are. We remain hopeful here at Crossings HQ that we will get back to normal at some point this year. Our NHS are doing a great job getting everyone jabbed and in the meantime we are embracing new forms of entertainment.
Next week sees the first Crossings tour leader quiz, with all five couples taking part. If I win, I will let you know next month. If not, we will not speak of it again.
Take care and we will see you soon: Bob & Wendy, Dave & Sue, Colin & Sue, Gary & Eleanor, Ian & Linda.
Travel in 2021
We were hoping for a little more clarity by now, but it seems that we are faced with yet more uncertainty when it comes to travel during 2021.
Although there is now some positive progress in terms of our vaccination programme, we do not yet know when restrictions will be lifted by the FCDO, the government agency that advises on travel.
We have always erred on the side of caution here and will only travel when it is legal and safe to do so. Consequently, we have to remain patient as we wait to see what might happen as the year progresses.
If you do have a tour booked this year, we would encourage you to get in touch to discuss your options, particularly if you are booked in the first half of the year. Remember that your money remains safe at all time and you always have the option of transferring to another tour later in the year, or in 2022.
With that in mind we fully expect to be extending our range of tours as the year progresses. We already have plans to extend our season well into the Autumn, so please keep an eye on the newsletter for the latest information.
Thankfully we do now have a little more clarity when it comes to travelling in Europe post-Brexit. As we now have a Brexit deal, it means that travel is a lot easier than it might have been. Here's a brief summary. If you want full details, your best port of call is the foreign travel advice section on the GOV.UK website.
Passports: must have six months minimum left and be less than ten years old.
The European Health insurance Card (EHIC) has been replaced by the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This offers the same protection as before and does NOT replace the need for travel insurance.
You can stay for 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa. Some countries we travel to e.g. Croatia do not count towards your 90 days.
Phone roaming charges should not be increasing though you should check with your provider.
If you are travelling with pets, the Animal Health Certificate replaces the Pet Passport Scheme. Contact your vet for details at least one month before travel.
You do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) providing that you have a photo licence.
You may need a green card from your insurer - check with them before travel.
You do not need a GB sticker as long as your number plate has GB on it (except in Spain).
There are new restrictions on certain food and drink items being carried from UK to the Continent. Most products of animal origin and fruit are banned, so it will be a trip to the hypermarket when you get there!
You may need proof of where you are staying and that you can support yourself financially for the duration of your trip.
Here's a list of links kindly provided by tour leader (and quiz-master) Colin:
This month's motorhome tip
There is a new law in France whereby all vehicles over 3.5t (including motorhomes) must display blind-spot stickers when travelling through 'urban environments'. There is a fine of up to 135 euros for not displaying the stickers.
There are a few stipulations in terms of how big the stickers need to be and where they must be placed. A useful article on the subject can be found here: https://www.itthub.net/the-bigger-picture/health-safety/blind-spot-stickers-now-the-law-for-all-vehicles-over-3-5t-used-in-france/
Stickers can be purchased for as little as £5 for 3 on eBay, so we would strongly advise all drivers of motorhomes over 3.5t to get some.
Keep in touch
Please feel free to contact us at any time. When we are away, calls will bounce to our mobiles at no expense to yourself.