Are you intending to travel overseas for the first time and exploring guides that can prepare you? Here’s a detailed guide that reveals everything you need to know while traveling internationally for the first time.
Traveling for the first time can be really confusing without a plan. A traveler must be thoroughly prepared before voyaging and entering the airport. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you clear all the necessary points before you start traveling.
Best International Travel Tips to Get You Ready for Your First Trip
The first and foremost thing that you should take into consideration is your budget. Check the destination you want to travel to according to your budget. A well-set financial plan is necessary before beginning a journey. It helps you to keep in check the amount of money that you will use from the first day of travel.
You should plan your trip according to your finances or your budget. Check the locations you want to visit, the hotels you want to stay in and the time you will be spending in the place. Keep in mind to check these things before planning anything further as a budget is necessary for you to decide your own comfort.
Every country has different entry requirements for international travelers hence you should explore the particular requirements that you need to meet. If there is a need to apply for a visa, make the application as earliest as possible so that your travel plans can go smoothly.
Various portals provide visa application services so you have an option to contact one of them and get your visa application processed. Otherwise, you can make a visa application by yourself as the official website of the embassy contains enough information that anyone requires to apply for a visa. Some of the countries also offer Visa-on-Arrival facilities for travelers of specific nationalities. If you are intending to travel to such a country that provides VoA to the citizens of your nation, you don’t need to apply at the origin country. But make sure you carry all the required documents for Visa on Arrival to avoid inconvenience at the destination country.
I suggest you explore Visa-Free Countries and Visa on Arrival Countries while planning your international travel.
After you are aware of the budget and explored the entry requirements in the destination country then you can start looking for tickets. Looking for and reserving tickets is not an easy task, well if you already know how to book then you can be at ease as you already know where to look but if you are not aware of how to book tickets then it can be a hassle. You have to go through a number of websites and airlines to locate the cheapest price for tickets. It is easy for you to get disarrayed by a number of travel agents as they are all working to make money on your tickets. Scrutinize different websites and weigh them against each other for reserving tickets. Try to select a portal that has multiple companies in one place so it becomes easy for you to contrast. After booking the ticket you have a choice to choose the seat you want to be seated in according to your taste and you can pre-book your meals.
You should select the accommodation that meets your requirements. It’s a good idea to check ratings, reviews, distance, and locality before you finalize the international accommodation booking. A number of portals offer sufficient information about different international hotels, resorts, and villas that help you to choose your accommodation. In case you have any doubt regarding prices, taxes, amenities, meals, or transfers, you are suggested to clear all that with the company prior to booking.
Now, you have booked the tickets and fixed your budget it is time to move on to packing your bag packs. Since you already know the place, you will be visiting, you should pack the clothes accordingly. It can be either warm or light clothes according to the weather status of the country and the time of travel. The international and national flights are not all the same, they all have different guidelines for what you can take with you, so you should examine them all as you might want to carry a lot of luggage but some of them won’t allow it. Checking the allowances beforehand is a must so you can stay within that range of tickets that allow you the luggage you want to carry.
Travel insurance is as valuable as your passport, so make sure to keep your international travel insurance ready if you are heading to another country. Some of the uncontrollable situations like flight delays or cancellations, medical emergencies, loss of luggage, or any other event that happen due to natural calamity, can bring a big change in your plans, therefore a protection cover in the form of travel insurance is a must-have in your list.
Before you buy international travel insurance, you should explore some reputed insurance providers and available plans that suit your needs. You can have a conversation with the representatives of the companies if you need any kind of help while choosing a travel insurance plan.
Don’t forget to keep your important documents and their copies with you. You should carry copies of air tickets, accommodation, passport, travel insurance, COVID-19 vaccination certificate, and academic certificates (if you are going for overseas study). Moreover, every person has a different profile hence document list can be prepared accordingly.
In case you are seeking Visa-on-Arrival, you must carry the required documents specified on the official sites of the country. If you miss the required documents for Visa-on-Arrival, the immigration will not issue the visa to the destination country.
Useful International Traveler Tips for First-Time Travelers – Airport Guidelines
The second thing you must keep in check while packing is the list of things you want to pack because there are certain things that can be sorted out in different bags like your check-in bags and your handbags. Some of the belongings can be packed in check-in a bag but not in a handbag so itemize these things accordingly.
Airport, for the First-Time Travelers
Since you are traveling for the first time to the airport there are certain things you must follow:
If you know your way then nothing is better if you don’t then reach the airport at least airport 3 hours prior to the departure time.
Well, of course, you must take a cab to the airport and make sure to inform the driver to arrive early at your place so that you can depart early because there can be a number of traffic problems and you do not want to face them.
Tell your cab driver the location of your terminal from where you will take the flight so that you may not get confused later.
After Reaching the Airport
You may get confused if you are a first-time traveler since there are many large airports and it can be confusing to locate your terminal of departure in this big muddle.
Alright… as soon as you reach the airport the first thing you must do is check your luggage, keep them on trolleys (they are present near the entrance), take your ID (Passport), vaccination certificate, and ticket, and move towards the entrance. Your ticket, COVID-19 vaccination certificate, and ID are checked at the entrance.
After crossing the entrance check your ticket for the information of airlines and exact timing, head towards a screen that displays the counter information for check-in (according to airlines opted), and then move towards your airline section where you will get your check-in bags scanned. Keep your handbag with you all the time till you land at the destination as there are things you may require on the plane as well as when you land at your target.
Now you need to check in all the pieces of baggage except the handbag at the airline’s check-in counter. Your check-in bags would be weighed and tagged to be sent off to the airplane. You will receive your boarding pass here. Another thing that you can carry out at this counter is that if you have not received a seat of your own choice then you may try out your fate here at this counter. In case you are too early, you will have to wait for the opening of the check-in counter.
Now you have your handbag and your boarding pass. You are now only left with your handbag and your boarding pass. Now move on towards the Gate mentioned on your boarding pass.
Before reaching the terminal, you will have a security check where your handbag and you yourself will go through a metal detector. At this phase, even you will have to remove your belt and shoes. Everything including your gadgets will be scanned to make sure you are not carrying anything illegal. You are suggested to wear easy-to-remove shoes to avoid inconvenience. After completing this process you can grab your items.
The most important step is to clear immigration and get the stamp on your passport. I think some of the first-time flyers find it difficult to answer the questions of immigration officer as they have the right to stop you from going to the destination country. Yes, it’s true…. If you are unable to justify your answers or they found anything against the rules of immigration, they will not allow you to leave the country.
Here, you need to be calm and answer honestly without panicking. The officer will ask you some questions related to your personal and professional profile, finances, and purpose of travel. After that, they will stamp on the passport.
Keep in mind that there will be immigration clearance at the destination country also. After arriving in the proposed country, you need to follow the same process for getting the permission of entering the nation. If the immigration officers of the destination country are not convinced by your response, they can deport you to the origin country. After getting the arrival stamp on the passport, you are free to lounge around in your area of stay. Go around and grab something to eat while you wait for your departure.
Once you are seated, look out for display boards for your flight departure time and keep your ears open to hear the announcements. If you are at a silent airport keep a lookout for your mobile as you will receive messages about your departure time.
Head to the Airplane
It’s preferred to wait in the airline’s lounge and notice the announcements made by the airline staff. Once they start boarding, you need to be in a queue and get your boarding pass as well as your Passport checked by them. Then you can enter the plane and relax on your seat. Put your handbag overhead bin and listen to the instructions carefully. At the exact time, the plane will take off and will reach the clouds. There would be a button on the top of your seat that can help you to draw the attention of air hostess and if you want to ask for anything to eat or drink. Moreover, if you are facing any issue, you can discuss it with them, and they will help you accordingly. Even if you are a first-time flyer, you don’t need to be hesitant when asking for anything in the plane.
In case you have a connecting flight, you need to wait for the specified time and get your next flight. Well now there may be a bunch of questions in your mind like “how would I get a connecting flight?” or “Do I need to clear immigration in case of a stay in another country?” or “What should I do during the layover time while international travel?” Here’s some important information that will clear your doubts. Direct flights are usually expensive hence the travelers prefer to opt for a layover for a short or long time and get a connecting flight. In this case, you will get two or more boarding passes (according to the number of connecting flights), for instance, if you have a single stop between the origin and destination country, you will get two boarding passes, you just read the information on boarding passes and make sure which one to use first. The boarding pass contains the information of the traveler, flight name, number, from (origin country) and to (destination country), date of travel, gate number, and so on.
When you enter the first flight you need to use the first boarding pass and when you reach the country of stay, your second boarding pass will be effective. After your plane gets landed in the country of stay, you make sure how much time you have for the next connecting flight as sometimes there’s a very short stay between flights. Just like the first flight, check the screens for the departure information or you can approach the information center and head towards a specific gate mentioned on the boarding pass or screen. You may need to wait for long hours if your flight is late. Here I would suggest checking the exit requirements if you want to get out of the airport for a few hours. If you plan before departure from the origin country, you won’t face issues. Have a good time in the country of your stop and come back to the airport as per the instructed time. You have to clear immigration and follow the guidelines if you want to leave the airport and enter the country.
On the contrary, if you don’t have a plan to get out of the airport during the layover time, you don’t need the clear the immigration. You can get around the airport, have meals, do shopping or just take a rest. Don’t forget to reach the departure lounge on time as although they will announce your name if you get late, negligence can make your plane fly without taking you.
Reach the Destination Country
After your long ride on a plane, you will reach your destination country. Then get off the plane, move towards immigration clearance counters and get your passport stamped by the immigration officers. Moreover, at some airports, you need to face the customs clearance formalities and declare the goods you carry there. This department controls the import and export of goods internationally.
Finally, check the number of luggage belts mentioned on the sticker imposed on your boarding pass, take your luggage, and start moving towards the exit. In case you have time, you can go for shopping around at the airport as well.
Important points that you should keep in mind while traveling internationally
- Medical assistance is provided by the airline staff.
- Currency exchange is available at the airport as well in the city you are traveling to, but exchange a bit of money to pay for your cab. Later you can head to the banks or other prominent places for money exchange.
- There are certain items that you cannot carry in your handbag like Box Cutters, Knives (any type), Meat Cleavers, Razor blades or any other sharp objects, Perfumes, Flammable Items, Baseball Bats, Bows and Arrows, Cricket Bats, Golf Clubs, Hockey Sticks, Lacrosse Sticks, Pool Cues, Ski Poles, Spear Guns. Radioactive materials, any type of liquids, and batteries. Don’t forget to check the guidelines of what you cannot carry to the airport.
- Make sure to know about your free checked baggage as well as handbag allowance.
- Study in advance about the latest restrictions on carrying certain items in either of the bags.
- Be sure to not pack any expensive items in your checked baggage.
- Label your bags properly and accurately with your name and address and remove those tags and labels left over from previous flights or when you plan your next flight
- Keep your bags locked at all times, and be aware and attentive.
- Do not accept any kind of packets from unknown individuals.
- You are responsible for your own security.