Traveling Europe for long time

If you are a non-European citizen and think about a long journey throughout Europe (and maybe do some volunteering along the road) then this post is for you.

Most of the countries around the world like USA, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, among others, are allowed to travel to European countries that are part of the Schengen Area for a period of 90 days within any 180 day period in this area. This restricts your travels to only 3 months in this area but doesn’t mean you need to go back home 😉

Schengen_Area_Labelled_MapCountries painted on both dark and light blue are part of the Schengen Area.

What makes more sense after a 90 days period in the Schengen Area is just to move to a nearby country that is not part of it like Ireland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, etc. Don’t forget to check your Visa Requirements before hand! Smart Backpacker App makes it easy for you 🙂

For example, Argentinean citizens can just spend 3 months in Romania or 1 month in Romania, 1 month in Bulgaria and 1 month in Macedonia before going back to a Schengen country. These are just two of the many options.

In addition, here are a few recommendations I’ve been following myself:

  • Keep track of the number of days inside and outside Schengen Area
    • This seems to be trivial but if you’re not careful enough this could get you into troubles. Some countries are more strict than others with the penalty so make yourself a favor and just keep track of the number of days you have spent around.
  • Keep a list or memorize the countries that belong to Schengen Area
    • This way will be easy to identify which ones are not part as well. As a general rule UK, Ireland and most of the Eastern European countries are not part of Schengen.
  • Book a ticket to another country before entering a new country
    • Or at least have your alibi ready… This is not really necessary but some countries are extremely annoying with border control, specially when arriving by air, and you’re required to have a ticket to leave the country.
    • Don’t worry, most of the time you don’t need one and it’s totally safe to just say that you’ll be traveling by land and you’ll buy the bus ticket later on but for UK and Ireland you’ll more likely be asked for this.

And that’s pretty much it, hope you have found this information useful and don’t forget to always check your Visa Requirements!


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