What to Know About International Flying

Tips and need-to-know pointers for those that will ever become international fliers.

Brittany Bluthardt, Tom Tom Staff

After traveling abroad to Italy during spring break, I realized all that I did not know about going overseas. Leaving home and venturing into an unknown place is thoroughly thrilling, but can also be scary and a bit dangerous. Although nothing ever went wrong during my trip, I am here to relay my subtle tricks and tips of combating everything travel, from sleep schedules to airport necessities.

  1. Never Underestimate the Power of Sleep To be completely honest, I never thought about how important it was to get some zzz’s until around the third of fourth day of my stay in Italy. No matter how unbelievably strong you think you are, sleep is not  just for the weak when it comes to battling jet lag. Make use of any side hours you have while traveling, whether it is a plane ride or a bus trip, to rest and recoup after your day of travel. Your lack of sleep will pile up over the trip, leaving you dead and drained by the end of your adventure. Jet lag and sleep deprivation can cause headaches, irritability and illness.
  2. Passports on Hand….Always Although the constant passport checks could be a bit annoying, I now thank my tour guide and chaperons for checking up on one of the most important pieces of paper I could have while abroad. Your passport is not only a safety mechanism if something was to go wrong, but a form of identification that MUST be used throughout the airport. Keep your passport on hand (I kept mine in a small bag) and have it with you constantly throughout the trip.
  3. Know Everything About Your Flight Once you receive your boarding pass, read through every piece of information that is present on the ticket, most importantly the gate number (or letter) and the flight boarding/take-off time. At one of the security gates, I witnessed a couple run up to the front, in a complete rush, expressing how their flight was boarding and about to leave any moment. They were sent to the back of the seemingly mile long line and probably missed their flight. Check over times and prepare ahead of time to ensure that you do not miss your flight or cause an inconvenience to the airline.
  4. Money is Important Search into what the country you are traveling to uses for currency. Along with that, call your bank months ahead of time and order international currency. I learned the hard way and did not realize that it takes multiple days for international money to transfer through and be delivered, which left me scrambling for Euros before my trip. Use a debit or credit card overseas as much as possible in order to better manage your money and to not have to hold large sums of cash at one time. It is also imperative that you call your credit/debit card company and alert them that you will be traveling internationally, what countries you will be visiting and for how long. This will prevent the company from freezing your card because of suspicious activity. Lastly, realize that there will be extra unexpected expenses along the way. Prepare for emergencies.

Do not settle for a rocky trip. Think ahead of time about the ins and outs of travel in order to prevent any security or monetary issues. Happy flying!