Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe: 3 Things to Consider When Crossing International Borders

by  Alex Schechter | Jan 20, 2014
Passport / goodmoments/iStock

As much as we love travel, no one loves the red-tape-filled process of getting a new visa. Here are a few helpful tips for securing your travel documents in a few specific places around the world -- namely, in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe. We chose these areas because you're more likely to cross a border while you're traveling there, and/or because there are some new developments around visa laws in these countries. Our tips below (including a new multi-country visa program in East Africa) ought to make the process a little less cumbersome next time you embark on a multi-leg trip...

East Africa
Earlier this month, a new single joint visa was launched facilitating travel between Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, all of which converge in the continent's central eastern section. The news is particularly well-timed, as Rwanda recently made the cut as a  "Destination to Watch In 2014" by both Conde Nast Traveller (UK) and National Geographic Traveler. The single-pass visa is valid for 90 days, can be obtained by any of the three participating countries, and costs $100.

Southeast Asia
When you fly into Thailand, all U.S. citizens are required to have a free 30-day tourist visa. From here, you have a choice of five neighboring countries which you could pass into directly from Thailand, by air or land. In Vietnam, visitors must apply for their visa before actually traveling to the country. A similar restriction, though less rigid, is in effect in Myanmar. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos, it is possible to simply obtain your visa at the border. Just be sure to bring $25-$40 per person in cash, and have a passport that's valid for at least another six months.

Though tourists with a U.S. passport are free to travel within Europe without a visa, some have encountered problems when attempting to cross into Turkey from neighboring Greece or Bulgaria. A visa is required, which can be obtained at the airport or during the border crossing for $20. However, the Financial Times is reporting there could be new laws allowing visa-free travel between the E.U. and Turkey within the next few years. (An exception to Turkey's visa requirements are cruise passengers, who are allowed to disembark without a visa for period of up to 72 hours).

For more information on visa regulations for US citizens, click here.

For more information on southeast Asia border crossings, click here.

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