Gruyeres, Switzerland

The Schengen Area is one of the largest open borders experiments in the world and you should consider traveling there as soon as you can!


It encompasses 26 European countries that allow you to travel freely with unrestricted movement. The area was first established in March 1995. It was an invention of the European Union as a way of strengthening their European single market. Take a look at the Schengen map to discover everything that these European countries can offer you.


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The Schengen Area

What Makes the Schengen Area the Best Place to Travel?


The Schengen Area is popular with many tourists since it offers passport-free travel between the member countries. That means if you arrive from a non-Schengen country, once you have passed through customs initially you can now travel to all of the countries within it without having to go through customs again.


For example, you can travel from Rome to Copenhagen without ever showing a passport. This is ideal for those travelers amongst us who love a road trip. One night you can be enjoying the sights of Bordeaux, with delicious French wine and cheeses, while the next you can be in the Bavarian alps with skis in hand.


However, one thing to be wary of is currency, as not all the Schengen Area is in  European Union, and some have their own currencies.  Therefore, you should research beforehand what currency you will require for your respective destinations.


It must also be said that most European establishments accept all types of credit cards and that makes the need to have different currencies less and less necessary. In this case, we recommend you do a little research on which cards charge the least commissions and offer the best exchange rate to avoid surprises when you return home.


A further big attractor of the Schengen Area is that if you are traveling between countries within it is that you don’t need to worry about trade embargos or limits on items such as alcohol and cigarettes. This is obviously a great benefit if you are going to be traveling through the area for an extended time since you don’t have to worry about limits or customs declarations on goods.


You can make the European trip you have always dreamed of using a rented vehicle with which you can move at your own pace, without the stress of airports and without the accommodation costs that can be very high in some European cities. You can even park in the middle of one of the hundreds of European forests and admire a beautiful starry night.


Keep in mind that all these benefits only apply if you are driving or traveling by train through the Schengen Area. If you are flying you will have to present ID such as a valid passport, but you still won’t have to re-clear customs if you are flying within the Schengen zone.


Also, it must be noted that you should check with the airline before you fly on baggage allowance and certain banned items or quantities of items that you are allowed to take on board.


Attempting to travel with banned or controlled items can lengthen the time you end up spending at different airports, so we recommend that you think carefully before buying a wine, a liquor or any other liquid if you are going to use multiple planes. 


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Imagine Your Dream Trip Across Europe


Think of all the big cities that you will be able to visit while traveling through the Schengen Area. Some examples include places such as Rome, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Berlin, Athens, Brussels, Copenhagen, Stockholm, among many others.


Think of the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, the Brandenburg Gate, the Alfama District, the Sagrada Familia and so many monuments that will make your trip to the Schengen Area unique.


A final point of note is that the United Kingdom and Ireland, which are some of the biggest attracting countries for tourists, are not within the Schengen Area. Therefore, when entering these areas, you will probably need to re-clear customs. However, travel between the UK and Ireland is unfettered and no customs clearance is required.


So, in conclusion, there is a broad appeal for many tourists to travel to the Schengen Area, not only because you get access to one country within it, but once inside the area you can freely move between all the countries without ever having to go through customs again.


If you were wanting to travel after such a long time of confinement, traveling to Europe and the Schengen Area is a great way to resume your traveling life.


Carissa Shuman

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