Experience: Tips for International Travel
Written by: Terri Jobe, Blue Water Travel
Heading 'across the pond' anytime soon? If so, here are some helpful tips to make your travel experience less stressful:
Always reconfirm your flights 24 hours in advance and double check your seat assignments. Airlines have schedule changes and change seats without notifying you.
Before departure, go to the bank and get small bills. The small bills are great for tipping and for small purchases at your destination where you may use USD, but they will give you change in their local currency. This way, you can say, 'I only have $5', and they'll go ahead and take it.
Make sure to pack anything in your carry-on that you may want right away upon arrival. Most of the time, your room won't be ready when you get there. So have your swimsuit, sunblock, etc. at your disposal and easy to get to. That way you can change and start enjoying your vacation even if you're room isn't ready!
Check with your cell phone carrier before you leave. There are international plans you can add on for only a short time frame. Some carriers now offer free texting and calls to Mexico, but you still have to have the free plan on your plan. If your resort/hotel has free WiFi, you can also use social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to communicate with friends/family with only your WiFi on.
Check your luggage fees before departure. Some airlines offer discounts for pre-paying your luggage fees online and not at the airport.
Make sure your passport is good for six months AFTER your return date. This is required by all countries and most people are unaware of it.
Keep your passport accessible on your flight. Most of the time, you'll be filling out the visitor forms/customs forms on the flight and you'll need your passport along with a pen!
When traveling to Mexico, upon arrival at the airport once you clear immigration and customs, DO NOT speak to anyone in the airport. If you have a package with transfers included, your transportation company will be OUTSIDE the airport. Anyone inside is typically trying to sell you a timeshare.
Confirm your return transportation to the airport at least one day prior to your departure.