Travel news for those considering European travel in the next few years…

    Houses on a high hill in Madeira, Portugal.

One of the determining reasons we haven’t visited Europe, as one might think during our world travels, has been the visa restrictions imposed by the requirement of us applying for the Schengen Visa that prevented us from staying in participating countries as follows:

“Schengen visas have several restrictions, including:
  • Entry type
    Schengen visas can be single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry. A single-entry visa allows the holder to enter the Schengen area once, while double-entry allows two entries. Multiple-entry visas allow unlimited entry and exit as long as the 90-day period within six months is not exceeded.
  • Length of stay
    Schengen visa holders can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days within any 180 days. After leaving the Schengen area, the holder must wait 90 days before re-entering. Staying longer than 90 days without a long-stay visa or residence permit can result in being considered illegally present and a potential re-entry ban.
Country of application

Schengen visas are generally valid for all countries in the Schengen area, but applications must be made at the consulate of the primary destination country.”

The restriction prevented us from staying in multiple European countries for multiple two to three-month stays, which we’ve preferred over the years. Another factor is that after 34 cruises and many European countries we’ve already visited, we have less interest in touring historic buildings, churches, and museums than other venues. We’ve seen more than we can count.
As most of our readers know after reading our posts for years, our primary interests have revolved around wildlife and remote locations. There are countless such places in Europe, but long-term stays in such locations are cost-prohibitive for our budget and lifestyle.
Short-term stays of one or two weeks are more affordable, but we are past the point of staying only one or two weeks in one location, especially at this point in our lives (hopefully able to travel again within the next 12 months). Our time in Europe was amazing, and we treasured every moment. But we’re not chomping at the bit to return.
Now, Europe is instituting a new visa/entry process planned to commence in 2024 but postponed to 2025 due to a lack of preparedness for this new system. See below for details:
 / Source: NBC News

Americans who are planning to visit Europe in 2024 don’t have to worry about applying to the European Union’s new travel authorization system yet.

For almost a decade now, European Union authorities have been working on a visa-like system called the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. It’s for travelers from “visa-exempt” countries like the U.S., and the U.S. has a similar system. After several years of delays, ETIAS was expected to go online in 2024, but it has now been pushed back to mid-2025 because its entry/exit database isn’t ready.

The system is not handling applications yet so that American travelers can hold off a bit longer on their paperwork.

Eventually, travelers from visa-exempt countries who want to go to most EU nations, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, will have to register online. Most people will have to pay an application fee of 7 euros ($7.70). All of those travelers, including small children, will have to apply.

Travelers from Canada, Mexico, Australia, and most South American countries will have to apply through ETIAS as well.

The EU says most applications will be processed within minutes, but some will take days or weeks and require additional information, so it advises people to apply well in advance before their trips.

Assuming authorization is granted, it will be good for three years or until the user’s passport expires, whichever is first. That authorization will allow travelers to enter those European countries as often as they want for short stays, typically 90 days in any 180 days — assuming border security approves.”

Again, like the Schengen Visa, this process will take time and preparedness for travelers considering travel to European countries, regardless of how long you plan to stay.

At this point, we have no intentions to travel to Europe. Those days are over for us. However, we still have to deal with the restrictions of staying in South Africa for over 90 days. The easiest solution is to fly back to the US, stay for a few days, and return for another 90-day stay. For right now, we’re looking forward to a 90-day stay.

We hope this information is useful for our readers considering travel to Europe for short and long-term stays at any time in the future.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June , 2014:

This was our house in Campanario, Madeira, which is high on a hill, like most homes on the island. We took this photo as we walked down the steep road in front of it. For more photos, please click here.

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