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Applying for visas can take time and be expensive. Planning ahead can save you the costs of having to use the ‘express service’ which many embassies offer and can charge substantially more for.

The first step is to identify the destinations you intend to visit, if you will be entering the country only once or on multiple occasions, what you intend to do on arrival and how long you intend to stay.

Then consider if you actually need a visa or not, if it needs to be applied for in advance or can it be obtained on arrival, are there any conditions associated with obtaining the visa on arrival.

Once you have this information you can apply for the correct visa for each country, these might be:


  • Tourist visa
  • Work / Business visa
  • Working Holiday visa
  • Single-entry / Multi-entry visa
  • Electronic / entry stamp visa
  • Visa extensions


Many travellers don’t factor in the cost of visas into travel and for those travelling to many countries on a round-the-world ticket it can leave a substantial hole in even a well planned budget. It is not unusual for visas to cost upward of £50.

If you have the time, patience and can get to London you can apply for your visas directly to the relevant embassies which is the cheapest way of obtaining them. Otherwise you may have to rely on a visa service provider to do it for you; remember to calculate their commission into your budget.

Finally there is the issue of protecting your visas. Like many of your documents, replacing a visa is not always straightforward. More often than not if you lose your passport you lose your visas.

During our Independent Travel Safety & Cultural Awareness Workshop we examine the process of visa application and the considerations you should make. We discuss ways of protecting all you vital documents so that where ever possible you can minimise the risk of loss or theft and the consequences of such.