a close up of a passport

No visa, no flight…

It’s the trip of a lifetime, you’ve booked the perfect hotels, got great flight deals and are already planning where in the hotel pool you’ll stage your 6PM sunset drinks photoshoot, and then it happens. “Sorry, you cannot board without a valid visa”.

Perhaps the most overlooked step in booking international travel is actually confirming what you’ll need to make it on board a plane.

No, we don’t mean boarding passes. We’re talking about the fact that every day, people miss flights and sometimes even lose out on non refundable vacations because they overlook the most important factor in travel: the entry visa. Here’s how to quickly sort through all the noise and figure out exactly what you need in advance of your next trip, before it’s too late…

You don’t want to look like an idiot, do you?

a large crowd of people in a plaza with a large building with Red Square in the backgroundOfficial Visa Resources

Checking out foreign visa requirements should be a first step, even before booking flights. Visa processes for certain countries can make entry extremely difficult, so it’s great to know what you’re facing before you commit your time and money.

For example, Russia and China require in person visa applications for citizens of most countries, and some make you fork your passport over. They can take weeks, so don’t go booking any travel for next week.

But virtually every country offers an extremely easy guide for citizens, with official advice for the entry requirements of each and every country you may want to visit, with links for any e-visa pages and info on any and all fees you’ll need to pay.

Simply Google “(Your country) Foreign Travel Advice” to find the official pages. Here’s the official resource for the US, UK, Australia and Canada to get you started. Want to save even more time? Wikipedia is also a completely underutilized resource, with a crowd sourced list of requirements for citizens of all countries, to virtually every destination.

a close up of a passportWikipedia Travel Visa Resources

Under 30 seconds? You bet. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia resources for citizens of the USA, UK, Germany, Canada, India, Spain and France. If you’re a citizen of a different country, just Google “Visa requirements for (insert country) citizens”.

This is like the ultimate goldmine of most accurate current information, updated by real humans, not governments.

The lists are constantly updated and offer the best present knowledge, and even includes how many days each visa is valid for and any other helpful notes. Using Wikipedia you can always guarantee you’ll get full visa requirement details within 30 seconds, which is helpful.

a city skyline with a body of waterMost Powerful Passports

Competition for the world’s most powerful passport, allowing visa free access to the most countries is extremely tight. Singapore and Japan currently offers the most powerful passports, with visa free access to 190 countries. Finland, Germany and South Korea offer the second most powerful passport with 180visa free countries, and a long list of countries are tied for third.

However many yours allows, just make sure you know in advance…

Have you ever goofed on travel visas?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. Wikipedia is wicked. It is gamed by political hacks, corporate employees, and activist. Anonymous youngsters vote for each other to become administrators then some can hack your computer. Be warned.

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