What you need to know before taking your flight

March 13, 2010

By Judy McEuen
Travel Writer
Troy Media

Judy McEuen
Judy McEuen

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar. 13, 2010/ Troy Media/ — To ensure your comfort, security and enjoyment while traveling abroad, familiarity with travel must-do’s is essential.

Of course, you could just wing it but it is better to be over-prepared and ready than unprepared and sorry. So here are a few tips to help you gear up for your trip overseas.

Visa requirements

Gaining entry to your country of destination should be first on your list. So check the requirements and ensure compliance. If the country you are visiting issues visa on arrival, then you wouldn’t have any problem. However, if you are required to apply for a visa elsewhere (and alas! you failed to check beforehand) expect to turn your holiday to a mere airport stopover before you are forced to take the immediate flight back home.

Travel in comfort

Exotic destinations almost always mean long haul flights and the cramps, jet lag and body pains that go with it. To help minimize these discomforts, choose a good airline with flexible seat adjustments, wide leg room and decent entertainment selections. For the widest leg room, choose seats on the first row and beside emergency exits. 

To help you sleep soundly, avoid taking naps the first few hours of your journey. In-flight entertainment is usually provided for the first half of your flight so take advantage of it because you wouldn’t want to spend the other half awake and counting incidents of turbulence. Travel pills are also handy, especially if you want avoid or recover from jet lag quickly so that you can commence your exploration of the city, pronto!

Dress for the weather

If your trip involves transitioning from warm climate to cold climate or vice versa, you need to have a change of clothes ready in your carry-on bag. You wouldn’t want to shiver like a wet kitten or broil in your own sweat while waiting for your check-in luggage. This makes checking the weather forecast for your destination indispensable prior to your trip – obviously, it should be done before you pack your bags!

Be charge ready

Your gadgets’ voltage and power plug requirements may not be compatible with what is available in the place you are visiting. So check out if your destination supports the voltage requirement or the standard three-prong socket you need. This way, you can bring along an adapter or transformer, or make plans for an immediate purchase once you get there. You can also make prior inquiries to your hotel if they provide these devices so that you will not have to carry them with you if you don’t have to.

National currency

Cash or credit may be easy to come by where you live but it may not be the case where you are going. It is important to find out beforehand the availability of money changers or acceptability of credit cards in the area so that in cases of limited facilities, you can have your money changed while still at home.

In most metropolitan cities, currency exchange facilities, ATMs and banks are aplenty. It is advisable to have some money changed while still at the airport to take care of your transportation fare and other immediate expenditures.

National holidays

If you don’t want to visit a closed bank, government office, museum, park and the like, it pays to check national holidays in advance so that you can plan your trip’s itinerary accordingly.

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