As the summer seasons draw to a close and travel restrictions tighten – not only across the U.S. and worldwide but also around the globe – travel interest continues to grow. Europe travel has begun in May, with Iceland, Italy, Croatia, and Greece all opening up to full-fledged travel in June. And finally, the first ten days of June will bring Spain and France back to full vaccination levels. With so many countries now fully open for travel throughout Europe, it’s important to know which countries offer the best summer vacation travel deals. Here’s what we’re looking for in Europe travel.
Risk areas – travel to Europe should include risk areas. With so many different cultures and countries in Europe today, there are always some risks when traveling outside of the familiar European nations. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we expect to find in Europe. Risk areas are anywhere within 100 kilometers of an international airport, but there are also high risk areas anywhere within 50 miles of a river or inland sea port.
Citizens of the USA, British citizens, Canadian citizens, and anyone living in Australia, Singapore, or New Zealand are ineligible for a Europe visa waiver. These three are considered high risk areas by the E.U., and if you are traveling to any one of them, you may find yourself blocked from entering the E.U. for 90 days or more. For travelers who are travelling to EU member countries other than these three, a visa waiver is available.
Anyone traveling to EU countries other than those previously mentioned must obtain an EU travel document, or a Schengen visa. The purpose of the Schengen visa is to allow people from any country into any country. It is free and open to all EU citizens, but it does not include people from the above countries. An EU visa is also often required for tourists who are travelling to EU member countries for the first time. Americans with American passport can apply for a visa on arrival at the port of origin, but others should apply for a visa before travelling, in order to avoid the extra time involved in processing.
Spain, Ireland, and Italy all have excellent airports with direct flights to Amsterdam and/or Brussels. However, these airports are rarely busy, which means that travelers often have trouble getting a visa on arrival, especially if they are travelling for business purposes. If you have an Irish passport, or an EU passport, you can use the Ireland visa waiver bilateral agreements between the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and the E.C. for a one-time fee. For anyone travelling to either country for the first time or anyone with an old Irish or E.E.D. card, the cost of the visa will be waived.
British citizens travelling to Spain or Portugal for the first time can also use the visa waiver bilateral agreements between the British and Spanish authorities. However, British citizens will not be allowed to stay in one country if they intend to travel to another EU country. These agreements are usually valid for a three-year period.
There are also many options available for American citizens travelling to Europe for the first time or for frequent travellers. If you already have an American passport you can use the visa waiver agreements between the American government and the E.C. For a one-time fee for this option is great as it allows you to apply for an American tourist card that allows free travel throughout the EU. This card is valid at all the same airports across the continent and anywhere else in the world as long as your card has not been lost or stolen. For regular American citizens, this is a good option because they would not need to apply for a new passport in order to travel to another country.
For frequent travelers or tourists from the United States there is an alternative to applying for an EU visa: the European Committee for Travelicable Disease (ECTIC) quarantine. This is a free program designed to keep travelers safe from dangerous diseases. The program works by requiring travelers to obtain an international health insurance policy that covers them during their travel to Europe. Travelers who do not have coverage will be required to pay a surcharge on their insurance premiums. This surcharge is legally required by the EU.