I’ve been traveling in my home country for quite some time and it is easy. But traveling to other country is another story. So, I have written a guide for first time travelers who will travel outside the country. I’ve been to other country also but that was for work and not for leisure, making it a big difference. And since we are talking about traveling the first time, the stress of immigration procedures, travel itineraries, hotel bookings and packing all necessary things may end you up being ill and not wanting to travel anymore. Thus, we can make it simple and easy by making a list.
I planned my Asian Invasion a year ago. All my tickets were purchased on sale on one of the leading airline companies in the Philippines. I always checked their website every time they have a seat sale. I bought the tickets ahead of time and that’s the reason that I need to have a list of things that I need to bring and the guide that I need to follow. I have a checklist of all the necessary items needed for the tour and that includes but not limited to:
Of course, it is your life when you are traveling abroad. This should be the first and the last thing to check. Always remember that the passport is the key to your every journey.
2. Flight Tickets
Just make sure you have a hard copy of your tickets coz most of the airports are asking for printed flight details. And when you are for international flights, you need to be showing it a lot of times.
3. Company ID
Since you are up for international destination, immigration officers always ask for this. In my situation, my mother, cousin and I were asked for our company IDs. They need to have a proof that you are coming back to the country and you are not seeking for employment in the country of destination.
4. Travel Itinerary
I also made a print-out of all the stuff we will be doing in the countries that we will be visiting. This is to aid that you are there for leisure and not for any other business.
5. Hotel Bookings
I have also booked a lot of hotels for the entire duration of my trip. Make sure to include the address of the hotels that you have reserved since it will be needed during your travels. I have mine written on my travel itinerary and placed as a separate paper whenever I have to show it to the receptionist of the hotel.
6. Writing Pen
I thought a pen won’t be needed but I was wrong. When I got to the airport, I found out that I need to fill out immigration card. When I was crossing borders, I found out also that I need to write the departure and arrival card. It is OK to borrow from your seatmate but it’s better to be prepared.
Of course, money should be enough for your trip. Since it was my first time to travel outside for leisure. I made sure I brought a lot. My trip was for 12 days, crossing borders, making foreign currency exchanges and moving around. So I need to have a big chunk of cash. But if you don’t have a lot, well, you can always check the cost of living on the country you are traveling and take note of the daily expenses for you to have a guide.
8. Credit Card
When there is an emergency, it is better to be prepared when you run short of cash. At least you have a safety net. You can also use your credit card for booking hotels or even just arranging for airport pick-ups, limousine service or for tour reservation.
Ensuring this checklist has been all marked. Now, you need to be following the steps on getting to your flight. These are the things I’ve gone through during my first out of the country trip:
1. All you need to do now is to check-in for your flight. You need to get an Immigration Card or Departure Card which you can get through an airline representative at the Check-In Counter. They will just hand it out to you.
When you come back from your trip overseas, you will need to fill this arrival card out.
2. After you filled out the form, you need to pay the Travel Tax at the travel tax counter located near the Philippine Airlines ticketing office along with other counters for OFW, Quarantines and etc. if you happen to be in NAIA Terminal 3. You need to shell out a whooping PhP1,620/ person. When you are in the counter, they will ask you for your passport and flight tickets. Once you paid the amount, they will give the receipt and a second copy. Keep it because you will be needing it later.
3. If you are lucky that the counter is open, you can go ahead and check-in for your flight. When you get to the check-in counter of the airline, you need to give your passport, your flight tickets and travel tax receipt. Have your bags checked in as well. Sometimes the agent will ask when you are planning to return which in our case he did. I just presented my other flight tickets since I’ll be coming back with another point of exit. Then the agent will hand to you your boarding pass.
4. Make sure you are at International Departure Area. Go ahead and purchase a Terminal Ticket. It is for PhP550 per person. Just give your boarding pass and they will just staple the ticket at it.
5. Now, it is time to head to Immigration Booth. Approach the Immigration Booth confidently. Just go to the Immigration Officer, hand your passport with the filled out Departure Card. Be ready with your supporting papers. In my case, the agent asked me if I worked somewhere overseas since I have a VISA there attached in my passport. I told him yes. He asked me of my company ID and I showed it to him. After that, he stamped my passport without asking for travel itineraries and other documents that I brought with me. Same thing goes with my mother and cousin. They only asked for company IDs.
6. After we passed through Immigration Booth, we went to the final security check. Removing all metals such as electronic gadgets, belts, wallets, coin purse and even shoes.
7. Once you are cleared, you can go ahead to Pre-Departure Area. You can buy some items from Duty Free or have a quick bite before your flight. Check your boarding pass on what gate you will be waiting for your flight. All you need to do is wait for your boarding call.
I experienced all of those but when I got to the country of my destination. I was relieved and it was all worth it. Now, it is time for you to travel the world. It’s not too late coz we know everyone has his/her own first time. Mine, I just conquered it. Now, it is your time. Have a great flight and vacation everyone!