Travelling abroad


Before you go on a trip, make sure to do a few essential things. First, check the rules and requirements for the country you are visiting. You might need a visa, or your passport may need renewing. You should think about getting travel insurance in case something goes wrong. If you plan to drive, ensure your driver’s license is valid. While you're away, it's good to know where the nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate is, just in case you need help.

This page has some helpful travel tips when travelling abroad.

Before you travel

Check travel advice and entry requirements for your destination

Check the travel advice and entry requirements for the country you are travelling to before you travel abroad.

You might need a visa, this depends on your destination. You can find out if you need a visa on the Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Is your passport in date?

Check that your and your families’ passports are in date before you book. Passport Online is open to all applicants. You can get information on how to renew your passport or how to apply for your child’s first passport.

The latest passport turnaround times are available on the Passport Service's website.

Do you have travel insurance?

You should get travel insurance for yourself and your family. If you have a travel insurance policy already, or travel insurance is included in your health insurance policy, you should check that you are covered for hospital treatment for COVID-19.

You should bring your European Health Insurance Card with you if you are travelling to the EEA or Switzerland. You cannot use your EHIC in the UK. But you can still get the healthcare you need. You will need to show your Irish passport to the GP or hospital. Make sure that it is in date, it must be renewed every 4 years and each family member needs their own. An EHIC does not replace travel insurance.

Ireland and Australia have a reciprocal health agreement. This means that Irish visitors to Australia will receive emergency services and assistance towards the cost of prescribed drugs and medicines on the same basis as persons ordinarily resident in Australia.

Irish citizens travelling in the UK are entitled to access healthcare through the Common Travel Area.

Driving abroad

If you plan to drive while abroad, make sure that your Irish driving licence is valid and that you bring it with you.

Some countries outside the European Economic Area (the member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) may require you to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP) and your Irish driving licence.

See the IDP application form (pdf) for a full list of countries that recognise the permit.

Always make sure you are properly insured for driving while overseas.

Get more information on driving abroad from the Road Safety Authority.

While abroad

Note the address, telephone number and opening hours of the Irish Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting. In countries with no Irish diplomatic or consular representation, you may seek emergency assistance from embassies or consulates of other European Union countries. On its website, the Department of Foreign Affairs provides advice on how to stay safe while abroad and what to do in an emergency.

Travel tips

These are some other tips to help with your journey.

  • Check if you need any vaccines or immunisations before you travel (at least 8 weeks in advance).
  • Make a note of the 24-hour emergency number of your bank so you can cancel your credit card or debit card if it is stolen.
  • Check your mobile data allowance with your mobile phone service provider. (For travel outside of the EEA).
  • Do you need a special adapter to plug in your electrical devices?

More information

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland provide travel advice to Irish people planning a trip overseas.

The HSE has information on preventing illness and infection while abroad.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre provides advice on its website for travellers on how to avoid illness.

The World Health Organization has information and advice regarding health and international travel.

Department of Foreign Affairs

80 St. Stephens Green
Dublin 2

Tel: +353 (01) 408 2000
Page edited: 22 January 2024