Visiting India? Thailand? Europe? Going out of the comfort of your own home is something fun yet serious. It’s more than just packing your things, getting a passport and exchanging dollars for foreign currency. Don’t go anywhere before you’ve read the following tips.
1. When Planning your Trip
- First things first, know the difference between non-stop flights and direct flights, and always go for the former rather than the latter. Direct flights can stop at other airports on the way to their destination, whilst non-stop flights, as their name implies, don’t. Direct flights might cause some delays to your flight schedule.
- When buying tickets, make sure when you buy your ticket it has the exact same name on it that appears on your identification cards. For example, although your friends may call you “Betsy” instead of “Elizabeth” you have to be sure to put Elizabeth down as the name on your travel ticket. If you don’t put your correct, full name on your flight tickets, the security officer, front desk agent and skycap may not let you travel.
- Select Seats ASAP. If you have certain problems or a disability, it would be best to make reservations with an agent in advance, rather than take your chances with the seats you will be allocated at the airport.
- Get to your destination as early as you can. Book tickets for the first flight out there to reduce the chance of delays. This makes your travel plans hassle and stress free.
- Double check the country’s entry requirements. Before making your reservations, do some research on the different documents required to enter the country you are traveling to. For example, if you plan on traveling to South Africa, your passport must contain at least two blank, unstamped pages before entry is permitted. Countries like India (read Tourism in India), Chile, and Kenya also require a visa. If you don’t do your research in advance, you may not be allowed to leave the United States.
2. When Packing
- Make sure your luggage stands out from the other suitcases – you can do this by choosing suitcases in unusual, bright colors. Other travelers may place ribbons or bows on their luggage, but these attachments can be torn off while the luggage is being transported through the airport.
- Pack samples of toiletries to save on cost and space. Think about taking samples of cosmetics and even prescription creams along with you (if you need a prescription cream for your skin, talk to your dermatologist before going on holiday).
- Bring your own blanket and disinfecting wipes for the flight. Sometimes tray tables are not cleaned, so bringing along disinfecting wipes helps to solve this issue. What’s more, according to airline workers, blankets on aircraft are only really cleaned when they actually look dirty, so it is safer and healthier to bring your own blanket along on a flight.
- Pack any electronic gadgets neatly, and place them next to one another. When electronic gadgets get mixed up in your bag it can be difficult for security officers to determine what the items are when x-raying your bag. It is better to have them packed next to one another if you want to avoid having your luggage manually inspected.
- Check your bag before you leave. You might forget that you have sharp objects in your luggage, and taking these through airport security would cause you to be delayed.
3. In the Airport
- Know the three letter combination called the airport code – this combination indicates your destination. Also check to see whether your destination has multiple stops at different airports.
- Be aware of other options. According to experts, airports do offer other options to its passengers, such as extra lines when going through security, or additional lines for luggage check-in.
This article is by Jack Johnson, a travel writer and blogger who writes about popular destinations, travel tips, tourism and other articles about traveling.