In case you haven’t heard the news as yet – Americans are going to need a “visa” to travel to Europe in 2024. This comes as the European Union prepares to launch a new program that will include new travel document requirements for U.S passport holders – and anyone else who can currently travel to the region visa-free, including Canadians. It’s set to launch in early 2024.
Here’s what you need to know about the new entry requirements and why you shouldn’t fret just yet. After all, there’s at least one top travel destination that’s still easy to travel to. And, you won’t even have to fly across the pond to get there.
New Requirements for Travel to Europe
Though not a visa in the traditional sense, the new system launched by the European Union – the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) – will require travelers to seek approval for travel via an online application. That approval, which can take anywhere between an hour and 96 hours to be given, will then be delivered to applicants via email.
In the application, travelers will be required to provide biographical information, travel history details, and travel plans. Once received, the ETIAS travel authorization is valid for up to three years or until the passport expires. Required for travelers of all ages, the application costs roughly US $8.
According to the ETIAS website, the new requirements will see some 1.4 billion people from over 60 visa-exempt countries required to have travel authorization to enter most European countries. You can find a list of the 30 nations that will require ETIAS authorization here.
Americans Travel Visa-Free to Belize
The ETIAS application process is simple and, as one frequent flyer told Conde Nast Traveler, “just one more step” to think about before your trip. Still, if you’re looking for an easy and convenient destination with no shortage of culture, scenery, and adventure, then set your sights on the Caribbean country that is Belize. Geographically a part of Central America, this tiny nation has a lot to offer the eager traveler. That’s especially true considering that it’s just a three-hour flight away from most major U.S cities. Plus, with a slew of non-stop flights courtesy of major airlines in both the U.S. and Canada, getting to Belize is mostly hassle-free.
The best part though, is that you likely don’t need a visa to visit Belize. For stays of up to 30 days, nationals of the U.S. and its territories, Canada, the U.K., most CARICOM countries, Central American countries, and a slew of other nations can travel visa-free.