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Frequently Asked Questions

What is MTP?
MTP (Most Traveled People) is a club for travelers who aspire to go "everywhere."

Where is "everywhere?"
MTP voting members decide how to divide up the land area of the world into distinct areas. Currently, the MTP Master List is 871 items long. These items are UN countries, territories, dependencies, states or provinces of large countries, island groups, isolated islands, or enclaves and exclaves.

Who are MTP voting members?
MTP Voting members have either visited 100 MTP locations, or voted prior to July 1, 2007, when the current voting system was implemented.

Why was MTP founded?
MTP was founded in 2005 to create a community and standards body for extreme travelers. A lack of standards had existed since the year 2000, when Guinness declared itself unable to continue to judge the Most Traveled category. Guinness requested that a legitimate 3rd party organization pick up this task, so MTP was born.

How was MTP's original Master List developed?
MTP's original Master List of 573 countries and territories began by rationalizing the 4 most commonly-used existing lists (TCC, Guinness, DXCC, and John Todd lists) into a single, more detailed list. Each of those previous 4 lists accounted for certain areas differently, resulting in confusion, and many competing claims. Since then, MTP voters have added 300 items to the list, mostly by voting to divide large countries into their constituent states or provinces.

Why isn't Cancun (or Las Vegas, or London, etc.) on the list?
MTP's Master List is a division of all land area on Earth into geographically or politically separate areas. Every destination fits into one of those areas. E.g. Cancun is in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Las Vegas is in Nevada, USA. London is in England. Quintana Roo, Nevada, and England are the relevant MTP list items.

What if I'm not interested in traveling to Somalia, or Mellish Reef, or other dangerous or obscure places?
MTP's Master List includes all land area on Earth, without regard to geopolitical conditions. However, if you are interested in cultural value, consider trying to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS). These are the sites which the UN has designated "having outstanding universal natural or cultural value." MTP maintains a WHS checklist and rankings in addition to the MTP Master List.

I'm a mountain climber (or sailor, or golfer, or restaurant connoisseur, etc.). How can MTP help me?
We at MTP can create the same kind of system for restaurants and golf courses as we did for World Heritage Sites. Email us, and nominate the topic which you would think would be suitable for a checklist and leaderboard. MTP will create specialized international travel checklists (e.g mountains, rivers, hotels, restaurants, golf courses, beaches, etc), and the order in which we develop these will be based on user input.

What if I haven't traveled to many places?
You are still very welcome at MTP! The important thing is that you are interested in travel, in geography, and in life experiences around the world. As long as you truly aspire to be well-traveled, you can be one of the Most-Traveled.

How can anyone really define "Most Traveled?"
MTP uses the phrase "Most Traveled" to mean pure geographic coverage of the land on Earth. There is no further subjective criteria. This is because different people have different travel goals, and different travel styles. For example, some people choose to spend substantially in order to travel in luxury, while others take great pride in their resourcefulness and see authenticity in their frugality. Some strive only to eat local dishes, to use local transportation, to find local romance, etc. - and count their successes in their own individual ways. While such experiences are certainly core to everyone's travel experience, they are individually subjective. And as such, MTP does not try to objectify or quantify them.

MTP asks, simply: "Were you there? Was it legal? And can you prove it?"

What proof of visits is required?
Some form of proof of travel is necessary to prevent fraudulent claims. Although there is no single type of proof which covers each type of visit, there are several ways in which a traveler can sufficiently demonstrate that he has been to a country or territory.

The categories of proof below can be used in combination (or, occasionally, alone) as proof of a visit. Travelers should keep in mind the general rule: “The more proof, the better.”

In descending order of sufficiency,

  1. Passport entry stamp (required where offered, either within passport, or on separate paper, as in cases of Israel, North Korea, etc.). A visa which supports the entry stamp should be present where required. Note: A visa without accompanying entry stamp is not proof of travel. A visa alone is only proof of purchasing a visa.
  2. Airline, rail, or boat ticket stubs showing travel both to and from the target.
  3. Credit card records showing meals or lodging within the target.
  4. Signed Affidavit or Certificate of Travel from a ship Captain or other authority.
  5. Signed and Witnessed Affidavit of Travel from the traveler himself.
  6. Photograph of traveler within the territory, including local sign or icon where possible. E.g. “Welcome to Tristan da Cunha,” “Geographic South Pole,” “Republic of Abkhazia”

Note: Photographic evidence is not normally acceptable alone; it must be accompanied by other supporting proof.
Note: In cases of incomplete proof due to fire, theft, etc., an oral interview administered by an interviewer with travel experience in the claimed region may suffice.

How does MTP define a "visit?"
For the purposes of this website, a visit shall be as follows:/

  1. Across borders where immigration is regulated, official entry must be made through immigration/passport control.
  2. Across borders where passport control does not exist or is unregulated, such as between states within a country, or between countries under a common border agreement, such as the EU, the traveler must stand with both feet on land fully within those borders. This includes landing on islands. Sailing through territorial waters alone does not count, nor does flying through territorial airspace.
  3. In the case of islands where landing is prohibited by law due to wildlife concerns or other natural heritage status, it is acceptable to touch a portion of the island above the waterline (whether while swimming or from a boat) in lieu of landing.

Note: There is no minimum time requirement for a visit. Once a visit has been achieved according to rules 1-3 above, no further qualitative criteria is required (although establishment of proof is necessary if a claim of travel will be made).

Does an airport transfer count as a visit?
For MTP, the short answer is 'no.'
Some travel clubs define "visit" very broadly, to include airplane fuel stops, airport transits, and surreptitious or illegal border crossings. Such arrivals are problematic for several reasons.

First and foremost, from a legal standpoint, they are not valid. Without passing through immigration, across borders where passport control exists, a person has not legally arrived in a country. Even if someone were to enjoy an extended time in a country via illegal entry, acceptance of this as a standard would be an encouragement of illegal behavior, something this club is unwilling to do.

Second, airport transits without immigration entry and surreptitious border crossings are difficult to prove. For example, photography at border areas, customs control areas, on airport tarmacs and within airports is often illegal. Airport transits offer no entry stamp and require no visa. Airline ticket stubs do not show stopovers en route to a final destination. Border areas often have neutral zones without clear markings in between.

Thirdly, time spent in an airport transit lounge, or furtively dashing across a remote border area and back again, does not meet the common sense test for visits. While such actions may involve great planning and effort, in the end they cannot be construed as a proper visit in the spirit of international discovery and brotherhood.

Is MTP free to join?

Is there any non-monetary way to help?
There is always more to do at MTP. If you have superior attention to detail, then there are many areas where you can help. Just contact us and tell us you're interested, and we'll find a way for you to volunteer.

Thank you for your support!
Charles Veley