It’s often said that it’s about the journey and not the destination. When I toured Europe for nine months a few years ago now, I immersed myself in each culture, in each city, and I sought out what made each place unique and I reveled in the beauty of it all. Europe is one of the finest places to visit in the world, because of the sheer variety there is to see, and the fact that everything is so close.
That’s why when you visit Europe, it’s best to secure a Schengen region Europe Visa, because that allows you to travel between 26 different countries without borders. Essentially, that means you can roam as you please, flirting between the country boundaries as if they were simply imaginary lines on a map, which is truly all they are. What makes that so wonderful, compared to most of the rest of the world, is that say in Africa, if you want to jump from one country to the next, you may be dealing with entire days sitting at border crossings, waiting, hoping, and wishing while you wait for visa application approval.
But in Europe, they make it simple, thanks to the Schengen zone agreement. ETIAS, or the European Travel Information & Authorization System is a new way of achieving a visa to this beloved region of the world. When before, if you are a US citizen with a valid passport, you could simply show up and gain your visa with a stamp in your booklet, but coming soon, starting in January 2021, everyone is required to apply via the new European Travel Information System. Essentially, this new system is an application for visa entry, but it’s meant to still remain simple and stress free for short term travel within this region. Like before, when approved, you will be allowed to travel within this 26 country region for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
To apply, all you need is a valid passport and your completed ETIAS application. Because thins a visa waiver, you don’t have to navigate through the complexities of applying for a European visa to each and every country, which is a blessing. Trust me. The ETIAS does not require an interview at an embassy or consulate, and does not require an additional fee paid at each border crossing. There are 61 eligible countries from which visitors can reside from and yet still use this new easy system, however, if you are not from one of those 61 countries, then you may have to go the long route to gaining visa approval.
(Photo by patrick_nouhailler via Flickr)