How to Prepare For Your First International Flight

Written by: Susan Hang


If you’re like me and haven’t experienced the luxury of abroad travels, the thought of doing so might seem more than just a little frightening.

Preceding Zanita Studio, cities like Paris, Sydney, and even frequenting New York City seemed to exist only in my dreams and to think now that in just a few more days, I’ll be jetting off and loafing in some apartment in the gist of Paris is quite heart stopping. I can’t even fathom the thrill, the adrenaline that will keep me well wired through the exhausting timezone shifts. But let’s not get carried away here, I haven’t even completed the obligatory prep work to guarantee a harmonious journey. Aside from my inability to enunciate the most basic French phrases (minus Parlez-vous Anglais) and the American-grieving Parisian horror stories, there’s so much more to consider that I’d rather not suddenly realize in the afterthought. I’m winging this in the process, but I’m sure it’ll still be helpful to you in arranging your first international flight.


– Passport/ID

As much of a no-brainer as this sounds, first things first, you need a passport! With all the petrifying pickpocket stories I’ve noted to date, I’m keeping my card pile to a minimum. This means I’m forgoing my driver’s license entirely because I have no intentions to drive. The passport itself will serve as a valid form of ID.

– Money

You should be safe with any major credit card like a Visa or MasterCard; I know Visa is good in France (because my brother told me so), but this information is easily accessible. You should also check your credit card company’s foreign transaction fee policy and notify them of your travels so they don’t suspect fraud when they see a charge transpiring on the wayside of the world. And make sure you have a large enough balance for emergencies in case shit happens.

Currency conversion is another topic of concern, but in any case where I might need cash, I’m just going to pull it from an ATM at the destination. Apparently, it does the conversion for you. You should really consider cash if your trip is totally spontaneous, but being that I have family in Paris, I’m not that concerned as you can probably tell.

– Your phone

You’re open to use wifi wherever so an international data plan isn’t absolutely essential, but since I’m feeling pretty nervous and paranoid about everything, I’m getting one before I head out – playing it safe if I happen to get stranded somewhere and need massive help.

– Timezone accommodations

With Europe 6 hours ahead of the U.S., I plan on sleeping amongst the clouds so I can hopefully arrive energized by the time I get off the plane. But as I mentioned above, I don’t foresee this being an issue as I’m sure the excitement won’t subside until I’m en route back home. Then comes the real jet lag. It’s just something to consider depending on where you’re headed.

– Location, location

We learn from domestic travels that everything bodes well when you know exactly where you’re going so I’m just going to apply this to my international destination for a minute here – you’re better off knowing where you’re going. Get those addresses in place. Mine have been long shot and saved on my phone.

Anything I might have left out that you can shed some light on? I’ll take it!

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The Unexpected Price of Travelling
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