What constitues a visit?

Travel Forums General Talk What constitues a visit?

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1. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1786 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

As I was doing the last list, I noticed that it said that the list maker only counted it as a visit if you spent the night. For myself, I don't regard spending the night as either necessary or sufficient to count it as a visit.

I have visited places and I count it as a visit where I didn't spend the night. And I've spent the night in places (especially on road trips) where I didn't really visit the place at all - all I did was eat dinner there, sleep and then eat breakfast and leave. For instance we stayed in Augusta GA one night. All we saw were the freeways, the hotel and one restaurant.

On my second trip to Europe, i visited Paris for two days but I never spent the night there. ( I thought Paris hotel would be too expensive.) (I arrived on a train in the morning and left on a train at night. Once on a train from Frankfurt to Paris, and leaving on a train to Spain and then coming in on a train from Marseilles and leaving on a train to Nuremberg. Of course I had been in Paris previously, but I think my two days in Paris count more as a visit than the one night I spent in Augusta.

I took a day trip to Toledo while I was in Spain but did not spend the night. Wouldn't that count as a visit?

I don't think it counts as a visit if you just stay in the airport (overnight or not). We flew from Kilimanjaro to Dar es Salaam. We spent part of the night there (on the plane - we didn't even get off) but I don't count that as a VISIT. I've been there, but not visited.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-May-2020, 04:08 GMT by greatgrandmaR ]

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1544 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

This causes real consternation with country-counters and I've seen some very heated arguments about what should and shouldn't be counted.

The Guinness Book of Records allows people who have crossed the demarcation line at the JSA between North and South Korea to count North Korea as one of their countries. And one famous 193er has been allowed to count standing on the Golan Heights as having visited Syria.

Personally, I count Monaco, the Vatican and Liechtenstein as countries I've visited even though I haven't spent a night there. I walked around (quite a lot) visited some sights and bought coffee and/or beer there. I don't count Saudi Arabia because I was in transit from Cairo to Kuala Lumpur with a two hour wait for a connection.

Nomad Mania, another travel site that has been mentioned here before suggests:

"In order for a visit to qualify as valid for nomadmania.com, a ‘minimal’ visit is required. Nomadmania.com defines as a minimal visit as:

For international border crossings where there is a border control, clearance of immigration authorities is required, and a visit to the area beyond the immigration area itself is accepted. In the case of regional border crossings, standing beyond the demarcation line between two regions is accepted. In the case of airports, this needs to be beyond the airport area entirely, while for train transport, a minimal visit involves a reasonable distance beyond the train station itself.

However, in the spirit of real travel, nomadmania.com would consider that good visits should be the aim of travellers."

Ultimately, everyone will have their own personal idea of what they classify as a visit and what they don't. If you're happy with your own definition of a visit - then that's great. :):)

3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2093 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Similarly to Boris, for me it's whether I've seen the place.

For some remote Arctic places it's seeing the scenery from a ship. But I wouldn't dream of counting places I've only seen from a plane window.

My most questionable one is Costa Rica. I was recovering from flu, and managed ten minutes off the ship looking around the area beyond the port before I realised it was too much. So while I've walked around landside there I've not seen the place.

4. Posted by irenevt (Travel Guru 328 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

I don't think you need to stay overnight as long as you have looked around, though having said that the only countries I've been to where I haven't stayed overnight are Monaco and Vatican City.

I would not count anywhere that I've only been to the airport. I haven't been to India but I've landed at Delhi Airport. I haven't been to Ethiopia but I've transited through Addis Ababa Airport. I don't count these.

5. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1328 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

I also think you don't need to have stayed overnight to count a country as 'visited' but I would say you need to have left the airport / train station / ship in port etc., and should be able to describe something you saw or did - had a beer in a local bar, bought something in a shop, saw one at least of the 'sights' or had a walk around a neighbourhood. So I count Lichtenstein, where I went by bus from Zurich, spent an afternoon walking around the main street of Vaduz and taking photos, had coffee and a cake, and had my passport stamped with a souvenir stamp in the tourist office! I must have been there about three hours I think. But I don't count Columbia even though I spent longer than that (about six hours) overnight in Bogota Airport on my way from London to Santiago in Chile.

I also count Monaco (afternoon walking around, evening at a football match, but hotel in Nice); Luxembourg (day spent in the city after landing there from London en route to visit a friend in Trier); and Vatican City (two separate mornings there while staying in Rome). Those countries are all so small that a day feels like enough to get some sense of being there. But I always feel slightly guilty about counting Hungary, having once crossed the border from Austria to have lunch there and visit some Roman remains, as that seems too short a visit to what is quite a large country - but it would certainly pass the definitions Borisborough quotes

6. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 370 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

I also think you don't need to have stayed overnight to count a country as 'visited' but I would say you need to have left the airport / train station / ship in port etc., and should be able to describe something you saw or did - had a beer in a local bar, bought something in a shop, saw one at least of the 'sights' or had a walk around a neighbourhood.

I mostly agree with Sarah's description of visit but I think that there is an exceptions. For example I count that I have visited Gibraltar, we spent appr. 8 hours there, went to the "Monkey mountain", saw the military tunnels, walked the streets and had a dinner in the pub. Also I count Marmaris, we had an boat trip there from Rhodes. I haggled in the bag shop, I didn't buy anything but friend did, had an walk on the promenade and had drinks in pub.

But I don't count Slovakia. While I was living in Hungary we did a trip to an border town called Esztergom. While there I walked across the river to Slovakia, bought a beer and walked back across the bridge. Technically I have been in Slovakia but all I did see was Lidl

Engrossing conversation Rosalie! :)

7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1786 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

When I was answering on the list where overnight was the rule, I did answer that I had been some places where I had not spent overnight. These were mostly places that I visited on a cruise where I got off and spent the day ashore and then got back on the ship and sailed away. I wondered whether the spending the night provision was to eliminate cruise ship visits.

So I have been four times to St Maarten and Ste. Martin, but not spent the night in either one of them The first time we took two excursions (one morning and one afternoon). The second time we took the harbor shuttle boat over to Philipsburg and rented a car and drove around to various marinas and talked to people who had boats like ours. The third time we merely took a taxi over to the French side to photograph the lighthouse., The fourth time was with my granddaughter and we hired a driver-guide who drove us to the zoo and then we went over to the French side, shopped in the market, had lunch, visited a cemetery and went down to the beach and collected sea urchins and then went back to Philipsburg and my granddaughter bought her father a gift int he Star Wars store. I've never been to the beach there which is one of the things most people do, but I have seen the planes landing almost on the beach at the airport.

I think I can fairly say that I have visited both places.

8. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1786 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Note: I was not saying COUNTRIES visited. Just places. So it includes towns, cities and states.

When it comes to countries, I include places which no longer exist as countries - so I include a visit to the various places which are no longer separate countries like Scotland and Wales, and Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands which are technically part of the USA.

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1512 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

> which are no longer separate countries like Scotland and Wales,

I'm not sure Welsh or Scottish people would be happy with that statement! Both countries have their own parliaments, both have control of the majority of their financial affairs and Scotland, in particular, has a strong push towards becoming fully independent. The UK's correct name is 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. Great Britain is the large island which contains the countries of England, Scotland and Wales.

Until devolution in 1997 Wales hadn't been a separate country since the late 1000s (though it has always maintained its own language). Scotland remained a separate country until James l of Scotland also became James VI of England in 1603 . The United Kingdom was created in 1707.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-May-2020, 16:30 GMT by leics2 ]

10. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2093 posts) 19w Star this if you like it!

Quoting leics2

I'm not sure Welsh and Scots people would be happy with that statement!

Agreed!

There are a variety of subtly different statuses for the former parts of the British Empire, including lots of places which aren't recognised as independent sovereign states by the UN.

These include the "home nations" of the UK, a dozen-odd Overseas Territories (which each vary but tend to have a high degree of independence and self-determination), and the Crown Protectorates.

Other empires were dismantled in different ways, eg French territories are often integral parts of France. We've gone our way and let many communities keep their British connection but that shouldn't necessarily mean they should be denied recognition as a "country".

For many of us, the UN definition is open to discussion! :)