Flying internationally can be frightening, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Most people ask themselves, am I in the right place? Do I have the right amount of money on me? Is this the real cost of things?
If you’re a nervous traveler, you can probably relate.
But fear no more, here are seven top tips to help you enjoy a smoother traveling experience.
1. Is Your Passport in Check?
Arguably, one of the most important things you should make you sure you have organized before flying internationally is your passport. It goes without saying that if you haven’t sorted out your visa and passport, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.
You must make sure that you have applied for your passport well in advance of even booking your flight, especially if you’ve never had one.
Once you reach the point of no return, it is difficult to cancel a flight. For first-time passport users, it is highly likely that it can take a while to get all the details and paperwork sorted out, so start the process well in advance.
Also, be sure to count the costs. In the US, the price of a single passport application is $115 for under 16’s and $145 for any age above this bracket.
This is the standard price, but depending on whether you need it expedited, it can increase considerably, so the moral of the story is GET IT EARLY!
Another tip that may help you go a long way when concerned with your passport is making sure that you have made copies of it. Have digital references in case you need it at hand quickly.
It’s not just for flying, as it is not uncommon to need it for hotels and other necessities abroad.
2. Do You Need a Visa?
So many people have arrived at the check-in desk of the airport, assuming that a ticket and a passport will suffice to enter certain countries. Big mistake!
You cannot travel anywhere internationally without even checking whether or not you need a visa. All countries have different rules!
Paying for a visa is not insignificant. That document shows your right to be in a particular country. There are some countries like the U.S. and certain Latin American and European countries that allow you to obtain a visa on arrival.
However, some will not let you even check into the flight without it. What a waste of cash!
3. Pack Well
There is nothing worse than flying internationally, arriving overseas and finding out that there was some luggage mix up, or your luggage didn’t come. This is why it is useful to pack smart!
Don’t just fill your hand-luggage with junk food and snacks but fill it with things that you can use in the event of an emergency—an extra pair of clothes and underwear etc.
Another issue that is common when it comes to packing is obeying the airline’s weight restrictions.
If you know that you like to pack a lot, pay for the excess luggage in advance, or buy some scales and weigh them at home before arriving in the airport to fight the lady at the desk.
4. Money. Money. Money.
It’s very important to be monetarily prepared before embarking on your overseas journey.
It is always sensible to check the foreign currency in advance and the conversion rate too, so you don’t get ripped off all the time.
Additionally, a lot of banks block credit cards due to suspected fraud, so make them aware before you fly internationally and can’t use your card.
Always carry a sufficient amount of the local currency on you. You never know if they’re going to take card everywhere you go. You may end up stranded with no money if this is this case.
5. Don’t Get Sick
Health services in each country dramatically differ. Do you need certain vaccinations before you travel?
It is likely that if you are going to or coming from certain tropical countries, you are required to have vaccinations, and evidence of them too!
Also, medical insurance is probably something to consider if you are someone who takes regular trips to the doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
6. Can You Use Your Phone?
It almost sounds silly that people don’t check. However, a lot of people travel abroad, feeling like they can use their phones as they would in their home country.
It’s always a nasty surprise when they come back to a whopping phone bill. You need to double-check that your data roaming setting is not switched on on your cell phone.
If it is not switched off, you could be racking up some serious charges.
7. Sort out Your Electronics
This is arguably the least essential tip when flying internationally as it can quickly be resolved; nonetheless, it’s still vital.
Be sure to check you’re well equipped in terms of chargers and electrical devices, as some of these things can differ from country to country. Also, be sure to pick up some adaptors for the country that you are traveling to, as different regions have different plug sockets.
Flying Internationally: A Word to the Wise
Considering all the things above is only a necessity if you want flying internationally to be a walk in the park. Otherwise, disobey these rules, and it’ll be a catastrophe.
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Have you ever travel internationally, did you have any problems?
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