My family will visit Poland in January. We are also considering nearby Balkan countries as well. Would this itinerary work for a single-entry visa?

Poland-Austria-Slovenia-Hungary (all Schengen) then Bulgaria-Macedonia (both non-Schengen but admit Schengen visa holders) then return to Asia (with perhaps a stopover at a Schengen area airport).

I'm trying to find a hack because, as far as I understand, we can't go back to the Schengen area once we get out of Hungary.

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    My first question was how many weeks do you want to spend in Europe? I strongly recommend to have at least three vacation days between travel days or you are going to see nothing (but stations, airports, trains and planes). – Janka Oct 13 '18 at 15:32
  • Around 25 days for this itinerary Janka. – Sam Oct 13 '18 at 17:32
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    Don't betray yourself then. You could check out six areas in these 25 days. Do they really have to be in six different countries? – Janka Oct 13 '18 at 19:03

It will depend on whether you need a transit visa for the Schengen countries (which you can find here) but if you don't you are good to go.

It is allowed to return to an airport within the Schengen area as long as you do not need to leave the international zone and you do not need a transit visa.
If you do need a transit visa, you can apply for one or ask for a multiple entry visa in the first place and hope you get it.
Remember that you will need a visa and not a transit visa if you have two separate tickets and need visa for the Schengen area.

On the other hand, you will likely find more than enough to do in the Schengen countries and if you do not want to risk not being allowed back into Schengen, you can plan your journey such that you do not leave the zone.

Or arrange your return journey home such that you do not need to return to the Schengen zone for your stopover/transit airport.

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    The uncertain itinerary, along with the use of the word "hack" in the question, suggests that the possible stopover on the way home might be with separate tickets, in which case a Schengen entry could be required by the airline, and would certainly be required if there were checked luggage. It's not clear from the question, but anyone considering a trip like this should keep the issue oin mind. – phoog Nov 25 '18 at 15:40
  • Or at least they should keep the issue in mind. – phoog Nov 26 '18 at 2:51
  • @phoog, I edited your point into my answer, do you think it needs more attention? – Willeke Nov 26 '18 at 11:15

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