A Tiktoker Shared What It's Like To Travel With One Of The 'Worst' Passports In The World
"I had no idea it was actually this bad."
All passports are not created equal. Some grant access to a multitude of countries with no visa required, while others come with seemingly endless restrictions and complications.
One Tiktoker backpacking through Eastern Europe, Central Europe and the Balkans is detailing the headaches he encountered while using his passport, which ranks fourth 'worst' in the world. Each incident had repercussions that the average person using a Canadian passport wouldn't have to consider.
TikToker Hamza, who vlogs as @unwelcometraveler, said it wasn't until his recent trip to ten countries that he realized his passport was "so bad," compared to others.
"A lot of people didn't have to go through what I did," he said.
Hamza applied for a Schengen Visa, which allows for free movement between 27 countries in Europe.
"It was a massive hassle to get through," said Hamza, who had to plan his trip ahead of time and pick an embassy to process his visa, before knowing if they even had appointments available.
The application process was no simpler, he said. Aside from having to fill out "a bunch of different forms with so much unnecessary information," Hamza said he had to submit his whole itinerary in advance.
"You have to tell them what you're going to be doing every single minute of every day and make sure it's accounted for with proof," he said.
That means all reservations need to be done and confirmations submitted ahead of time, even if you're not sure you're going to be allowed to travel at all.
"The worst part is you also need to book your flights," he said.
Tickets need to include the expensive cancellation option on the off chance that the visa isn't approved, so some funds can be recouped.
"You have to pay more for a refundable ticket, which is a premium not a lot of people can afford," said Hamza.
Another tedious step is proving financial means, which involves sending bank statements and proof of employment. Travel insurance for his entire area of travel was a must, "which is not the cheapest option."
And lastly, there's a cover letter that must detail why you want to go to every place, "what inspired you and why you're going to return [home]." Hamza, who lives in Canada, had to outline all of his ties to the country and why he was set on going back once his trip to Europe was over.
As if planning for vacation isn't enough, nearly every step of the process comes with a new fee, including having to ship his passport to the European embassy processing his visa and paying to have it sent back before his trip.
Hamza said the goal of his videos is to inform. "It may sound like I'm complaining/ungrateful but that's not my intention. I just want to outline what I had to do because many don't know," he wrote.
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