One of the most thrilling parts about international travel is getting a stamp to a new country on your passport when going through customs at the airport. Weirdly exhilarating, isn't it? Each stamp serves as a seal of passage to new experiences, cultures, streets, cuisines, people, and sights. For some countries, that stamp may require an official travel visa. And depending on the nature of your trip, a visa can be challenging to acquire.
That's why we're so excited to review the list of The Most Powerful Passports In The World
, released by Henley & Partners
last week. According to this list, the "power" of your passport is based on the number of countries it permits you to visit without a visa. 'Nuff said!
Vis-à-Vis Traveling With No Visa
Some of the benefits of visa-free travel are as follows:
- You don't need to wait in long lines, fill in tedious paperwork, and submit extensive ID proofs and financial documents at embassies.
- You can indulge in impromptu vacation getaways.
- You can live abroad, visa-free, for up to three months (travel and stay policies differ for different countries, so read the fine print thoroughly).
- You don't have to buy or pay for extended visas for one-time use, or pay consultant/agency fees in case you have someone applying for you in emergencies.
However, while visa-free travel does have its fair share of benefits, it’s not without a few bumps along the way. For example, some countries will require additional documentation (apart from a passport) for guests entering a country. It could range from a valid international driver’s license to sufficient finances in one’s bank account, so it’s always better to do your homework. Always check the country's consulate at least four months in advance of your trip.
Where Do You Rank On The List?
According to the ranking by Henley & Partners
, it seems that German citizens hold the most powerful passports (not Britain or America, as one would've thought), because they can travel to 177, out of a possible 218 countries. Danke schön!
The World Is Your Oyster If You Hold These Passports
- No 1: Germany, citizens can travel to 177 countries visa-free
- No 2: Sweden, citizens can travel to 176 countries visa-free
- No 3: Finland, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, citizens can travel to 175 countries visa-free
- No 4: US, Belgium, Denmark & Netherlands, citizens can travel to 175 countries visa-free
- No 5: Austria, Japan, Singapore, citizens can travel to 173 countries visa-free
For what it’s worth, traveling to any destination can be quite rewarding. In fact, studies show that it can even make you smarter
! So, to hell with the ranking; if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t make the most of it, even if it means you have to plan a year ahead of time!