Applying for Visa
There are basically 2 categories of visa for short term stay:
- Irrespective of what category of visa you want to apply for, ensure that you apply atleast a month before your travelling date.
- Don’t get the actual bookings done until you have visa stamped on your passport, as there are cases that the visa might get rejected without any logical reason 🤷🏻and you’ll become bankrupt 😛. But while you’re applying you need to show an itinerary of your travel. For that you can get dummy itinerary from visareservation.com. They give you bookings with a reference id which is verifiable ✅ online and that’s all you need.
- Although the schengen visa gives you access to 35 European countries and it but still there are some bull shit rules:
- You should apply to the country where you’re staying for longer days or the one where your main purpose of the travel lies.
- If you’re visiting multiple schengen countries and staying for equal number of days in all the countries then apply to the consulate of the first entry of the schengen country.
Pro Tip: Some Schengen consulates are horrible and they’ll reject your visa without any logical reason, so to avoid that what you can actually do is apply to the consulate of the countries which have renowned tourist cities like Netherlands(Amsterdam 😎) or France(Paris). But remember you should either get a stamp on your passport by entering to that country or exit from that country.
- You need to get the Health Insurance which has a minimum coverage of 30k Euros or 50k USD and should be valid for your entire travel period. You can get this easily and for cheap from HDFC.
- In addition to this you need last 3 years of ITR along with last 6 month of credit and debit card statements signed by bank officer.
Booking your Stay
- Buy yourself a good credit card which has complimentary lounge access. This helps a lot if you have layovers or want to sit back and relax.
- All the lounges provide free food, drinks and wi-fi so you get many options to freshen up yourself.
- Some of the good credit card options are:
- HDFC Regalia Card
- American Express
- Citi Miles Card
- Buy a universal charger for your devices because European plug points are different and you won’t easily get these converters over there. You can find one here
- Internet connectivity is not an issue in Europe. You’ll find free high-speed Internet access points almost at every place. But always prefer to use VPN when using the public internet as your personal info might be at risk. There are many VPN apps available out there like OpenVPN.
- Even though you have free internet, it’s always better to have the local sim card with you which will help in case of any emergencies. You can easily get ones at the airports or supermarkets.
- Don’t carry all cash. Get a forex card load it with 50% of what you want to carry and the rest 50% as cash.
- Here are some reliable vendors who buy/sell forex with doorstep service.
- You can just use Google Maps Trips feature to get all the basic information of the places you’re visiting.
- Download the google maps of the places that you’re visiting for offline purpose. Use it while travelling locally. It shows you all the preferable options for visiting to any place which includes timings and bus/tram/train numbers and suggestions if you prefer to use public transport.
- Remember if you’re travelling in public transport you need to buy tickets and every country has different ways of selling tickets. Some countries allow purchasing tickets inside public transport while some have vending machines or ticket counters setup at the stations. Some countries also offer the universal travel card which you can use it for traveling in either bus, train or trams.