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Hitchhiking, crossing borders, and visas (oh my! eheh...)

Travel Forums Europe Hitchhiking, crossing borders, and visas (oh my! eheh...)

1. Posted by Wozza (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y

Gidday. Sorry about my sudden flurry of posts. I'm going travelling in a couple of weeks (17 days, to be exact), and I've suddenly realized that I don't know the first thing about travelling =P

Assuming I end up finding a way out of China, I want to travel (on the cheap - everything on the cheap ;) ) around Europe for a while before I head to the UK to take my working holiday. I understand that kiwis don't need a visa to enter most European countries (Italy, France, Spain, Germany, etc etc). However, the travel agent who's arranging my flight to China said that most of these countries would want to know how I'd be leaving before they'd let me enter.
Now, I'll be hitching, taking trains or busses, walking...I more than likely won't have a clue as to how I'll be leaving any given country when I come to enter it. Is it true that I'll need a ticket out before I can get in? Can I just say, "Oh, I'm taking a bus from (city) to (city in other country) on (random date)." ?

After this trip, I'm gonna see how many countries I can travel through without making a legal border crossing :D And if I survive, I'll write a book about it.

Anyway, any advice you folks can give me on this border crossing thing would be really helpful. See, in New Zealand if you cross the border you fall in the ocean, so I don't have much experience with that. :p And if there's anything you think I should know, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Wozza,

How are you going to get to Europe?
If you're flying, where to (from where to where)?

A lot of countries require that in order to enter you must have an ongoing ticket (or some proff that you'll be moving on). They don't want people with no resourses hanging out in there country forever and don't want to incure any expense in order to get rid of you.

However, in all my travels, I don't ever remember having to show an ongoing ticket (I've read it in lots of guide books but never had to show one). Just my passport and visa when necessary (and if I'm driving they always want to see papers for the car). When I went to the Ukraine they MADE me buy personal health insurance before letting me cross the border (but again didn't ask to see any ongoing ticket).Maybe when going to a hard-core communist country or a place like Bhutan (but can't imagine it would be an issue in Europe). Especially if you don't look like a "bum" when you enter a country (so dress like you have enough money to keep moving on).

In Europe, you'll show your passport when you enter the EU (but once you're in it's kind of like being in the US and going form State to State (the borders between the countries that have been in the EU for a while are almost non-existant these days).

There may be people living in Europe that know more about this, but I figured I'd share my personal experiences.

I wonder if you need to show a ongoing ticket when you enter the USA? I never really thought about that.

3. Posted by Wozza (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y

Hey, thanks man, that's pretty reassuring. I'm not entirely sure where we'll be flying to, but we'll most likely be flying from Beijing. We're kinda looking at getting on the Trans-Siberian railway, going Beijing - Moscow then into Finland with a transit visa for Russia (suggested by someone in the Asia forum =P ) but to be honest I don't know if that's going to work out. Most likely, we'll fly from Beijing to either Turkey or Greece, and from there head through Italy and France, to Spain, and then back through France to Germany, or something. We don't have much in the way of a plan, as you might have guessed ;)

Once again, thanks a lot for the info.

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

Once your within the Shengen area, providing you have your passport (and visa if required) it doesn't matter in the slightest. Most crossings you won't even notice any difference, unless you happen to be spot checked. Certain borders (such as the German borders) tend to be a bit more paranoid and will check more people, but then still no problem.

On the majority of trains, most land crossings by car/bus/Hitching/walking/cycling you just go straight through.

So unless your travelling on a, urm, more suspicious passport (country wide), if asked just say your there for a couple of weeks a as a tourist. But it very rarely happens, unless you happen to have a dodgy passport, or, in some cases, are coloured/asian looking by skin.

Can't talk about planes though, as i don't fly.