There is a great big world out there, with so much to see and do. If you’re planning a holiday, you’ve got almost endless options. Unless you have a personal situation that allows it, you almost can’t see every country in the world in one lifetime. For example, if you have a job that ties you to one location, then visiting countries at a rate of three a year will take you 63 years. It’s possible, but it’ll be tight.
So if you do have that desire to tick off as many places as possible, the first thing you need to consider is a tour. Book enough time off, and see multiple destinations in one holiday. The perfect place to do this is Europe. There are fifty countries to choose from (that’s more than a quarter of the world’s total), and each is different from the last. Many of them are signed up to the same travel policies, though, so it makes it easy to take a grand trip.
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First Things First: How Many Countries Do You Want To See? Depending on how long you have to spend traveling, you can see a chunk of Europe in one go. There are a lot of countries with plenty of borders. If you started in France, for example, it borders eight countries. With enough time and stamina, that means you could easily see nine on one trip. And because of their common visa policy, you don’t need to spend much time at passport control. It’s not much more complicated than going from Arizona into Texas.
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Europe Is Changing: What Does That Mean For Me? There are a couple of changes on the horizon for Europe. The first one is what’s commonly known as Brexit. The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, and it is yet to be agreed how this will affect travel between the two. Equally, 2016 has seen talk of a European visa proposal intended to strengthen Europe’s external border.
At present, this does not affect your travel plans. US citizens can travel visa-free in the EU for up to 90 days. And neither Brexit nor the ETIAS scheme will be fully in place for a couple of years. In other words, if you want to see Europe stress-free, now may be a good time!
Not All Of Europe Is In The EU, Is It? So… No, that’s right. And believe me, this is where it gets complicated. Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are not in the EU. But they do allow visa-free travel. Some countries which are in the EU do not. And then there are places like Belarus or the Ukraine (among others) who have nothing to do with the EU and their own rules on visas. In short, where you want to go affects what documents you need.
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It makes sense, for any trip you may take, to know how the land lies before you go. This may make particular sense as an American tourist visiting other countries in the wake of a Presidential election. But your passport, as of right now, is a very useful document to have – so why not make use of it?