It’s time for a vacation and you’re preparing to go abroad. Here are some tips before traveling across Europe to avoid unexpected situations. Formalities, rental conditions, traffic rules, emergency calls … Ouest-France offers nine tips to leave with peace of mind.
1. Apply for your European Health Insurance Card
The CEAM is blue and gray on a background of stars and in the format of a credit card. It makes it possible to benefit from medical care during stays (holidays, for professional reasons, etc …) in all the countries of the Union. Valid for two years, this card is nominative and individual, which means that each member of the family must have his own. If the card can not be issued before your departure (as requested less than 10 days before your departure), a temporary replacement certificate (CPR) valid for 3 months can be given.
The CEAM guarantees direct access to the public health system in another European country, without any prior steps in it. You will enjoy the same benefits as for the insured of the country of stay. This card also covers chronic or pre-existing diseases as well as pregnancy and childbirth. After that, it depends on the legislation of the country: either you do not advance any expenses, or you pay first before being reimbursed thereafter.
2. Learn the European emergency number, 112
When you are in a country where you do not speak the language, you still have to be able to contact the fire department, the police or the health services, in case of emergency. Adopted at the European level in 1991, this number enables people in distress to reach a country’s emergencies free of charge throughout the European Union (EU), as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway. (for the font only), recalls Touteleurope.eu website.
Depending on the country, 112 is used either as the main national emergency number (in Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and Malta) or as a supplementary number to reach the different services of the country. emergency. In 2018, this issue has been called 140 million times in the EU, according to the European Commission, and accounts for almost half of all emergency calls.
When calling 112, an operator answers and can process your call in multiple languages. Your contact will answer you in the language of the country you are in, or in English most of the time. It transfers, if necessary, your call to the competent emergency service. It is strongly recommended that you provide your name, address, and telephone number. Better to learn, before going to pronounce them or spell them in English.
3. Check the validity date of your identity card
Currently, some countries accept the “outdated” document: Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Tunisia, and Turkey, recalls L’Soir du Soir. But others refuse Lithuania, Norway, and Belgium. While others still maintain the vagueness such as Germany, Austria, Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
4. Adapt to the local highway code
Remember to take your valid French driving license, your vehicle registration certificate and a European report in the event of an accident. In Northern and Eastern Europe, as well as in Portugal, the dipped beam headlamps must remain permanently lit. In Lithuania, this obligation only runs from November to the end of February. The easiest way is to adapt to the vehicles circulating around you.
For speed, if the traffic in the agglomerations is generally the same (50 km / h), the rules can be very different for motorways: without limitation in Germany (but beware of the poor quality of the bitumen), 80 km / h for Malta, 120 km / h in Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal … It is better, therefore, to inquire before according to the country of destination.
Attention also, to the authorized blood alcohol level. It is zero grams in Estonia, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary. A rate of 0.8 g of alcohol per liter of blood is tolerated in Cyprus, a few grams more than in France (0.5 g).
Also, ask for the necessary safety equipment. Thus in Norway, a flashlight is mandatory in addition to the safety vest and the warning triangle. In Germany, it is a first aid kit, while in the UK, you need a fire extinguisher and spare bulbs in addition.
5. Do not ask for a phone plan change
It is not necessary to change the package when traveling in the European Union since the end of the “roaming”, the surcharge applied by operators when calling to France from abroad. Same for your SMS and the use of 3G. However, your consumption will be limited by your package.
Since May 15, the cost of a call to another EU country can not exceed 19 cents excluding VAT per minute.
6. You are handicapped, carry your mobility card inclusion
The inclusion mobility card (MIC) Parking replaces mention for disabled people or their carers, since 1 st January 2017, the title formerly known as “parking card”, which remains valid until 2026. It offers free to use, and without limitation, all parking spaces open to the public. It is valid in all the countries of the European Union but remains unknown.
In case of travel abroad, it is better to contact the embassy of the country to make sure of the regulations and especially to affix next to the map the flyer relating to this CMI in the spoken language of the country visited (download free from the European Commission website).
7. Gather evidence in case of a claim
Even if your accommodation has been booked for a long time, you are not safe from a bad surprise, once there. Then determine what the problem is, recommends the European Consumer Center, to find out who to make your complaint. If the problem concerns the reservation made via a platform, it is to her that it will be necessary to address your complaint. If the problem affects the housing itself or the promised benefits, your claim must go to the hotel or the owner of the accommodation, while informing the platform of your approach.
If the accommodation does not match the description, gather evidence (photos, videos, testimonials …) of the deficiencies or defects found to be able to make your claim. Then send your complaint in writing (email, SMS …) to keep proof of your claim. You can request a replacement home if the accommodation is really not in accordance with its description when booking, or a partial refund of the rental price.
Please note that online reservations for hosting services with private individuals, even via an Airbnb- type platform, do not benefit from the withdrawal period. They do not depend on the law of consumption. They may be paid or subject to cancellation fees, the amount of which is determined by the professional. You can also download the application of the European Consumer Center to have a few sentences translated in advance to be sure to make you understand to your interlocutor.
8. Check your luggage before leaving
First, make sure that your carry-on luggage complies with the company’s rules for weight and size. If you are refused for the cabin, you will have to pay extra checked baggage or you may miss the flight. And it’s not because your baggage is spent on the way out that it will pass at the time of the check back.
In-cabin baggage, passengers may not carry any container exceeding a capacity of 100 milliliters. This rule applies to all liquids (perfumes, toiletries …), except exceptions such as drugs and baby food. Do not bring sharp, sharp objects (compass, scissors) and remember to take out your electronic devices at the time of the security check.
For baggage in the hold, do not put any fragile, valuable, valuable or indispensable items (jewelry, important medications, wedding dress, tablet, camera, sunglasses …). The airlines generally exclude from their responsibility these objects placed in the hold. If your flight is complete, and there is more room in the cabin for your carry-on baggage, the company can offer you to place it in the hold for the duration of the flight and without supplement. If necessary, remember to remove valuables from your suitcase (computer, tablet, camera, etc.) and take them with you inside the cabin.
9. Immediately report the loss of your luggage
Baggage is considered delayed when it is not present when you get off the plane but it is delivered to you later. If this period has forced you to buy necessities, you can ask the airline for reimbursement upon presentation of the invoices. You have 21 days to complain in writing to the carrier.
If you notice that your baggage is not there on arrival, report it immediately to the counter of the company that made the last flight so that it can register your claim and if necessary start searching for your luggage.