Getting through your first international travel

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 !

Your passport

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.

READ: How to set a passport appointment Philippines

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.

Your ticket

There a plenty of seat sales all year round. You do not need to burn your pocket just to travel outside the Philippines.

READ: Our guide on how to book a promo fare

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!


So if you didn’t know yet, Cebu Pacific has an ongoing PISO FARE PROMO SALE from December 28-29, 2017 or until stocks last.

Travel period is from July 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018.

Cebu Pacific has also disabled the over the counter payments for this sale!

Since we still have 1 day left and no cash payments, let us share with you our travel hacks and still get the PISO FARE TO YOUR DREAM DESTINATION!

(Also read: Video Guide on How to Snag a Piso Fare)

First hack – Debit Card and Prepaid Credit Cards

A lot of Filipinos don’t own a credit card. And trust us credit cards will be the worst thing you will ever own if you do not have self control.

Option 1 – Debit Cards

Most savings accounts now offer debit cards (but with annual fees). You can use a debit card the same way you use a credit card, and the money is directly taken from your account.

Option 2 – Prepaid Credit Cards

As the name suggests, it is a prepaid credit card. Which means you have to load money into it before you can use it. There is a one time payment to avail a prepaid card (around 750 i think, check BPI Prepaid Mastercard)

For 750 pesos, you get a prepaid card that is valid for 2 years. It also works internationally! I have used this in Guam and the US.

Loading a prepaid card can be done via online banking, ATMs or over the counter.

Second Hack – Traveloka is your bestfriend

Most of the time, piso fares or seat sales are only accessible through the airlines website.

But this time, we checked and we are able to find PISO FARES through Traveloka!

(READ: Using Traveloka for your DIY Travel)

AND GUESS WHAT!? You have to option to pay over the counter to.

But as any SEAT SALE goes. PATIENCE IS A MUST. Expect slow down, connection time outs and uncompleted transactions.

We can only offer you other ways which you can utilize to snag that fare, but we cannot assure you that you will be able to get that fare 🙂

Good luck!


Cebu Pacific has released yet another PISO FARE SALE! It is not a myth! This is their 3rd round of Piso fare this year, so its not as rare as you think!  Check out our tips and tricks on booking a promo fare

Promo Period

Booking period starts Dec 28-29, 2017 or until stocks last!

Travel period is Jul 1-Dec 15, 2018.

Seats Available


How to Book

You can go directly to, you can also watch our guide below

Where to Go?

Check out our previous posts:

Thailand - 13 days

Dumaguete - Bohol - Cebu


How easy is it to travel locally in the Philippines

A lot of Filipinos seem to be intimidated when it comes to online booking, web check in, baggage selector, seat selector and all that jargon.

As a matter of fact, planning for a trip or booking nowadays is so easy with all the new apps available. DIY Travel is now really at your fingertips, and all you need is time off, a plan and of course a budget 🙂

One of my favorites apps to use when booking a flight is Traveloka. Its easy to use and they offer credit card and over the counter payment! No need to get scammed by those offering so called “cheap tickets”. Book your flights and pay it with cash!

Another thing I like about Traveloka is that they have this feature called “Find lowest price estimates”. This allows me to check ALL the dates and it will find the lowest fare out of ALL the available airlines.

If I don’t need to travel right away, I can also turn on Price Alerts. All I need to do is to open app the Traveloka app, go to “My account”, then tap “Price Alerts”. And Voila! I can add as many price alerts as I can and hopefully score that seat sale when it comes!

As you can see, booking a flight using an app is absolutely convenient, its fast and its safe. You’ll get your ticket delivered right to your app and that’s all you need to show at the airport with your valid ID.

You may also do a web check-in using the airlines mobile site or app. This allows you to, most of the time, skip the line, and go directly to the bag drop off counter and onto your gate. But please don’t forget to allot enough time for security check and check-in!

I booked my flight to Palawan yesterday (Sep 11), and here I am now at the airport waiting for my boarding as I write this blog 🙂

Hope this helps! Comment down below if you have any questions.

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