It seems with the new year and the new administration has come new travel hurdles. First, there was the travel ban. While the original ban is no longer in place, a new one has just come out and with it similar challenges. In other recent news there is now the possibility that Americans will be required to get a visa in order to travel to Europe.
Yup, this could be huge.
Just this past week, European Union lawmakers voted to deny US citizens visa-free access to all EU member states. With this vote, the European Commission has the ability to act if the U.S. doesn’t change its policy within two months.
So, the way it works right now is that Americans can travel through any EU country without a visa. But, not every EU country has the same rights when they travel to the US. And the EU wants this to change.
If the US does reciprocate visa-free access to all the EU countries, then no change would take place. But, if not, then there is a chance the EU will change its policy as early as this summer.
So, what does this all mean?
Well, if you’re planning a destination wedding, honeymoon or vacation to any of the EU countries this year or next year, it may require some extra work.
If you’re familiar with the visa process, sometimes it’s easy. But, other times it can take a while to get one. You have to plan in advance and it can be a pain in the butt.
And remember, for a destination wedding, it’s not just for you and your partner, but also something all your guests would have to do too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely doable, but having to get a visa makes the process harder.
But, the big issue is if you’re planning your destination wedding, honeymoon or vacation for this year. We won’t know when or if the reciprocity issue will be resolved. But if it isn’t and your travel to Europe is coming up you may have to scramble.
If you’ve already picked your location and finalized plans, there isn’t anything you can do, but I want you to be aware. Keep up with the news so that you know what’s happening and can take action as necessary.
Now if you haven’t yet settled on a location in Europe, this a time to think about it. If you have your heart set on a particular area, then go for it and just know you may have some extra work you need to do. But if you aren’t sold on an EU country, you may want to consider other options. Like the UK, Norway, Iceland or Switzerland.
Either way, it’s important to be aware of these potential changes. Because the visa requirements can definitely affect the planning of your destination wedding, honeymoon or vacation.
**UPDATE (May 2017): The EU decided not to change its policy, so no visas are required at this time.
(Photo credit: Julia Winkler)
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