“Travelling is like an Addiction. Once you try it, you are bound to do it again and again.”
We all hear people talking about travel that how fun it is, how amusing this world is and that if you haven’t traveled you haven’t lived! Stuff like these and let me tell you peeps it is one thousand percent true but what we are not being told is the cumbersome process (or maybe it is not that cumbersome but for a first time traveler to me it was) before enjoying all these merriments of travelling. When I traveled abroad for the very first time different people told me an array of useless things but skipped the most important ones and as a result my first international travel was not as fun as it should be so here I am compiling a list of things which you should keep in mind for your first international travel.
1. Before travel
i) Keep your passport, visa and other documents handy in your handbag.
ii) Do Pre online Check in- It is always advisable to check in online so that you may get comfortable seats and also if you are a window seat lover like me and love to catch sight of the beauty from several metres above. Online check-in opens 24 hours before the flight.
iii) Pack light. Always do a thorough research on weather, clothing, dressing etc and then pack accordingly. You need to carry one large luggage which you can check in and can be weighed up to 30 kgs and one handbag or hand luggage which can weigh up to 7 kgs.
iv) Also, set aside some free space in your luggage for things you will bring back with you. The usual standard limit for baggage in an international flight is 30 kgs for the luggage and 7kgs for the handbag. But it may vary from airline to airline so reconfirm it from your airline’s customer care number. Remember even a slight increase in the baggage weight might cost you a hefty amount so better be safe than sorr
v) There are weighing machines at the airport so you can weigh your luggage there and then can shift the items accordingly.
vi) Reach airport on time- Usually check-in counters for international flight open four hours prior to scheduled time and close 1 hour before departure time. Some frequent fliers might tell you that there is no need to report four hours before and that it barely takes an hour for all the formalities but you never know what type of contingency may occur. A similar thing happened to me when I actually listened to this advice and reached the airport 2.5 hours before the scheduled time and then immigration process took so much time and we were last to arrive on the flight and it became very haphazard.I mean why to take a risk. So I will strongly recommend you to reach the airport four hours ahead of the scheduled time and get all the formalities done .
vii) Even if you get free early there is so much to do at the airport.
- You can go check out all the duty-free shops.
- Get your photographs clicked. lol
- You can even go and take a look at the airport since it is your first time ,you will find even this amusing.
2) At the Airport –
Here comes the most important and most cumbersome part, “AIRPORT FORMALITIES”.
i) Check in-
You need to locate the check-in counter of your airline. You can either ask the airport staff there or they usually appear on the information screen. Once you have found it, go and get yourself checked in. Also, don’t forget to tell them about the type of meal you will have in-flight vegetarian or nonvegetarian since they have limited packs of both. Here you need to submit your luggage too. There are certain things which are prohibited in your flight baggage or your handbag. Here is a list of the following:-
vi) Razor blades
viii) Sharp Object
ix) Liquids etc
Always keep your cosmetics in your check in luggage, never in your handbag. Or even if you do then keep them in containers of 100 millimeters or less. Containers of quantity more than 100mms will be thrown right away even though they are only partially filled. I did the same mistake and all my expensive cosmetics were thrown right away in front of my eyes. Sob sob.:(
There are certain things which are allowed along with your handbag in flight. These things are as follows:-
i) A blanket or overcoat
ii) Ladies handbag or purse
iii) Infant’s carrying basket
iv) Laptop, IPad etc.
Also, there is a list of some dangerous goods some of which are not allowed and some of them are allowed but with due terms and conditions. You can check them on the image below. Check in done.
As soon as you are done with your check in locate the immigration counter and rush towards it since immigration takes up most of your time .At the immigration, the counter does get your passports duly stamped as it is mandatory and if you will not get it done, you will have to come back and it will cost you time and you might even miss your flight. Passport and visa need to be presented at the immigration counter. They ask you general questions there such as why are you travelling there and your stay is for how many days? Etc.Just keep your cool and complete immigration.
4) Custom declaration
After getting your immigration done, fliers need to report at the customs declaration counter .Merely walking through the customs declaration counter is your declaration that you do not possess any illegal goods. There are certain things to keep in mind while getting the customs declaration done:-
i) If you are wearing heavy jewelry then it is advisable to get an export certificate from customs authority so that you won’t be charged customs duty on these items when you will come back.
ii) Indian residence can carry Indian currency in cash up to rupees 25000/-.
iii) If you are travelling to Nepal or Bhutan notes of denomination 500 and 1000 are not allowed. Only 100 or smaller denominations are permissible.
iv) Other tourists & NRI’s going back from India are allowed to carry the exact amount of foreign currency they carried with them when they arrived ,not more than that.
This was the last and final step of your “AIRPORT FORMALITIES” and now you are literally free as a bird to fly out of the country. Now all you need to do is to look out for the directions of your boarding gate. Keep your handbags and boarding pass, Passports ready and board your flight when the announcement is done and Relish it. I hope you have a great flight and these tips will make your first international journey easier.
Tips to Remember:-
Always reach the airport on time.
Set aside some free space in your luggage for things you will bring back with you.
Get yourself pre-checked in.
Usual Standard limit for baggage in an international flight is 30 kgs for the luggage and 7kgs for the handbag.
Always keep a pair of clothes handy in your hand luggage too.
Check-in counters for international flight open four hours prior to scheduled time and close 1 hour before departure time.
Immigration consumes most of the time at the airport.
Always declare heavy jewelry prior to travelling to customs authorities or better don’t carry heavy jewelry at all.
Locate your boarding gate beforehand.
Don’t keep any kind of liquid in your handbag.