Search form

menu menu

Expat Q&A Summer 2024: Some useful info before the holidays!

Expat Welcome Desk Brussels
11:28 04/07/2024
In collaboration with the Expat Welcome Desk (Commissioner’s Office)

Summer is upon us and the holidays are just round the corner... School might be done and dusted but the kids still need something to keep them busy over the next couple of months and hopefully find them an activity to enjoy. If you’re flying this summer, be sure to check that your travel documents are in order and you can travel hassle-free. Finally, in the event that your trip doesn’t go to plan, it can be useful to know who to contact. The Expat Welcome Desk gives you the lowdown on all this and wishes you a wonderful summer!

How to keep the kids busy this summer?

There is a wide and varied range of activity camps and courses available to entertain the children during the school holidays. Prices on average range from €90 to €250 per week, depending on what you’re looking for. From sports to artistic activities and language courses…, the choice is yours! Some camp packages offer the option of a hot meal at lunchtime, and generally there is also wraparound childcare (often at additional cost) available for before and after the camp…

How to find activity camps?

  • Get in touch with the youth service in your area. Many fun, cultural and sporting activities are organised at special sites tailored to look after your children at great prices!
  • Language courses offer packages with or without other activities (sports, arts, culture). Here are some websites for the Brussels area: 






  • The website offers users a search engine through which you will easily find all the camps available in Brussels for children aged between 2 and 18 years old. It is possible to filter according to the age of your child, the type of activity desired and even location!

Remember, you can get a tax certificate for the camp in order to deduct a certain amount from your taxes! Some mutual insurance providers also cover a fixed annual amount per child for camps.

Which identity document should you use when travelling?

Depending on your nationality and your holiday destination, you will need to take certain documents that will allow you to cross the border and return to Belgium. Here is a little summary:

Non-EU nationals travelling in the Schengen Area must have a valid national passport and a valid Belgian residence permit (card A, B, K, L, H,F or F+). A registration certificate (attestation d’immatriculation), declaration of arrival (déclaration d’arrivée) and Annex 35 (annexe 35) are not valid for travel!

To travel outside the Schengen Area (notably the United Kingdom), you will also need a visa depending on your destination country. Be sure to make enquiries in good time with the relevant embassy.

EU citizens moving around the Schengen Area with a Belgian residence permit (EU or EU+ card) must always ensure they have a valid national ID card or passport. In effect, residence permits issued by the Belgian state are not national identity documents. As certain airlines are very strict on this point, it is worth checking with them in advance.

When travelling outside the Schengen Area, EU citizens must also ensure they have the correct visa, where necessary.

European civil servants who hold a special ID card issued by Foreign Affairs must always have a valid passport in order to travel!

Nightmare holidays: what can you do?

You go on holiday and return unhappy with your trip: the hotel didn’t match the description (3-star instead of 4-star, tennis courts at extra cost, etc.), your booking wasn't confirmed and you had to be transferred to another hotel… With whom should you file your complaint? 

In the month following your return from holiday, you can send your complaint by registered letter to the tour operator and/or intermediary (travel agency or booking website).

If your complaint is not resolved in the 4 months following the date of the end of your trip, you can contact the Commission de Litiges Voyages (CLV, Belgian commission for travel disputes).

Please note, this only applies to disputes with an organiser and/or travel intermediary who adhere to the general conditions of the Commission de Litiges Voyages. Always check your order form or request further information from your travel agency. In addition, please note that the CLV does not have jurisdiction to consider some complaints (personal injury, travel insurance or assistance not included, non-contractual disputes…).

Intervention by the Commission affords the opportunity to avoid recourse to traditional justice mechanisms, which can be slow, complex and costly!

The Expat Welcome Desk is a free service that advises internationals on the practicalities of daily life in the Belgian capital, from accommodation and residence permits to employment rights and taxation, among a number of topics.

Written by Expat Welcome Desk in collaboration with The Bulletin