Clearing up the confusion on extended EU travel!

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“How the hell were you able to stay in Europe for so long, don’t you need a visa?”….this is one of the many questions I received about my 8 month stay in Europe in 2017. In all honesty, I was so confused about the visa laws that I contacted several people and read a ton of blogs because I didn’t want to be hauled off to some foreign prison never to be able to return home again. Well…they probably would have just put me on the next plane to the U.S instead of jail. First things first, as of now, American’s do NOT need Visa’s to travel throughout the EU, this may change.  

So how did I do it?  There are a few key terms that you need first: Schengen and Non-Schengen ( still have no clue how to say these words). The EU is made up of a lot of countries. Some of these countries are part of what is known as the Schengen agreement. Members of the EU can travel throughout these countries without trip interruption and if you are an American you don’t need to get a visa, but you can only stay in these countries for 90 days out of 180 days. There are countries that ARE part of the EU but are NOT part of the Schengen Zone known as the non- Schengen Zone. These countries have their own laws when it comes to stays. 

Now, you can only stay in the Schengen zone for 90 days! After the 90 days you MUST leave the zone for up to 90 days. After 90 days you can return to any of the below countries and the 90 days starts over.  There are EU countries that have their own visa rules. The below non-schengen countries have their own visa laws. For instance, Ireland is 90 days ,UK is 180 days, Croatia is 90 days along with Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania.

26 Schengen Zone Countries



















France Malta 

Germany Netherlands

Greece Norway

Non-Schengen Zone Countries





United Kingdom


Allow me to give you some examples to make it more clear. This is what I did for 2017:  Italy (30 days), Croatia (30 days non-schengen),  Germany (60 days), United Kingdom (90 days non-schengen). Once you leave a schengen zone and go to a non-schengen zone like I did (Croatia) the time ends but DOES NOT start over, it is just paused until you return to one of the schengen countries.

Another example…Iceland ( 10 days), Sweden (10 days), France (10 days), Ireland (30 days), United kingdom (14 days), Croatia (14 days), Italy (20 days).

Now with the above example you have stayed in a Schengen Zone for 50 days. You still have 40 days to travel through other schengen countries or just save those days and go to a non-schengen area. 

If you want to bounce around Europe you know have the knowledge to do it without the risk of being deported. If you play it right you could stay Europe for a really long time! 










50 things I learned while traveling for one year.

  1. Even if you don’t speak the same language everyone is the same. 
  2. You don’t need much to live and be happy.
  3. Being alone for an extended amount of time is good for the soul.
  4. Pack what you need and no more.
  5. People are nicer than you think.
  6. Sunglasses will be your BFF in Southeast Asia. 
  7. Europe is expensive.
  8. Wine in Italy is amazing, of course. But even the 2 Euro wine is amazing. 
  9. Wine in Germany is also top notch. 
  10. Drinking and eating pizza on trains is fun.
  11. Cambodia takes USD, the ATMs will give you USD.
  12. Traveling with others isn’t easy, but it can also be so much fun.
  13. You can find an Irish pub in every single country in the world, seriously.
  14. Uber in Bangkok is cheap and better than getting a taxi.
  15. There are prejudice to skin color, religion, and ethnicity is everywhere in the world. 
  16. Where the is will there is a way.
  17. Netflix is in every country but each country have different show licenses. You won’t get the same shows as home. 
  18. Groupon is a major money savor in expensive cities.
  19. PDA on public transport happens more than I would like to witness. Blah. 
  20. Never run for an underground train. Another will be along in 30 seconds; you look stupid running.
  21. Public transport in Thailand is the scariest thing you will ever do in your entire life. ie buses, vans, mopeds, and tuk-tuk
  22. Screen windows don’t exist in Europe. 
  23. The sound foxes make when mating sound like a women is being murdered
  24. You will gain weight and loose weight. It doesn’t matter. Eat the pasta, have dessert, and drink the wine. 
  25. Take photos for yourself, not social media. 
  26. Germany’s bus system is amazing.
  27. Croatia is the most underrated country I have every been to.
  28. The world thinks America is joke right now. I don’t blame them.
  29. Air travel is cheap in Europe.
  30. Train travel is expensive in Europe.
  31. You will meet the coolest people in Independent Hostels.
  32. Avoid chain and massive hostels.
  33. Friends will stop talking to you as you are traveling. Even though you try to keep in touch.
  34. Places in Germany rarely take credit cards and the fees in the ATM are high. Bring cash! 
  35. Know Primark in the UK. 
  36. Hostels aren’t just for youths anymore. You will meet the most amazing people in them from all ages and all walks of life. 
  37. Get used to getting lost because it will happens more often than not. 
  38. Essentials: water bottle, raincoat, comfy shoes, sling bag for hand free mobility
  39. If you break your foot in Rome it will cost you 150 Euro for the ER visit, x-ray, and cast but they don’t provide crutches. Go to a pharmacy to rent or purchase.
  40. Cheap airlines in Europe: 2jet, Ryanair, easyjet, Vueling.
  41. Petsitting will save you thousands of dollars in accommodations. 
  42. Patiences is key to travel. Go with the flow. 
  43. You can make a living teaching English abroad. 
  44. Save money for phone data by purchasing a local SIM card in country. 
  45. Space out the amount of castles you visit. You will get castle overload. 
  46. Don’t get attached to “things”.
  47. Traveling a long time? Canvas suitcases will not last. 
  48. Trastevere, Rome is who spending a day in. 
  49. Go on multiple food tours. 
  50. Never stop learning, exploring, and discovering yourself and the world.