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Preparing for a journey to Iran can be tricky. The country is extremely friendly to tourists but getting the visa, insurance and all the formalities sound very tiresome. The Internet offers inconsistent information and recommendations from people just waiting to take advantage of travelers.
My preparations for my journey to Iran took quite a lot of time. It was my first trip to a Middle Eastern country and I wanted it to go smoothly. Right after booking the tickets I started reading about how to get a visa, insurance and book a hotel. I’ve been tearing my hair out. How was I ever going to sort it all out??
Luckily I stumbled upon some blog and found 1st Quest. They were fantastic in helping in my preparations to going to Iran and also thanks to them my journey was so incredible.
Keep reading to find out what kind of problems you might have with organizing your time in Iran and how to easily solve them.
Iran is a place where traveling is slightly different mostly because of the sanctions imposed by other countries. Below you will find a list of problems you might encounter as you prepare for your journey.
Apart from the flights, it is one of the most important things to get. Depending on where you live and come from you have to follow the embassy’s instructions to get a visa. It is worth mentioning that the embassy or the e-visa system can decline your visa without giving a reason.
You can apply for a visa through:
- The embassy – you can apply for a visa in every country. How to do that? The best way is to contact the embassy you will be applying to. Different embassies may have different ways of applying.
- E-visa – It’s not exactly an e-visa but a form you fill in and it generates a reference number thanks to which you only have to visit the embassy twice instead of three times. This process is not available everywhere. First, check on your embassy’s website if you can apply online.
- On arrival – at the airport in Iran, you can apply for a Visa on Arrival. It costs $75 instead of $50 but it’s definitely an easier option.
- Through an agent – This option is one of the best and safest ways to get a visa to Iran. The percentage of declines is much lower and you don’t have to worry about anything. All you need to do is fill in an application form on the agent’s website, make the payment and then go and collect your visa.
At the time I was applying for a visa every agency suspended their services. The Iranian government was introducing visa changes so without much choice I applied online.
Currently, on the 1st Quest website, you can easily and cheaply fill out the visa application. 1st Quest sends it to the embassy of your choice and informs you when you can go to the facility and take your passport. The whole process is extremely simple and fast, and most importantly, definitely safe.
You cannot go to Iran without insurance. It is required by the government and you need the certificate for the visa application. The problem with insurance to Iran is that none of the insurers selling traveling insurances offers a policy that would be valid in Iran. In this case, you have to choose from the policies offered by special companies online.
1st Quest offers insurance to Iran. It costs around $20. It covers accidents, hospital stays and delayed flights. The insurance purchase is effortless and very fast.
You can buy your insurance here.
Booking transport and hotels
Do you like to have everything organized too? I really do, especially when I’m going somewhere I’ve never been to before. That’s why I usually book everything earlier – to not have to worry about anything later.
There is no Airbnb or Booking.com in Iran. You can check the hotels on TripAdvisor and contact the facilities directly. Usually, there is a possibility to book at a distance. You can’t pay online for your stay in most of the hotels, especially the smaller ones. In this case, you must trust them on their good word that the room will be booked for you.
Some websites allow online booking and payment. In Iran, there are a lot of hotels and hostels in various prices. Everyone will find their fit. Check available offers and book a place for your journey to Iran.
As of today (2019) you cannot book flights, buses or trains online. Every website is in Farsi. Also, you cannot pay with foreign cards. There are two options: either buy everything when you get to Iran (your hotel staff can help with that) or you can book transport online. I traveled mainly by bus and once I dared to go by plane. I booked everything beforehand. You will find more information on transportation in Iran here.
All of the above mentioned formalities can be dealt within an hour or two without any major problems. I think that using sites like 1st Quest is very comfortable and saves your nerves and time.
I highly recommend 1st Quest and their services. I am their affiliated partner. If you purchase anything from their website I will get a small fee from the sale which will allow me to keep writing these practical posts about traveling. You won’t pay anything additionally! Thank you for your support!