Taking that big step to go on your first overseas adventure can be daunting. Connecting flights, busy airports, layovers, foreign languages, hauling your luggage and jet lag are enough to make the first-time traveller run in the opposite direction. Luckily, these cons are greatly outweighed by the pros, and all one really needs is some top tips for curbing these travel woes.
BE PREPARED FOR YOUR FLIGHT
Your first long haul flight might come as a shock to you depending on how busy the plane is. If your flight is full which is usually the case if you are departing from a destination where international airliners only make a few stops per week at, then you will want to be prepared. Firstly, always arrive 2 hours or more before your international flight to check in and drop off your luggage. Boarding is called out by different zones (usually alphabetically) on the plane. Listen carefully for your zone call when queuing to board the flight and try and book a seat as close to the business and first class sections of the plane as possible for a smooth and easy departure from the aircraft when you get to your destination (no one wants to be cooped up on a plane waiting for streams of people to depart).
Wear snug and breathable clothing with a pair of comfortable sneakers when flying. Your flight can get cold, so remember to carry or wear a jacket or scarf to double up as a light blanket, and always remember the comfier your socks, the better! Earplugs are also great to carry on board if you battle to sleep in loud environments or are seated next to the kitchen. .
Staying hydrated in all aspects is recommended during your flight. Carry moisturiser for dry skin and remember to drink lots of water when on board (we recommend taking an electrolyte replenisher before you depart for good measure!).
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A tip for eliminating stress when making your way through busy airports is to get yourself a passport holder or travel wallet. These great accessories keep your travel documents, cards, visas, passports and currency in one easy to reach, securely zipped compartment, letting you avoid any unnecessary stress. Consider your cabin luggage choice when travelling for the first time. It is recommended that if you have a short layover when connecting, where you are required to race from gate to gate, that you travel with an easily accessible backpack. If your layovers are slightly longer, opt for a cabin case (these are great for purchasing gifts at duty free). It is important to remember that usually on an international flight, your luggage travels to its end destination immediately, meaning that if you have a connecting flight you will not have to worry about collecting your bags at the connecting airport. You will only have to collect your bags at your final destinations airport.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
When entering a new country for the first time, be sure that you are aware of its laws, procedures and etiquette. Pack your toiletries in 100ml or less sized bottles that are zip locked in your toiletry bag if you are taking them on board. Be sure to research which medicines you are taking overseas as certain over the counter pain killers are illegal in some countries. If you need a particular medicine have your doctor write you a letter just to be safe!
Packing for your first overseas trip will be a mix of excitement and stress, and you will in no doubt check that you have your passport about 10 times before you leave the house! Make yourself a pre-travel checklist like the one below to be sure you have everything you need:
- Do you have the appropriate T-Shirts/Jackets/Longs/Shorts/Swimming Attire?
- Do you have all the toiletries and medication you need?
- Do you have a trusty suitcase with a fixed TSA lock?
- Do you have your passport/visa/ticket or e-ticket/foreign currency/vaccination records in your travel wallet?
- Have you packed all necessary chargers/batteries/charging banks?
- Have you let your bank know you are travelling overseas?
- Have you weighed your bag to see that it complies with your airlines weight restrictions?
- Lastly, HAVE YOU CHECKED THAT YOU HAVE YOUR PASSPORT?