Today is Rachelle’s first international travel! Yay! Our first international travel together is bringing us to Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phuket and Phi Phi (read: preparing our itinerary)
After my intensive research on building our itinerary to Bangkok – Siem Reap – Phuket, the next step is getting through check in, security and finally immigration.
Tips for First Time Travellers
It can be a bit daunting specially if you are a solo traveller. The secret to not getting offloaded is be prepared and just be confident.
Make sure you do a lot of research, prepare your itineraries, check your travel documents and you will be on your way to the world of international travel!
You can join our facebook community and connect with other travellers !
If you haven’t got a passport yet, get one (obviously 😂). Before booking your flights, check that your passport validity is within 6 months of your travel time.
This means if your flight is Jun 1-6, 2018, your passport expiry date is no more than Dec 5, 2017.Count backwards from your passport’s expiry date, and that is your last day to be able to travel. That is usually the first reason why people get offloaded.
There a plenty of seat sales all year round. You do not need to burn your pocket just to travel outside the Philippines.
Make sure you book a return flight back to the Philippines as most immigration officers will ask for your return flight. Immigration officers are just making sure that Filipino’s are not going abroad to seek employment.
It will be better to have a print out of your ticket to present to the immigration.
Things to know when at the airport
1. Is your travel tax included in your ticket already?
During your booking, you will have to option to pay for the travel tax (1620 pesos for Filipinos, OFWs are exempted from travel tax).
If its not yet included, you can pay at the airport. In our case, in terminal 3, the TIEZA area is at LANE A.
You can check in first, or go directly to the TIEZA counter. Present you passport and ticket, and they will tell you to go to another counter to pay. Once you have the receipt, you present it to the check in counter, and you will receive your boarding pass.
2. You must fill in a Departure Card
As with any other airports, you must fill in a departure card when you are departing a country.
Always have a pen with you so that you don’t have to queue for pens.
They had this at the check in counter, we filled it up while waiting for our travel tax receipt.
If you don’t have this, the immigration will reject you and ask you to fill it in, and you go back to the end of the line.
3. Facing the immigration officer
The scariest part for most people is being questioned by the immigration officer. Start by smiling and greeting them good morning or good evening. Hand over your passport and boarding pass.
He will then question you about your trip. Make sure you are ready, have your ticket printed out, hotels bookings printed out, have your itinerary ready.
I showed the immigration officer my Traveloka app bookings. But I also prepared the details of our travel and fit it into one page (but that’s me)
He also asked how I was related to Rachelle, my past travels, he asked for my old passport, and what Rachelle did for a living.
After that, photo and finger print and were through!
4. Final security check
There will be one more security check before you reach your boarding gate.
They will ask you to remove your shoes and empty your pockets.
Make sure you are not bringing in any prohibited items (a ninja wallet was one of them! Lol mine got confiscated).
No liquids over 100ml, I will write more about this in another article.
After that, proceed to the boarding gate 🙂
Boarding on time
I noticed that there weren’t a lot of boarding calls here in Terminal 3. So make sure you head to your boarding gate early, and be attentive.
I know someone who was at the boarding gate and somehow missed her flight, so she had to book another flight.
Another daunting place to be is at the arrival immigration. Not a lot of blogs talk about this. You have a chance of getting deported back if they suspect you that you are not coming as a tourist.
Most airports will have an arrival card, and these are usually given during the flight, or will be available just before the immigration lanes. Fill one out before queuing.As before, greet the officer with a smile and hand over your passport and arrival card. They will usually ask you the same thing, your return ticket, your hotel bookings and itinerary. On a rare occasion they might ask you how you can support your travel (you can show cash, credit cards or travellers cheques).
And when you’re through, welcome to your destination!
Goodluck and don’t forget follow us on Facebook!