Trips that require visas take a bit more planning. Preplanning is a foreign notion for a person accustomed to getting up and going. Back in 2017, I wanted to go to China. I downloaded the form online, filled it out, and went to the Embassy on 42nd street only to be told I didn't have the correct information to apply for the Visa.
Between taking time off from work and having to run around the city, I was over it. I had no transportation and lived two hours from the nearest embassy. I never made it to China on that trip and instead visited Australia. From then I started using Visa services for my visas.
Here are the three ways I do visas nowadays:
Sherpa: I first used Sherpa for an Egyptian Visa in 2021. Although Egypt does visas on arrival, I wanted to have everything in advance. For an extra $11.25 I was able to get the visa. The visa is $25.00. For $36.25, it eliminated any queries I had with regard to the visa. Their customer service is also quick and responsive if you have questions prior to applying.
G3 Global Services: I use G3 for more complex visas. I first used them for the Turkish visa in 2021 and have relied on them ever since. The processing fees are a bit more but the expedition in services is second-to-none.
Do it yourself: Doing it yourself comes with certain drawbacks. I recently applied for a Bhutanese visa on my own. I went right in and got the visa and planned the trip only to find out that if I paid the airline (Royal Bhutan Air) they would do everything for me for a set price. Definitely, a lesson learned.
As an American, I have access to 144 out of 195 countries and I rarely apply for visas but when I do I trust the above services.
Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any parties mentioned. None of the entities mentioned has reviewed, approved, or endorsed the content listed in this post.