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These tips are for budget traveler. I am giving the tips for a first time traveler. This may look simple for frequent traveler.
Passport: A document given by the native country generally to pass the port like seaport, airport or land border.
Visa : (Visitor Intended to Stay Abroad ) A sticker pasted on your passport of the visiting country after verifying your travel documents from the embassy of that country with number of entries and validity of stay.
Take copies of the first two pages and last two pages of your passport along with the copies of the valid visa issued on your passport. This helps incase you lose your passport abroad & to get the fresh passport from Indian embassy in that country. The copies of the valid visa are for easy clearance from that country.
Spare copies of the flight tickets and travel documents like information about your accommodation and tour plan.
Originals of the above should be with you in cabin bag. Because as soon as you land, you are required to fill the disembarkation card where in you have to fill the details. I have seen people struggling at the immigration for not having the above documents with them on person.
It is better to have contact details of your country of origin for example for indians-
Copy of the credit card /debit card details and pins to be kept safely.
Information about your tour plan should be given to your close relatives before start of the journey, in case of death or any major problem they can trace you easily.
A copy of all the important documents to be saved in your email or pen drive or mobile so that you can take a print of it in case you lose anything.
Checklist for the entry at the airport:
Passport with valid visas, air tickets, pen, medicines of personal use, FE /Traveler’s cheque, local currency & biscuits preferably glucose/chocolates (this comes handy when flights get delayed).
Generally Cabin baggage should be less than 7kgs and check-
Never carry any liquids as this is not permitted. I have observed people arguing with security personnel on this matter.
Never carry razor blade as this is not permitted in cabin bag, but you can send them in check-
Once you get your boarding pass, rush to immigration, fill the form and complete the formalities plus security clearance, then go to your designated gate number. This is because, most of the international airports are very huge & it will take lot of time to reach the gates. Also immigration & security clearance may take long time if the queue is long. I have observed people panicking as the departure time approaches & still not completed the above formalities. If you reach early you can pass time at the lounge/duty free shops after immigration formalities plus security clearance.
You must have always some local currency, because some time there can be requirements for departure tax (Any way, these days it will be included in the tickets but not always true).
Do not neglect to put tags with your contact details for the cabin baggages and valets. Incase bag is lost, it will be traced and delivered to you.
Never receive any bag or any packets from strangers. Some times fellow travelers request you telling their limit of baggage is slightly more & transfer it to you.
Flow diagram at the time of boarding:
Flow diagram After landing :
Immigration à personal security check à Baggage collection > custom clearance > exit
Soon after baggage collection, make sure there is no damage to the baggage. If so, go to corresponding airline counter which you have traveled with boarding pass and baggage tag and lodge a complaint. You will get new suitcase or follow the formalities of the airline you will get back cost of the suitcase.
Next, change your money that is from USD/EURO (International currency) to local currency of that country. Because USD/EURO are very strong money & will be accepted all over the world.
Do not change more money, unless your stay is long. Because when you leave that country you may have to change back to USD/EURO, you loose money for conversion due to the commission.
Once you exit the airport, better avoid taxi to go to your accommodation. As per my experience, all the taxi drivers in the world have same mentality to make more money from the tourist. It is more in advanced countries. You must take taxi if…..you are 3 or 4 members or you have more baggage.
In advanced countries, metro trains run inside the airport. So, buy day pass which is cheaper and you can use whole day even after you reach your accommodation rather than buying a single way ticket.
Before start of the travel, please workout the spots/ sights you wish to see in that city/place.
You can always get this information from websites or at your hotel reception. You can collect local map and metro map.
You MUST collect business card/visiting card from your hotel as soon as you check in. If you are more numbers, let everybody have one each. This is very important in case you get lost, you can show to a taxi he will bring back to your accommodation. Most of the time this card will have address, phone contact in English and local language with map.
Buy a day pass and start your sight seeing. Please note this day pass is valid in train/bus/tram etc … please confirm when you buy the pass at the counter.
Entrance fee at sight seeing spots -
Keep your passport at hotel safely. Carry only photo copy, incase any body asks, you can show the copy along with your hotel visiting /business card. Because if you loose passport it is too cumbersome to get another passport. You will loose all your happiness of travel.
As a general safety measure, it is better to reach hotel in the evening & not too late in the night ...unless you have local person escorting you.
If you don’t want to do the day tour on your own, take the help of your hotel travel desk, they will arrange tour for you. Here also better to take group tour for economy.
Always keep spare cell /battery, DVD, memory stick, tape etc.. for your camera for you shouldn’t miss the photos for your life time memories.
Low Fare Tips
You pay less if you plan your tour well in advance. The closer you are to your travelling date, the more you pay. So while the airlines stick to the business folk, a well-
If you are flexible wtih the date of travel it can result in dramatically lower fare. So, when you search on KAYAK, select the flexible dates option.
Avoid peak travel seasons. Don't travel when everyone else is. Flights and also hotels are cheaper during off season.
If you travel distance is less, better chose LCC low cost carriers. Low cost carriers like JetBlue, wow air or Easyjet offer lower prices more often, but.. no pain no gain since LCC doesnot offer free refreshments on board. You may have to pay & eat, but expensive. Please read the instructions before booking for baggage capacity is normally low, so if you have more baggage think before booking. My sincere advise is -
Most of the low cost carriers fly into alternative airports in the same city and what they save in airport fees they pass onto you. You may also appreciate the added benefit of less traffic and fewer people at the airport. So whenever you search with KAYAK, select option rates from nearby airports.
CLICK HERE FOR VISA REQUIREMENTS CLICK HERE FOR VISA REQUIREMENTS
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