Croatia Joins EU, Keeps Pretty Money

Travel to Croatia is increasing, up nearly 20 percent over last year just counting visitors from North America. Showcased by the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones,” Croatia has seen a surge in tourism, one that they hope to continue by joining the European Union.

Last year, visitors from the United States and Canada reached 237,826, up 17.8 percent over 2011. Recovering from a multi-year recession, Croatia believes being part of the EU will give tourism an additional boost but will be a member on their own terms.

Croatia, the home of Dalmatian dogs, will not be a member of the Schengen area that allows members easy access in and out of the country. Instead they will continue checking passports of all entering or exiting the country.Known for its lovely islands and beautiful people, Croatia will not adopt the euro as national currency, choosing instead to keep the colorful Kuna as legal tender.

How To (Legally) Stay In Europe For More Than 90 Days

Planning an extended stay in Europe, travelers are often focused on what it takes to be there longer than 90 days, what is commonly believed to be the limit for tourists. Armed with a desire to stay longer, travel blog Nomadic Matt found a way and shares it in a recent blog post.

Getting to the heart of the matter, Matthew Kepnes, founder of Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site, blogs “when people talk about the ’90 day limit,’ they are talking about restrictions on the Schengen Visa, which is the visa rule that governs 26 countries in Europe.”

The easy way to stay longer than 90 days in non-Schengen countries, says Kepnes, is to vary your location when traveling in Europe, moving to a different country near the end of 90 days. That starts the clock ticking all over again.

But those 26 European countries that are covered under the Schengen Visa are really more like states and staying longer than 90 days can be tricky.

“When most people ask me about staying in Europe, they mean staying longer in the Schengen zone. After all, it covers 26 countries and visiting so many destinations in 90 days can be a little rushed (it is an average of 3.4 days per country),” says Kepnes offering a solution that tells of loopholes and other ways to hang around Europe, legally.

See more at Nomadic Matt‘s.Want to know more about the Schengen Visa? See Schengen and the disappearance of European passport stamps by Gadling’s Alex Robertson Textor.

This video from Schengen Visa Guide also contains clear instructions, examples and a step-by-step approach that will ensure your success in getting a Schengen Visa.

[Flickr photo by (Xip)]