The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which conducted the survey of more than 1,600 England, Northern Ireland and Wales fans, has urged all supporters to make sure they prepare and plan ahead so they can enjoy a trouble-free holiday.
To help travelling fans the FCO has compiled ’11 top tournament travel tips’ as part of its ‘Be On The Ball’ campaign. They are as follows:
Check out the latest travel advice for France and information on the different regions, laws and customs
Book somewhere to stay before you arrive. Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to travel and the demand for beds will be high
Ensure that you have an European Health Insurance Card. Check that it hasn’t expired and understand what it covers
Take out comprehensive travel insurance and ensure it covers you for all the activities you plan to do
Get your tickets from a credible source. Selling tickets outside the stadiums is illegal in France
France has different rules to the UK so do your research before hitting the road
Look after your passport while travelling and keep it in a safe place. Make two copies of it and take one with you
There are likely to be long queues to access public transport, stadiums and Fanzones so arrive early. Follow advice and instructions from the local authorities
Fans deemed to have drunk too much alcohol may not be allowed into the stadiums or Fanzones
If things don’t go to plan
For an emergency dial 112. For consular assistance, for example if you lose your passport, dial +33 (0)1 44 51 31 00
Sign up to travel advice alerts at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
John Sykes, football liaison officer in the British Embassy in Paris, says: “Tickets or not, we’re expecting thousands and thousands of British supporters to make the short trip across the channel and take in the competition, and we want all of them to have the best possible time – regardless of their team’s results!
“However, we expect the demand for accommodation to be high, and we encourage fans to think ahead, get their tactics right, and ensure they book all their accommodation and travel in advance.”
The survey shows the 57% of fans plan to travel without a ticket. Of those, 29% will try to purchase tickets at the ground, and 51% plan to go to designated fan zones to watch the games. The rest will head to bars and pubs (13%) or seek other alternative viewing options (7%).
It also indicates that the majority of fans have already been making proper preparations – almost three-quarters (73%) plan to take out comprehensive travel insurance, and 79% will research the local area before they depart. Two thirds (66%) have already booked their accommodation – but a fifth (22%) of those surveyed do not plan to book somewhere to stay until they arrive in France.
Martin Redmond, from the FCO’s ‘Know Before You Go’ team, adds: “It’s great that so many fans are already thinking about how they will prepare for their trip to France. We want everyone to enjoy the competition, whether it’s in the stadiums, fan zones or local bars.
“But wherever they plan to be, it’s important that supporters do the right pre-tournament preparations, like taking out comprehensive travel insurance, getting a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and ensuring your passport is valid.”