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What you need to know when traveling Europe

Are you thinking about how and where to spend your summer? Visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Trevi Fountain in Rome or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam does sound great, right? Well, if you are considering spending your summer traveling through Europe, here is everything you need to know.

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Visa

The first thing you need is a valid passport and a visa. Learn everything about the laws of the country you plan to visit. Some countries require you to have a valid passport for some months, depending on the country, after your arrival date. Otherwise, you will probably be denied entry to a certain country.

However, there is an easier way for you to get all documentation required and travel freely through Europe and that is ETIAS. As you know getting a visa can be complicated and time-consuming. You can apply for ETIAS by filling the application online and once approved; you will able to move freely through the Schengen area countries.

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Transportation

While in Europe, you can use any mean of transportation you like. If you book a flight in advance, you will pay it cheaper. Additionally, public transportation in European capital cities is also economical. You can buy 3 or even 7-day ticket and use it in the metro or buses. Make sure to always have your ticket with you, because you will probably encounter transport ticket police and if you don’t have a validated ticket, you could end up paying a large fine.

Accommodation

Be sure to always book your hotel room on time, before starting your trip. If you are on a budget, you should avoid accommodation in the city center because it can be very expensive due to high demand. You should consider accommodation on the outskirts of the city. Yes, you will not be able to see the city’s main square from your balcony, but as mentioned above, public transportation in every European city is cheap and accessible.

Money

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Another major thing you should be informed about is the currency rate and prices. All countries that are part of the European Union use the euro as the official currency. However, if you are visiting some country that is not a member of the EU, you should learn everything about the currency they use. Make sure to always pay in local currency. It may seem easier to pay in U.S. dollars, but a lot of local restaurants and stores will charge you a higher currency rate, so you’ll be just wasting your money. Moreover, you should avoid using ATMs. Why? Well, if you use a foreign ATM, you’ll probably be charged with additional fees. Research the exchange offices in the area with the lowest currency rate and get your money there. Also, make sure to always have cash with you, because sometimes your credit card can be declined in a foreign country.

Places to visit

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Before going on your trip, research all the places you want to visit. There are so many interesting things to see and try in Europe and each city is unique. Make a plan of your journey to visit as many cities as you can and discover the diversity of cultures, life and food. Drink wine in France; eat ice-cream in Italy, chocolate in Switzerland and waffles in Belgium. Explore different architectural style in Budapest and Prague, follow in the footsteps of Italian emperors in Rome, learn about Greek mythology in Athens or explore the Game of Thrones filming locations in Croatia.

This is the list of some basic items to consider before starting your journey through Europe. It shouldn’t take you a lot of time to research all practical aspects of your trip, and then you should dedicate your time to investigating all the places you should visit and things you should experience while in Europe.

Everything You Need to Know About ETIAS

As one would assume, there are a lot of countries whose citizens are not part of the European Union. However, despite not being part of the EU, these citizens can enter the Schengen Zone without needing a visa. Out of all the non – EU countries, currently, there are 61 which do not require its citizen’s visa’s in order to travel to members of the European Union.

These citizens can stay up to 90 days for either business or travel purposes, but they are not allowed to do any kind of work or study for the duration of their stay. Those who travel can engage in tourism and business, but any breach of the above-mentioned rules could mean instant deportation.

Because of the immigrant crises, the European Union members have been calling for a new and better system that will control who enters the European Union. While the first goal of the European Union is to improve the travel experience between their members, the procedures and time spent waiting has been frustrating.

Recently, a new system has been proposed. This system will eliminate waiting time, reduce the lengthy procedures, and address all the security concerns. This new system has been called ETIAS.

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What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, and it is a fully electronic system that will keep track of visitors going in and out of the Schengen Zone. It will be applied to citizens of those 61 countries that are not part of the EU but do not require a visa to enter their members. It closely resembles the ESTA system deployed by the United States, and it’s expected to be fully operational by 2021.

The ETIAS will be used to undergo a detailed security check of everyone who wishes to enter the Schengen Zone. This security check will then determine if the applicant can be allowed to enter the Schengen Zone. Since applicants from those 61 countries can only stay for 90 days for business and travel purposes, the ETIAS will be trusted to screen the applicants and determine whether they are a threat or not. The ETIAS system can gather, store, and update any necessary information of applicants to further make it safe for the members of the Schengen Zone.

The ETIAS will also be used by applicants for medical and transit reasons. This system will be mandatory for all countries who are Schengen visa-free and it will take effect as late as 2021.

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What ETIAS looks to Solve?

The ETIAS looks to solve the ever-growing security concerns amid the immigrant crisis and everything that comes with it. As the president of the EC (European Commission) Jean-Claude Juncker stated, “We will know who travels to Europe before they even get here.”

The EITAS system promises to keep the members of the EU safe from any potential threats, but can also assist EU countries in a few other ways:

  • ETIAS will reduce procedures and application times
  • ETIAS will improve the management of EU borders
  • ETIAS will assist in detecting crime and threats of terror
  • ETIAS will improve irregular migration
  • EITAS will reinforce the visa liberation policies set in place by the EU
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Conclusion

All in all, the ETIAS system will make traveling the EU less of a hassle and safer for both the people who are traveling and the members of the European Union.