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Today we’re going to be looking at some tips for first-time international flyers.


Check the airline’s luggage requirements

Overpacking– we’ve all done it before. However, if you overpack for an international flight, it may cost a pretty penny. While you’re packing, be sure you review your luggage size and weight restrictions, and while you’re at it, review the baggage fees as well. For a standard fare on a major airline, you could bring two carry-on items for free: one full-size carry (around the size of a small rolling suitcase) and a personal item, like a purse or a briefcase. You could also check a suitcase for $25-$30. 

Unfortunately, if your carry-on is too heavy, you’ll have to check it, and if your checked bag is too big, you’ll have to pay a pretty high fee to check it, so it’s a good idea to make sure you check those restrictions. 

You may want to try and get an airline credit card as well, which could mean that your checked baggage fees could be waived as well.

Pack essentials in your carry on

Luggage gets lost– it’s sad but true and happens more often than we’d like to admit. While it’s true that you can buy almost anything you need where you’re going, there are things you can’t buy. Be sure to pack the most important things in your carry-on suitcase: your electronics, medicine, glasses, contacts, even important documents. You’re in charge of your carry-on bag, so if your checked bag, unfortunately, goes missing, you won’t be missing anything irreplaceable. 

As always, make sure you follow the Transportation Security Administration’s guidelines for what you can pack. You can’t bring a large bottle of shampoo in your carry-on, but you can take a travel size. 

Arrive at the airport two hours before

Going to the airport is a lengthy process– it’s not like getting an uber or going on the subway. It takes quite a while to check your bags, get your boarding pass, and go through security, all before your plane starts boarding. If you’re traveling at a peak travel time, it can take much, much longer. Be sure to look at your ticket, as your boarding time will be listed on there.

Take your passport

When going out of the country, it’s essential that you have a passport. Things aren’t like how they used to be, where you could just go up to the gate whether you were flying or not. Now TSA agents check IDs for adults over 18 years of age. The best thing to do is keep your ID and your passport handy before you even step foot in the airport. This way, you won’t hold up any lines by rummaging through your bag to try and fish it out. It’s important that you bring your passport with you, because you won’t be able to leave the country without it.