You might be a seasoned traveler within the borders of the United States, but if you want to take international flights you’ll need to do things differently.
Traveling to another country requires specific documentation and allowances. Typically, when you travel abroad you need to be a bit more prepared than when you hop on a plane and visit your relatives in the next state over. Let’s take a look at ten tips that are sure to help you have a smoother flight to another country.
Documentation and Health are Key
Before you ever get past the security gates for a flight to another country, you need proper documentation. This means carrying your passport and understanding the visa requirements for your destination. It’s important to pay attention to countries that aren’t always friendly with the US, you might not be allowed to fly when you desire. In addition to carrying proper documentation, have a copy of all of your documents by scanning them and saving them in your cloud storage in case you need them. It’s also important to understand the immunization requirements of your destination so that you can get the right shots before your trip.
Early Check-In Ensures You Have Your Desired Seat
Some international flights are filled with passengers returning home from their travels to our country. If you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a group of strangers, you’ll want to check in the day before your flight and pick put your seat. Sometimes, you can select the type of seat you desire when you pay for the ticket, but with some companies you have to choose your seat when you check-in; make sure you know the difference.
Put Some Toiletries in Your Carry-On Bag
Make sure you adhere to the limitations for liquids in your carry-on bag, but there’s nothing more refreshing after a long flight than wiping down with some face wipes, putting on some deodorant, and brushing your teeth. This bag will be within easy reach in your overhead bin or by your feet, which should make it easy for you to freshen up before you land. Most flights to other countries are long and you’ll want to look and feel your best when you land.
Do Something to Make your Checked Luggage Stand Out
This item on your list will be something you need to do days or weeks ahead of time. Find a bag that doesn’t look like all of the other bags. Its ok if the bag stands out, that’s the point. Also, it’s a good idea to use hard suitcases and not soft models. Luggage tends to be thrown around a lot and you want your stuff inside to be protected from damage.
Your Entertainment is Your Responsibility
If you want to enjoy the in-flight movies, they aren’t usually free anymore. Most budget airlines charge for everything on a flight. You can pay for the movies on the plane, but if you’re a little ahead of the game, you can download the movies and shows you want to watch. If you like to read books and magazines, bring a few of these as well. Of course, if you’re limited on space, you might need to have the books and articles downloaded to your devices.
Bring Some of Your Own Snacks
Most international flights still include a meal, but they might not include a snack. Even if they do, you might prefer some of the snacks you bring from home. Just make sure none of them are liquid. Because of the TSA guidelines, you’ll have to buy your drinks after you clear security, but you should be able to buy a few bottles of water to enjoy during your flight. This can be important on very long flights with limited drink services.
Bring Extra Juice for Your Devices
External batteries that can keep your devices charged during flights can be extremely helpful. If you have to entertain small children while you’re in the air, these devices can be idea for a peaceful and calm flight. Make sure you charge your external batteries at home before you head to the airport. Many planes have charging ports at every seat, but you shouldn’t count on this being the situation during your time in the air. Be prepared for the charge port to fail or be nonexistent.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Honestly, if you don’t mind wearing your pajamas on an international flight, this could be the best way to feel comfortable while you’re traveling. If you don’t want to wear your nighttime clothes, a pair of loose-fitting jeans and a t-shirt can be ideal. It’s a good idea to wear a few layers to handle times when the temperature drops. Wear comfortable shoes so they are easy to take on and off during the long flight.
Keep Important Documents and Medication in Your Carry-On
You need certain documents to move through the airports and pass through customs. Its not a good idea to have those documents in your checked bag. Keep these items in your carry-on so that you have them with you at all times. International flights are much longer than domestic flights, which means you might need to take your medication while you’re in the air. Keep your medication with you along with a couple of items in case you get airsick, have a headache, or need to settle your stomach.
Wear Compression Socks and Get Up Often
Compression socks will help keep your feet from swelling and reduce the risk of blood clots while sitting for hours at a time on the flight. Its also a good idea to get up and walk around on the plane frequently. On flights that are packed full of people, it might be more difficult to walk around, but you should try. Hopefully, you’ll have a flight with lots of unsold seats that you can walk around often without bothering anyone else on the plane.
Use these tips to help enjoy your international flight. Visiting another country with different customs and languages is a wonderful way to spend your vacation time.
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