Countries & Criteria – DanVenture Travels

A question I get asked often is “How many countries have you visited?” Since many people have different definitions of visiting a country, I thought I would share my 4 ‘criteria’ for counting a country as one visited – your opinion might differ.

Some people will count physically being in a country as having visited a country, but I do not. For example, if you are using airlines like Emirates or Ethiopian Airlines to get from one place to another via their hubs, you will most likely spend a few hours transiting from one aircraft to the next in the UAE or Ethiopia. You will physically be in those countries, but you aren’t visiting the countries.

1) Pass through immigration. In the past, you would receive a passport stamp every time you went through immigration. More & more countries are choosing not to use passport stamps anymore so you might not receive that mark in your travel document, but you do need to pass immigration.

2) Have a local meal or beverage. This is because what we eat & drink is so closely linked to our heritage & culture. By having something local, you’re embracing the country you are in.

3) Learn something about the country. If you’ve visited a place & learned absolutely nothing, you’ve sorely wasted an opportunity. Travel is such an amazing opportunity to learn even the simplest things & I’ve always felt that it broadens my mindset. Many of my viewpoints have been altered based on things I’ve learned while traveling.

4) Talk to a local. This usually goes hand in hand with point number 3, although not always. Speaking to a local is interesting on so many levels – it all begins with listening to their accents & their stories.

There you have my criteria for counting a country as visited. These do differ from time to time because passing through immigration in Europe is much more relaxed than other parts of the world & finding locals in countries like Vatican City or Qatar can be challenging, but generally this is how I count.

What do you say? How do you count a country as visited?

Keep traveling, keep safe.

DanVenture Travels


33 thoughts on “Countries & Criteria – DanVenture Travels

Add yours

  1. What a timely post for me. There is a good chance we’ll be going into downtown Bangkok for a few hours on our layover (never been to Thailand) to meet up with a blog buddy. I’ve been asking myself: Will I count Thailand as a country I visited? Based on your rules, I think I can!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think those are great criteria. For me personally though, I have to leave the airport – so that would be added to your fantastic list! I had a layover in Dubai, and although I did all of the above, I didn’t actually leave the airport…so it didn’t feel real to me.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Really cool to see the map of the countries you’ve visited; you’ve traveled in so much of Asia and a good portion of Africa, which not many people I know have done. You’ve wonderful adventures awaiting you in Mexico, Central and South America, Dan! : ) Rebecca

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I totally agree with your criteria, transiting doesn’t count. Although, there needs to be some consideration for countries where crossing the border doesn’t necessarily require immigration- like in much of Western Europe (which is why points 2-4 are also key!)
    Question for you, do you consider a self-governed principality or city state (for example Vatican City) a country visit?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is an interesting question. I consider it a country if it is on the UN list of countries so I do consider Vatican City, Andorra & San Marino countries. Other places, I will not consider a country. For example, I know there are serious struggles for independence in Catalonia, but they have not been recognized by the UN so even though I have been to Barcelona & Madrid, I’d count them both as Spain – for now at least🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  5. I cannot believe that you have not made it over to Canada – perhaps not the big Cities of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver but the East Coast and the West Coast have spectacular scenery and friendly folk. Looking forward to seeing some of that map filled in in the near future! Enjoy every moment of your travels and visits. You have the right mindset for a wanderer!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I count being in the country for at least some time as visiting although ideally I’d love to get to know more about the culture of the places I visit.

    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like this! Personally, I don’t count myself having visited the USA because I never visited outside of the airports I’ve flown in and out of. For a country to count, I’d need a visit to be more substantial 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Totally agree with your criteria! I would add that we should count destinations as well, not just country 🙂 Within a country, different provinces/regions can have totally different culture (customs, language, specialties, etc.). For big countries like Russia or Canada, the differences are even more significant.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you’ve got to do something of interest in the place you’re visiting, stepping foot in the airport certainly isn’t enough which is why I’m desperate to go back to Singapore. I spent hours in the airport but regret not having stayed there for a night or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very exciting and true
    Visiting a country is more than just a stopover, basically I’m super excited cause I’ve really traveled. Presently I’m in Togo and I’m really enjoying the stay here. Everything is exciting

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I totally agree with your points, even though sometimes I still don’t fully consider a whole country “visited” if I have only been in one place! I have recently been to Melbourne but I still think I need to go back to Australia and see some other places before I can say I have in fact visited it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like to add that you have to spend at least one night. Obviously the hours spent doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve visited a new country/world. That’s why I love your #3. But to spend only a few hours in another country seems like a lot of missed opportunity, and another visit should be planned!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Nice post, and I agree to your criteria! A one night sleep would also add experience, yup!
    I had the same criteria, before I started to live in countries and teach there, then knowing the culture in depth made me too addicted 😀


  14. Your map is a great visual. Not been to Canada, eh? It is a great place to visit (or live). I hadn’t considered The Vatican a separate country, but will add that to my list. Thanks for stopping by.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: