Good News For USA Citizens Going Backpacking in Europe: Visa Waiver

For a few years, European Union citizens (and those from some other selected countries) have been able to get a USA visa waiver option, which currently makes entry to the USA cost a mere $14 US for such applicants. It’s a relatively easy process, which means those passport holders don’t need to visit a US Embassy as long as they meet the requires for the visa waiver option. This has made travelling to the USA extremely smooth and easy for many such citizens. However, the same option wasn’t always reciprocated by European countries. Until recently that is. This is when we hear the super news about the ETIAS visa.

Good News For USA Citizens Going Backpacking in Europe: Visa Waiver

What exactly does this mean?

It basically means that US citizens holding a valid US passport can apply for the new ETIAS visa waiver program for an easier and smoother entrance into the EU, albeit minus the United Kingdom which will leave before then due to the Brexit vote. Countries currently in the EU, that I recognise include:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (but not Greenland or Christiania), Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

This means that Gibraltar, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and selected others are not included.

Backpacking in Christiania (the Freetown in Copenhagen – non EU)

When will it start?

In short, this will mean that a visa waiver program for US citizens will be available after being introduced on 1 January 2021.

How can I apply?

It is going to be made very simple for you through the ETIAS visa website, which I have previously mentioned. It will be a case of submitting the forms and waiting to see your visa approved.

EU visa made easy

Top 3 EU countries to tour?

So hopefully you will get your EU visa waiver easily and are ready to explore. The nest question is where to visit in the European Union. Well, since Northern Ireland will leave the EU after Brexit, then personally I’d go for Poland, Faroe Islands and Estonia, here’s a quick overview of all of them.
1.Poland
Think friendly people, welcoming bars and restaurants, quirky cafes, old towns and delicious food. From pierogi or bigos in Warszawa Old Town, to craft beer in Starogard Gdański to historical tours in Gdańsk, Poland will surprise you and be the highlight of your European adventure. Poland also happens to be very good value. It’s a gem.
Tourist Starogard Gdanski

Backpacking in Starogard Gdański

2.Faroe Islands
For nature, hikes and gorgeous landscape, head to the Faroe Islands. While it may not be the cheapest part of Europe, there is certainly spectacular views almost everywhere you go.

On the ferry from Vidoy to Fugloy, Faroe Islands

3.Estonia
Old Town in Tallinn is beautiful and still a little less touristic than other manjor EU capitals. Good food and bars and a trip to the seaside town of Parnu help put Estonia on the map.

Thirsty Thursdays: Top 13 Bars in Tallinn, Estonia

Whatever happens, good luck and enjoy your time in the European Union.
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