Are you the type who mindlessly follow around your group when traveling? I am that too. I never had the need to think when traveling. I rely on my husband and just follow him around. LOL I had never traveled alone outside Cebu, moreso outside the Philippines, until I was asked to travel on business trip by the company I'm working with. This was on 2011. I was scared but gained confidence because of advices given by good friends. This post is my way of paying it forward.
What should you be mindful of especially when traveling alone? Here are some tips that helped me.
- Always check your airline website for your baggage allowances. Different airlines have different baggage requirement.
- Always do web check-in. Most airlines only allow web check-in 24 hours before your flight. Each flight needs 1 check-in. So for connecting flights, you need to web check-in all flights. By web check-in, you can choose your seat. This is especially helpful if you are traveling with a partner. That way, you can be sure you will be seated together. If you are the type who frequently visit the restroom, you may want to choose the aisle seat.
- 4-hour stop-over is enough for a gap to your next flight. Keep in mind that you need to undergo security check again. The line is always long. Enough time gap will also give you allowance just in case your previous flight gets delayed.
- Inside the airplane is really cold. Wear coat and socks.
- What made sleeping more comfortable for me was my neck pillow and eye patch. This is just a want, though. Most airlines provide a small pillow too.
- When you arrive at the airport, always change your watch to the local time. If you have an iPhone or an iPod Nano for a watch, the better. Change the Calendar Timezone and Phone's Date & Time setting in relation to the country you are in. You need to note we have different time in some countries in Asia and even state in America. The time of flight reflected in your ticket is based on local time. If you don't have an iPhone, you can change your watch manually. You just have to look for a clock at the airport to check the local time.
- For security check, you need to take off your belt, coat, and shoes. Therefore, when you can, don't wear a belt. Also, wear slip-on shoes, not the shoes with ribbons (liston in Bisaya).
- As part of security check, you also need to take out your laptop and other electronic devices such as iPad and tablets from your carry-on bag. They need to be placed in different trays.
- Do not rely on the gate number printed on your boarding pass. The gate always change. When you arrive at the airport, check the monitors for your gate number. Always verify. During my travel, my gate number changed twice.
- Some airports are really huge. Make sure that you find your gate first before buying food or roaming around the airport.
- Always be mindful of your belongings. Do not accept packages or favors from strangers.
- Always read and follow signs.
- When in doubt, ask airport personnel. Take note, "airport personnel". Do not ask just anyone.