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Will Sri Lanka trip be a damp squib?

Solving all your travel conundrums

I wanted to visit Colombo in Q

Sri Lanka in October, but I hear it often rains heavily. Is it the wrong time to visit?

David Orr, via email

October is indeed rainy. The A best weather for Colombo is November to April, says

Q I was saddened to see all the death and destruction in Morocco caused by last week’s earthquake. My first world problem is that a relative with two children is due to go to Marrakech in a fortnight. Their hotel has been in the press with reports of stomach infections.

But the tour operator says they need to pay £2,000 to alter the booking. Any advice?

Barbara Goatham,

Sutton, London

Yes, what a dreadful tragedy. A

If the hotel is offered by a reputable operator bonded by ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) and the Association of British Travel Agents, or is signed up to the Association of Independent Tour Operators, it will be fine. Though worrying, the outbreak you refer to was a year ago and the hotel has since been passed safe. The Foreign Office says Morocco is safe to visit and tourism is crucial to the economy.

Q My wife and I are going to France and are unsure if personal allowances for goods on returning are per person or per vehicle. Can you help? Richard Holmes, via email

A It is per person. You can each take 18 litres of wine and 42 litres of beer. You are also each allowed either four litres of spirits more than 22 per cent in alcohol volume, or nine litres of sparkling wine or spirits less than 22 per cent. See ‘Bringing goods into the UK for personal use’ at

I plan to fly to Costa Rica via Q

Amsterdam. My passport will be beyond ten years of its issue date but still valid. Will I be ok?

Elizabeth Anderson, via email

Yes, as you would be ‘airside’ A in Amsterdam and not passing into the EU, where you need a passport issued within ten years. At check in, airlines offering transits look at the final destination’s passport rules.

Q In 2020 I cancelled a DoverCalais P&O Ferries booking due to the pandemic. I was given a £200 credit but just found out it has expired. Nobody had informed me of this. Is this fair? Robert Pickford, via email

No, you should have been A informed. P&O Ferries is refunding you £200 now.

Q My passport expires in June next year but I renewed it in November 2013. Can I only travel to the EU before November? Also, can I travel to America until June? Pluska, via email

You can travel to the EU


before your November tenyear issue date as the two rules are that the passport must be issued within the past ten years and that it has three months’ validity up to its expiry date on your intended return. See ‘Travel documents for non-EU nationals’ at For America, you are ok until June.

Q Do I need to declare medications when going to France, Germany and Austria next June?

Barry Houghton, St Annes on Sea, Lancashire

No. But take prescriptions


and keep medications in packaging in hand luggage. See ‘Can I take medicine abroad?’ at Also ensure either your European Health Insurance Card or Global Health Insurance Card is valid for free EU treatment. See ‘GHIC’ at


If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email us at





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