International Travel Preparation Tips

February 10, 2014

Travelling internationally always creates mixed emotions. On one hand you have the excitement and thrill of heading to a new place, getting away from the hustle and bustle of life and the start of an adventure. On the other, there are so many things that can go wrong and sheer logistics can be a huge pressure on travellers. However you can minimise the latter and emphasise the former by planning ahead properly, doing your homework and above all being prepared.

  • Check customs allowances in your destination country. There may be certain items that are fine in New Zealand but banned overseas, so unless you want a stressful hold up and possible confiscation it’s best to avoid these altogether.
  • Give yourself plenty of time. Stress is only multiplied when there’s the added pressure of time. Arrive early and allow for any delays or problems that may arise – particularly when it comes to getting checked in. There may be long queues or other unforeseen circumstances at the airport. One way to ensure you have all the time you need is to utilise airport car parking so that you can bring your own car and get all the timing exactly right. This also reduces the stress of needing to organise transport to and from the airport, though it’s still wise to book ahead.
  • Measure and weigh your luggage at home. The last thing you want is to have to unpack and discard items at the airport, or worse still, to not be allowed to check a suitcase in at all. Checking the weight and measurements before you leave is the best way to avoid this unnecessary stress, and you may find you’re able to buy more luggage allowance if it’s needed.
  • Check your transits and transfers ahead of time. Changing from one flight to another can be stressful in an unfamiliar airport. Make sure you know which gate you’re heading to, the name of the flight and time of departure so that when you touch down, you’re ready to go straight to your next plane and board right on time. Some airports even have transfer guides online that tell you how to get through them, so it’s good to familiarise yourself with these as well.

International travel involves a lot of planning and organising, and things are liable to go not quite according to plan. Good preparation is the key to reducing stress and ensuring your holiday gets off to the right start.

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