International traveling has become quite common today. People are traveling to various destinations in the world for business as well as vacation purpose. When a person flies internationally for the first time, there are various questions that arise in his mind. There are certain aspects of international flying about which the person might not be aware of. As a result, little amount of panic and fear remains in the mind of the first-time traveler.
Now that you have got your tickets for your first-time international travel and packed your bags as well, here are some tips which will help in making your first international flight smooth and hassle-free.
• Check your passport
The passport is the first document which is needed for international travel. It is important to check that the passport is valid for the time period of international travel. If you see that the validity of the passport is about to expire, arrange for passport renewal in San Francisco as early as possible. Infact in many countries, visa is not given until and unless the passport has validity of 6-12 months. If you are in really hurry, you can also get same day passport in San Francisco by paying additional charges for the same.
• Check about visa requirements
Getting entry into a foreign land needs permission from the government of the nation. This is usually given in the form of visa or some kind of entry permit on arrival to the country. Before traveling, find in details about the visa requirements of the country. If you will get ‘visa on arrival’, you need to carry proper documents for the same. For many countries, you need to apply for the visa and get it stamped on the passport before departure. The kind of visa issued depends upon the intent of visit of the person to the foreign country.
• Make digital and physical copies of all important documents
While traveling internationally for the first time, you might need to produce copies of important documents at the airport. There should be a handy hard copy of all the travel documents ready. In the era of digitization, majority of immigration and airport/airlines authorities accept documents which can be displayed on the smartphone screen or on the laptop. If required, they can take printouts from the same. However, having a hard-copy ready is always welcome. Having the documents saved in digital formats also helps in keeping a safe backup of the same.
• Know about baggage requirements and restrictions from your airlines
When you are traveling internationally for the first time, you tend to pack more than required. Before doing that, make sure that you know about the baggage requirements and restrictions from your airlines. Otherwise you might end up paying lot of additional money for the extra baggage. Along with the baggage weight, check the items which you can carry and which you cannot. This will save hassles at the airport while checking.
• Arrive early at the airport
First time international traveling might seem to make you slightly nervous. Therefore it is recommended to arrive early at the airport. For international traveling, arriving 2 hours prior to departure is highly recommended. If you want to be on even safer side, arrive 3 hours early. With abundant time in hand, you can pass through the process of check-in, security and immigration in a relaxed and leisurely manner. Even if there are long queues, you will not need to worry about getting late.
• Refrain from exchanging money at the airport
Once immigration and customs clearance is obtained, you will reach the arrival hall where money exchange facility is available. The money exchange counters at the airport often don’t provide the best rates, so it is recommended not to get money exchanged at the airport. Get the money exchanged in advance so that you have some cash handy for the new destination. If you haven’t got the opportunity of exchanging money before, exchange as little as you need immediately at the airport and not more than that.
• Research as much as you can
With the internet, it is possible to find information on almost anything and everything under the sun. Before your first international travel, look up on the internet and find all kind of relevant information. Right from fight to accommodation to places to visit, there is information on all topics. Research and make notes so that you have an idea of the whole travel.
With the above mentioned tips, your first time international flying can be a smooth experience. There are many agencies which not only offer services of expedited passport in San Francisco but also provide travel guidance for customers. Seek their assistance if need be.