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Are VISAS as much of a headache as they seem?

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Are VISAS as much of a headache as they seem?

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1. Posted by The Jones (Budding Member 44 posts) 6y

Hi all,

Currently saving for my year out travelling and I feel its time I should have a pretty good idea of where I am going & how I am going to get there. I'm no longer worried about finding places to sleep; my main headache now is Plane tickets & the dreaded VISA.

How do I get Visas? Do I need to sort them all out for the countries I intend to go to before I leave? I honestly have no Idea & the more I research the less I understand!!!!

What's the best way to get a great deal on plane tickets?

My head is spinning

Any advice would be great.

2. Posted by DJ Verance (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

The best way to get the best deal on airfare is to get an around the world ticket. You have up to a year to use it, to fly to three countries was/is around $1200+ (return flight included). Just google "round the world ticket" and you can get a really good deal on airfare to places you want to go.

3. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 6y

Quoting The Jones

How do I get Visas? Do I need to sort them all out for the countries I intend to go to before I leave? I honestly have no Idea & the more I research the less I understand!!!!

First of all- where are you going, and which passport do you hold? You might not need quite as many visas as you might think. You apply for a visa by sending/delivering a written application form to the embassy of the country you intend to visit. They, or (most often) their website will state what you need to include in your visa application. The most common things are 2 passport size photos, a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity AFTER the day you exit the country, as well as the appropriate visa fee, usually payable either in US dollars or in the currency of your country. Some might also require a copy of your plane tickets or proof of onward travel. Visas can take anything from a few hours to a few weeks to process.

You don't need to have all your visas before you travel (except, of course, your first destination), however, it does make life easier. It's much easier to hunt for a visa in your home city which you know rather than, say, Nairobi. Some visas, however, have a limited validity period, meaning you must travel within 3 months of it being issued, for example. Some visas require you to know the exact dates of your travel. There are usually 3 different types of visa- Single entry visa (meaning in once, out once) as well as double/multiple entry visas, which are easier than 2 single visas, in case you want to pop in and out of your country. For example, if you want to enter China on the trans-Mongolian train, and head straight to South Korea, a single visa would be sufficient. But if you want to enter China, go to Korea, and then continue down south through China again, you'd need a double entry visa, as you'd be going in and out twice. You can also get a transit visa, which is handy if you only want to pass through a particular country. They're usually valid from three days upwards, and a bit cheaper.

Visas are a lot easier than you might think, unless you want to go somewhere exotic like Libya or Iran. Most countries like India which are used to seeing a lot of tourists, are quite straight-forward. Best way to get info would be to look at the websites of the relevant embassies in the countries you are intending to apply for the visa.

4. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 6y

How easy or hard visas are to get depends greatly on the country you are going to and what country(s) passport(s) you have. Many countries just stamp your passport when you arrive if you hold a UK, US or Australian passport. Some such as Russia, Iran, Belarus, Saudi Arabi are a real pain in the butt (and in Saudi Arabia's case almost impossible to get) and have to be applied for before you leave. Many of the central asian countries are very painful to get visas for as are some of the Middle Eastern Countries other than the United Arab Emirates which is very tourist orientated.
Most South East Asian countries, Western Europe countries, USA are pretty easy for getting visas if you even require them (assuming you are from a first world country like your profile suggests). If you hold a UK passport even regions like South America and most of Central America and Caribbean are a breeze with regards to visas. On a UK passport you get charged heaps for visas in many southern African countries particularly Zambia who rip British people off in a major way where as in South America British people get it easy in comparison to US and Australians.

If you stear clear of central Asia, eastern Europe and Africa (other than South Africa) you may get away with a trip requiring only one or two visas such as an Australian one.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Jul-2010, at 02:36 by aharrold45 ]

5. Posted by The Jones (Budding Member 44 posts) 6y

Thanks for all your help guys. If anything else comes to mind please let me know.

6. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 6y

I got my 3rd UK work visa - Im American. It was one of the hardest thing I have had to do. Serious. Id never do it again.

7. Posted by madpoet (Respected Member 413 posts) 6y

A lot of countries have "visa on arrival" now, which means you can get it at the airport, when you arrive.

Avoid Russia and Central Asia, if you don't want visa hassles. They've barely reformed the visa system since the Soviet era. Someone should explain to them that they could easily double the number of tourists they get (and tourist revenue) if they just made it easier to get a visa.

8. Posted by trainrider (Full Member 95 posts) 6y

No. Dont avoid Russia for the sake of a few visa hassle's. It's not as easy as other country's but hey, nothing worth doing is ever easy! Actually Its not even that hard once you look into it!

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by Mai Brown (Budding Member 4 posts) 6y

I had to try and get a Russian visa in Shanghai just to catch the trans-Siberian railway to Europe when I would only set foot in Moscow while changing trains to Germany. They made so many conditions that I just gave up. I told the man at the Russian Consulate desk that they could keep their stupid country, full of drunks and gangsters, then I ran out real fast.