Surviving the First Overseas Flight. The big day has arrived, a holiday in a faraway foreign country. Everything packed and ready to go. Ready passport, plane ticket, and another way to pay for next few weeks. Nervous and anxious and ready to go. A few clues to prove a long trip successful.
Pack as light as possible. Two suitcases and one carry-on baggage. Journey into a tropical climate will be even easier packing shorts and T-shirts. Always pick new clothes at the final destination.
Make sure medications and copies of prescriptions ready. Check on the latest rules for carrying liquids in carry-on baggage. The rules and regulations change with the weather. Check and keep the latest.
Reconfirm flight. Avoid delays a day or two or arrive at a wrong destination. Check ahead of time or get on a different flight. While re-affirming, take the seat distribution. Prefer exit rows for more legroom.
Double check everything. Use a checklist and check it double times before going. Ready the passport, tickets and another way to pay cash, ATM card, credit card or traveler’s checks. Two debit cards a positive way to make sure an alternative means of paying. Don’t change money in a home country, will get a terrible rate.
First Overseas Flight: At home airport
Plan to get to the airport 3 hours ahead of the flight departure. Check-in and security lines can be long and slow. Prepare travel documents ready to show wherever the destination. Again, check the rules for what allowed to bring on the flight in a carry-on bag.
Dine at the airport food court before checking. Take trail mix to munch on during the flight.
Take influence of the duty-free shops. Get booze, cigarettes and other goodies for tax-free prices. Check the limitations of the country destination before buying whiskey and find if allowed to bring. Check if can carry liquids on flights with a layover or two. May buy at the layover before the last leg.
Make pass time by playing electronic toys. Wireless access is available at the airports so can check email and search online. Listen to music from iPod or something similar. Wireless can found at most airports right outside the Airline lounges. Not to be a representative to sit outside and use their easy network.
First Overseas Flight: On the flight
Try to relax and sleep as much as possible. The timezone changes and jet lag will lessen. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water, most on longer flights. Dehydration comes well on long flights in dry cabin air. Drink booze when arrive.
Read and watch a movie to kill time. Resolve the puzzles in the onboard journal. Keep active as much as practical. Have mints and gum to ease the air pressure during take-off and landing.
Avoid the main course of the airline food. Eat the salad, bread, and dessert. The main meal is seldom pleasant. So have snacks before embarking.
Fill out a customs declaration form on the plane to turn into the Custom’s officer. Do this on the plane and stick it with the passport.
First Overseas Arrival
Head out of the plane as quickly as possible. Everyone has to go through Immigration/Customs, so the race is on. Airplane crew will give instructions before disembarking. If not, just follow the signs. Don’t pause to smoke or use the restroom. Get in the briefest line and have the passport ready. Keep a copy of boarding pass, just in case.
Be cordial and polite to the Custom’s agent, make the passport stamped, submit customs declaration, and head on for the baggage carousels. Make sure to pick own luggage then find the currency exchange.
Change enough money to last a day or two. ATMs machine are conveniently located around the world. So a debit card is a sure way to obtain local currency. It can be a little riskier using a credit card. Get the money and head for the exit.
Find the taxi or bus line and head to a hotel and register. The first journey a success! Now, enjoy the holiday vacation.
Surviving the First Flight
Photo by Tommaso Pecchioli on Unsplash