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Experts Reveal Their Top Tips For Those Travelling Abroad To Visit Family This Christmas

If you’re planning on travelling abroad to visit friends and family this Christmas time, you need to make sure that you’re aware of any rules and regulations that may impact your journey.  The overseas property experts at YourOverseasHome.com have revealed their top tips for those travelling abroad to spend Christmas with family and friends.

From customs regulations, to visas and even declaring gifts, there are lots of things you can do to make sure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible, so as not to disrupt your festive celebrations. 

Christopher Nye, senior content editor at Your Overseas Home says: “Christmas is an exciting time for many, presenting the opportunity to spend time with family and friends who you may have not seen throughout the year. 

“However, if you’re travelling abroad to spend time with loved ones, you’ll have to prepare slightly more than you’d have to for a motorway road trip. 

“It’s essential that you declare any gifts that you’re planning on taking overseas, as you don’t want to have them taken away from you at the airport. My top tip would be to pack your wrapping paper in your suitcases so you can wrap any gifts once you land in your Christmas destination, just in case customs officials need to check over any of your items – you don’t want to be wrapping presents twice.”

Here are seven of Your Overseas Homes’ top tips for travelling abroad this Christmas season: 

  1. Research customs regulations

Before your trip make sure that you research the customs regulations of your destination country regarding the importation of gifts, alongside any other items that you may be travelling with. Check if there are any restrictions on specific items or limitations on the total value of gifts you can bring.

  • Keep receipts and packaging

With any gifts and high-value items that you’re travelling with, make sure you keep the receipts for the gifts you are taking with you as customs authorities may ask for proof of value, especially for expensive items. Also, it’s worth considering keeping gifts in their original packaging to facilitate the declaration process.

  • Declare your gifts

It’s important to be honest and declare all gifts you are carrying and to help with this, most countries have a declaration form that you need to fill out upon arrival. Declare the type, value and number of gifts as accurately as possible to avoid any issues with customs.

  • Be prepared for potential duties or taxes

Depending on the value of the gifts and the destination country’s regulations, you may be required to pay duties or taxes upon arrival. Familiarise yourself with the potential costs associated with the items that you’re bringing and have some local currency available for such payments if necessary.

  • Medications and prescriptions

Carry necessary medications in their original packaging, and bring copies of your prescriptions or doctor’s notes, especially for controlled substances.

  • Consider shipping gifts

If you are concerned about the hassle of declaring gifts or if they are particularly large or bulky, you might want to consider shipping them separately to your destination before your trip. Research shipping options and ensure they comply with customs regulations.

  • Check travel restrictions and entry requirements

Research and stay updated on the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements for your destination. These may include the need for specific documentation due to Brexit. 

Since Brexit, UK residents may experience changes in visa requirements or documentation, so make sure you have the necessary paperwork and valid passports.

Remember that specific travel guidance and requirements can change rapidly, so it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest information from official sources, such as the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the destination country’s embassy or consulate.