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Tips For International Air-Travel

Life was hard in the old days.
Especially if you were not a king or a queen or a rich someone and you wanted to travel.
Got to be satisfied with donkey-rides for yourself and all your luggage.
No chariots or carriages - those were only for the king and the rich.
No top-notch horses - those were expensive, for soldiers and tough people.
No camels - they were huge, drank tankful of water and only for the "deserted" few.
Sun-burn? Rain pain? Cover your head or run under the tree.
Don't want to be beaten up on your way? Go in groups and hire bodyguards.
Got bread? Some wine and water? That'll do for now, thank you very much.
Supplies dwindling? Hope and pray that the next inn is just a mile away.
Okay, reached the destination and got the work done.
Time to go through the same all over again - all the way back home.

Life is still hard.
But travel is not so hard after all.
Especially if you have access to modern vehicles and if you are travel-smart.
The cars, trains and airplanes of today are dream machines the people of the older generations would have gone green with envy about!
They are better, safer, faster and so much more comfortable.
Air-travels are easy and memorable if only a few important things are remembered and followed. 

 I. Getting Ready To Fly

Fly light 

Are you one of the generous souls who makes the airlines tons of money [or trouble] by paying over-the-limit-luggage-weight-penalty? Fly light. But on this one, do as I say, don't do as I do because this is  easy to say but hard to do. Very Hard, but planning ahead should help. Confirm check-in baggage weight limits with travel agencies or online companies that book your flights. Buy a digital scale. Three or four canning jars [glass] or cans [unopened] on the digital scale should be useful in weighing and spreading out luggage-contents evenly. Check and deduct the weight of the jars or cans. If one suitcase is not enough, get another one! 

  1. Print/write your name, destination address, destination phone number and tape it to the inside and outside of the checked-in luggage and tie/lock them securely. 
  2. Get some local currency at a currency exchange before take-off. Very useful if you need to make unexpected local/ISD calls at a nearby phone booth when you exit the airport and your cellphone battery is totally drained out! 
  3. Get your cell phone unlocked and arrange for roaming if needed. 
  4. Buy local sim and enable ISD calling if needed. 
  5. Buy data cards for your internet connections if you carry a laptop. 
  6. Pack essentials you will need for a couple of days like 2 or 3 sets of pants, shirts, underwears, inners, toiletories, cellphone cables, laptop cables and local adaptors in the carry-on luggage
  7. Rememeber to get local adaptors for laptops, cell phones, electric razors etc. and do not pack 110v electric appliances if you are travelling to destinations where 240v is used instead. 
  8. Find out updated information about duty-free and dutiable goods you carry that need to be declared.

Transit flight warning 

Enquire and confirm if your checked-in luggage will be delivered straight to the destination or if you need to check-out and re-check-in your luggage at the transit airport. 

Make your travel security-safe 

  1. It's amazing how stuff you know not to pack in your carry-on luggage creep in to embarass you at airport security. Transfer to your checked-in luggage dishwasher-soap kind of gooey stuff. Don't forget to throughly check your carry-on luggage for security-unfriendly stuff and be safe. 
  2. Wear a pant that won't fall down when you remove your belt at security. I once had to clutch feverishly at the size 34" pant on my size 31" waist to keep it from falling down to my feet when I had to take off my belt!    

 II. Flying

  1. Turn off cell phones before take-off to comply with rules and also avoid stand-by drain during long-distance flights. 
  2. Use charging stations at airports to re-charge cellphones and laptops. 
  3. Always be on the lookout for hard-hat situations when stuff might fall right over your head from the overhead bin. 

On-board entertainment, even for the economy class has improved so much, I really am at a lack of words to describe how easy it is to make a 15-hour flight without being bored. And the food offerings, for my middle-class eyes and taste were extremely good.
On the whole, if you have non-disturbing neighbors on your sides, you should expect an excellent travel experience.

 III. You Have Arrived

  1. Give very clear directions to your cab driver if you are not lucky to be hauled by a group of friends or relatives to your destination while exitting the airport. Mention the ride will be one-way, make sure the amount agreed upon will cover all expenses [no surprising small-print-kind-of-expenses on the way]. 
  2. Remember to check voltage limits of any and everything electric. Don't use 110v appliances on 240v outlets. I fried up a cheap old razor and cursed myself for not remembering to check before. 
  3. Be careful to stay completely in control of your temper until your return flight and your arrival back home, for you will always "RAGE TO YOUR DISADVANTAGE" whenever, wherever.  

Always remember to find updates to every little piece of information in this article, which I collected and sorted from various sources and also from my own experience, and stay in control of your own travel plans.
Peace friend. Safe travel to you!

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