The pandemic rendered travel unrecognizable. At least for a span that stretched from early 2020 well into 2021. Between the coronavirus, border closures, and widespread doubts about the industry as a whole, it seemed like travel as we knew it was gone for good.
Now that we are getting ready to turn the calendar to 2022, optimism about travel is starting to coarse throughout the industry.
Thanks largely to the foundation for a successful vaccination campaign executed on a global scale, international travel has perked back up in regions across the world that welcomed millions upon millions of visitors per year.
One such region is Europe and, more specifically, the European Union. Europe receives astronomical numbers of tourists each year. The incredible diversity of the many nations comprising the European Union offers visitors almost anything they could imagine. Furthermore, they do so in a way that facilitates easy travel within and between those countries.
To maintain a sturdy level of security regarding whom the EU allows to visit, travel officials have developed a new online visa waiver system that they are preparing to deploy at the end of 2022.
The ETIAS is the Electronic Travel Information and Authorization System. Instead of being a traditional visa, it is a visa waiver that will allow applicants to quickly apply online for pre-approval to enter Europe.
Find out more about who can apply for an ETIAS and then read on for more information about travel to Europe in 2022.
Learning More About the ETIAS for 2022
There are currently around 60 nations across the world that are not required to apply for a visa before entering Europe. Among those countries are The United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, and more. Passport holders from those countries will be required to obtain an ETIAS when it is launched.
As Europe works to rebuild financially, part of the key to that plan is to once again welcome as many tourists as would be sustainable.
While adding a step to the pre-trip process may feel arduous and antithetical to the idea of welcoming tourists, the steps for acquiring an ETIAS will be as simple as possible. In addition, the extra security it will provide will help ensure that Europe remains as attractive a destination as possible.
Applicants for the ETIAS will only need to provide a few bits of personal information like the details from their passports. Also, their phone number, address, and, most importantly, a valid email address.
An email address is crucial to acquiring an ETIAS because the valid visa waiver will be issued directly to the applicant’s email after just a few business days.
Once the ETIAS has been delivered, it is wise to print out a hard copy in case the border officials wish to double-check their records.
When Will the ETIAS Become Mandatory?
As of the end of 2021, the plan remains for the ETIAS to be launched roughly within a year. That is to say sometime around the end of 2022. Anybody who is a passport holder from an ETIAS eligible country who is planning to visit Europe in 2022 should continue to monitor the implementation of the ETIAS while they make their travel arrangements to avoid any issues.
In addition to the lack of a firm date, European officials are also considering a six-month grace period from the time the ETIAS is made available to the time when its absence will be enforced by border control.
That does not mean that it is wise to ignore the ETIAS until the middle of 2023, simply that potential travelers should continue to update themselves with the most current information.
Which European Destinations Should Vacationers Visit in 2022?
Every year, countless websites put out their list of the top European destinations for that year. The writers of these articles mention cultural events that will take place in those locations as proof as to why you should visit.
Often these events involve huge gatherings of people from all over the world. While some people may be ready to get in among the crowds, it is okay if you are perhaps still anxious about that thought following a few socially distanced years.
With that in mind, that makes 2022 the perfect year to take a trip to that remote town in Italy or Spain you have always wanted to visit. Instead of going to see the Vatican in Rome, why not visit a hilly or coastal town where you can relax and breathe easily?
It isn’t that visiting big cities is a bad idea, just a reminder that although as far as continents go Europe isn’t the largest, there are still plenty of small, wonderful places to escape to for a relaxing getaway.