A mum has issued a warning to fellow British travellers after missing out on her £3,000 family holiday due to a little-known passport rule. 

The Gurd family from Hampshire were all set to take off on holiday to the Algarve, Portugal, when it turned out their papers weren't all in order - despite believing them to be so.

Nina Gurd was told her passport, which expires in February 2023, was not valid for travel to Portugal.

Despite having more than the required three months before the expiry date she was told the expiry date was irrelevant.

Nina told the BBC:

"The lady at Bournemouth Airport said it needs to be within 10 years of the issue date." Nina's passport was originally issued on May 29, 2012, meaning it would have been due to expire next month.

Bank Holiday 2022

But when she renewed it in 2012 that was done early - meaning nine months were added to the document, giving it a new expiry date of February 28, 2023. 

Nina was turned away from the flight - even though she believed her passport was OK.

Nina said: "When we were booking our holiday, we were only ever asked for our passport numbers and the expiry dates, nothing else. But the expiry date is apparently meaningless."

'The expiry date on your passport is meaningless'

Nina, husband John and their sons Jack, Harry and Charlie, went home instead of to Portugal.

The family told the BBC they ended up having to cancel the trip because of the passport issue, thanks to a rule being enforced in some European countries following Brexit.

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Portugal is one of 26 European countries within the Schengen Area of free movement. Post-Brexit, some EU countries in the Schengen Area are insisting passports must be no more than 10 years old.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told the BBC that the advice published on its website warns travellers they may face problems if they have a passport that lasts longer than 10 years. Nina added: "We've got to get the message out there that actually the expiry date on your passport is meaningless."