HOW TO TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME

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Hey there, so at some point in our life, we all dream about traveling to a different country. We all daydream about how it is to travel in those huge airplanes for over 8 hours, flying over different countries and oceans and coping up with the change of time-zones at the same time. So, let’s discuss how to cover INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL?

 

Luckily enough I got a lot of opportunities to travel abroad and if you too are gearing up for your first one then this is something you would not want to miss out.

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Necessary Paperwork for INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL-

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This is something that is advisable to be done much before your departure date. It involves the application of a passport, visa, booking air tickets, and accommodation. So the passport application time depends on the country one is from. In India, the time period may vary from about a week to a month. One requires basic documents like their birth certificate, educational qualification proofs and a nominal fee to apply for a passport.

The time required for a visa depends on the country you are visiting to. Also, different countries have different requirements for their visa application process. For example, you may have to produce your annual income while applying for an American visa and but not for an Indian visa.

Almost all visa application processes require your proof of travel i.e air tickets and proof of accommodation and most importantly your passport.

So it is always better to book your tickets and accommodation at least 6 months prior to get the cheapest deal and avoid any problems on the day of your visa interview.

Visa types and embassy interview for INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL-

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So here you are in front of your computer screen booking an appointment with the American embassy for a visa interview and you see a number of choices. Which one should you select? Well, let me help you out.
So a typical American visa has many types depending on the purpose of your travel. The types range from A to U1. People generally travel to the states for tourism, business, education or transit purposes. So the most common visa is the tourist or B2 visa which allows you to stay in the States for 60 consecutive days at a time.

You may gamble at Vegas or enjoy the Niagara falls within this time period. Along with the above-mentioned documents of the paperwork section, you need to provide your detailed itinerary.

So if you are someone who is going to New York to work as a broker in the wall street then you are more likely to apply for a work visa i.e an H1-B visa. You may also need to present concrete proof of your acceptance offer at the time of the interview.

Now, let’s say you got accepted into your dream med-school in the US and want to pursue your studies there then you should apply for a study or an F1 visa. You also need to present your college acceptance letter in the interview.

So you want your honeymoon to be the best one and decide to go to the Carribean with your lovely wife but your flight originates from Miami the day after you reach the states. In this case, you can apply for a transit visa or a C1 visa which permits you to stay in America for 30 days upon producing your connecting flight tickets. The documents required for this is the same as that for a visitors visa.

So here comes the big day – The embassy interview.

 

The first step is to be calm and composed. The best thing to do is to follow the instructions given by the officers and be at your best behaviour with them. Produce all your documents and explain your travelling purpose properly. Greet them with a smile to increase your chances of getting a visa. If everything goes well then your passport will have your visa printed within a week.

Packing and going to the airport-

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So now comes the interesting part of i.e packing. You have your documents and Passport ready and you have butterflies jumping in your stomach. Don’t forget to pack your documents as not having them can ruin your entire vacation.

Do take some foreign currency in the form of cash or a forex card and stash them in different bags as there is always a probability of losing a bag while travelling. Take sufficient clothes and footwear according to the weather conditions of your destination city as you never know if you will be able to avail laundry services. Also pack your essentials like toothbrush, creams etc.

Keep your electronics like a laptop,iPad, headphones etc in your backpack as electrical devices containing lithium-ion batteries are prohibited as carrying on luggage. Also, take some ready to eat packed meals with you as you may have adaptability problems with different cuisine. Make sure that your baggage weight stays within the limits set by your airline.

On the day of your travel, wear comfortable clothing and reach the airport at least 4 hours prior to your departure time.

At the departure airport and while flying-

 

So after reaching the airport, you will have to follow a 3 step process before finally boarding your aircraft. First of all collect your boarding pass from the ticket counter of your airline by showing them a copy of your ticket, your passport and your visa.

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The airline will then weigh and collect your baggage and will hand you over your boarding pass with your seat number on it. The ticketing staff will then instruct you to proceed further. After collecting your boarding pass you are required to clear immigration.

This involves answering the officials a few questions like your departure time, the purpose of travel, age and number of people travelling with you. You will also be asked to produce your passport and visa. After this, you are required to go through strenuous security checks.

This includes a full-body scan of your body and your carry on luggage. You should not be having anything on yourself excluding clothes during your body scan and you will be asked to throw away any liquids you might be having so it is better to not have anything with you prior security.

After clearing security, you can now head to your boarding gate and if you are lucky enough to have some time to kill, you can always visit the duty-free shops for window shopping or buying travel essentials and souvenirs for your loved ones.

Report to your gate on time and board the plane according to the correct boarding group. Make sure to follow the instructions given by the flight attendants during takeoff and at cruising altitude. Sleep as much as possible to avoid jetlag and stay hydrated.

At your destination airport-

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After landing, be patient while deboarding the plane.After deboarding follow the signs displayed inside the airport terminal to reach the immigration authorities. You may also use the washroom before you proceed to the immigration.

Immigration in the US takes about an hour due to long wait times. After reaching the immigration booth, you will be redirected to different officers depending on your visa type. The officers will ask you for your passport and accommodation details and your connecting/return flight tickets.

They will also question you about your purpose of visit and you will be required to fill in a form declaring any expensive, agricultural or licensed ammunitions if brought by you to the customs along with your personnel details and the address of your accommodation.

Finally, you will be required to get a photo of yours taken and your finger and thumbprints will be taken for future reference. Make sure to be patient and well behaved during this process for a smoother experience.

After immigration, you can collect your check-in baggage from the baggage carousel and you are free to go and explore your destination city.

 

 

 

Now you are all set for your first international travel. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for takeoff. 
                                               Jet set go!
 
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