Hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today.
My first post of the year is travel-related and here is to hoping I get to travel way more than I did last year or ever really. That said, here are some pointers that I think are very useful for anyone that is traveling; especially Internationally. Some of these pointers could work for domestic travel as well so feel free to pick up what you think could work for you!
You want to make it as easy as possible to identify your luggage while at the airport for a number of reasons. One could be to save you time. The second can be to avoid confusion, especially in a situation where you find that there are similar suitcases or travel bags to yours. I personally use small pieces of clothes like scarves or some of these belts that come with dresses as my identifiers. I tie them tightly and strategically and that’s what I look out for. It honestly helps me a lot and I never have doubts about whether I have picked the right bag or not.
Documentation – Soft and hard copy
My personal advice is that you have both the soft copy and hard copy. Some places require printed-out copies so it’s definitely a good idea to have the hard copy. The soft copy can come in clutch for you in case you lose one of the printouts or if it was a huge bundle of documents in case one was mistakenly left out when printing, this will come through for you. Also, make sure that you have saved the soft copies in a way that you can access them offline; download them and stuff like that. The printouts can also come in handy where say your device goes off so basically both are key in my opinion.
Using the same airline for connecting flights is always the best option. So if you are booking for yourself definitely go with this route. This will ease the hustle of having to maybe check in our luggage again at the connecting airport as opposed to when it’s the same airline, where you can just find your luggage directly at the destination.
Also, ensure that you get a reasonable time in between your connecting flights just in case of delays that may not necessarily arise out of the flights being late. You could experience some challenges at the immigration or something (Hello African passport holders). So to ensure there is ample time to deal with any unforeseen circumstances at least 2 hours before you board your connecting flight after landing is a good time in my opinion.
Always make sure that you have with you all your valuable items. Things that may also be fragile – like camera lenses etc. Mainly because you do not always find the luggage you check in being in the best condition so to make sure all that is important with you is safe, have it with you all the time.
You could also add on a change of clothes just in case you need to freshen up especially if it is a long flight
Arrival at airport
I cannot stress this enough, please arrive at the airport early !! Don’t assume you will make it just in time, make allowance for unexpected traffic, road diversions etc. You may also arrive early and find out you forgot something back at home that is necessary. Arriving early can make it possible for you to send a rider to have it delivered to you etc.
So if you generally never arrive early or keep time, this should be your exception!
This actually save you time when checking in and can even get to choose your preferred seat for free. When booking a flight, most times if you choose a seat at that point you have to pay extra but online check in some hours before can you get that window seat ! And yeah I’m that person who will tell someone to get off my window seat !
Know your stuff and ask when you don’t know
Things like the luggage limit , prohibited items to carry, the entry and exit requirements for the countries you’ll be traversing – gather as much information as you can to be safe. For instance, you may need to do another Covid test on arrival in some countries – for others if you’re vaccinated you may not even need to show a negative test etc. You may need to fill in an extra form as a visitor, or have a QR code to show , check on what’s considered duty free ( there are usually limits to the quantities and all )Just check up on all of that.
While at the airport also please clarify stuff that you may not be sure about for example : where to board, if you’ll get your luggage at the final destination. Anything really, don’t be shy to ask.
Convert your currency beforehand if you plan to use cash. Mostly if you have euros or dollars you can convert to local currency if need be once you arrive – at times you can still pay in the dollars or whatever in most places. Also, have some of your home currency for when you get back, incase you need to catch a cab or something / you could still have your mpesa or course.
If you plan to use your card, get clearance with your bank before you travel so that you’re able to transact. You don’t want to not be able to use money that you have.
Always have extra cash on you for emergencies or whatever. And something you could easily exchange for money – you really never know what situation you can find yourself in when traveling.
What to wear
Wear clothing that will make it easy for you be scanned – don’t wear all your jewelry, belts , watch etc and you have to go through multiple scans – you waste your time and that of others.
You can also layer stuff / carry in your hand luggage clothing you can layer with. This will keep you comfortable regardless of varying temperatures.
Carry your own masks, some sanitizer and basically whatever is necessary for compliance with covid protocols. Plus your basic toiletries as well – always be a just in case person.
You many need to fill health forms or immigration ones as you transit so have a pen or 2 at least to use of those purposes.
That’s all for now ! I hope this is helpful to you. Incase I think of any more tips I’ll just come back and update the post.
Take care and till the next one !