Planning to spend one year in Europe, we have run into a few stumbling blocks regarding the time we are allowed to be there. Most people I have talked to about our home free life have never heard of Schengen and I must admit I don’t recall the first time I heard of this.
Under the Schengen agreement, as Canadians, we are allowed to spend 90 out of each 180 days in the Schengen group of countries. This translates to us spending 90 days in the area before having to leave for 90 days. I suppose if you wanted to do a lot of flying you could bounce in and out every month but that goes against our hope of slow travel through each country. Below is an explanation of the Schengen agreement found on Wikipedia:
Below is a complete list of all countries included in the Schengen agreement:
As you can see, this list encompasses most of the countries that visitors would like to spend time in, and does not typically pose a problem for regular tourists who are on their annual vacation of a few weeks. Because of the 90 day time limit we must organize our travel in and out of Schengen to be as efficient and economical as possible. For us that means spending the full 90 days in and the full 90 days out, which can be seen on the “Our Journey” page of this site.
We had hoped to get a one year visa for one of the Schengen countries which would allow us free travel amongst all 26 countries however the requirements for such a visa are extensive and we’ve found we are unable to meet all the requirements due to our home free circumstances. An added bonus that I have found during my numerous days of research is a little known fact that Germany has a bi-lateral agreement with Canada that pre-dates the Schengen agreement and is still valid. This agreement allows Canadian citizens an additional 90 days in Germany, and only Germany, in addition to the 90 day limit for the Schengen countries. This additional time gave us the chance to re-work our plans and spend the 14 months in Europe that we had originally wanted 🙂
So, we are on a roll with rough plans for when and where to spend our time in Europe, which brings up the cruise part of this post. Researching our “out of Schengen” time we came across a cruise leaving Rome for Abu Dhabi in November 2018. This time frame fit into our plans and ticks a couple of boxes off our places to see list. First is the ancient city of Petra, Jordan and second is Dubai. The cruise itself is a means of transportation getting us to Dubai with the benefit of visiting Petra. This will be our first time on a large cruise ship!
The planning continues……….