Wondering what are the tips, tricks, and travel hacks for first-time flyers? With everything that is going on around the world, many of us are considering leaving our homes temporarily and voyaging to unfamiliar places that will make us feel alive and excited about life. COVID-19 undoubtedly affected our lives and mental health, which is why there is no surprise why many are becoming more motivated to break free from their comfort zones and expose themselves to new places and experiences and connect with people. Are you one of those people craving some “me” time in a foreign land? Then this post is perfect for you!
The pandemic has been particularly harsh in the tourism and hospitality industry. Earlier this year, airlines specializing in international flights found themselves with no choice but to lay off thousands of their staff to make ends meet. In fact, recent reports are also suggesting that jobs related to this industry are already at their lowest levels in decades, and this is due to the fact that long-haul flights have been put on a halt since last year. Fortunately, COVID-19 vaccines are now available, and this is the game-changer that we’ve all been waiting for.
Today, numerous countries and airlines are holding campaigns and discounted flight prices, intending to get people interested in traveling once again. Perhaps, this is also why you landed on this post. You are probably a first-time flyer wondering if now is the best time to take your first trip internationally. Well, the truth is… there is no better time to travel than today! You see, most travelers will be surprised to know that round-trip tickets are now at their lowest prices ever! For instance, you can score a round-trip ticket to Tokyo from the U.S for as low as $173! On top of that, hotels prices are also at their all-time low prices!
Now, if you are interested in enjoying your first flight and snagging some major savings, read on below to learn more about our tips perfect for a first-time flyer like you.
How To Find The Best Deals For Booking Your Flight
Contrary to common belief, traveling does not have to be hard, and it is much easier than you think. You no longer have to ask some sketchy person out there to book your flights for you, as you can simply do that on your own within 10 minutes or less just by using your phone. Furthermore, by doing this on your own, you can explore different prices and promos and score the lowest-priced flights depending on the day you want to travel.
To avoid paying higher prices, take note of these 10 easy travel hacks for first-time flyers below.
- Plan ahead and learn to be flexible when choosing the date and time for your destination. Most airlines have lower prices for international flights if you will book at least 6 to 10 weeks before your desired travel date. Also, make sure to choose the flight time depending on your preference. Pay attention to flights scheduled at midnight as these are usually cheaper.
- If you are still stuck in the rut and unsure of where your next big trip will be, make sure that you download flight booking apps or websites so you can have easy access to cheap flights anywhere in the world. Depending on the platform you will use, a first-time traveler like you can set up a trigger notification that will let you know if a certain flight is within your budget. You can try out Kayak and Skyscanner to check for flight information and other stuff.
- Frequent travelers know that internet cookies can play a major role when it comes to booking your local or international flight. These cookies are trackers, which means that they can see the information you are searching for on their website, which is the reason why the prices are somewhat increasing every time you visit their site and search for the same information. As a rule of thumb, you can consider searching using the incognito mode so that the prices will be the same no matter how many times you check on something.
- Want to travel on a shoestring budget? You should consider booking flights on weekdays and avoid flights dates that will fall on a weekend or a public holiday.
- If you want to travel the way flight attendants do, then you should learn how to pack smartly and maximize the carry-on bag weight limit. Depending on the country and airlines you are flying with, you can consider not paying for checked luggage and simply using the carry-on baggage allowance. Usually, the total weight must not exceed 10 kgs which is totally enough, especially if you are just traveling for less than a week. If you are from the US, TSA’s rules suggest that there are also no weight restrictions so long as the baggage should not be larger than 22″ long, 14″ wide, and 9″ high (including handles and wheels).
- If you want a truly impressive long flight experience, there are travelers who say that connecting flights are much more enjoyable as this allows you to get to two countries in just one go. Depending on the place you will visit, there are some crazy flight booking deals that you can purchase if you go after flights with one or two stops in different countries. Some countries even allow first-time flyers to leave the transit area so long as they have enough time and a visa (when necessary).
- And since you are booking a flight, do remember that you must check your seat information in the boarding pass. If you want to ensure that you will get a window seat or aisle seat, it is recommended that you come to the airport early and check whether the airlines will ask you to pay extra before your check-in. If you also want your personal space in an economy flight, you may also pay to keep the middle seat empty so that you won’t be sitting next to a total stranger. This is a perfect approach given the pandemic.
- When getting your boarding pass for the first flight, always pay attention to last-minute announcements. More often than not, airlines will announce complimentary checked bags. This means that instead of just being able to put your things in the small luggage space at the overhead bin, you can safely have your items as checked luggage for free.
- Afraid of traveling alone? Check social media and popular websites like Groupon and Travelzoo to look for budget-friendly travel packages. Not only do travel groups know the best prices, but they can also arrange hotels, car rentals, and easy access to tickets to your desired places.
- In as much as we want to always save on our expenses for our first flight, do remember that safety is a must. With this being said, always tick on the travel insurance that is usually offered when you are booking a flight. Travel insurance ensures that old and first-time flyers are protected no matter the uncertainties.
How To Book Your Stay
Tired from a long-haul flight? Be worry-free as soon as you arrive by securing a place to stay right away.
For first-time flyers out there, we do understand that booking for the best hotel near some of the major airports can be tricky. As a responsible traveler, it is a must that you book your stay before you even touchdown the country in order to ensure that you will have a room and secure a price that is within your budget. Below are five major travel hacks by which you can score an inexpensive room for your stay.
- For first-time flyers with credit cards, do check whether your bank offers cashback when booking fares and hotels. If it does have rewards, you can definitely use the cards to book right away and earn some portion from it. However, di remember that you might incur foreign transaction fees.
- Sign up for loyalty or rewards programs offered by various booking websites. Websites like Agoda or Expedia can offer you certain perks and points which you can use the next time you book for a room. In addition, sites like these can help you compare prices and check your options.
- Aside from hotels, one budget-friendly way to score a room is by looking for a hostel. A hostel is like a dormitory which means that you might spend the night with other travelers and share the same amenities. The only downside is that you might not be able to fall asleep quickly if you happen to become roommates with someone who is a bit noisy.
- If your motivation for traveling is to get close to the locals, you might want to check out various websites that offer free accommodation in exchange for your help, time, and expertise. Some of the most recommended platforms include Couchsurfing, THS, and WWOOF.
- If you want to play the gambling game, then you might want to check out last-minute deals from Hotel Tonight. It is a search engine where you can check available rooms at this very minute at discounted prices.
Essential Travel Documents For All Travelers
Before you pack your carry-on and check luggage, it is important that you secure pertinent travel documents before your flight. Depending on the country you are visiting, processing these documents may take some time, so be sure to review the requirements first. After all, you do not want to be stopped by gate agents at the security checkpoint at the departure gate, right?
As a rule of thumb, do remember that every country has its own policies. What we will present here are the most common documents you must prepare so that you can contact the immigration officers with confidence.
- Travel insurance certificate
- Copies of your travel itinerary details
- A printed copy of the official receipt or confirmation for hotel booking
- COVID-19 health passport or certificate of vaccination
- Swab test results or any proof of negative COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before the flight.
- Driver’s license (especially if you plan to rent a car in your chosen country)
- Passport (not expiring in 6 months)
- Travel visa (if necessary)
- If you are importing personal medicine that is restricted in the country, be sure to bring a medical certificate for your medications from your doctor.
- Custody documents (if you are traveling with minors who are not your children)
- Bank details showing that you have enough money to cover your expenses for the stay
For processing the visa, please note that every consulate has its own processes. Some can process this within 1 to 3 business days, but there are also consulates that can take almost half a month. Also, be mindful of the fact that the term for the visa can be anywhere between 15 to 90 days, depending on the result of their evaluation. Below are a few tips and documents that you can prepare beforehand.
- Prepare for an interview with the visa assessor. Usually, they will ask about your intentions for flying out, and it is crucial that you do not give mixed signals when you answer them.
- Complete the visa application form
- If a family member invites you, you can ask them to become your guarantor and answer the consulate’s official invitation letter.
- Copies of your birth certificate
- A passport that is not expiring within the next 6 months
- A photo (depends on the specific sizes needed by the consulate)
- Proof of financial support/banking details
- Travel insurance
- Visa application fees
- Airplane tickets
How To Pack Smarter And Lighter
Have you ever wondered how flight attendants are able to fit everything in their miniature carry-on luggage pieces? The answer to that is that they try to maximize the space and make sure that they pack light in as much as they can.
Once you already have your visa and travel documents ready, another important thing that you should focus on before your take-off is your luggage. Of course, we all want to ensure a great flight experience which is why we highly recommend that you stick with the luggage policies of the airlines you are flying with. For instance, you must know the exact sizes that will fit in the checked baggage and overhead bin before you even arrive at the airport.
As you get your boarding pass, your baggage will undergo airport security and the weighing process. If the weight exceeds, you will have to pay an extra fee. If you plan to stay in the country for three days, you can also save tons by simply using a big backpack. By doing so, you can save on money and time as you no longer need to pay extra for the luggage space and line up at the baggage claim area once you arrive. Here are 5 more tips by which you first-time flyers can save on space for their flight.
- Tailor your attire to the itinerary you have prepared. If you plan to go on a lot of hiking adventures, then it would be wise to bring at least two shoes meant for the occasion. If you will visit conservative countries, adapt your wardrobe accordingly.
- Make use of every inch of space in your luggage. Instead of just adding shoes to your backpack, make sure to use the inside of the shoes to store some socks and other small items.
- Roll clothes to save space and think of outfits that have lighter fabrics.
- Size down your toiletry kit, especially if you booked a hotel that will provide the basics during your stay.
- Use travel vacuum seal storage bags to save even more space.
In Transit Tips For First-Time Flyers
Your first-time flying experience is truly something you will remember for the years to come. To ensure that you can get to your seat quickly and reach your destination without any hassle, it is advisable that you come to the airport at least two hours before the flight. This will give you enough time to find the right gate and check whether there will be a delay. If this is the first time you are setting foot at the airport, be sure to check the free airport maps which you can find at the entrance.
Below are some airport hacks which will be useful for your travel:
- Always eat before you enter the airport since the price of food inside can be pretty steep!
- Have your local currency exchanged outside than in the airport to get a better price value.
- Afraid of having a dead phone? Not all airplanes have sockets, so it would be wise to bring a portable battery charger just in case your phone’s juice starts to get low.
- If your flight is in the morning or in the afternoon, you can bring an eye mask so you can sleep. Most airlines also have this ready, so you can request one if needed.
- Avoid jet lag and make your sleep even comfier by bringing your own neck pillow and earplugs.
Sightseeing Travel Hacks For First-Time Flyers
Once you have reached your destination, the real fun begins! While preparing for your flight, there’s nothing more that we can recommend than binge-watching or studying about the country’s culture, traditions, and language. We are recommending this because there are countries and conservative societies which have very mixed perceptions regarding foreigners. To prevent rubbing off the wrong way, you must be on your best behavior, and you must learn how to read the air. Having knowledge of the basics such as these can help you connect deeply with the locals. Check out these 10 travel tips that you should take note of.
- Be open to conversations and greet the locals.
- Depending on the country where you will visit, it is important that you try to learn their language so you can get by easily.
- Download Google Lens so you can get instant translations
- Stay away from touristy places and go where the locals go.
- Stop converting the currency at the top of your head so that you can spend without any worries. Just try to be within your budget.
Where Are You Headed Next?
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn more about the genius ways by which you can prepare for your next adventure. At the end of the day, preparation is the key, and failure to do so can cause significant problems on your end. So, now the question is… where are you headed next? If you are still stuck on the rut and unsure of the best places to go, please do check out our previous posts below:
As we always recommend, traveling is always better if you understand everything that is going on around you, which is why learning the basics of the language spoken by the locals is necessary. If you are interested in learning about foreign languages, you better check out the Ling App by Simya Solutions.
The Ling App is a unique language learning platform that makes it easy for you to access lesson content for over 60+ languages! Thanks to its innovative features, you can start learning on the go for at least 10 minutes or less! In addition, all the lessons that you can find from the inside are developed in consultation with real native speakers, educators, and language professionals, who truly understand the language learning process.
On top of all that, the Ling App has a very flexible platform which you can access through this website or by downloading it to your mobile device. Given all the good things about it, there’s no surprise why it has attracted thousands of users and was even recognized by the App Store this year! So, what are you waiting for? Do not miss out on this epic application today and download it now for free!