So you’re planning an extended trip to Europe, great! You most likely have already mapped out the cities you’d like to visit, sought out friends for advice and possibly went ahead and downloaded the best apps for travel… but have you thought about a visa?
It is always a good idea to research a country’s specific entry requirements before planning a trip abroad. For non-EU citizens planning to backpack or travel throughout Europe for more than 3 months, in addition to having a valid passport, you will need to familiarize yourself with the Schengen Area Agreement.
What is the Schengen Area Agreement? It is a border agreement between 26 European countries to allow EU citizens to travel and settle freely within the area. Non-EU citizens, with the proper documentation, are also permitted to travel freely within the Schengen area, but are limited to 90 days out of an 180 day period.
Schengen countries include: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Liechtenstein.
You may be asking yourself, but what if I want to travel throughout Europe for longer than 90 days?
Traveling for more than 90 days throughout Europe is possible, if you plan accordingly. You can split up time between the Schengen area and non-Schengen countries. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom are all part of the EU, but are non-Schengen countries.
For example, you can spend 45 days in the Schengen area, then fly to say, the United Kingdom, and spend however many days the UK tourist visa will allow, then re-enter the Schengen area for your remaining 45 days.
Again, it is best to research country specific entry requirements before considering travel to the United Kingdom, or another non-Schengen country, as you may be asked for additional documentation.
For more information about the Schengen area visit: