How did I prepare for my first international travel? I booked my flight on February 2015 during the annual Travel Tour Expo. Since I have 5 months of preparation, I read travel blogs for travelers with no passport stamps yet. This was my first trip internationally and as I will be out of the country for more than a week alone, I expected that the immigration officers will ask many questions. Isama pa natin yung factor na solo female traveler ako. They can think na maghahanap ako ng work sa ibang bansa. HAHA. So if this will be your first time, just keep things calm.
Assure that you have these items handy or should I say you have these traits when on-board (masaklap ma-off load, teh!) :
- Passport. Make sure you the expiration of your passport is not less than 6 months before your flight.
- Hard copy of your flight itinerary. Make sure na may soft copy ka rin sa phone mo, just like screenshots or in your email. Immigration officers here and abroad are not so calm when a female solo traveler is at their front.
- Hard copy of your room bookings. Most of the time, they will ask where will you stay? How long?
- Cash or card. This was the time na I thought mao-offload ako, what I have is a prepaid credit card aside from the cash. The officer asked how much I have on this card, when I say the amount, she told parang kulang. So I said na I am backpacking, budget traveler lang po.
- Don’t be too too defensive or kabado sa immigration officers. Stay calm. Magta-travel ka lang naman.
- No to over packing. If you will travel for 5 days only, never pack for 2 weeks! Obviously, the Immigration might think that you will runaway. Laundry services are offered rin sa mga hostel or try to bring disposables rin like for underwear.
- For currency exchange, check your ForEx sites or kahit sa Google lang. There are currencies na mas mataas yung palitan for US Dollars specially if you are in Asia. Do the conversion but don’t overdo it. You will end up “praning” with your expenses. Just limit the things you REALLY have to buy.
I made an itinerary, but It was not really followed completely. In every travels, I will just list down what are the places I want to visit, how will I get there. I will make a timeline, yet hindi pa rin nasusunod. HAHA. My aim is always be, GO LANG NG GO. Just make sure na kaya mo. If itinerary is made, I based mine from the help of travelers who turned to be my friends na rin. First hand experiences are the best. If you have no clue yet, rely on the internet. Check the latest blogs. Trip Advisor is very useful rin.
For a young professional like me, vacation leaves can never be compromised. Gratefully, I have the best boss and teammates who are very supportive in every travels I booked. Work your ass off and definitely you deserve every day offs of your life.
Viola!!! My first stamps!