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What Constitutes a Visit
Introduction
For my goal to visit 50 countries by the time I turn 50, I had to devise a set of rules to determine what a constitutes a visit to a country.
Visit Rules
  1. Physically being in the Country: To count as a visit, you must physically be in the country i.e. your feet must touch the ground. Overflying a country or transiting a country by car or train does not count. Also in order to count, you need to get past immigration, customs, and transit facilities. Spending time in a lounge at an airport or train station does not count.
  2. Time: You must spend a significant amount of time in a country to constitute a visit. Spending a total of 5 minutes in a country does not count. One should spend a night in the country or minimally have a meal in the country to consider it a visit.
  3. Economic Activity: Part of visiting a country is to participate in the economy of the country. This allows the visitor to interact with the people of country and provide a reason to travel. This could include spending the night there or having a meal there, but a good idea would be to buy a post card and mail it to yourself. Mailing the post card produces a cheap souvenir and a record of your visit.
These rules are general and should be followed for most cases. Some places in the world do not allow the rules to be followed exactly and some accommodation needs to be made. For example, one can not easily spend the night or buy a meal in Vatican City State, but if the other rules are followed. The visit should count anyway.
Last Updated on January 2, 2009 Images and Text © 2005 Andrew Patton - Copyright Information