Do you need a visa to travel to Europe next year?

Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! I don’t know about you, but I look forward to fall days after a long, hot summer. Living in the Northeast means changing of the leaves and wardrobe both of which I welcome.

Fall is also an ideal time to travel to many destinations (cooler temps and fewer crowds than summer), and Hidden Gem Travel clients are jetting off for international vacations to places that include Portugal, Italy, Austria, France, and England. Others are scrutinizing their 2024 calendar and figuring out when they can plan their next trip.

2023 broke records for trips to Europe, and the trend will continue into 2024. For that reason, I highly recommend that clients look beyond Europe to places further afar that are on their travel bucket list – a few examples being African safaris, Galapagos Islands, Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, Egypt/Jordan, and Asia. Stay tuned to this newsletter for inspiration that will motivate you to make 2024 the year of exploring farther.

If you’re still focused on Europe, I share a question that popped up last week that may be on some client’s minds as they look to travel to Europe in 2024. Read on for the scoop/PSA…

Do you need a visa to travel to Europe next year?

The simple answer is not a visa, but there will be a new step in the planning process –  you will need to apply for and receive a travel authorization to enter the 30 countries you see in the photo above. 

IMPORTANT NOTE – THE NEW SYSTEM CALLED ETIAS HAS NOT  BEEN LAUNCHED YET, but I will be keeping a close eye on the situation for my clients. Also, things can change between now and the time of the official launch, so the information that I share here is accurate as of today.

Here’s the information we know at this time in a nutshell (most of which is taken from the official website):

The name of the new system, ETIAS, stands for ‘European Travel Information and Authorisation System.’ The cost is expected to be 7 Euros, and travelers under 18 or over 70 years of age are exempt from this payment — but will need to apply.

Again, ETIAS is not a visa. It is an authorization system for visa-exempt travelers like us from the USA.

“You are advised to obtain the ETIAS travel authorisation before you buy your tickets and book your hotels. Most applications will be processed within minutes and at the latest within 96 hours. However, some applicants may be asked to provide additional information or documentation or to participate in an interview with national authorities, which may take up to an additional 30 days. Your ETIAS travel authorisation is valid for three years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.”

Closely check your passport expiration date: Your passport needs to be valid for three months after your departure from countries that require ETIAS.

As with airplane tickets, your ETIAS authorization needs to match exactly the information on your passport. If it doesn’t match, you won’t be allowed entry.

Bottom line: It’s a bit tricky (the devil is in the details), and an extra step, but a straight-forward process as long as you follow the directions.

💎Hidden Gem Tip: If you know or hope that you’ll be traveling to any of the 30 European countries next year, apply for an ETIAS when it’s launched. It lasts for three years (as long as your passport is valid for those three years), and the cost is nominal.

Wishing you and your family unforgettable travel adventures,


Follow my Facebook/Instagram pages this week for more travel inspiration: or Instagram:

Make your own Wanderlist for 2024! As a reminder, Wanderlist is an online portal where you can research, explore, and create shareable lists of destinations and experiences. Share your list with me so I can make it happen for you. Check it out here:  

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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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