One of the best ways to travel through Europe is to take advantage of the Schengen Visa Agreement. Through this agreement, 26 countries in Europe allow travelers—both business travelers and tourists alike—to travel from country to country without needing a visa.
The Schengen Zone comprises 26 different countries in Europe, and the agreement allows those traveling for tourism and business purposes to travel freely between those 26 Schengen countries.
In some cases, traveling in the Schengen Zone will not require you to apply for a visa. However, if you aren’t a citizen of any of the countries in the Schengen Zone, or if your travel plans include working or staying for longer than 90 days, you will most certainly need to apply for a Schengen Visa.
Of course, you also need to make sure you have proper documentation everywhere you go. There will be a designated person at every port of entry who can provide you with the stamp you need for your passport or visa, but they are not always readily available—you may have to seek them out. Having proper documentation on your passport is extremely important and will allow you to enjoy a much safer and hassle-free experience.
When most people travel for business or for vacation/holiday, they tend not to consider what could happen to themselves or to their family members while outside their home country. No one likes to think about the possibility of being injured or becoming sick, but the truth is that it can happen anytime, including while you are traveling abroad.
Between trying new foods, exploring new cities, and being surrounded by unfamiliar settings, you really have no idea what to expect when it comes to international travel. The best way to prepare for the unexpected, at least while traveling, is to make sure you purchase a Schengen travel health insurance plan. It is important to understand that most domestic medical insurance policies do not keep you protected as you travel abroad.
HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS) provides those traveling through and in the Schengen Zone with an insurance plan that is designed to keep them protected and help them avoid high medical costs. An Atlas Travel® plan will provide you with all of the coverage you need as you travel, including policyholders with great benefits and the travel medical insurance you need for the Schengen Zone.
Some key benefits include:
If you plan to tour Europe with a group, HCCMIS also offers Atlas Group®. As long as you are traveling outside your home country with a group of five or more, Atlas Group can provide you with a 10% discount on the Atlas Travel plan.
Other key benefits of HCCMIS include:
Before you start planning your trip, it is important to know which countries are included in the Schengen Zone so you know where you can travel without needing a visa, or if you will need a visa to initially enter a country. Travel between European countries in the Schengen Zone is fairly easy. In order to best plan your trip, decide which Schengen countries you are interested in visiting and which ones are close together. This will help you map out your itinerary.
>The Northern Countries: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. While these countries may not be frequently visited, they do provide travelers with unique experiences and plenty of culture to be explored. These countries tend to be a little colder than the rest of Europe, so prepare to pack appropriately.
>Baltic Countries: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These countries are former Soviet Bloc Countries, which are full of adventure and which provide less crowded areas for travel and beautiful cities rarely visited by tourists. While these countries are less frequently visited, that certainly does not mean they have nothing to offer. They simply require a little more research when planning your trip.
>Central Countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and Switzerland. These countries comprise a region in Europe with a lot of history and many cities on frequent travelers’ ‘must-see lists.’ If you travel throughout this region, you can expect large cities and rural areas, both of which allow for incredible cultural experiences.
>Mediterranean Countries: Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta, and Italy. The countries that border on and are located in the Mediterranean all offer very diverse cultures. Each of these countries, while sharing one large geographical similarity, is extremely different. However, you can be sure to find amazing seafood and beautiful beaches throughout.
>Western Countries: Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and France. Slightly more popular amongst travelers, these countries are home to some famous cities, such as Paris and Amsterdam, which means you can expect more tourists. These are also numerous smaller cities that have a very quaint feel to them.
Taking advantage of the Schengen Visa as a means of traveling through Europe is a great way to see multiple countries, explore a variety of cultures, and meet new people. Because of the agreement, travelers are able to get around more freely and travel without the hassles of applying for and obtaining multiple visas.
However, do not leave home without your Schengen Visa travel medical insurance. The best way to prepare for those unexpected situations is to purchase an insurance plan that will keep you covered as you travel abroad.
HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC (HCCMIS) is a service company that is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. HCCMIS is regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. HCCMIS has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.