Adventure doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Sometimes the best trips are the ones made at the last moment and don’t require any paperwork. Not that heavily planned trips can’t be a complete blast, but it does require more than an idea and car keys. For those of you avid travelers who get a thrill of venturing throughout the planet and out of comfort zones, there is only one or two priorities for quicker travel: passport and visa.
Depending on where you live, it may be necessary to embark on the next flight out and see land masses larger than those around the neighborhood. Remember how travel doesn’t have to cost an arm, leg or your first born child? It’s definitely gotten to be much less expensive and reasonable to throw clothes into a suitcase and head into the sunset. Included in the small costs are visas. Passports are a pain to get however, a visa is not as unattainable as they once were before the Internet.
Of course there are two main factors affecting costs of visas: where you live and where you are headed. Being in a larger country such as the United States or certain countries in Europe have perks when flying out. Nowadays, there are quite a few countries where obtaining a visa is no longer done via snail mail and can be accomplished exclusively online. This also includes one key important ingredient to the travel pot: visa photos.
Now is not the appropriate time to break out a selfie stick but you do have options depending on how quickly, cheaply or savvy you may be. Traditionally speaking, figuring out where to have a visa photo done could serve as a mighty big challenge. Plus driving around town was never pleasant. Then there was the mailing in an application and waiting weeks on end for the country to approve and send back a visa or stamp in a passport. If you had an emergency trip, good luck on getting it expedited without paying through the roof for services.
Granted there are still a few countries in the world who have not bridged the technology highway and a traditional route is necessary for visas. Let’s focus on those nations who have allowed for ETA’s and the digital world of submitting online visa photos.
Get Your Visa Photo Online
First and foremost, there’s no searching for a UPS or USPS store. Visa photo online services such as My Passport Photos offer outstanding services, which require very little expense and your own photo. A selfie with your best friends won’t make the cut, however, here a few tips to submitting an online visa photo:
- Use of cell phone or camera is acceptable. A selfie may be fine if you have your entire face in the shot, good lighting and nothing blocking your eyes such as a hat.
- Lighting is a must. Though online services will be doing most of the work and touch ups, an overexposed or underexposed photo will be almost impossible to fix.
- Be sure to take the photo with a solid white background. This is another almost universal rule regardless of the country you plan to visit.
- Be sure your photo is a JPEG. Not having proper format can delay the process.
- Pay the small fee. Depending on which online site you use, prices can range from $.99 to $6. Also the amount of photos needed can up the cost.
- If you are needing photos done for your family, a group shot will not be accepted. Every family member must be photographed individually, including children.
These are but a few of the guidelines for taking and submitting visa photos online. It’s a much simpler process than heading out to the post office during the work week. Costs are another motivator to keeping everything digital. A typical visa photo, which acts similarly to a passport photo, can cost anywhere from $10-$15 a photo and per person versus $.99 on an inexpensive professional site. Why pay more when you could keep more money in your pocket to save for the actual trip. Sightseeing and delicious local food is a much grander experience than paying for documents.
If you’re not convinced yet to complete the visa process online, then here is another fact to consider. Life is busy. There’s no denying that. Regardless of what line of work you do or don’t, life is constantly speeding up. Having the opportunity complete tedious ‘paperwork’ sooner and necessary items in order to get away and slow down, is worth every penny saved. In a matter of minutes, the World Wide Web brings a glorious retreat away from everyday life and gives you peace of mind.
In a crazy, hectic and at times chaotic world, isn’t it refreshing to know there’s an easier method for traveling? Give online visa photos a try and before you know it, you’ll be gallivanting through green lands in Ireland, trotting across the Great Wall of China or laying on a warm, sandy beach in Greece. Wherever your destination and daydreams bring you, there’s only one thing certain: the world is wide and Internet even broader. Now go, be free and roam the planet with ease and comfort!
My Passport & Visa App
If you are a frequent traveler or a first time passport applicant, the newly launched iPhone app called My Passport & Visa App can help you with all your passport and visa questions. My Passport & Visa App makes navigating the passport and visa process simple, easy, and quick. For more information, download the app and you’ll be one step closer to enjoying your travels abroad.