Passports and Visas
All guests travelling to our centres in France require a valid passport (and visa if applicable). We recommend that you organise passports well in advance as it can take several months for passports to be issued.
Party Leaders should make sure of the status of members of the group – your local passport office can advise. Advice regarding travel documentation for stateless children can be found here.
All information you require is available on the Passport Office website.
There are two types of travel document:
- You'll need to have at least 3 months left on your passport, from your return date, to travel to most countries in Europe.
- If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months required.
Collective Passport - Valid for children under 18 years of age and of UK nationality travelling abroad with a Party Leader who is over 21 years of age and who holds a full UK passport. In most cases a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 50 passengers can be entered on a collective passport. If you choose to do a collective passport, please be aware it can take an additional 1 hour to get through customs at port. For groups with multiple coaches, we strongly advise you apply for 1 group passport per coach, in case the coaches get split up on the journey. Please see GOV.UK for details of how to apply. Please remember that you may be travelling to neighbouring countries to carry out excursions or as part of your route to France; these should be named on your collective passport. The authorities of the countries you travel through may also require extra copies of the collective passport; these will be supplied by the Passport Office, but you are advised to ask for sufficient copies.
It is the Party Leader’s responsibility to ensure that all party members are covered by a valid passport and carry this with them and that they have the correct documentation for every member of the group.
For groups travelling by ferry/Eurotunnel, please be aware that all party members will be required to disembark the coach for immigration checks.
For current visa information, please check with the embassy/consulate of the countries involved.
If members of your party require visas to enter other countries, please ensure that they have a visa for re-entry into the UK. Many non-EU passport holders require a visa to gain entry into France. Use this link to check whether a visa is required. Further information is available here
A European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is planned to be introduced in 2024, for travel to EU member states. It is anticipated that an ETIAS will be valid for 3 years and will cost 7 Euros, for under 18's it will be free. The ETIAS will need to be applied for before departure (online application) and will become obligatory. Further information about the ETIAS system can be found here.
For full details and latest travel advice, please visit the government website.
For further travel advice please see details from ABTA.
In addition to requiring parental consent for medical and health matters, you may also be required to provide evidence of consent to take the child out of the country. The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) offers the following advice on parental consent for crossing borders:
"Border officials in the UK and other countries monitor departing children because of concerns about child sexual exploitation and abduction, and occasionally ask for evidence of parental consent from all those with parental responsibility. Establishments should therefore consider carrying evidence of parental consent from all those with parental responsibility, for all children in the group, when travelling overseas."
For further guidance on overseas visits please visit the OEAP website.