Having recently traveled outside of the country for my honeymoon, I found myself thinking about the various procedures and processes one has to engage in in order to make it to their foreign destination. Not only must you be aware of what appropriate documentation you need to fly to and from your destination, you also have to become somewhat familiar with the basics regarding your destination city or country. Based on my recent trip, I have a few tips for your summer travel.
First, before your scheduled departure date it’s important to do some elementary research on your chosen airline. How far in advance do you need to be at the airport? Are there any rules regarding how many checked bags and/or carry-on bags you can take with you? What can, or can’t you bring with you in a carry-on?
Second, make sure to take a look at your boarding pass. If you have “SSSS” on your boarding pass you’ll need to plan ahead for additional time to get to your gate because this term which will be highlighted on your pass means that you have been selected for additional security screening which can include anything from a full pat-down to an x-ray of any and all electronics you may have with you. Although most people dread seeing the “SSSS” on their pass it can be a relatively harmless security procedure although it does add time on to the security process.
Third, make sure to check that your departure gate has not changed. This recently happened to my husband and I when we were at the airport in the Bahamas. We made it to the airport early so that we could timely get through customs and to our gate. However, after about an hour of sitting at our gate, we looked up at the screen to notice that the destination city listed had changed and was clearly not going where we were scheduled to go. Luckily, we had enough time to get to our new departure gate; but it was a reminder to always check to make sure you are still where you need to be.
Lastly, although this is likely common sense for you regular travelers, before you depart for another country you should do some research on the language spoken at your destination, the form of currency used, as well as how will you be able to communicate with those at home (if that’s in your plan!) while you are away. Having this knowledge will provide you with some peace of mind and will ensure that you are prepared for what comes your way upon arrival. Happy travels!