Tips for Flying Internationally
Here’s all the information you need for your global adventures – from booking, boarding and beyond.
Many of the travel tips mastered by frequent flyers when booking domestic travel can be applied when expanding your itinerary overseas. Make the jump from domestic to international travel with ease with our guide to conquering your next flight.
Timing and location are essential to scoring the best deal. Being flexible about what airports you fly in and out of and what days you plan to travel can save you some serious cash.
Ticket prices typically dip lower when you’re departing in the middle of the week. Plan to leave on a Tuesday or Wednesday to receive the best deal.
Your departure airport can also affect your final ticket price. Some of the busiest airports in the United States are also among the most expensive, including Newark Liberty, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Washington Dulles international airports. Weigh your options and consider driving a little farther to take advantage of the savings.
Skyscanner recommends booking your flight, no matter what day you’re departing, on a Monday to find more and better deals tend. Doing your research and knowing when to book for the best price are key to saving.
If you’re used to flying domestically, you know to arrive at least two hours before your scheduled departure. For international flights, you should be at the airport at least three hours before take-off.
Double-check to make sure there are no special requirements for check-in, as some airlines have minimum time constraints for how early you need to check in and be gate-side depending on the destination.
When it comes to stepping foot on the plane, many tips for flying domestically will apply: Dress in layers, bring an empty water bottle to fill at the airport and have plenty of your own in-flight entertainment.
Also, be prepared with all the necessary items before boarding. This means having not only important documents like your passport and visa in hand, but also vital survival tools like headphones and a sleeping mask at the ready.
Jet lag is almost inevitable when flying internationally. Be prepared by tapping into your body’s natural rhythm to help prevent some of that sluggish feeling.
Setting your watch or smartphone to match the time of your destination can help you mentally prepare. Adjusting your sleep schedule during your flight so you are awake during the “daytime” and asleep at “nighttime,” according to your new time zone, can also help.
Stretching and getting up to move around, when possible, will help you physically weather the flight, as will avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can make you feel jittery or dehydrated.
Taking your travels beyond the border can be a new and exciting adventure. And with a little research and planning, you can avoid unnecessary complications and fully immerse yourself in the experience.