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On his recent trip to the United States, India's Prime Minister Nahendra Modi confirmed that his country's plan to expand its visa-on-arrival service to 180 countries will include U.S. travelers for stays of up to 30 days.
While we were initially optimistic that the program would be up and running by now, Modi said the expansion will be delayed until sometime next year, most likely coinciding with the introduction of India's new e-visa system in early summer, which will allow travelers to get a visa online prior to their trip. The delay is a bummer, but it makes sense to wait at this point. Otherwise, by the time U.S. travelers got used to the visa-on-arrival system, the new e-visa operation would make it irrelevant.
Why is there only one season earmarked for organization? Spring cleaning is the shaking out of rugs, dusting off of shelves, and restocking the pantry after winter, but we propose a similar approach for fall, focused on travel.
Whether you’ve spent the whole summer hopping continents or just headed out on a few road trips, right now is the ideal time to unzip wallets and air out duffel bags in anticipation of yet more travel.
Prepare now for winter & holiday travel by:
Just as the arrival of spring means spring cleaning, so too does the coming of autumn call for a reorganization. For this season, we recommend lining up your holiday travel plans, reviewing any upcoming itineraries and, most important of all, having a detailed look at your travel documents such as visas and passports.
The US Department of State agrees, and recently even issued a nice reminder about passport validity, including some fun facts:
Visas / Travel News / Bangkok Travel / BKK / Thailand Travel / Southeast Asia Travel / Passports / → All Tags
In response to decreased tourism returns this year due in part to the country’s political woes, Thailand has doubled the amount of days that tourists are allowed to stay in the country on a visa-exempt stamp from 30 to 60.
Passport holders from 49 nations, including the United States, do not need to apply for a visa to enter Thailand. Instead, travelers from these nations receive a visa-exempt stamp upon arrival which grants them 30 days in the country. Under the new rule, tourists can now obtain a one-time, 30-day extension stamp when their initial 30 days expires by visiting an immigration office. The extension will be granted same-day and costs $59 (1,900 baht).
Mobile Apps / United / Airline News / Travel Tech / Passports / → All Tags
Two days ago, when checking in for a flight from Denver to Guatemala City on the United app, we were unable to obtain a mobile boarding pass and had to check in at the desk upon arriving at the airport.
The reason for this is that a passenger's passport must be verified before a boarding pass - regardless of whether it's paper or mobile - can be issued on international flights. Surely, you're familiar with the self check-in kiosk that makes you scan your passport, and that send you to the desk agent when it malfunctions.
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Our favorite piece of travel technology to spread in 2014 is the Automated Passport Control (APC) Kiosk, and every new airport added to the list of users is one more notch for progress. Joining the club this summer have been Newark, Atlanta, andnewest of allDetroit Metropolitan International Airport, who just completed installation of 30 shiny kiosks.
The APC, which began at Vancouver International Airport, now allow travelers arriving from international flights to quickly enter their details, snap a photo, receive a stamp, and continue on their merry way into baggage claim; this is as opposed to waiting in a long line to see an agent for the usual passport review and stamp. It's not Global Entry; it's something better than Global Entry, not to mention the fact it's completely free.
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't get that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
While rifling though some old documents, we happened upon a US passport issued in 1952. Although there are few stamps over which to "ooh" and "aah," the design and requirements within the tiny book did open our eyes a bit as to how restrictive world travel was for the average American.
As you're no doubt aware, World Wars I and II really messed up international relations. As citizens of one of the victors, US travelers were at least more free than most when it came to crossing borders, but some countries still remained on the hot list.
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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news to travelers who've shelled out for Global Entry, but a better option is quickly gaining popularity at major US airports...and it's free to use.
The automated passport kiosk allows travelers arriving from international lights to quickly enter their details, snap a photo, receive a stamp, and continue on their merry way into baggage claim; this is as opposed to waiting in a long line to see an agent for the usual passport review and stamp.
We first experienced the smooth and snappy process back in October, and fell in love with it. It seems that airports and fellow flyers echo our feelings, as over 10 airports have added the machines, with more to come:
When it comes to planning a trip overseas, too much information is never a bad thing, especially as it pertains to the details of crossing borders.
United States citizens are lucky enough to be able to travel around the world nearly unfettered, but there are exceptions here and there, with visas and/or fees required in certain countries. Luckily our buddies at CN Traveler have the latest visa requirements.
Airport Security / Travel Tech / Global Entry / TSA / IAH / Airports / Airport News / Passports / → All Tags
We have not been shy when it comes to sharing our love and affection for some of the new technology making its way into the passport and immigration control line. Automated kiosks smooth the process, and of course cutting down on lines after a long-haul flight is always a plus.
This week some of this travel technology makes its way over to Texas, as Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport is now featuring some of those awesome Automated Passport Control kiosks.
Travel Safety / Thailand Travel / Phuket Travel / Passports / MH370 / Crimes / → All Tags
An entire weekend has passed since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and, in that time, the only news of any consequence has been that at least two passengers onboard were traveling under false identities, using stolen passports.
No aircraft, wreckage, emergency calls, or anything to decipher the mystery has been found.
What we have now is a world distressed by the use of these stolen passports, both swiped in the last two years while the original owners (who are alive still) were visiting the popular vacation destination of Phuket, Thailand. Phuket is an island towards the south of Thailand, much nearer to the border with Malaysia than the Thai capital of Bangkok.
India Travel / Passports / Visas / Travel Tips / Immigration / → All Tags
We’ve seen some good visa news and advice over the last few days, and now we have even more to share. India seems to get be getting on board the technology bandwagon, and they’re streamlining their whole entry process.
The country is boosting its offerings when it comes to allowing visas on arrival to visitors from around 180 countries, and that does include those making the journey from the United States. Right now there’s only like 11 countries that can do this, so it’s certainly quite an expansion. Obviously the thought behind things is convenience, but we’re also thinking that the country is eager to cash in on some more tourist dollars.