Visa Preparation


A passport is an essential document that you will need to legally enter and exit any country on your RTW trip. You should check that your passport is valid, and that the expiry date is at least 6 months after the date you intend to return home. There should also be plenty of empty pages in your passport for the countries you plan to visit (entry and exit stamps for some countries may fill two pages each).

Do not take risks with your passport validity. If you are in any doubt whether your passport will expire or fill up with stamps while you are away, you should get a new one before you start the trip. Visit the UK Passport Office website for more information.

Many countries insist on visitors having an entry visa or travel permit as a condition of entry.  For some it is a way of making extra money from visitors while for many it is part of their internal security system. Either way you have no choice but to comply with their requirements: no visa, no entry.
Visas can sometimes be obtained at the point of entry (airport, land border, sea port) but in many cases you must apply for a visa to the country’s embassy or consulate in your home country.  There is nearly always a cost and this varies widely between countries and even for different nationalities visiting the same country. Your consultant will be able to advise you on visa costs and in many cases can will give you contact details of the relevant embassy.

Embassies can take a long time to process visas and may even require you to visit their office in person. It is best to apply well in advance so as to avoid any last minute panic. Most people have no problems in getting the visa they require although if you have a criminal record or have been deported from any country previously you may encounter difficulties.

Country by Country Visa Guide


Every visitor to Australia requires needs a full passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the completion of your trip as well as a visa. The visa is an electronic document – called an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) – that permits a visit of at least 3 months over a 12-month period. The ETA is available for short-term tourists and business travellers and the fee is £15 -£21 (business visas incur a higher fee). Without a valid ETA you will be refused entry at Australian Immigration.

Most travel agencies can issue your ETA within minutes over the telephone, or by post. All they require to issue your ETA are your passport details:

Full Name
Male / Female
Country of Birth
Date of Birth
Passport Number
Passport Expiry Date

12-month work visa

Working holiday visas are available to people aged between 18 to 30 years (always check the current situation before applying). Citizens of the following countries are eligible to apply: Ireland, the UK, Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Malta, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Canada, France, Italy and the Republic of Cyprus. An Australian 12 month Working Holiday visa currently costs £136.

If you are entering Australia for any other reason, you will require a traditional visa in your passport. These are available directly through the Australian High Commission.

New Zealand

British passport holders do not require a visa to visit New Zealand but please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your intended date of return

Cambodia and Laos

We recommend that you obtain Cambodian and Lao visas in advance either in your home country or in a neighbouring country (i.e. Thailand or Vietnam). Sometimes it is possible to get your visa on arrival, but in both countries the situation can change at very short notice. If you plan to do this, it is very important that you contact your nearest Cambodian / Laos Embassy or Consulate shortly before you travel to get the latest information. Note that a visa on arrival may be available at some border crossings into Laos and Cambodia and unavailable at others.


Be aware that entry into Hong Kong from the mainland is treated as an exit from China. Anyone planning to re-enter the mainland must have a double entry visa or re-apply for a new Chinese visa in Hong Kong.

Sri Lanka

The government of Sri Lanka has decided to discontinue the issuance of visa on arrival to Sri Lanka. As a result, all passengers travelling to Sri Lanka will require an Electronic Travel Authorization, which could be obtained online with a fee applicable. All passengers are required to obtain this authorization by visiting , filling the required information and paying the visa fee applicable. It is advised that all passengers carry the authorization approval form when arriving to the country at which point the visa would be stamped.


United States

All passengers travelling to the United States must have Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) in their booking, as well a valid ESTA. Failure to do so will mean you will not be checked in and refused permission to fly to the US.

You are required to provide the following information in your booking at least 7 days before departure:

Full Name (must exactly match the name on your passport and flight ticket)
Male / Female
Country of Birth
Date of Birth
Passport Number
Passport Expiry Date

If you email your consultant with this information we will gladly add the APIS onto your booking.

As well as APIS, the USA has introduced the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) for all non-US citizens visiting the US. You will need prior authorisation to enter the country before you board the plane. To gain this ESTA authorisation you must submit details online before you travel. The ESTA is issued immediately and is valid for two years. The current cost is $21 USD, to get your ESTA authorisation go to

Visa Chart

This visa chart is a guideline only – you must check with the relevant embassies for up-to-date information. take no responsibility for out-of-date information on this page, so please double check with your travel agent.


Country UK Passport Irish Passport EU Passport
Argentina N N N
Australia Y Y Y
Belize N N N
Bolivia N N N
Botswana N Y N
Brazil N N N
Cambodia Y* Y* Y*
Canada N N N
Chile N N N
China Y Y Y
Costa Rica N N N
Croatia N N N
Cuba Y Y Y
Ecuador N N N
Guatemala N N N
Hong Kong N N N
Fiji N N N
India Y Y Y
Indonesia N Y N
Japan Y* Y* Y*
Laos Y* Y* * Y
Malaysia Y* Y* Y*
Mexico N N N
Mongolia Y Y Y
Namibia N N N
Nepal Y Y Y
New Zealand N N N
Philippines N N N
Peru N N N
Russia Y Y Y
Singapore N N N
South Africa N N N
Sri Lanka Y Y Y
Tahiti N N N
Tanzania Y* Y* Y*
Thailand N N N
The Cook Islands N N N
Tibet Y Y Y
Tonga N N N
Uganda Y Y Y
Uruguay N N N
USA visa waiver program or ESTA (see below) ESTA ESTA N/Y/ESTA
Vietnam Y Y Y
Western Samoa N N N
Zimbabwe Y* N/Y Y*

The information above is only a guide and all visa information is subject to sudden change without notice. You MUST double check your visa requirements with your visa service or nearest relevant Embassy or Consulate before you travel. If your nationality is not listed, please check your specific visa requirements with your nearest relevant Embassy or Consulate.

We can take no responsibility for any traveller who is not in possession of the correct visas and no refund can be given if you are refused entry as a result of an incorrect visa. Visa costs are not included in the price of RTW trips.


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