I am starting my yearlong RTW trip on September 14th in London. I am covering the majority of Europe, some of North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.
I do have a question, however. I am an American living in the USA who recently became a dual citizen of the Republic of Croatia (through my Dad) and will be getting my second passport soon. I understand that I have to use my US passport when I leave and enter the USA, and even when I get to Europe I will probably use my US passport because Croatia is not yet part of the EU. Therefore using my Croatian passport would have no immediately apparent benefit (Croatia is slated to join around 2010, however).
Notwithstanding, I am considering using my Croatian passport for the countries that do not require visas for Croatian citizens (e.g., Turkey and Russia), in the countries where visas are significantly more expensive for Americans (compare $131 and $30 for a Chinese visa), and places where Americans are regarded less-than-favorably (the Middle East).
For those of you out there who are dual or multiple citizens and are experienced long-term travelers I'd really appreciate some advice on how and in what instances to use either my Croatian or American passport for travel, visas, or just in general.
On another note, anyone out there a citizen of a country whose language they don't speak very well or at all? This will be the first time I'm traveling as a dual national and I'm worried that my broken Croatian will arouse suspicion.
I'm a dual citizen of UK and Australia and I used both passports when travelling in the way you are suggesting. As long as you enter and exit on the same passport without showing the other passport (that may get some attention) you shouldn't have problems. The only time I even got questioned was when I entered Thailand on my UK passport and was then travelling to Vietname which had the visa in my Australian passport. Seeing they checked at checkin to see I had a visa prior to checking me in, that is when I had to show my Australian passport with the Vietnam visa in and got a lot of questioning as to why I had two countries passports. Eventually he let me go, but ideally if your next country is one that requires a visa prior to arrival, you will enter the previous country on the same passport that the visa for the next one is in.
In a worst case scenario thing ie your passports being stolen you may need to tell a bit of a lie, but hopefully this disaster does not happen to you. It happened to me where both passports where stolen and I had huge problems. If you don't enter the country on the passport that was stolen they will not replace it outside of your home country (at least that was the case with the UK).
Can't help about the poor Croatian language bit. I was a bit concerned regarding the fact I have a strong Australian accent and travelling on a British passport might attract suspicion with the different accents. Even in a place like the US which treats all foreigners like they are criminals or terrorists it didn't seem to attract any more suspicion than it has on other entries.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 5, 2008, at 6:55 PM by aharrold45 ]
Just in case you plan to apply for any visa while in Europe or happen to have both of your passports stolen, you should read the section "Special arrangement on entry of Croatians" in the wikipedia Schengen Agreement article
You can also use your 2 passports to cheat the Schengen visa system. Normall you are only allowed 90 days (during a 180 day period) for your travels inside the Schengen countries. With 2 passports you can get 180 days: You simply travel to Croatia with your US passport, get stamped out of Schengen and then enter the Schengen zone again with your Croatian passport.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 6, 2008, at 4:38 PM by t_maia ]