What to Do Before an International Flight
One of the things I love the most about traveling is the joyful anticipation. I am not the biggest fan of preparations though but these things are always on my list when I travel.
Find out what I always do before I do international flights (click here for my Packing Guide: Carry on Must Have Items)
- Check visa regulations. Make sure to apply for a visa/etsa etc. in time (if needed)
- Check if you need a passport or just your ID. Make sure it is valid long enough (normally it needs to be valid for at least another 6 months)
- Make a copy of your passport and keep it apart from your wallet
- Scan your passport (or photograph it) and keep it somewhere where you can have access from almost everywhere (Dropbox, email account), email it to your parents, or to somebody you can totally trust
- Write down all hotels, contact numbers etc. on an extra piece of paper and don’t keep it in the same place as your phone)
- Make sure you have an international health insurance (I am German, so health insurance is the most important to us) and you might also need an insurance to protect your camera, laptops, valuables etc.
- If you are traveling to an “exotic” destination check if you need vaccination
- Check if you need any extra medicine
- Inform yourself at least about the “don’ts and do´s” in the destination you headed
- Do you have a suitcase and a carry-on luggage?
Pack wisely, especially the carry-on luggage is important.
Flights / Transport
- Book your flight and print out your ticket/download e-ticket
- If you are on a special diet tell the airline company
- Take some snacks, you´ll never know when or what you´ll get to eat
- A neck pillow – my best friend when traveling for more than 4 hours
- Think about wifi – there might be cheaper packages if you talk to your mobile provider in advance. If you are fine with wifi in hotels and restaurants make sure your roaming is switched off, so there won´t be a negative surprise when back in your home country
- Do not forget the international adapter (please check which one you actually need), not all hotels provide them for free (check which one you will need.
- Nowadays, I wouldn’t do long distance travels without my power charger– for my phone. It seriously helps me when I use my phone a lot and when I am on the go.
- I have my laptop with me whenever I fly, as I can work etc. – new TSA regulations are stricter now, so you are probably not allowed to take your laptop as a carry-on item.
- A while ago, I thought my tablet is the most useless item I bought in a while – since I can download from Netflix (and thus watch my shows offline) I have found one good argument bringing my tablet with me whenever I travel
- My phone– without doubt one of my most useful and important (travel) items
- My camera I love taking shots from my window seat – and since I take valuables with me, this is in my carry-on bag
- I have to admit, that I still don’t have a kindle, so a “real” book is often an essential
- Good music is essential to me- so I never fly without my iPod
- Even if you plan to pay by (credit) card make sure you have some extra money for emergencies
- If you plan to use your credit, make sure you have the pin (some places don’t accept a signature, I could let you some stories in Malaysia I don’t want to experience again) and if you use a debit card make sure your bank knows about you going abroad (also could tell you about a terrible weekend in Bali, but maybe another time)
- Take some change for tips (I always have some € coins, especially for the first day)
- Change some money at home already
- Take extra € or $ (don’t keep it all in the same place, though)
- Don’t believe Karl Lagerfeld when he said that you have lost control over your life if wearing sweatpants. Wear the most comfortable clothes you have on long distance flights. It seriously has so much influence in how you feel during travels:
- A big and warm scarf is my absolute must-have (which I can use for different purposes)
- Flat shoes which can be easily taken off should be on your list
- A cardigan which I use occasionally as an extra blanket
- Warm socks which are also stylish
- I personally do not use a sleep mask but a must-have for many travelers
- For long-distance flights, compression socks are essential
Pack a Great Carry-On
The best preparations do not help much if you forget something, so click here to find out, how to pack the perfect carry-on
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What to do before an international flight.