Fortunately, as more and more people become vaccinated against COVID-19, increasing numbers of countries are opening their borders to tourists and international visitors again. At the time of writing, regions that are allowing travellers from abroad include much of Europe, Africa and South America.
So with this in mind, you may be asking yourself, where do you next want to go on holiday, and what should you keep in mind as you plan your next international journey? Well, to get you in the mood for global travel, here’s some guidance for your next post-coronavirus trip.
1. Make Sure Your Passport Has at Least Six Months of Validity Remaining
First and foremost, when you organise your next international holiday, ensure that your passport remains both valid and has at least six months of validity left.
This is because most countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months more to allow you entry. As such, if you see that your passport’s set to expire soon, it’s a good idea to renew it before your book any flights or hotels.
In addition, make sure that you have some blank pages in your passport too, for the entry and exit stamps from your destination.
2. Check the Visa Requirements for Your Nationality for Your Destination
Depending both on your nationality and where you’re going, there may be different visa requirements.
For example, Pakistan offers an Electronic Visa (eVisa) for the citizens of 191 countries, including visitors from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. This can be applied for online. Meanwhile, citizens of India who wish to visit Pakistan must apply for a visa at the nearest embassy or consulate.
As such, once you know what sort of visa you’re eligible for and how to apply, this makes planning your upcoming holiday abroad much simpler.
3. Find Out What You Need to Apply for Your Visa, and How Long It Takes
As well as researching what sort of visa you’re eligible for, it’s worthwhile seeing what supporting documents you’ll need to apply. For example, these may include:
- A photocopy or digital scan of your passport’s photo page, plus both covers.
- One or two recent, colour passport photos.
- Proof of a return flight ticket, or an onward ticket to your next destination.
- Receipts of hotel bookings, or other bookings like restaurants and attractions.
- Travel insurance.
- Proof that you can financially support yourself on your trip, like bank statements.
- Any required vaccinations, often against yellow fever.
Once you’ve confirmed these supporting documents, check too how long the visa takes to process. This is to factor into your trip planning. For example, if the visa takes a week to issue, then you’ll need to apply for it at least a week before your flight, to ensure your entry pass arrives in time.
4. Look Up the Location of Your Embassy Where You’re Going
It’s worthwhile learning where your closest embassy is in the country you’re travelling to. This is because the diplomatic staff there can assist in all sorts of ways, such as providing travel guidance for your destination, contacting your family at home if need be, and even providing travel documentation to get home if you mislay or damage your passport.
Furthermore, if you’re enjoying yourself on holiday and wish to stay longer, your embassy will be able to tell you if it’s possible to extend the validity of your visitor visa and how. Typically, this will involve visiting an immigration office while you’re already there.
5. Print a Copy of Your Visa, and Return Home While It Remains Valid
When you travel internationally, it’s a good idea to print a copy of your visa and other key documents, like your passport’s photo page, to store safely in your accommodation. This way, should you misplace your paperwork while you’re out exploring, you’ve got backups, either to show at the embassy or to your airline’s check-in staff on your way back.
What’s more, make sure that you exit your destination and return home while your visa remains valid. This is to ensure that your return journey goes smoothly and hiccup-free.
After more than 18 months of travel restrictions, many of us are looking forward to catching a flight and expanding our horizons internationally again. The guidance in this article will help make sure that your first post-COVID trip is enjoyable and straightforward, wherever you’re thinking of going.