TRAVEL TIPS

PASSPORT VALIDITY

Check your passport expiration; you may be denied entry into certain countries if your passport is due for a renewal within six months of your return travel date. Also check that you have sufficient blank pages in the passport booklet before booking.

ADVANCE BOOKINGS

Booking well in advance always has its benefits, especially during peak season, for accommodations, popular restaurants, major sights, and local guides.

DEBIT/CREDIT CARDS

Call your bank to check if your cards are valid in the countries you are visiting. Let them know the countries you’ll be visiting, to ask about fees, and more. Get your bank’s emergency phone numbers to call if you have any emergency. Make a note of your PIN number or get it activated before you leave.

Before you travel overseas, call your bank and credit card providers to let them know where you’ll be; if the companies see foreign charges with no notice that you’re abroad, they might freeze your cards, which can be quite annoying if you’re in a shop or trying to pay for dinner. Before you travel internationally, be aware of the exchange rate and know how much things generally cost wherever you’re going so that you get some sense of how much you’re going to spend. If you want to get traveler’s checks, feel free to do so, but know that they are not widely accepted and are exchanged at a less favorable rate than the one you’ll find at an ATM, no matter where you are in the world.

OVERSEAS TRAVEL INSURANCE

Don’t forget to buy a travel insurance policy having enough cover to protect you against any unforeseen risks. Ensure that your passport & baggage loss is covered apart from third party liabilities One usually travels abroad for two reasons- a pleasure trip or a business trip. You do not want anything to ruin your hard earned holiday or your crucial business meeting. But there is a possibility of some unexpected occurrence no matter how perfect the planning is. Unfortunate events such as baggage loss, passport loss, a medical emergency or an accident can affect you. Having International Travel Insurance protects you from all such perils. It ensures that in the unknown foreign land you are not left stranded in any kind of an emergency.

KIDS TRAVELLING

If you’re bringing the kids, make sure you have the right paperwork, including a passport for each, a letter of consent if only one parent is traveling, and documentation for adopted children.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

Don’t forget to photocopy all important travel documents as a back-up. It’s a great idea to keep photocopies of your passport and visa pages as well.

Don’t miss out to handover one copy of your travel itinerary and hotel contact details to your family or friends.

RAIL PASSES

If you’re planning to buy a rail pass, you’ll need to buy it before you depart from your home country. Booking your train seat will let you travel with a peace of mind without hassle.

Look for local flight options if you have long distances to travel within any country. Booking them in advance will help you get the best fares and save money. Check the options online as well.

SELF-DRIVE CAR RENTAL

If you’ll be renting a car, you’ll need a valid driver’s license. An International Driving Permit is technically required in most of the countries. The international road trip of your dreams isn’t going to happen unless you plan correctly. That’s because it’s illegal to drive without a valid driver’s license and insurance in most countries. It’s also smart to familiarize yourself with local driving laws wherever you plan to drive.

INTERNATIONAL CALLING

Don’t forget to contact your mobile phone service provider to enable international calling on you number. Consider signing up for an international calling, text, and/or data plan, and be sure to confirm voice- and data-roaming fees. Its better to carry an international calling card which can work out far more economical than your permanent service providers. Many service providers offer prepaid cards on arrival at the airport.

PLANNING LOCAL TRAVEL

Download any apps you might want to use on the road, such as translators, maps, and transit schedules. Plan your routes in advance instead of spending last minute effort to put your travel plans in order.

MEDICINES

It’s always advisable to take care of any medical needs. If required, visit your doctor to get a basic checkup done, and see your dentist if you have any work that needs to be done. If you use prescription drugs, stock up before your trip.

HOUSEHOLD NEEDS

Attend to your household needs. Cancel your newspapers, hold your mail delivery, and prepay your bills.

CARRYING VALUABLES

Make a list of valuables that you’re bringing (such as electronics). Include serial numbers, makes, and models, and take photos of your items to serve as a record for the police and your insurance company should anything be stolen.

Other than the necessary electronics, don’t bring valuables with you. Expensive jewelry could attract thieves who are experts at targeting tourists. If you do bring valuables, always travel with them in your carry-on, and keep them locked up in the hotel safe. Before you leave, empty your wallet of unnecessary items, such as credit cards that you don’t plan to use on your trip.

If you wear prescription glasses, pack an extra pair. Use closed baggage tags to label each bag. Put your name, address and phone number both inside and outside your luggage.

HANDLING JET LAG

Leave home well rested. Flying halfway around the world is stressful. Plan from the start as if you’re leaving two days before you really are. Keep that last 48-hour period sacred (apart from your normal work schedule), even if it means being hectic before your false departure date. Then you have two orderly, peaceful days after you’ve packed so that you are physically ready to fly. Use the flight to rest and reset. With a few hours of sleep during the flight, you’ll be good the day you land. When the pilot announces the landing and the local time, reset your mind along with your wristwatch. Don’t keep reminding yourself what time it is back home. On arrival, stay awake until an early local bedtime. Your body may beg for sleep, but stand firm. Force your body’s transition to the local time. The best prescription is to leave home unfrazzled, minimize jet lag’s symptoms, force yourself into local time, and give yourself a chance to enjoy your trip from the moment you step off the plane.

ELECTRONICS

Electrical outlets are different all over the world, so you’ll need to have adapters that allow your devices to plug into foreign sockets. Your best bet is to buy an adapter with different settings that adjust to most outlets, so you only have to worry about one adapter instead of one per country. You also need to check the strength of the electrical current wherever you’re going and make sure your devices are compatible—cell phones and computers often are. If you have a device that’s not compatible with a higher or lower current, then you’ll need to buy a transformer or leave that gadget at home. Finally, if you don’t own them already, it’s worth investing in portable phone chargers and/or spare batteries that can be charged and swapped into phones, cameras, and other electronics so that you can stay fully charged while you’re on the go.

AIRPORT CHECK-IN

Check - in counters for all airlines generally open 4 (four) hours prior to scheduled time of departure (STD) and close 1 (one) hour prior to STD. However the check - in time frame may vary from airline to airline; hence we recommend that you check with the respective airline prior to your arrival at the airport.

SELF-CHECK-IN KIOSK

In addition to airline check-in counters, you could also utilize the self-check-in facility available in the Departure hall. You could select seats and print your boarding pass, post which, simply drop your check in baggage at the baggage drop counter of respective airlines. Please ensure you obtain your respective airline stamps on the boarding passes prior to entering security.

AIRLINE BAGGAGE POLICY

It’s always recommended to check the latest airline security measures and baggage policy before you start packing. Because airline carry-on restrictions are always changing, it will help you to clear security checks without spending too much time.

CABIN BAGGAGE

The standard guidelines permit only one piece of cabin baggage on board weighing not more than 7 kgs. You may take additional items in the cabin (subject to security regulations):

  • An overcoat wrap or blanket
  • A ladies handbag, ladies pocketbook or ladies purse
  • A reasonable amount of reading material
  • Infant's carrying basket
  • Infant food for consumption on the flight
  • A Laptop
CHECK-IN BAGGAGE:

As per standard guidelines, passengers are permitted to carry 15 kgs /30 kgs baggage when they travel on a domestic or international sector respectively.

The cabin/check - in baggage allowance may vary from airline to airline; hence we recommend that you consult the concerned airline for more information.

Passengers shall ensure that they do not carry any prohibited items in their check in or cabin baggage To protect you from the threat of liquid explosives, there are rules for taking liquids, aerosols and gels on flights:

  • Liquid, aerosol or gel products must be in containers of 100 millilitres or less.
  • The containers must be carried in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag. Only one bag is allowed for each passenger.
  • Containers larger than 100 millilitres, even if only partially-filled, will not be allowed through the security screening point.
IMMIGRATION PROCESS

Immigration check is done for all passengers, Indians or foreigners, both at the time of arrival and departure. The passports are duly stamped at arrival as well as departure. Passengers should be careful to see that their passports are duly stamped before leaving the immigration counter.

All passengers, Foreigners as well as Indians, coming to India or departing from India are required to fill-up D (Disembarkation) Card and E (Embarkation) Cards on arrival and departure respectively. The following information is required to be provided by the passengers in these cards:

  • Name and Sex.
  • Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Nationality.
  • Passport details viz. number, place and dates of issue/expiry.
  • Visa details viz. number, place and dates of issue/expiry (for arriving foreigners only)
  • Address in India.
  • Flight number and date of arrival/departure.
  • Occupation.
ON THE AIRPLANE
SAFETY BRIEFING

Always listen to the pre-flight safety briefing because every aircraft has different standards. Take the passenger safety card in the seat pocket in front of you and follow along while you listen to the safety briefing.

Make a mental plan of action in case of emergency. If you have any questions about the safety procedures, ask the flight attendant.

Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times. Make sure your seat belt is secured snugly and low across the hips. This provides the extra protection you might need if the plane hits unexpected turbulence. [Turbulence is an air movement that can be created by atmospheric conditions, including mountain waves or thunderstorms.]

Air turbulence tragedy may be extremely rare but like they say “precaution is better than cure”. So try to keep your seat belts on, even if the seat belt sign is not on.

EMERGENCY EXITS

Once you reach your seat, locate the closest emergency exit in front and behind you. The location of the emergency exits in relation to your seat differs depending on the particular aircraft you are flying on.

Take note of the seat rows to reach those emergency exits. In the unlikely event of an emergency this will be very helpful for you to follow the instructions of the flight attendants and flight crew and exit the aircraft as quickly as possible.

FLOTATION DEVICES

Life vests (under seat) and some seat cushions can be used as flotation devices. You need to know how to use your life jacket and where they are located, even if it seems like you are only flying over land.

DECOMPRESSION

Pull oxygen mask towards you to start oxygen flow, in case of emergency. You will receive the necessary instructions from your air hostess / flight attendant.

Put your own mask first. Help children and others with their masks only after yours is secure. This will decrease the risk of you passing out before being able to help your children or other passengers.

FIRE OR SMOKE

Move away from fire and smoke. Stay low. The air is clearer close to the floor. If possible, use wet napkin or handkerchief over nose and mouth. The flight crew will guide you on the proper procedures to evacuation.

ALCOHOL

The atmosphere in a commercial jet cabin is pressurized to 8,000 feet above sea level. Less oxygen is absorbed into the blood and circulated throughout the body due to a decrease in air density with increased cruising altitudes that can reach upwards of 40,000 feet. Therefore, any alcohol you consume will affect you more noticeably than when consumed on the ground-level.

CABIN AIR

The cabin air system in most jetliners is designed to provide a safe and comfortable cabin environment. Air supplied into the cabin is at least 50 per cent fresh air brought in from outside the aircraft while the balance is mixed with highly filtered air from the passenger cabin. The air is conditioned for temperature and humidity before entering the aircraft cabin.

CELL PHONES, RADIOS AND LAPTOPS

Cell phones, Radios, Laptops and other personal electronic devices have been banned for air-borne use because the signals could interfere with critical aircraft navigational system. However, the most recent satellite technologies have made it possible for Wireless Connectivity even while air-borne. Kindly contact your Airline to find more details on the usage of electronic devices on board. Skyphone facility is available in all major Airlines.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

In connection with private visits abroad, viz., for tourism purposes, etc., foreign exchange up to US$10,000, in any one calendar year may be obtained from an authorised dealer. The ceiling of US$10,000 is applicable in aggregate and foreign exchange may be obtained for one or more than one visits provided the aggregate foreign exchange availed of in one calendar year does not exceed the prescribed ceiling of US$10,000 {The facility was earlier called B.T.Q or F.T.S.}. This US$10,000 (BTQ) can be availed of by a person alongwith foreign exchange for travel abroad for any purpose, including for employment or immigration or studies. However, no foreign exchange is available for visit to Nepal and/or Bhutan for any purpose.

Travellers are allowed to purchase foreign currency notes/coins only up to US$ 2000. Balance amount can be taken in the form of traveller’s cheque or banker’s draft.

The foreign exchange acquired for any purpose has to be used within 60 days of purchase. In case it is not possible to use the foreign exchange within the period of 60 days it should be surrendered to an authorised dealer.

Foreign exchange for travel abroad can be purchased from banks against rupee payment in cash up to Rs.50,000/-. However, if the rupee equivalent exceeds Rs.50,000/-, the entire payment should be made by way of a crossed cheque/banker’s cheque/pay order/demand draft only.

On return from a foreign trip travellers are required to surrender unspent foreign exchange held in the form of currency notes within 90days and travellers’ cheques within 180 days of return. However, they are free to retain foreign exchange upto US$2,000, in form of foreign currency notes or TCs for future use.

A person going out of India can take out with him Indian currency notes within the limits given below:

  • (a) upto Rs.5000 to any country other than Nepal or Bhutan, and
  • (b) any amount in denomination not exceeding Rs.100 to Nepal or Bhutan.



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