For avid travellers, passports are kind of important. They become part of our identity. The stamps and visa stickers are the narrative of our colourful lives. We pack them first, check them last and thumb through them absentmindedly with dreamy smiles on our faces as we reminisce of far-flung paces and the sights, smells, sounds and colours that have become part of who we are.
But all passports are not created equal. These highly-sought after encrypted devices which seem like nothing more than glorified pieces of paper, are travel currency. And your nationality determines the value of your passport. I'll never forget transiting in Chile and feeling highly ripped off as I begrudgingly paid some insane amount for a visa, while cursing myself for not keeping my New Zealand passport so I could have paid half the price! It seemed outrageous. But perhaps I should have been thankful my trusty Aussie passport allowed me safe passage, despite the price tag. If I was travelling on a South Sudan passport it might be a different story.
According to this recent article by Traveller, Aussie passports are ninth most powerful in the world.
If you love your passport as much as me, why don't you buy it it's own leather wallet to take on the road?
by Kylie McLaughlin via Traveller
Australian passports are the ninth most powerful in the world, according to a new online passport index that allows you to sort passports of the world by a 'passport power rank'.
Created by financial advisory firm Arton Capital, the index determines the ranking of a country by calculating how many countries passport holders can visit without an advance visa, or by purchasing visa on arrival.
USA and UK passports are the most powerful, each possessing a total of 147 countries its citizens can visit without needing a visa.
French, Germany and South Korean citizens tied for second place, with 145 countries.
Passports from places with advanced economies, such as Hong Kong, sitting in the eleventh spot, dominate the list.
Some of the least desirable passports are from Bhutan (40), Myanmar (28), Nepal (38), Afghanistan (38), Iraq (38) and North Korea (44). These countries can be notoriously difficult to get a visa for.
Visa requirements are often an interesting, but overlooked, indicator of national relations, according to The Washington Post.
Countries that are allied usually offer each others' citizens a quick visa on arrival.
Visitors to countries on not-so-friendly terms may have to provide entry and exit information, a letter of invitation, details about where they are staying throughout the trip, as well as paying a hefty fee. Mistakes could be punished by the application process being drawn out, or worse still, rejected.
Recently, Australia was excluded from a list of 45 countries to be offered visa-free travel to Indonesia.
Strained relations over the imminent execution of two convicted Australian drug traffickers were blamed for the exclusion.
Visas were to be waived for several Asian and European countries for reciprocity.
"If we give visa-free travel to Australia, we have to be given the same thing," Tourism Minister Arif Yahya said. "It cannot be that we give it to them first."
Currently, Australians pay $US35 ($A45.76) for entry into Indonesia, which provides them with a 30 day maximum stay. Australian tourists account for 12 per cent of all foreigners visiting Indonesia in 2014, according to the Indonesian statistics bureau.
While the Passport Index does allow you to sort passports by ranking, location and colour, it does not allow you to see which countries specific passports will permit you to enter without a visa.
So, in case you were wondering which country New Zealand passport holders can enter without a visa that Australians can't - it's Brazil.
World's most powerful passports by rank
1. USA, UK (147)
2. France, South Korea, Germany (145)
3. Italy, Sweden (144)
4. Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands (143)
5. Switzerland (142)
6. Spain, Norway, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal (141)
7. Canada, Greece, Austria, Malaysia (140)
8. New Zealand (139)
9. Australia, Czech Republic, Hungary (138)
10. Poland, Slovakia (137)
... and the least powerful
Palestinian Territories, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, South Sudan (28)
Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, Ethiopia (38)
To view the full index, click here.
Read more: http://www.traveller.com.au/what-is-the-best-passport-in-the-world-for-travellers-1mm7zl#ixzz3wclVLuFY