Preparing For Your First Flight? This is What You Should Know
First flight can be such an overwhelming situation. To some people, it even tends to be scary. It may be the first time you are visiting your in-laws or maybe going for a vacation for the first time. Or, you might be lucky enough to get a scholarship abroad. No matter the reason, one fact stands. You don’t know what to expect, and you are not versant with the preparations. Even the smallest occurrences can be quite tricky during the first flight.
The answer to a successful first flight is to prepare well. Also, it is a noble idea to talk with other people who have been on a plane. Thus, you will have a hint of the flying experience. So, if you are about to experience your first flight, there is no need to be nervous. This article covers thorough information of what you need to know about flight. It will also include the preparations.
The kind of experience during the first flight will depend on your prior preparations. You have to make sure that you have all the necessary documents. These include Visa and the passport.
Being a first-time flyer you might not know the procedures of booking a flight. But, there are travel agencies that are available to help you at every stage. However, in the current era, booking is made online. This situation proves to be more convenient and an affordable means of booking.
Let us guess that you are planning for an international flight. In this case, you will need an up to date passport. This is a passport that is less six months before its expiry date. Thus, you should check and confirm that your passport isn’t out of date. Or, you can apply for another one before you book a flight. It is advisable to apply for a passport some months before you travel. It isn’t good to wait until summer time. This is the period when many people go for a vacation. Thus, you risk a backlog in applications. This might delay your passport and make you miss the flight.
Visa is Another Qualification
This is a document that proves your worthiness to visit a particular state. Various states might need to know if you are worth letting in before you arrive at the airport. Some even have a visa waiver system. A good example is the United States. Their waiver system is ESTA. Thus, it is a bright idea to do a thorough research about your destination. This way you will be able to know about the visa requirements of that country. You can use travel websites or your national government foreign office website. A visa is more sensitive than the airfare itself. After all, if you board a flight, and yet you don’t have a visa you won’t be allowed to have the flight.
Booking the Flight
Nowadays everything is easy. You can now perform any task without a past experience. Thanks to the increased number of websites for Air travel. Thus, you can book your flight online or via travel agents. Various sites offer air travel advisories. Some examples include Travel advisers, Expedia, booking buddy, Sky Scanner among others. Also, you might want to book a particular seat.
For a first time flying the chances are that you are with someone else. Sitting together would be a good idea. This calls for the need to book a specific seat earlier in advance. But, you should be aware that some airlines charge the extra cost to reserve a seat. Various sites will help you book a suitable seat. A proper seat should have an expanded legroom and easy access to toilets. Emergency access seats are the best choices to consider for reservation. This is because tend to have more space between you and the front seat. Also, you must be willing to carry out specific instructions in the event of an emergency.
Issues with Airline Food
You might be lucky to book a flight that serves food. But you should be aware that most don’t have a variety of foods. This can cost you a lot. Thus, it is important to notify the airline about your specific requirements. These may include being allergic to some kinds of food. This should be earlier enough to enable them to accommodate your dietary needs.
It would be a smart idea to book accommodation before you enter the plane. This process should be done earlier enough. This ensures that you have a piece of mind. Also, it assures you of optimal security and helps you avoid paying for expensive rooms. But, online resources aid you in accommodation booking. Examples of most trusted ones include booking.com, Agoda, Priceline, late rooms among others.
Getting a Travel Insurance
Everyone is vulnerable to diseases or accidents. This applies to even the time you are abroad. This is where travel insurance comes in. It only takes a slip, accident or an illness and a hefty medical bill burdens your life. Travel insurance guarantees you excellent medical care while overseas. But, travel insurance can be different depending on several factors. It may vary by price and policy. But the following insurance providers offer favorable quotes. These are Alpha travel insurance, Go Travel Insurance, Holiday Extras among others.
Buying a Foreign Currency
This forms another critical part of preparation for the first flight. As you may not be aware, it is helpful to get a foreign currency before you board a plane. It is quite expensive to buy a currency at the airport or the destination country. Thus, it is clever to buy your currency before you travel because the rates are favorable. Also, it is worthwhile to research about the currency that you are going to use in that foreign land. There are several places where you can buy the foreign currency. These include banks, post- office, and online money.
Also, it is advisable to bring credit cards with you. This way you will be able to make some withdrawals when you run out of cash. You will be able to pay for accommodation, shopping, rentals with minimal hassles. Besides, credit cards offer protection in case what you buy gets stolen or lost.
It is also wise to have an additional credit card. The reason behind this is to provide an alternative in case the preferred card isn’t accepted. Also, using a card protects you against exploitation by vendors. This happens when they decide to charge you in your home currency. You should always decline it and prefer getting billed on your card. Furthermore, you will enjoy an excellent exchange rate from your bank rather than your vendor.
You don’t want to miss your first flight. Thus, you have to do the correct timing. You should arrive some hours before the departure time. During this period you will be able to familiarize well with some operations. This is also the time to pick your boarding pass or your air ticket. This is also the time to confirm the right luggage you need carry. In many airlines, you are allowed to bring one carry-on. But, rules vary from one airline to another.
During this time you can confirm the weight of your luggage. This is to avoid unnecessary charges for weight checking. Thus, it is a brilliant idea to check the weight of your luggage before living for the airport. Also, you won’t be able to access your bag until you arrive at your destination. Thus, it is recommended that you take anything that you may need during the flight. Also, keep valuable items such as a laptop with you during the journey.
After you have checked in you should have a boarding ticket and passport ready. Then you will proceed to the security line. There are checkpoints where the airline’s officials will verify your documents. You will then take your carry-on luggage to the baggage screening point. If you are fortunate enough to travel in business class or first class, you won’t queue for long. Otherwise, you should stay in the line and wait for your turn.
As you queue, you can prepare for the check by removing several items. These include laptops, phones, belts, footwear, and coats among others. This may vary from country to country depending on their regulations. While the above list isn’t exhaustive, it is wise not to have any suspicious item such as sharp things. But it is a good idea to do enough research ahead of time. This familiarizes you on the Dos and Don’ts of that state airline and the regulations.
Entering the Plane
After the security screening, you are free to go to the gate from which the plane will leave. At this time you already have the gate information. This is the point where you will proceed to the boarding tunnel. It leads you to the airplane. You will then use a jet bridge or go up some steps to board the plane. Once at the entrance, you will meet a cabin crew who will give you a warm greeting. They will also check your boarding pass and direct you to the seating area. Seats are identified using a combination of row numbers and seat letters. So, Seat 12 A is the 12th row and the most left sided seat as you face the front side of the plane.
Another important point to note while securing a seat, is the manner of carrying your bag. You should always carry them out in front of you but not over your shoulder. Otherwise, you will brush into the faces of other passengers already seated down. Thus, this is a sure way not to annoy or hurt other people.
Safety Demonstration and Briefing
Once everybody gets seated, the crew will announce that the doors have been closed. This is the time to ensure that you have switched off any electronic. You are supposed to place them in storage pouches and await further instructions. The safety briefing will start as the plane moves away from the boarding gate. This is a crucial stage being your first flight. Depending on the size of the plane, demonstration differs. But, it serves the sole purpose of your safety. For smaller planes, an aircrew will perform the demonstration. But, for larger planes, you will just watch a safety video. They will show you the exit doors. Also, they will show on how to put on an oxygen mask in case of depressurization. They will show you where to find and how to put on the life jackets. The demonstration also includes the fastening and unfastening the seat belts.
After the Plane has Taken – off
After the short safety demonstration flight crews will take their seats. When the aircraft gets into the air, you will experience some thud sounds. These shouldn’t scare you. These are just the sounds produced when the wheels are retracting. Once the plane reaches the cruising heights, everything normalizes. The attendants can now serve you some beverages and snacks. You will also hear more thudding sounds once the plane reaches the destination. Again the wheels produce the noise as they react with the landing path.
Once You Reach the Destination
No more worries as you are now familiar with some airport protocols. Once you are out of the plane, your luggage will again be thoroughly checked. Also, you will go through the immigration to have your passport stamped. You will see the airport exits. Go through them and start enjoying the new atmosphere.
Your first flight can be such an embarrassing situation if you don’t know what to expect. Thus, there is a great need to stay informed at all times. It is a noble idea to keep in touch with travel websites to learn more about various air travel policies and procedures