Travel Tips and Guide for First Time Flying out of the Country

My Personal Experience in Riding a Plane for the first time

Travel Tips and Guide for First Time Flying out of the Country

“Don’t be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone. That’s where the joy and the adventure lie.”- Herbie Hancock

Welcome to my first ever blog site! Im Ann, full time working in a corporate world, a part time Real Estate agent and most of all hands-on full time mom of two wonderful kids (because I can bring my kids at work everyday).

Last December 2018, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go and visit the beautiful country of Malaysia. It was a 7 days sponsored trip (all FREE including round trip ticket and hotel accommodation) so I felt happy and very lucky.
But there is something that bothered me. It will be my first time riding on a plane and going out of our country alone. So I felt emotionally constrained. Anxiety and fear of the unknown got the best of me. I was torn between grabbing that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or staying in my comfort zone (that is continuing with my everyday usual stuffs) and just forget about the trip.

After days of meditating and deep thoughts, I decided to continue the trip and conquer my “fears of the unknown” . It is exciting and jittery thinking about the trip because I know it will be a great challenge for myself.
So in this blog I will be sharing with you my first hand experience going to NAIA Terminal 3 and flying on a plane.

I was booked for flight with Air Asia.
As first time flyer, I made sure that all the documents I will be needing are complete and very accessible to me. Noting down these tips maybe helpful to you.

TIP # 1
Prepare a checklist of the things you have to bring and will be needing at the airport. Check out my list below:
a. Passport – Put it in a nice envelope that it wont get dirty and the airport officers can see it easily.

b. Printed Ticket and Travel Itinerary – Print it in 3 copies so you have backup file in case of emergency. The other 2 copies you keep inside your luggage, one copy with you. You will be needing it to present many times at different counters in the airport. It is also helpful if you have a small notebook or you can input to your mobile phone’s memo app the important details of Your Flight and Hotel reservations so you wouldnt have to take out the paper all the time.

c. Company ID (if you are employed here) – so the immigration officers know that you will be coming back here in the Philippines to work. And they will not think of you seeking employment to the country you are going to.

d. Credit Card/ ATM Card – for emergency cash back up. And also some immigration officer asks it if you purchased your ticket online. Or if you will travel,they think of it as a proof of your financial credibility.

e. Hotel Address and Contact numbers – Immigration officer will ask this so it is better if you write it down in a small notebook or put it in your mobile phone’s memo app.
f. Bring your own pen – not all of the counters has a pen ready. And you can accomplish writing all forms if you have pen ready.

TIP #2
Pack your belongings ahead of time and follow
the required weight of your luggage. Make sure to spare some weigh and space for your “pasalubongs” when you get back. Make sure you follow your airlines policy of required luggage weight.

TIP # 3
Have your pocket money change into US dollars.

My Friendly advice: When you reached the country of your destination, do not go directly to Foreign Exchange counters inside the airport. Because they have lower rates than the Exchange counters you can find at the Main District or Foreign Exchange Outlets inside Malls.

TIP # 4
Go to the airport 2-3 hours ahead of your actual flight. So you can still prepare for any unexpected circumstance in the airport or you can lay back and relax waiting for your flight.

When you arrived in NAIA Terminal 3 here are the step-by-step guide you can check out:

STEP 1: Security Check gate and X ray Machine
Before entering the facility, prepare your passport and ticket. An officer will inspect these documents before you proceed to the x-ray machine. Make use of the porter services if you are carrying heavy or several bags.

STEP 2: Self Check In

If you are flying with Air Asia, you will find their “Self Check-in” kiosk near Security Check in. Just input your complete name and plane ticket info then you will get your Boarding Pass receipt from the kiosk

STEP 3: Pay Travel Tax

Proceed to the TIEZA counters just beside the check-in desks. This is where you pay travel tax amounting to PHP 1,620. You will have to show your passport and ticket to the officer. Keep the receipt as you will need this later on. Only passengers taking international flights have to complete this step.

STEP 4: Check in
If you are flying with Air Asia you will go to their Kiosk 2- Document Check

Present your passport, ticket, and travel tax receipts. This is where you should drop your check-in luggage. Usually, passengers have to check in at least an hour before their flight. International passengers may want to come earlier just to be safe.

STEP 5: Immigration
Yay this is where i get nervous.

Because some people i talked to told me that immigration officers sometimes denies entry even you have complete documents and valid reasons why you are going out of the country.

Before proceeding to the immigration counters, fill out a departure form. Head towards the Bureau of Immigration window with your passport, boarding pass, and departure card. Expect the officer to ask you questions related to your travel. This is why it’s also important to bring important travel documents with you. The office will stamp your passport once done.

STEP 6: Final Security Check

A final security check is required before you proceed to the boarding gate. Your hand-carry will be going through an x-ray and metal detector again.

STEP 7: Boarding (Yey!..finally)

Be attentive once you’re at the boarding gate. You will hear announcements regarding boardings as well as change of gates and boarding times. After your flight number is called, line up and prepare your boarding pass and passport.

It is a mixture of emotions when I stepped inside the plane. I can’t believe I’m really inside the actual plane. Because I just see it in movies. My anxiety began again because I’m afraid I might throw up or get dizzy, many things entered my thoughts.
As I reached my plane seat, I keep calm and just observe what other people do inside and listened to the flight attendant’s instructions. When the plane took off, I felt like I was punch in the stomach, and I felt like throwing up from nervousness and excitement.
But as I see the thick clouds outside the window I felt relaxed and happy. I cant believe Im seeing the clouds that close and I cant see roofs and top of buildings anymore. As the plane took off, I felt that my worries and fears of the unknown subsided and allowed myself to just doze off and enjoy the plane ride.
After 4 hrs, we reached Kuala Lumpur.

So here are the step-by-step guide when you arrive your destination.

STEP 1: Immigration

After deplaning, head towards the immigration counters and line up. Present your passport and customs form and have the form stamped.

STEP 2. Baggage Carousel

Head towards the ground floor to get your checked-in bags from the baggage carousel. The conveyor belts have labels showing your flight number.

STEP 3. Customs

Go to the customs counter after collecting your luggage. This is where you should submit your customs form. If you have nothing to declare, your bag doesn’t have to undergo inspection.

STEP 4: Exit

Head over to the passenger waiting area. You may also request porter services to help you with your things.

So this is how my on-hand experience for my first time going out of the country alone went out.

When I reached my destination, that is when I realized how strong and capable I am if I just believe in myself. Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t that bad. There is a wonderful feeling when you accomplished something. Don’t be afraid to take some risk, experience new things, explore and enjoy life.

Did you find my tips and guide helpful?

Just stay tune and I will be uploading soon my next blog about my crazy adventures in Malaysia! Thank you for reading! 🙂

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