Countries That Require Visas To Visit

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Even the most seasoned of travelers might be surprised to learn that the country they’ve chosen for their upcoming vacation requires a visa for foreign entry. Unlike a passport, which is used to verify citizenship, a visa is an endorsement placed within an individual passport, which allows the holder to visit a certain country for a designated period. Read on for a partial list of countries that require U.S. citizens to obtain visas. Also, bear in mind that waits can be lengthy, so be sure to plan ahead.

Australia

Visitors to the Land Down Under must first obtain what’s known as an Electric Travel Authority (or ETA) from their travel agent or visa service. ETAs are valid for stays of up to 90 days.

Brazil

Brushing up on Portuguese isn’t the only step Brazilian tourists have to take — a visit to the local Brazilian Consulate is also in order. There are 10 such consulates maintained throughout the United States; check this website to find the one that’s closest.

China

The process for obtaining a visa to China is similar to that of Brazil; simply contact the embassy that has jurisdiction over your area of residence. Multiple-entry visas to China are valid for up to 10 years.

India

These are available in either single-entry (valid for a single stay of up to 30 days) or multiple-entry (valid for up to 10 years) form. Note that the application process is complicated; consider enlisting the aid of a visa expedition service.

Indonesia

Visas to Indonesia are available upon arrival at Indonesian international airports. Alternately, one can apply in advance at the local consulate.

Africa

As many African countries require a visa, it’s best to check the table available here to see if your desired destination appears on it. Visitors planning multiple stops in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda should consider the East Africa Tourist Visa, which allows multiple entries to these three countries in a 90-day period. Kenya also offers single-entry e-visas, available online.

Russia

As the visa process is complicated for anyone planning to visit Russia, use of a visa service is highly recommended. Note that you’ll need an official invitation — either tourist or business — before beginning the application, and that applications sent through the mail are not accepted.

From ArthurDanner.net

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West Coast Road Trip

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Considering that the drive between the Canadian and Mexican borders only takes about 30 hours, it’s no wonder that this trip is a common bucket-list staple. However, it would be sacrilegious to approach the journey with such a strict time frame. With so much to savor along the Pacific Coast Highway, travelers should give themselves at least a week, if not more, to appreciate all that this corner of the globe has to offer. Here’s a sampling of the highlights to be found along the way.

Seattle, WA

The Emerald City is arguably the hippest destination on the West Coast. With its iconic skyline, a plethora of coffee joints and microbreweries, and happening social scene, there’s something to delight travelers from any and all walks of life. Check out The World is Fun‘s website for a list of what not to miss.

Redwood National Park, CA

Find out why these ancient trees secured a line in the famous patriotic ditty “This Land is Your Land” with a tour through this awe-inspiring park. Don’t miss the “Chandelier Tree,” with a trunk wide enough for a car to pass through. See the National Park Service website for more information.

The Napa Valley

While this is a definite must for wine lovers, teetotalers will find plenty to enjoy in this scenic region as well. Always dreamed of taking in the sunrise from a hot air balloon? Here’s the place to do it.

San Francisco

This jewel of a city needs no introduction; the most difficult part for visitors is narrowing down the list of sights to see. For help with this part, check out this list of the “Top 25 Things to Do in San Francisco” at The Crazy Tourist.

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Big Sur

Take some time to explore the best of California’s dramatic, fog-shrouded coastline while passing through this region south of Carmel. Lucky, sharp-eyed visitors may catch a glimpse of sea otters frolicking in the waves. Lodging and dining options abound; check this guide for links to the best ones.

San Diego

The world-class San Diego Zoo is just one reason to make a stop in this beautiful city. Take a tour of a craft brewery, relax on the beach, or find out why this is one of the top surfing destinations in all of California.

From Patch

Sunniest Places In The World

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When it comes to planning a vacation, there are a few factors that come into play. How easy it is to get around, if it is kid-friendly, and whether it is affordable are all common factors people consider. However, many people also take into consideration a factor that can greatly affect your destination: how sunny is it? While most places experience tons of sun on occasion, these destinations are some of the sunniest in the world and may be great vacation destinations for you and your family.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and one of the most populous cities in the state. Luckily for both residents and tourists, it is also one of the sunniest places in the US. The city sees nearly 4000 hours of sun per year, particularly in summer. If you plan to take a trip to the southwest, make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, and also heed weather alerts. Over the past few years, the state has seen unusually high temperatures that can cause health problems. Make sure it is safe to go outside before traveling long distances.

Egypt

Egypt, one of the northernmost countries of Africa, is home to desert, pyramids, and lots of sunlight. Two of the sunniest cities in the world are located here: Aswan and Kharga. Although the days can climb far past 100 degrees Fahrenheit, lows in the Aswan region have reached roughly 50 degrees. Before hopping aboard a plane to Egypt, make sure to consult weather guides and determine what kind of clothing and other protective gear you will need on your trip.

Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands are some of the sunniest pieces of land in Europe. Located between Europe and Africa, this Spanish territory receives roughly 11 hours of sunlight per day. Unlike the previous two destinations, the Canary Islands are more moderate in temperature. During the summer, you can expect highs of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lows in the high 60s. The temperature is fairly consistent throughout the year, with maybe a 10 degree difference. Since the islands are in the middle of the sea, you can also expect wind to cool you down most days.

Although traveling to places with different climates is fun, sometimes it is nice to bask in the warm rays of the sun during your vacation. The sun has been shown to make us happier, and we can all appreciate being outside when the weather is nice. Next time you plan a vacation, consider travelling to one of these sunny places.

Originally posted on ArthurDanner.net

Rediscovering Your City

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Many people wish they could travel, but it can be difficult to save enough money or take the time off to really appreciate a new destination. Some people fall into a rut and with vacation as their only out, it can seem depressing to stay in one place. Yet, there is a solution to both the money problem and the rut problem; you can rediscover your city. If this sounds intriguing, read on for some ways you can make this happen.

Explore a new neighborhood.

Many cities have different neighborhoods with distinct personalities. Even if you live in a smaller city, try venturing out to an area you previously never have. You may find restaurants, shops, landmarks, and tons of other unique places that were under your radar. Along with new areas come new people, and getting to interact with people outside of your inner circle can lead to a new perspective.

Eat unfamiliar cuisine.

Everyone has a style of food they are familiar with, usually from eating it all throughout childhood. As we get older, experimenting with new dinners might sound like too much work after an already exhausting day. Luckily, most cities have a wide variety of restaurants with varied cuisine. Try searching online for places that serve unique food and make a reservation to try it out. You will be surprised at the love that goes into local eateries.

Browse local shops.

Stores like Walmart and Target may be all over the country, but small shops are still surviving. Every city has a thrift store or vintage and antiques dealer, so why not venture there one day? Supporting local businesses invigorates the economy and helps someone live their dream. Let’s face it: nobody wants to work at Walmart, but someone wanted to start that store down the street, and your business could save theirs.

Visit the farmer’s market.

Eating locally-sourced produce is great for the economy, the Earth, and your wallet, so become a frequent face around your farmer’s market. Depending on where you live, the farmer’s market may not be around all year, but take advantage of it when possible. You may make friends with the people running the stands, who often learn to recognize familiar faces.

Attend a festival.

What better way to rediscover your city than by attending a festival? All year you can find various cultural events taking place, and it is a fun way to learn about your city’s history. Even food festivals can tell you a lot about the people who live there. Try looking up a calendar for events and setting aside time to go to as many as possible.

While most of us would like to travel all around the world, it is not feasible for many of us. If you want the same thrill of travel without having to pay for flights or accommodations, try taking these tips and rediscovering your city.

Originally posted on ArthurDanner.net

Make Time Fly On Long Flights

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Long flights are notoriously boring, stuffy, and full of inconsiderate people. Unfortunately, if you are in a situation like this, there is not much you can do to get out of it. However, one way to overcome a long flight is to make sure time flies by. If you need ideas for things to do on a long flight, here are some of my favorites that make me forget I’m on that cramped plane.

Read a Good Book

All of us have that one book we’ve been meaning to read, but we just can’t seem to find the time. Long flights are the best time for that. I strongly suggest picking a book you know will keep you entertained and not a book you feel so-so about. If you’ve tried to read it several times and gave up because it’s boring, this is not the right book for you. Instead, try picking up a book at the airport before departure. You’ll be much happier on your flight after making that one purchase.

Download a Playlist

Whether you buy and download songs the old-fashioned way or listen to them using Spotify, I suggest downloading at least one playlist for your flight. This tip is definitely not one that will make your entire flight pass by, but I find playlists particularly effective during and shortly after takeoff, as well as right before and during landing. Even shaving half an hour off of both ends of your flight will make a big difference.

Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts are a great mixture of a book and a playlist. You have all of the thought-provoking aspects of a good book, but you can easily drown out your snoring seat neighbor. Better yet, there are tons of genres of podcast, so you are sure to find one you like. Just as a book, I would still suggest picking something you know you’ll like, or make sure to download several different ones.

Binge a Show

Just like books, shows you mean to watch often get pushed further down your list over time. A long flight is the best time to binge a show. You have nowhere to be, nobody to talk to, and your biggest interruption will be the flight attendant asking you what you would like to drink. If travel is making you stressed, though, you could opt for your favorite comedy show. Netflix has the option to download a wide variety of shows and movies to your device, which means you’ll never be bored on a long flight again. Just remember to download a few days before you take off, or you’ll become desperate to buy that overpriced airplane wifi.

When taking a long-haul flight, you might be tempted to try to get a lot done. Many people suggest taking work to do on the plane. However, unless you’re heading to a huge conference you need to prep for, I suggest you sit back and enjoy the flight. Nothing is better than a flight you barely notice right before an unforgettable vacation.

Originally posted on ArthurDanner.net.