I booked my accomodation via agoda.com and Booking.com

There are a group of us, holiday travellers who wanted to visit Europe for skiing next year 2010.

he European Museum Schengen

However, we are not going on any holiday tours but more or less ”éxecutive” backpackers hoping to rough it out, but only a bit….. We had only purchased our one way ticket to Frankfurt. As everyone knows, holiday visas could be one of the requirement that we have to consider aside from purchasing our air tickets. Our travel agents had told us that we may need holiday visa for the countries that we are visiting, but they are not 100% sure. Considering that we all of different nationalities, that makes it more difficult a task to researched.

European Museum Schengen

I first checked the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade webiste http://www.dfat.gov.au/. It mentioned to go to the Smarttraveller website http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/. I then had to look for the relevant links on that website for holiday visas. I could not find any useful tips there. I then went back to dfat website and found the email address and phone numbers of the consulate that we

European Museum Schengen

might be travelling to. Talk about bureaucratic bungle….90% of the email address is out ofdate and trying to ring them to ask about holiday visas is like moving a mountain. Imagine if there is an emergency !! There is no human being on the other end of the line, a lovely voice no doubt !

I then decided to google the individual embassy/consulates and I managed to find a German consulate website that does provide very informative solutions to my dilemma. The website gives me a list of country passport holders that does not need a visa to Germany. They even provide a reason why. Reason given is the Schengen Convention Agreement which took effect on 26 March 1995. Then I went back to the smart traveller website and look for the article. Sure enough I found it. However if I had not known what to look for, I would never have searched for that word. The title to that article makes no mention of any holiday

European Museum Schengen

visas let alone any visas. Reading through the article, it is still not 100% clear if we can get away with not getting a visa in our home country as the article mentioned

European Museum Schengen

that ”holiday travellers should contact the nearest High Commission, Embassy or Consulate of the countries they plan to visit well in advance of travel.” Probably covering themselves……..

Here we go again. I thought. ….I decided I better play it safe and google the word Schengen Convention Agreement with the country that we hold passports for. Luckily for all of us, those independent website mentioned the same Schengen Convention Agreement article, thus no holiday visa is required for short term stay up to 90 days. I gave a big sigh of relief, as I know that getting a visa and visiting any consulate is a big hassle aside from filling out forms, fitting into their short working hours etc. Thank heavens for the German website (very efficient indeed); we are all ready for our trip to Europe.