Take The Longer Route

Category: Travel – General 🧭 (Page 1 of 7)

Changing conditions for visa-free travel to EU for non-EU nationals from December 2022

From December 2022, non-European Union nationals who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, will need to request prior authorisation to visit Schengen countries.

You will be able to apply online for authorisation via the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.

An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure. Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.

The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.

The exact date on which these changes will come into force is not yet clear.

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Angela Maxwell, the woman who walked the world for six and one-half years

In May 2, 2014, Angela Maxwell started her walk around the world – alone – with the aim of seeking a deeper connection to the world. On December 16, 2020, six and one-half years and 20,000 miles later, she brought that connection back home.

Florian Sturm, BBC »

As she prepared, Maxwell found a whole world of women explorers to embolden her. She fell in love with the writing and slow travel style of Robyn Davidson, who traversed Australia with camels. She learned about long-distance walker Ffyona Campbell; and read up on Rosie Swale-Pope, who hitchhiked from Europe to Nepal, sailed around the world, crossed Chile on horseback and, at age 59, began jogging around the world.

Once she made the decision to go, Maxwell sold all her belongings and organised the necessary gear. She packed a cart with 50kg of camping equipment, dehydrated food, a military-grade water filter and four seasons of clothing. Maxwell left her hometown of Bend, Oregon, on 2 May 2014 and headed into an adventure so grand it was probably best she didn’t know exactly what was waiting for her along the track.

When I first connected with Maxwell over Skype in June 2018, she was already nearly four years into her journey, having walked more than 12,500 miles in 12 countries on three continents. Curious, I asked her what kind of person it takes to walk around the world. Her face gleaming, she quipped, “a stubborn one”. She then added, “It’s probably a combination of ambition, a little stubbornness and a pinch of passion – not for hiking as a sport, but for self-discovery and adventure.”

Watch Angela Maxwell’s inspirational 2018 Tedx talk at Tedx University of Edinburgh. She was still walking at the time of this talk.

Angela’s web site » She Walks The Earth

Travel as we knew it is unlikely to return in the same form. New adventure trends are emerging

(Source » Wikimedia)

Kevin Rushby, writing in The Guardian »

There has been a realisation – which has been coming for some time – that the type of adventure associated with far-flung destinations can be had closer to home, and at a fraction of the cost, in both money and carbon. For example, free-diving with sharks in the Irish Sea (Celtic Deep), cliff climbs in Wales (Climb Pembroke), and packrafting down whitewater rivers (Tirio and Secret Compass). The latest warnings about the risks of resuming holidays abroad too soon will encourage even more of us to look for adventure on our doorstep.

Interests established during the past year like birdwatching look set to do well, with many new trips available (Wildlife Worldwide, Yorkshire Coast and Nature and Naturetrek). Running, yoga, cycling and hiking, in various combinations, are the ingredients for women-only trips in the Brecon Beacons (Element Active).

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Travellers from Ontario will want to know that the province is about to scrap out-of-country emergency health care coverage

Carola Vyhnak, writing in the Toronto Star »

The province says it’s cancelling the existing “inefficient” program because of the $2.8-million cost of administering $9 million in emergency medical coverage abroad each year. OHIP’s reimbursements also tended to offset only a fraction of the actual expenses.

Without private insurance, travellers can face “catastrophically large bills” for medical care, warns Ministry of Health spokesperson David Jensen, who “strongly encourages” people to purchase adequate coverage.

Read the whole article at the Toronto Star »

World’s Most Powerful Passports as of Q3 2019

The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the world’s most powerful passports in 2019.

The index is compiled from data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and measures global mobility based on visa-free access to destinations. It also uses data from the index’s 14-year history, “to show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.”

Japan and Singapore hold the world’s strongest passports, with Visa-free access to 189 destinations. South Korea dropped to second place, joining Germany and Finland with Visa-free access to 187 destinations.

The United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 index for the first time in the list’s 14-year-history, moving up an astonishing 41 spots. Other countries that climbed standings include Taiwan, which climbed 24 places over the past ten years and ranks 30th.

The USA and the UK each dropped to the lowest position they’ve held since 2010, sharing the sixth spot with Canada, Greece, Norway, Belgium and Ireland.

Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the USA or the UK.

Afghanistan is once again at the other end of the rankings, with its citizens needing a prior visa for all but 25 destinations worldwide.

Most Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
1. Japan, Singapore (189 Destinations)
2. South Korea, Germany, Finland (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Sweden, Spain (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Canada, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, UK, US (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czechia (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)

The Least Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:

101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 Destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)

Source: Henley Passport Index

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