Many first time travelers have always had this chilling experience. They are nervous and afraid of the unknown.
They have never been able to travel by air to a foreign unknown destination and they are usually very worried about how to go about this.
Many questions linger through their minds concerning how they will navigate the entire process.
Several first time travelers have actually ended up missing their flights due to lack of knowledge and guidance on how to go about the processes at the airport.
Well today we bring you a blow for blow break down on how you can turn that first travel experience into a memorable one.
WHAT IS TRAVEL?.
Well this may sound ridiculous because everyone seems to know what travel is but for the purpose of being all inclusive, let us briefly define what travel is.
According to Wikipedia, Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be done by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, airplane etc.
Travel simply means to go or move from one place to another, typically over a distance of some length.
How To Navigate Your Way Through The Airports During Your Travel.
Before you begin to travel to any destination, there are key things that you must ensure are in place for you to successfully accomplish your travel itinerary i.e.?
1. Have Your Travel Documents (Passport).
For you travel from one destination to the other, you will need to have your travel document. The Passport is the globally recognized travel document across countries though some regions permit travel on other documents like the National Identity cards.
However due to the pressure being caused by the covid-19 pandemic, most countries require you to have proof of covid-19 vaccination document proof before permitting you other procedures both on arrival and departure.
2. Know your Purpose of Travel.
To travel, you must have a purpose for travel. It could be studies, tourism, a meeting, work, a training, a visit etc. Never travel without a purpose.
3. Get a Visa.
To travel to any country, you will need to have a visa clearing you to enter that country for a specified period of time.
According to Passport Index, a visa is an official document that allows the bearer to legally enter a foreign country. The visa is usually stamped or glued into the bearer’s passport.
In some instances, the Visa can be got on arrival but it is advisable for first time travelers to leave with their visa intact.
4. Buy An Air Ticket.
Before Travel, you will need to buy an air ticket from the airliner that you intend to use for your flight. The ticket can be bought at the airlines offices or at any of the available travel agents.
5. Know your Departure Terminal.
Some of the smaller airports have a single departure terminal. However, larger airports may have several departure terminals.
When you are going to travel, you will need to know your departure terminal as this will help avoid time wastage and nervousness. Details of the departure terminal are always captured in your air ticket.
Once you have all the above figured out, now you are ready to travel and below we will guide you on how to get through the process seamlessly.
1. ARRIVE EARLY FOR CHECK IN.
Being a first time traveler we advise that you will need to arrive at the airport early enough to avoid getting nervous and making mistakes. We recommend you arrive at the airport at least three hours before the time for your scheduled flight.
2. GO TO THE DEPARTURES.
On arrival at the airport go to the departure terminal. The smaller airports usually have just one departure terminal but bigger airports may have several departure terminals so you must ensure that you go to the departure terminal that is indicated on your air ticket.
3. GO THROUGH THE NECESSARY SECURITY CHECKS.
You will go through several security checks. Be courteous and corporative. The security checks will require you to empty yourself of everything i.e. baggage, belt, shoes, wallet, watch, jackets etc.
It would be advisable that you do not put on clothing and accessories that are difficult to remove as you will be greatly inconvenienced at security check points where you will have to take them off and put them back on.
While at the airport, never allow any stranger to assist you with your luggage and neither should you allow to carry any luggage for a stranger as you may be set up with dangerous substances like drugs that may get you arrested at the airport.
4. HEAD TO THE CHECK IN COUNTER OF THE AIRLINER THAT YOU ARE USING.
After going through the security check, you will then head to the check-in counter of the airliner that you intend to use.
There will be clear markings of all the airliners checking in within that area so be sure to head straight to the counter of your airliner of choice where you will be helped by your airliners passenger check-in officer to check in.
While at the check in counter, follow the steps below.
1. Present your passport and boarding pass to the airliner check-in officer.
Once at the Check-in counter of your airliner, present your passport and air ticket to the attending passenger check-in officer.
2. Check in the bigger luggage and retain the hand luggage.
At the check-in counter, you will be asked if you have any luggage to check in. Check in your bigger luggage and remain with the hand luggage.
You may need to know your airliners luggage weight limits to avoid penalties.
Also remember not to carry any liquids in the hand luggage as you will not be allowed to go with them into the plane.
Please not that both the checked in luggage and the hand luggage must be tagged with the airliners passenger luggage identification tag.
3. Receive your boarding pass, Passport and air ticket.
Once you are done with the check-in processes, your boarding pass that indicates the boarding gate and seat number in the plane plus your passport and air ticket will be given to you by the airliners passenger check-in officer.
5. HEAD TO THE CUSTOMS COUNTER.
Once you have received your boarding pass, passport and air ticket from the airliner passenger check-in officer, head to the customs counter for an exit visa.
At the customs counter, present your passport, boarding pass and air ticket to the customs officer on duty.
The customs officer will scan your passport, your palm and take a passport photo of you before affixing an exit visa in your passport.
He or she will then return your passport, boarding pass and air ticket to you to proceed.
6. PROCEEED TO THE NEXT SECURITY CHECK POINT.
After the customs officer has affixed an exit visa in your passport, you may be required to go through another security check point, comply and be corporative.
7. PROCEED TO THE WAITING AREA OF YOUR BOARDING GATE AS INDICATED ON YOUR BOARDING PASS.
After the second security check, you can now proceed to the waiting area of the boarding gate that is indicated on your airliners boarding pass.
Be attentive and read gate signage at the airport carefully to avoid waiting at the wrong gate and possibly missing your flight.
8. LISTEN TO THE PUBLIC ADRESS SYSTEMS FOR ANY CHANGES IF ANY.
While at the waiting area, pay attention to the public address announcements just in case some changes have been made concerning the boarding gate of your airliner, delayed flight etc.
If you are too early for the flight and you have an extra spend, you could grab a coffee or a meal at the restaurant and or shop at the duty free shop as you wait for the pre-boarding call. You may also take time off to visit the washrooms.
9. WAIT FOR PREBORDING CALL.
Once the pre-boarding announcement is made, go for the pre-boarding checks and then proceed to wait at the final waiting area of the boarding gate and wait for the gate to be open in order to board.
10. WAIT FOR THE BOARDING CALL.
After pre-boarding checks, the boarding gate will be open and you will be called upon to board the aircraft.
Priority may be given to some passengers, just stay calm and cooperate, board the aircraft and ENJOY your flight.
Next we will bring you what to expect from the time you board the flight, to how to handle things on arrival at your destination, but for now, enjoy your flight.
11. BOARD THE PLANE ANS TAKE YOUR SIT.
This is your last and final step at the airport as a first time traveler. Once all the above procedures are done, you only have to find your designated seat on the plane and wait for the plane to take off. Usually, before the airplane starts, you’ll be asked to put your phone into air plane mode for safety purposes and that is it.
Read about what to expect from the time you board the plane to the time of your arrival at a foreign airport here.