Is Europe On Your Travel Bucket List? What Is ETIAS And How To Apply

Getting Ready For That Travel Ban Lift

By The Savvy Team
September 28, 2020
Adventures, Sponsored Post

While daydreaming about traveling the world again, you might be considering beautiful Europe… Find out whether you need to apply for the visa waiver ETIAS, how to obtain it and get the best of the old continent.

In Europe you can find the world’s top travel destinations: France, Italy, and Spain regularly rank highly on international tourism reports attracting millions of overseas visitors each year. Whether you’re interested in history and culture or want to explore beautiful natural landscapes, Europe has a little—or big—something for everyone.

If you’d like to experience Europe for yourself, you should be familiar with the EU’s visa policy. From 2022 there are going to be some important changes to entry requirements with the launch of the ETIAS visa waiver, keep reading to find out whether you’re eligible and what you need to do to apply.

Why go to Europe? Well, here are a few reasons

If you need reasons to go to Europe—or just a reminder—we will leave you with some pictures to appreciate the beautiful landscapes and historical heritage you can find there…

1. When you’re in love

Paris in Europe

Paris, France

Do we really need to explain?

2. When you’re a medieval times fan

Spain Europe

Gaztelugatxe, Spain

European Middle Ages lovers, a total of seven Game of Thrones-themed destinations awaits you in Europe. Scattered through the old continent, shooting locations of the famous American series can be visited and explored. Not to mention the hundred years old castles, old towns, museums…

3. When you want to get the best of year-end festivities 

Christmas Market Prague

Prague Christmas market

Strasbourg, Cologne, Salzburg, Budapest… The most difficult thing for you will be to pick the first Christmas market you want to visit. 

4. When you’re a nature lover (and want to travel sustainably)

Iceland Europe

Stokksnes cape, Iceland

Europe is filled with preserved nature and beautiful landscapes. If you want to immerse yourself in a sea of green, just pick your forest and disconnect from everything else. Stress-free vacations guaranteed. 

5. When a beach break is much-needed

Ibiza Spain


If The Guardian lists 40 beaches to visit in Europe, that must mean something.

What is the ETIAS and do I need to apply?

Ok, now you’ve decided: Europe is definitely on your bucket list. What do you need? ETIAS! 

ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorization System. Aimed at boosting safety across Europe, ETIAS is a new visa waiver program similar to the ESTA for the US.

Currently, passport holders from more than 60 non-EU countries can go to Europe without a visa, for short stays of up to 90 days. Although this has been convenient for travelers, calls for greater border security have led to the development of the new system. Once ETIAS is up and running through Europe, you’ll need to request an ETIAS visa waiver if you’re from one of the eligible countries including Japan, the United States of America, or Peru (get the full list on the ETIAS website).

How do I apply?

If you’re from one of the countries in the list above, you’ll need an ETIAS visa waiver to cross an external Schengen Area border. This means that the permit will be mandatory when traveling to Europe from a non-EU country.

Once you’ve crossed the external border you can travel freely across the borderless Schengen zone. That’s 26 countries in total including Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Portugal to name just a few. You won’t be stopped at checkpoints as you travel through Europe, but you must always have your passport with you.

With so many exciting places to see, you might be wondering how long you can stay in Europe with an ETIAS. With the visa waiver, you can spend up to 90 days in Europe in a 180-day period. 

It’s a multiple-entry permit so if you can’t visit everywhere you want to see on one visit, you can make several trips. ETIAS is valid for 3 years from the date of issue, or until your passport expires, whichever happens first. 

My country isn’t on the list, what do I do?

If you’re from a third country that does not appear on the list of eligible countries, you’ll likely need a visa to visit Europe. You can apply for a Schengen visa at a European country embassy or consulate, just be sure to allow plenty of time as visa applications take longer to process. Plenty of time to fill up that Europe travel bucket list! 

Is there anywhere in Europe you are dying to go? Tell us in the comments! 

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