I wanted to share some information about visa and health requirements as this is really very important when considering where you want to visit as well as the routings you wish to take.
London Earl’s Court Area
Always remember that some countries require that you show a confirmed ticket to leave their country. Leaving is not always by air so bear that in mind as well. Your non-revenue ticket may not be enough. For the most part your non-revenue ticket is fine though at least once you have your visa.
Corn Vendor in Taipei, Taiwan
One thing too is to remember that sometimes it takes weeks to get a visa and you have to send your passport away in order to get it done. Plus it can be very pricey.
Some countries have reciprocal fees that you must pay before you leave your country of origin, Argentina is an example.
Let’s talk People’s Republic of China for a bit. Mainland China requires a visa for entry and that must be procured before departure but now you can get one for 10 years. Despite the 72-hours no visa required rule, as a non-revenue traveler, the airline may require that you have a confirmed ticket to leave the country in 72-hours.
Hong Kong which is a SAR of China has no visa requirement for U.S. citizens.
To visit Shenzhen, you can get your visa at the border. Similar to Macau where you do a visa on arrival as well. SO just check your rules before you are ready to travel. For international travel, its not just all about getting that ticket and jetting off.
Some countries like Tanzania is visa on arrival and you must have cash in the currency of your passport country to pay for it.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Others like Nepal will require that you have a passport photo taken if you don’t already have one when you arrive and get your visa on arrival.
I say this to tell you to be prepared when you are thinking of your routings. One place that people get tripped up is Australia. And yes a visa is required for U.S. citizens for which you can apply online.
I’ve written an article about At Least 138 Countries you can visit without a visa using your U.S. passport to help you figure out the visa requirements for places to visit. This is U.S.-centric, but I’m working on a U.K. and Canadian version. If you are from other countries, just check the web site for the consulate you wish to visit for the rules or if you have access to Timatic, you can check there as well. Some of the airlines used to have a Timatic link, but have since removed it. Cost cutting I guess. But KLM still has a page to help you figure it all out.
Also, consider joining Global Entry program as it will save you time when making connections as U.S. ports of entry. I’d literally miss tight connections without being a member of this service. Plus it also gets you into the TSA Pre program. Countries such as Australia, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands have similar systems.
So remember do your research before you travel as it concerns health and visa requirements. What have you found in your travels? Please leave a comment below.
Fruits and Vegetables at the Colombo, Sri Lanka Market