So many people aspire to be world travelers. Ask a room full of people what they wish they could do more of in life or what they enjoy most, and one of the answers that you will hear from the overwhelming majority: to travel the world.
We often get so used the surroundings that we see every day in the city that we live in. It can sometimes get monotonous and the need to see something new and different is a great one. It isn’t necessarily a need to escape from daily life, but to explore what we don’t know. After all, finding new foods, different art, unknown landscapes and cultures that are foreign to us are what excite us most.
Every country that sits outside the USA offers so many new things that introduce us to new worlds unknown to US folk, no matter the country. Some countries excite us more than others, which drive the number of US tourists that visit, but other times it isn’t a matter of interest that keep us from traveling.
Often times, US folks simply aren’t allowed to get visas to certain countries. Or it is allowed, but the process to get one is beyond difficult and results in little to no visitors. Here are ten countries that people from the USA aren’t allowed to get visas for and ten where it’s way too easy.
20 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Iran
Iran has had a tumultuous relationship with America in the past and although US folk are technically allowed to travel there, it’s simply not an easy or timely process. There are a lot of different hurdles to jump over in order to finally get a visa. For starters there is no Iranian Embassy in the US and beyond that, there are several criteria US folk must meet to not disqualify them from an approval.
But once you do get a visa after some patience and a lengthy process, Iran is a historic country with incredible architecture, tasty culinary dishes and culture.
19 EASY PEASY: Jamaica
Jamaica is a country that US folk will find is as easy as it gets to visit. All you need is a passport to book your trip as the country does not require any visa. Even better, those visiting Jamaica can even stay for up to half a year. Its inviting nature is a result of their strong standing in the tourism industry which drives Jamaica’s economy, most of which comes from the US. People from America are all too eager to visit as it is home to some of the world’s best beaches and a laid-back demeanor that is perfect for rest and relaxation.
18 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Cuba
Although it has become a bit easier to visit Cuba in recent times due to changes that have taken place with travel policies, it is still rather difficult to make a trip out there. People from America wanting to visit Cuba have to go through stringent criteria and once they have arrived, they must follow strict guidelines such as staying in approved hotels.
Once you get past the hurdles, visitors will quickly realize that Cuba is full of vibrant people and some of the best foods in the world including their world famous sandwiches!
17 EASY PEASY: Barbados
Located in the Caribbean, Barbados is an island country that is often seen as one of the favorite beach destinations for people from America. The country has very little restrictions as far as being able to visit with only a passport being necessary as visas are not required.
Once there, you can extend your stay for over three months (because you'll probably be obsessed with the sunshine) and enjoy the country’s expansive beaches and countless affordable resorts, its main attraction.
16 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Syria
Syria is a country that has a lot of conflict, but Damascus is a beautiful city with a rich history that can offer tourists quite a bit of culture and interesting travel stories. But the reality is that visiting Syria is nearly impossible. The process to apply for a visa is lengthy. In fact, it’s so lengthy that there really is no set timetable for an approval as there are known cases of it taking years to complete. And this isn’t even a guarantee that the completion will result in an approval.
You could wait entirely too long for a denial because of the strict rules and criteria USA folk must meet for an approval.
15 EASY PEASY: Thailand
Another country that requires no visas to enter other than just a passport stamp, Thailand encourages people from America to visit. Known for its natural beauty in the landscapes and waters as well as the incredible nightlife of Bangkok, Thailand has become a huge attraction for USA folk.
There’s also a huge demand to visit their floating cities by boat and incredible local markets that define the culture of the country.
14 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Somalia
Often considered a very dangerous country to visit because of its high population of pirates, Somalia is a country that is difficult to enter, especially for people from America.
With a strict set of guidelines to enter the border, such as needing a formal invitation from a resident of the country, Somalia is among the least visited countries in the world. The United States does not encourage travel to the country but does not necessarily restrict it.
13 EASY PEASY: Kenya
Although there are countries in Africa that are difficult to get into, Kenya is not among them. Instead, the country welcomes foreign tourists from all over the world including those from the United States.
It encourages travel because a big source of its economy comes from the tourism industry with visitors looking to take part in wildlife safaris and make the trek up one of the most visited and admired mountains on earth, Mount Kilimanjaro.
12 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Saudi Arabia
It is very difficult to get approved for a travel visa to Saudi Arabia and doubly so for people from America. This is especially true for women who have even stricter permissions to get through. Each visitor needs a sponsor to be considered for travel approval, but it still isn’t a certainty. If you are approved, women have a harder time while visiting because of the rules they have to abide by.
The upside is that Saudi Arabia’s wealth and economy have afforded it some incredible cities that offer quite a bit to do.
11 EASY PEASY: Canada
Our neighbors to the north are always welcoming people from America with open arms and they do so by making the process to get in easy, with no major requirements other than a passport and a smile. If beautiful natural landscapes, mountains, rivers, wooded forests and major megacities are part of the travel itinerary, Canada is the perfect destination. With cities like Toronto and Montreal, and some of the best national parks in the world, you can't go wrong.
10 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Angola
Like Somalia, Angola joins the list of African counties that are very difficult to get permission to enter, although for entirely different reasons. For those looking to spend some time visiting Angola, they will find that the application process is often too time-consuming and far too expensive with many folks finally giving up after exhaustive efforts.
The application process can costs upwards of $600 dollars and that’s without any guarantees that an acceptance is coming.
9 EASY PEASY: Mexico
Next up on the list of countries eager to open their doors to tourists from America are the United States’ other neighbor, to the south this time. Mexico’s process to visit is fairly straightforward which simply requires booking your stay and presenting your passport without a need for a travel visa. USA folk are Mexico’s number one source of tourism with many looking to enjoy its impressive list of beach towns and resort cities, as well as the country’s high population cities that offer rich experiences in culture and nightlife.
8 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Afghanistan
Without dwelling too much on the obvious, Afghanistan makes the list of countries that people from the USA cannot travel to for reasons most are acutely aware of. A conflict between two countries should be reason enough to avoid leisure travel.
Unless you are part of a diplomatic team or with the government, there are few reasons why anyone else from the United States is going to be approved for travel to war-torn Afghanistan, although it isn't unheard of.
7 EASY PEASY: Bermuda
Although there are more popular countries in the world that people from America are eager to visit, Bermuda is far and away one of the easier ones to travel to. Another country on our list that requires no visa and only a passport, Bermuda is eager to invite folks from the United States even allowing stays for up to six months.
Visitors might be surprised to find that the country is full of beautiful beaches, incredible marine wildlife, and elaborate scuba excursions.
6 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Algeria
The US strongly encourages its residents to avoid travel to Algeria because of the dangers present to visitors in the form of various crimes. If traveling to the country is still a must, hopeful visitors are going to encounter a difficult process to be approved for a visa. Those hoping to get in need to provide a booked stay before even being approved so there’s a chance the money spent on the hotel could be a lost cause if you get denied.
If you are granted access, visitors will find a beautiful country with a rich culture.
5 EASY PEASY: the Maldives
With its ever-growing popularity, the Maldives still continues to hold on to its reputation as a first-class beach destination with a high degree of exclusivity. On the pricier side, money might be the biggest setback because getting in is a breeze with little requirements and a quick application process.
Visitors are allowed to stay for up to three months to enjoy what are often considered the most beautiful beaches and gorgeous blue waters in the world.
4 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Iraq
Much like our Afghanistan entry, Iraq is a country that is highly discouraged for visiting purposes by the United States government. Listed as a country with high levels of danger for various reasons, it’s also going to be difficult to get in, even if a trip is on the bucket list.
Iraq has a short list of reasons to allow people from the USA to enter into the country, and personal tourism is definitely not one of them.
3 EASY PEASY: France
France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world as Paris continues to be the most visited city yearly with its incredible landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre museum, and the Arc de Triomphe, amongst countless others.
Luckily for tourists from the USA looking to visit the iconic city, no visa is required and the only thing needed is a passport that has been valid for three months.
2 WAY TOO DIFFICULT: Russia
Although the political climate between Russia and the United States is somewhat on the rocks, tourists from America still love to visit the country. The demand for visas to enter Russia has never been higher, especially considering the recent FIFA World Cup.
Although it isn’t impossible to get accepted, people from the USA should expect a lengthy and stringent process that includes a lot of intrusive questions before approval.
1 EASY PEASY: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, home to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, welcomes tourists from America with a pretty straightforward and simple process. No visa is required, minus a few minor passport criteria that must be met.
Once there, tourists are free to explore incredible megacities like London as well as serene and beautiful countryside landscapes in Ireland and Scotland. Of course, we can't forget Wales either.