Travel is an addiction to some while for some it is part of their work which they enjoy because that’s what they love to (like me). Travel abroad needs to be a bit planned starting from packing, things to be taken(should not be taken), documents etc. I have seen many people questioning about flight booking while planning international travel. Let’s start with the most common destination where almost everyone has to travel for work, USA. Everyone dreams to travel USA to visit Newyork, taking a picture near Statue of Liberty or walking in the streets of Manhattan, watching one of those shows in Broadway and lastly working at the office there
Planning Air Travel :
There are plenty of options even though there are only fewer options where you get a direct flight. So there are direct flights to some of the major airports in USA from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. These are the long haul (16hr) flights which will take you straight to one of the cities in USA. These are good, but a bit costly when compared to other options where you have to take a transit via one of the Airports in Europe or Middle East.
I don’t like taking a long haul flight, while I prefer a stop-over whenever I fly to USA. Some options from Delhi are Delhi – London – USA (airport), Delhi – Paris- USA, Delhi- Frankfurt- USA, Delhi-Amsterdam-USA, Delhi-Helsinki-USA etc. These are flights which will split your journey into two parts where each part will be approximately 8-9hrs flight when compared to the straight one. If you look for a perfect transit time anytime from 2hrs is good, this will let you have a smooth Security check-in at the transit airport and refresh a bit before boarding the next flight. I personally prefer this.
Then there are flights from middle east which are not short one’s, but supposed to be best from comfort point. Etihad & Emirates offer plenty of leg space even in Economy while other flights through Europe doesn’t have the same amount of leg space. If you are looking for a 16hr long flight, you should make sure there is enough leg space which means atleast Economy comfort seats should be chosen.
Most of the flights allow 1 carry-on baggage which can weigh 10kg max(cabin specific size), 1 laptop bag/ladies handbag, 1 Checked-in (luggage) bag which weighs approximately 23kgs free with the ticket. Then there are some like AirIndia which lets you carry everything written above + another checked-in bag for free. It’s better to check these details while booking the tickets, else you will end up payinf around $100 for an extra checked-in bag.Also, make sure to keep your bags under or upto the stipulated weight else the airlines will charge you for extra baggage which will be based on weight and distance to be covered. So pack smart.
While travelling, I make it a point to carry one handbag along with my laptop bag. I pack some essentials like a pair of formals, casuals, inner’s and all documents, costly stuff (watches, camera etc) in this. This is always good since there is a chance to loose baggage in stop-over/transit flights, also if needed you can freshen up at the transit airport. No food items, oil or liquid (10ml is allowed) item can be carried in this bag. Check here for what you should carry & what you shouldn’t in a hand baggage.
While booking air tickets, try to choose the food you want. Vegetarians, do this without fail since most airlines serve non-veg food as standard & vegetarian food as ‘Special Meal’. Non-Vegetarians can ask for what meat is available and choose according to that. One mistake which most of us do is carry food items in our checked-in baggage.
You are not allowed to carry plants, seeds or fruits or even meat to USA. Make sure you are not carrying these; Check here else, once you enter USA they will scan your bag and remove the food item along with a fine and a lecture why you shouldn’t be bringing any.Now I know many of you will say we have done this and no one caught us, but why to break the rule when you can travel smart and be good. In fact, you get all Indian food items in USA at a reasonable price, so why take the risk?
For travelling to USA, you should be having a valid VISA first. You can check for the available options and which visa would suits you. I hope these travel tips help you. Also, make sure you reach the airport 3hrs prior to departure of the flight to make sure you have an easy check-in process.
Also, Keep your documents handy, in your hand baggage as you require this during security check-in as well as the Immigration interview. All necessary travel documents should be handy with you when you travel. A good headset (one with noise cancellation), some books to read is always a good travel partner. Most flights have some good in-flight entertainment system with lots of movies and series which can make your travel memorable.
Last but not the least, Medical Check-up before travel and a travel insurance are required. First one will decide whether you are fit for the travel while the second one will help you in case if you lose your baggage or when the occurrence of some unforeseen incidents. Who doesn’t like to see and feel some awesome stuff which you get to see and feel only when you do an air travel.