The holiday season is upon us!

You’ve been looking forward to this trip all year long. All the research, effort, and money spent has been in preparation for this. All for the glorious time you’re going to have on your next holiday.

 

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Fast forward to d-day, you’ve got your travel itinerary ready and your tickets on hand. What’s the next step? Immigration of course!

Depending on the airport you’re flying from, the immigration process can be a hassle at times. But not to worry, we’re here to let you in on our top-secret visa and immigration travel tips!

 

Be on Time

 

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We feel that this is one of the most logical and important things to put into practice. And yet, there are people who still miss their flights due to arriving late at the airport.

Now, we know that Murphy’s Law is a thing and there are many scenarios that could mess up your timing and cause you to be late. But it’s in your best interest to always keep these things in mind when you plan your journey. Traffic jams, long immigration queues, and security checks can be easily avoided by planning ahead.

 

arriving on time airport
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To that end, we’d recommend arriving at the airport at least 3 to 4 hours before your flight if you’re flying internationally. A 1-hour buffer should be sufficient if you fly domestic, but we’d propose arriving slightly earlier to account for any potential time-wasting issues that may arise.

 

Documents

 

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Before you think of going on your dream vacay, always ensure that your documents are up to date. We’re talking about passports, visas and even licenses. After all, you wouldn’t want to be denied permission to board, do you?

 

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Most importantly, passports should generally have at least six months of validity for international travel. This means your passport should at minimum expire six months after the final day of your trip.

 

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Likewise, do remember that you’ll need an advance travel visa when you travel to certain countries. We’d suggest getting all the documents in order ASAP since it could take time to obtain travel approval.

 

Do it Online

 

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It’s 2018, why are you still lining up to get your tickets printed out? Major airlines these days have the option for you to web check-in and to print your own flight tickets. They save some cash, and you save yourself a lot of time not waiting in line.

 

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The only reason we’d think that you’d need to line up is to check-in your oversized baggage. And even then, most airports are now equipped with self-check counters so you don’t necessarily have to queue that long.

 

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While we’re on the subject of doing it online, a lot of airports have also started to adopt the same mentality when it comes to travel visas. Do check and see if you need an advance travel visa to enter your destination. And always do a cursory search to see if you can apply for it online. This way, you’ll save a lot of time on the road down the line.

 

Clothing & Jewellery

 

wardrobe
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First rule of travel: Always wear comfy clothing!

You’ll be on a plane for hours, so it’s imperative that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. We suggest avoiding tight clothing and instead opt for airy attire for extra comfort.

 

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Please also remember to avoid wearing jewellery. You’ll be asked to take them off during security checks anyway, so you might as well just pack them if you really want to bring them along.

 

Immigration & Security

 

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After you’ve checked in and got your things in order, it’s time to go through the security check and then through immigration.

Firstly, make sure that all your important documents are in order and kept safely. Important documents such as passports, visas, plane tickets, and identity cards should be placed in a folder or envelop and kept with you. This’ll make it easier for you to produce said documents when you’re at the immigration counter later on.

 

At the Security Checkpoint

 

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If you’re a seasoned traveller, you’ll know the drill. Metallic accessories, phones and other electronics should be passed through the x-ray machine for checking. In some cases, the officers may request that you take off your shoes before you pass the detector. Just remember that you’ll only need to comply and you’ll be fine.

 

Carry-ons

 

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Always keep in mind luggage restrictions when you pack. Apart from exceeding the allowable weight limit for carry-ons, there are other restrictions you need to take note of. Restricted items such as agricultural produce (fruits), sharp objects (knives and scissors), and flammable liquids are some examples.

 

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Also, do note that liquids, gels or aerosols containers should not be more than 100ml in size. There is an exception for water bottles most of the time, but it has to be empty. So if you want to avoid chugging a bottle full of water at the security checkpoint, we’d suggest bringing an empty bottle through. Most departure halls will have water fountains to refill your water bottle anyway.

Carry-on tip: Always place your valuables in your hand luggage and secure it properly.

At the Immigration Counter

 

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Just remain calm.

Some people may feel nervous and intimidated in front of the immigration officer, but know that they’re just doing their job of keeping everyone safe. So unless you have something funny (or illegal) going on, there’s no need to worry.

 

immigration officer
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All you need to do is to answer the officer’s questions honestly if they happen to ask you. And if they ask for your documents for verification, just pass it to them. Easy as that.

If all goes well, you’ll pass immigration without much hassle. You can then head over to your gate, or if you have the time, explore a little.

Important note: NEVER EVER make jokes about bombs at the airport. Common sense, we know, but some people think they’re being funny when they say it. It causes unnecessary panic, and in some cases, it could actually be considered a criminal offence. So just don’t do it, alright?

Have Fun

 

Above all else, remember to have fun! Going through the motions of the check-in process can be stressful at times. Just remember that it’s the first step towards the start of your exciting travel experienceSo just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.