If you are someone who holds an Indian passport and wants to travel the world – backpacking, cruising, or simply wanting to fly and explore a new country, you likely already know the frustrating drill.
As an Indian passport holder, you rank 67th in the world and it is true that the situations for Indians are improving. For example, India used to be ranked #77 just five years ago (in 2015).
With significant improvements made on the diplomatic front with several foreign countries, as of 2019, as an Indian citizen, you get to travel visa-free to 25 countries and get visa on arrival to an additional 39 countries.
Must Read: List of Countries Indians Can Travel Visa-Free on a US H1/F1 Visa
This is all great and all Indians should celebrate! But, like me, someone with an Indian passport, you still need a pre-approved travel visa to a whopping 134 countries.
This makes travel expensive, time-consuming, stressful, and overall less fun!
Fun Fact: The UAE passport is currently ranked number 1, which allows a UAE citizen visa-free travel to 167 countries. Other countries in the top 5 are Canada, United States, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg, Finland, Italy, Singapore, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, and South Korea.
Overcome Travel Visa Hassles as an Indian
The Taj Mahal, India
Whatever! This all said one should not feel discouraged. As the old saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way. Moreover, there are hundreds of Indians (if not thousands) who have managed to travel all over the world on a budget and average passport power.
As Indians, your biggest advantage is your language skills. If you are reading this blog in English, you will have no problem exploring this planet from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle.
Must Read: The Ultimate India Travel Guide
Here are my few recommendations for Indian backpackers and world travelers:
Start at Home
Travel and explore everything in the country you reside and India. If you live in India, then make sure you have traveled to all 29 Indian States.
If you live in the United States, make sure you have traveled to all 50 US States. The same applies for whether you work and live in the Middle East or Canada or the UK or Australia for that matter.
Visit the Neighbors
The Himalayas in Nepal
As per the India-Nepal and India-Bhutan treaty, Indians enjoy no questions asked, visa-free travel to both Nepal and Bhutan. You can even work there or teach English or do some volunteering work and take your time while you explore these beautiful Himalayan countries.
- Read: Nepal Travel Guide
- Read: Bhutan Travel Guide
Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan
Travel to Visa Free Countries
Once you have covered your home and residence country, start with the countries that welcome you. It’s time to return the favor through our travel and the money that we spend in a foreign country.
Tourism is the bread and butter of many countries and many of these countries depend on our tourism revenue. For example, Maldives, Madagascar, and Mauritius, to name a few.
Here is the list of countries that allows Indians to arrive visa-free:
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- El Salvador
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Cook Islands
Widi Islands Lagoon, Indonesia
Explore Visa on Arrival Countries
- Sri Lanka
- St. Lucia
- Cape Verde
- Comores Island
- Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Marshall Islands
- Palau Islands
- Saint Lucia
Wild Sri Lanka
Apply for Schengen Visa for Europe
If you want to travel to Europe (and you should), the best way to go about it is to apply for a multi-year, multiple entry Schengen Visa. Currently, the Schengen Area consists of 26 member European countries.
Northern Lights in Vik, Iceland
This allows you to travel to all of these countries which are all located in Europe.
- Czech Republic
Well, if you travel to all the countries listed above, you would easily become one of the most traveled people in the world.
You see, the challenge is not the lack of information or the Indian passport, but of proper planning.
WW2 Brandenburg Gate in Germany
Read Next: List of Countries Indians Can Travel Visa-Free on a US H1/F1 Visa
If you have enough motivation, you will make it happen! Go travel the world and explore everything under the sun.
If you have any questions, please leave it in the comments below.