Everyone wants to, at least at one point in their lives, be able to travel. To step outside the confines of what is familiar, and be surrounded by all things new and exciting. Travelling used to be something only the rich and famous can afford to do, however, with proper planning and some know-how, anyone can now easily travel.
Budget airlines offer affordable flights, travel agencies give early bird specials, bed and breakfast facilities, and backpackers or hostels are now gaining ground and have become suitable alternatives to traditional hotels. So many changes have happened in the last decade which have made travelling easier even for the budget conscious traveler. However, before you buy your ticket and pack your bags, make sure that you are able to enter the country you want to visit.
One of the minor inconveniences of traveling is getting permission to cross the border. Unfortunately, not everyone can traipse in and out of countries like most people go in and out of their front door. In some cases, countries require their visitors, depending on the kind of passports they carry, to have visitor or entry visas before they can set foot on their soil.
According to the 2013 Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, travellers holding passports issued from Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom can enter 173 countries without needing a visa, while travellers holding passports issued from Pakistan and Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan can only enter 32, 31 and 28 countries without a visa, respectively.
The list of countries with the most and least visa free arrangements with other countries can be viewed below.
173 countries – Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom
172 countries – Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, USA
171 countries – Belgium, Italy, Netherlands
170 countries – Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain
168 countries – New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland
32 countries – Pakistan, Somalia
31 countries – Iraq
28 countries – Afghanistan
If the country you want to visit does not have a visa-free arrangement with your homeland, you have no other choice but to apply for an entry or visitor visa. An alternative would be to consider visiting the countries you can enter without a visa. That will spare you the stress and might even save you a bit of money which you can use for more important travel expenses (shopping).