5 Great Places Trinis can go Without a Visa

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Marli Street, Port of Spain. Five a.m., crack of dawn and Trinis are lining up to pay 140 US dollars for a visa to visit the land of the free and the home of the brave.

They’ll be interviewed and asked about their job, salary, savings, gold teeth and their tantie nenen who living in Brooklyn and all she business. They’ll be fingerprinted and smiled at occasionally.

Or they’ll think twice, read this article, and consider some other great places Trinbagonians can visit without a visa. That’s right, there are countries that welcome us without much ado or interrogation.

According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 91 countries and territories that grant visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to holders of Trinidad and Tobago passports. It’s not likely that many Trinidadians will make use of the opportunity to visit the Federated States of Micronesia, almost 10,000 miles away in the Pacific Ocean, or have much inclination to visit places like Zimbabwe, Pakistan or Syria at the moment. Nevertheless, there are many awesome places that we can visit freely in the four corners of the Earth. Here are five great places to whet your travelling appetite.

Country: Brazil

Visa exemption: 90 days

Brazil is an easy sell for Trinidadians. The girl from Bahia was welcomed by David Rudder, and she has been welcomed ever since. Many of us grew up supporting their football team at the World Cup, and there is something romanticised about Brazil that makes most Trinis feel they would enjoy their time there. And it’s true. Brazil is Trinidad on steroids.

We have nice beaches; they have thousands of miles of beaches. We ‘throw’ fetes; they have blocos with half a million people. We have beautiful women; they have beautiful women with fake boobs. We wine; they samba.

Sports fans should be salivating at the idea of catching either the 2014 World Cup or 2016 Olympics and I imagine both prove to be unforgettable affairs.

How to get there: Connect through Panama City on Copa Airlines or through Barbados on GOL airlines.

 

Country: Costa Rica

Visa Exemption: 30 days

Costa Rica is Latin America 101. It’s an easy place to visit in a sense that things work there. The water is drinkable and customer service is widely practised in this small country that relies heavily on tourism.

Many hold up Costa Rica as an exemplar in sustainable tourism, and the country was a pioneer in ecotourism with almost one-quarter of the land area covered by national parks and protected areas.

One could argue that we Trinis are accustomed to forests, macaws and large turtles that lay eggs on wild beaches, so why visit? For me, it’s the sight of active volcanoes spewing lava at night, seen from the bathing comfort of hot springs, piña colada in hand. Costa Ricans treasure and enjoy their pura vida lifestyle and Trinis will too.

How to get there: There-hour flight to Panama on Copa, and from there either one of many connecting flights, or an overnight bus ride through the back country of Panama and Costa Rica.

 

Country: Jordan

Visa Exemption: Visa issued on arrival for JOD 10, which is about $90 TTD

When I was a child, I saw a picture of a lady floating in the ultra-buoyant Dead Sea reading a newspaper with ease. I’ve been hooked on the idea of Jordan ever since.

The Kingdom of Jordan, home to six million people, may not be on the radar of many tourists from our region, but it should be. Camel riding, sand boarding, ballooning, desert rallying, canyoning, diving…the list goes on…and on.

In addition to all the activities on offer, Jordan is home to loads of significant, ancient sites including Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage city carved into a mountain. For those interested in biblical history, Jordan offers the chance to walk in the footsteps of Moses, John the Baptist and bathe in waters that baptised Jesus.

How to get there: Easyjet flies from London, and five-day holidays, including flight and hotel, start at £350.

 

Country: England

Visa Exemption: A whopping six months. Three cheers to you if you can afford to stay that long.

Jolly old England – our former colonizer – making the list of places for us to go 50 years after our independence from them.

London plays host to the Olympics this year, and things are already heating up with a number of test events allowing visitors to see the venues in action. Beyond the Olympics, London offers the Trini tourist an opportunity to overdose on culture and not just English culture, but everyone’s culture.

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world with 300 languages spoken by its schoolchildren. A day in London could easily involve doubles for breakfast in Clapham, followed by a capoeira class in Brixton, an Ethiopian lunch followed by Turkish coffee with your Bulgarian friend, and a Pakistani film festival followed by an all-night Ibiza style rave. London has it all and as an added bonus we already speak the local language.

How to get there: Virgin and Monarch both fly from Tobago. British Airlines flies from Trinidad.

 

Country: Turkey

Visa Exemption: Three months

Turkey is different. Walk around Istanbul, and it’s hard to compare it to other places you may have seen on TV or may have visited.

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, geographically sits in both Europe and Asia and the city’s cultural offerings reflect its history as a cultural crossroads. It is home to amazing mosques that were once churches, museums that were once mosques and monuments dating back from when this city was the centre of the powerful Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Turkey is a real cultural juxtaposition, and deserves a second or third look.

How to get there: Connect through London. Flights to Istanbul can be found for less than £150.

The five great destinations profiled above are really only the start. Even with a Trinidadian passport, the world really is your oyster, and hopefully it will keep improving for us. Word on the street is that Trinis may soon not require a Schengen visa to travel as tourists to Europe. Wherever you decide to go, Outlish wishes you bon voyage!

P.S.: When you do visit your Trini friends in London, your welcome will be even warmer if you bring pepper sauce, kuchela, kurma, tamarind balls, salt mango, gram masala, black cake, frozen pastelles and rum.

 

Image credit: vacation-magazine.com

James Walker

James Walker is an analyst, both in job title and modus operandi. His life goals include becoming at least four of the following: calypsonian, sambista, columnist, educator, or salsero. James is also mildly obsessed with curry, games, and limes, and lives in London.

41 Comments

  1. Kamsha

    March 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Don’t need a visa for Hong Kong, Ireland, Scotland or Dubai either.

    So many countries to visit, and most of them far more interesting than the US.

    • Shyama

      October 8, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Yes we need visa for Dubai ..sonsorry about fighting in Turkey because I was there in 20q4 and Istanbul is AWESOME …reallyvwant to go back but hoping it settles down and become a little safer…anyone going check out De Jem hotel right next to the Blue Mosque its a lovely place to stayb…love Turkey

  2. Carla

    March 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I went to Turkey a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely amazing! Definitely a bonus not to need a visa to go there and I would, without hesitation, rate it higher than the UK as well.

    On an aside, it’s kind of misleading when you mention a place where you need a visa-on-arrival. It’s still a visa at the end of the day…But good to highlight the fact that there are other countries out there (besides the United States!) to which one can travel hassle-free. True the U.S. is nearer but it’s so much easier to just go somewhere where you don’t have to beg to be let in for a two-week vacation.

    • Jay maraj

      July 13, 2015 at 1:16 am

      Yes so true. Anyone tried Mexico. Its awesome.

  3. Rae-Ann Cardinal

    March 14, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I am a trini living in Dubai. Trinidadians do need a visa to get into Dubai. It costs 800 dirhams which works out to be 471 ttd. It is hassle free, no intense interview, all they do is take your finger prints and an eye scan at the airport. There are direct flights to Dubai from London, JFK and Houston. These hubs are all one flight away from Trinidad. Thanks for this article, it is a must share for facebook.

    • Israel

      November 27, 2015 at 1:12 am

      Wow how is it over there am pretty sure it amazing it’s that easy to visit

  4. Fazeela Mollick

    March 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you for these very agreeable suggestions!

  5. Lesley-Anne Macf

    March 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Going to Turkey in June :) Brazil and Costa Rica will definitely be on the list now

  6. Thaiz Gulston

    March 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    oh wonderful article :) gives me hope for a nice vacation somewhere new

  7. Alison Eva Granado

    March 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    and we should definitely thank the heavens for Copa Airlines 😉

  8. Anna Layman

    March 14, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    its fantastic when you get to turkey and all those british passport holders have to pay to get into the country- with my trini passport I simply walk in, lovely people, lovely country.

  9. Alicia Saldenha

    March 16, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Good to know. Thanks.

  10. Aaron L

    March 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Lovely article! Thanks for sharing James! Costa Rica is on my list for the near future and perhaps Turkey next year from central EU! Blessssss!

  11. Rob

    March 16, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Nice list. Costa Rica’s definitely worth it. Turkey’s high on my list.

  12. Asha

    March 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I LOVE THIS!!!! THANK YOU!!!! I think Turkey is on the list

  13. E to the c

    March 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    You should have listed England as part of the UK. Don’t forget, England is only one country in the entire United Kingdom. There’s also Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK isn’t just England, and there;s loads more to see than just London!

  14. trinitodbone

    March 26, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Don’t forget Singapore!

  15. islandsweetie

    March 27, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Great Article! What about the other 85 countries (excluding the Caribbean of course) that Trinis can visit. I’m eager to find out! Italy or France anywhere in there by chance??!!! High hopes!!! Appreciate any help I can get in planning this out! Super excited

  16. Ms curlz

    March 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Mexico and the rest of central America should be included but thanks for the options!!! Can’t wait to start eat pray and loving my way around this wonderful world

  17. Corrine Edwards

    March 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Does ‘England’ include all the other bits of Britain too?
    Don’t bother to come to London when the Olympics are on. It will be mayhem trying to get round, and the place will be teaming with police and other ‘security services’. Oh Joy.

  18. Marsha S. Haneiph

    March 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Life in North America is great but there’s a whole world out there; and places we’d be welcome with our dark blue passport alone. Great job in highlighting some of them, Mr. Walker!

  19. Chris Trigg

    March 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I visited Peru for 2 weeks at the end of 2010. No VISA hassles and got to see a piece of history at Macchu Picchu. So many other facets to be explored in that country and quite a few other South American territories.

    Thank God for Copa Airlines.

  20. Debra in Malaysia

    March 27, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Add Malaysia to that list! 30 day visa exemption.

  21. NYC Trini

    April 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    As a Trinbagonian living in the U.S, I actually enjoy exploring the U.S. and the rest of the world. Actually visited Europe a few years ago and the Visa is not difficult to obtain at all. I have friends from all over Greece,Croatia(great beaches) and Bulgaria. yes there is a lot to see outside of the U.S.

  22. katsiboo

    April 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Don’t forget Mexico, which is very afforable and a fantastic vacation desitination – was there in last September. Heading to Belize in a couple of weeks – also a destination where no visa is required.

  23. Timmy_westmaas

    June 19, 2012 at 2:18 am

    good article James, but I hope people are aware that London is not the be all and end all of England!  Outside of the city are so many places of beauty and culture!  Just ask any of the many Trinis living around the UK (not in London)

  24. Staciay

    June 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you, James! This was quite helpful — I’m already making plans for next summer. :)

  25. Skls

    July 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    List of things to carry to Trinis in London was missing one thing – coconut water !!! Cldn’t live with out !

  26. marc

    October 12, 2012 at 4:04 am

    costa risa is 3 months not 30 days

  27. Yolanda Rose Haripersad

    June 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    How come South Africa didn’t make the list. We are way nicer than England!

  28. James Santiago W.

    June 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    haha flashback!

  29. OUTLISH Magazine

    June 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Yolanda…because we need a visa to go South Africa. Don’t worry. We’ll make it one day 😉

  30. Yolanda Rose Haripersad

    June 18, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Trini don’t need a visa no more, new rule. It changed over a year ago.

  31. A Free Trini and lovin it

    July 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I agree with you…ah not lining up at 4am to see the Trinis who working too
    hard in the US. Heading to London and Turkey instead next week. See you soon, rest of Europe, when I don’t have to wait more than three months for a Schengen visa.

    • Anonymous

      May 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      It’s takes a week to get your Schengen visa.

  32. trinitrish

    March 26, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Ok, so did Costa Rica (Lush and Green) and tackling, London next month. Also Doing France and Spain…but I will consider Turkey while im at it!

  33. Keisha noel

    July 19, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I WANNA visit Scotland BADDDDDDDD!!!!!
    What do I do????

    • manuel affonso

      July 29, 2015 at 8:30 am

      Jump on ah plane

  34. tay-tay

    August 10, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Let them make we out good, We big in de place! This also means that we have to watch our boarders We too small to be overcrowded because a lot of the smaller islands will want we Trini passport.

  35. Rhoda punjabi

    August 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Hi am from trinidad i would like to know if a visa is required to visit south africa thank you

  36. June John

    April 6, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I spent three weeks in Turkey and the people are racial , i am a black woman, and they will stare at me watch me until i disappear around the corner, i did not feel welcome at all, other wise the Country is so beautiful i wish i had the stomach to go back for a visit

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