Remember when we had to sort through checklist after checklist just to see if we could enter a country?
It's been years since the travel chaos, but it's still a pleasant surprise to see the removal of entry requirements, as that period in our lives left such a bitter taste for travelers.
The good news is travel has been roaring back with no signs of slowing down as we head into 2024. In fact, one particular country has been exploding in popularity all year.
Formerly, U.S. passport holders had to fork over a small fee to obtain a visa to enter. But now that is changing and gives an extra excuse to visit. As if you needed one, right?
Here is what American travelers need to know about visiting Turkiye:
Just A Passport
Those a little behind the times may notice Turkey is now spelled Turkiye. The government officially changed the spelling to the Turkish version, ruining all our Thanksgiving puns.
As it turns out, that was the first chess move, with more exciting changes to follow.
Millions and millions of tourists have been gobbling up what Turkiye has to offer, but Americans haven't been near the top demographic to visit this immaculate country.
Many travelers come from nearby or neighboring countries in the Middle East, for example. European visitors love visiting this vast nation as well.
Given how far way Turkiye is from mainland America, it's no surprise U.S. tourists are slacking in arrival numbers compared to those in the region, but this is changing as it gains popularity with Americans.
But apparently, we, as well as Canadians, are held in high regard because visa requirements are being entirely dropped for both countries, in addition to Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, and Bahrain.
All visitors will need from these countries going forward are their passports in hand.
The new policy has been verified in the presidential decree issued on December 23rd.
Stay A While
Turkiye is a place you'll never want to leave, especially for first-timers. With the latest policy, Turkiye is essentially replacing their ‘Welcome' mat and asking guests to stay a while.
Already an incredibly popular digital nomad hub, the astounding city of Istanbul would likely be your gateway into the country.
Whether you're a remote worker seeking a new base or a solo traveler exploring the world, there is no rush to leave.
Under the new regulation, passport holders of the 6 approved countries can now stay visa-free for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
Most of the country is super affordable, even the eye-popping city of Istanbul. As many make this their main stay, the extra wiggle room gives everyone the reason to explore other popular destinations and those that fly under the radar, too.
Where To Go
Turkiye's tourism has seen impressive growth, especially after some unflattering headlines in recent years that could deter tourists.
Turkiye has powered through and wants to show off not only Istanbul and the popular coastal getaway of Antalya, but lesser-known destinations as well.
Beyond Istanbul and Antalya is the gorgeous Black Sea. Becoming more popular, especially in 2023, northern Turkiye's coastlines are waiting to be discovered by the Western world.
One city in particular that is already seeing a surge in tourists is Trabzon, but many come from neighboring countries.
The added cushion of the new policy now gives extra time for other foreigners to experience this side of Turkiye as the Black Sea is destined to become the next tourism boom.
Others may choose undiscovered islands reminiscent of Greece or ancient cities, such as Mardin. Taking the road less traveled often leads to amazing experiences, but so does sticking with the norm.
Wandering the mesmerizing bazaars of Istanbul, escaping to Antalya's beaches or taking in the fairytale landscapes of Cappadocia will all make lifelong memories in your travel journeys too.
When it comes to Turkiye's popular destinations, the expected 50% increase in tourist arrivals will be the downside, with more crowds to navigate.
Although, the pros seem to outweigh the cons. Mega popular destinations aren't always this giving when they could make boatloads of money off tourist visas. Enjoy it while it lasts (hopefully forever!).
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.