Traveling internationally can be fun, except the part where you go through all the airports. Here are some tips that can make the process easier.
1. Make sure to allow enough time to make any connections. Also keep in mind how fast you can walk. When I am travelling I always give plenty of time in the airports for myself. For example travelling from the US to Europe I usually choose the London’s Heathrow Airport to make my connection. I remember at the very first time when I choosed that airport I didn’t count on how long it would take to walk down all the long hallways and stand in the security lines. Luckily, I am a fast walker and was able to make my flight.
2. Look online for a map of the airport. You can either go to the airports website or sometimes you can find maps on a specific airline’s website. If you don’t have much time it is helpful to know in advance where things are located.
3. Check online for airline carry-on rules. Some airlines have varying rules on what and how much of certain items are allowed on the plane.
4. Try to have as few connections as possible. Sometimes when you book a flight it is cheaper to have a flight with 5 connections than to have one with fewer or none at all. Just keep in mind that the savings aren’t always worth it. If you miss one connection then the rest will be missed as well.
5. Check online for airline carry-on rules.
6. Take a credit card. They are accepted anywhere. Also, if you get the option of paying in dollars or the local currency I find you get a better deal if you choose dollars, but check with your bank first.
7. Make sure to bring a lot of reading material, puzzles, or an iPod. A lot of waiting takes place in airports so bringing something to keep you busy.
8. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and bring the charger with you. Some airports have pay phones, but don’t count on those. You might need to make calls if you have a delayed flight or missed connection.
9. Try not to panic over things that are out of your control. If you have several connections it is frustrating when you miss one, but remember you can always get on another flight. If you need to get a hotel because the next flight does not leave until morning just ask the airline personnel behind the counter. They can help you get a discounted rate or even a free room. Also ask if you can get a food voucher or reimbursement.