Tips and Tricks for International Travel

 

The first years are a week away from our journeys trips! Hooray! I am excited to hear all the stories from where everyone is going and experiencing the world, but before that can happen we have to get there! Travelling internationally is terrifying sometimes; you have to make sure all of your material is correct and then not lose it, making sure you are aware of customs or laws that you need to be respectful of in the country you’re visiting, or even figuring out what can even be taken through security at the airport. As someone who has been given the opportunity to travel internationally before, here are some of my tips!

 

1: Be patient

Airports can hold long waits a lot of the time, and we are lucky enough to be flying out of the busiest airport in the world, which means the waits are often even longer. Going through security and customs, both in the country you are visiting and when arriving back in the U.S., will probably take a while, so be prepared to wait in line after you’ve just sat on a plane for 10 hours. I know it can be frustrating, when you’re exhausted and just want to be home, but it won’t take nearly as long as it feels.

P.S.: The US Customs Administration has an app that allows you to bypass some of the lines when arriving back and going through customs. If you want to talk to your Journey leader about downloading the app, it is available on both the App Store and the Google Play Store under “Mobile Passport.”

 

2: Easy access

I am notorious for fumbling through security lines. I always have a billion things in my hand and I am not efficient at all when handing over my passport and boarding pass. When in security, keep only the essentials in your hand (I.E. your boarding pass and passport/other form of ID) and put the rest in your bag or your pockets. Speaking of which...

 

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash

 

3: Have some pockets

Having pockets makes travelling so much easier! I recently was on a flight where I had the pocket on the front of my jacket and while I wish I had more, that pocket was my saving grace when it came to storing my phone, wallet, boarding pass, and other necessities (like snacks). Even if you don’t have pockets, make sure you have an easy access bag that allows you to store your items away when you don’t need them

 

4: Bring snacks

While liquids aren’t allowed through TSA, food is! Bring snacks with you through security because you can eat it on the plane and at your destination. Airport food is pretty overpriced and it can be hard to find food that you enjoy or can eat if you have a dietary restriction with limited restaurants, as well. With snacks, you can assure that you have food you can eat and that you enjoy in your bag and not across the airport!

 

5: Enjoy the ride

International travel can be extremely stressful, but it is so amazing and will be an adventure you look back on. Even with all the stress that comes with travel, take time to step back and enjoy the world that we are so lucky to explore.

 

Photo by Keith Chan on Unsplash

 

I am so excited to hear about everyone’s journeys when we get back! Enjoy your trips, first-years.