Travel Tips - Millennium Travels
Foreign travel is usually a very enjoyable and memorable experience, if planned & executed properly; otherwise it can cause considerable inconvenience & anxious moments. Hopefully, the tips below will help travellers, especially those going abroad for the first time, in making their trip more enjoyable
It should be valid for at least 6 months from the likely date of leaving India Also, it is advisable to keep expired with you while travelling abroad.If you do not possess a valid passport or if your old one has already expired, please immediately. In fact, you can apply for a new passport a year before expiry of the old one.
Please go through the last 3-4 pages of your passport and look for a stamp reading as 'Emigration Clearance Required, If the ‘Emigration Clearance Required stamp appears on the passport, immediate steps have to be taken to get it deleted.
Please plan you itinerary carefully and clearly specify the countries & cities you wish to visit, along with probable travel dates. Also, please specify your choice of the airline and indicate 2-3 alternate dates on which you wish to begin/end your travel. It is advisable to book a tentative return bate to avoid anxiety during your stay, if flights get full. This date can be changed later, subject to availability, at some extra cost. Please also specify your diet requests clearly while booking your tickets.
Please carry the negative and at least 5 photos with you in case required while abroad.
Indian travellers going abroad are entitled to foreign exchange equivalent to US 35000 once in a calendar year as BTQ (Basic Travel Quota).If you have travelled abroad earlier, please check the year of your last travel to know if you are entitled to get the foreign exchange,Those travelling abroad for business or attending seminars etc, can get foreign exchange equivalent to US$ 25,000 per trip called BTA ( Business Travel Allowance). It can be collected in US Dollar, UK Pound or Euro etc. depending on your choice. Usually, maximum US $ 500 or equivalent are given in cash while the balance must be collected in Travellers Cheques.
Visa formalities of each country takes considerable time & documentation and. therefore, it is necessary to plan this activity in time. Apart from the signed application form and required number of photographs, you have to submit the return air ticket and other documentary evidence (e.g. income lax & wealth tax challans, employment certificate, property papers etc.) to establish adequate reasons for returning to India,
Taking vaccination against yellow fever is essential before visiting any African & South American country, and not for any other countries.
It is advisable to buy a comprehensive insurance policy covering medical treatment & hospitalization, loss of passport, baggage & money. Policies for different coverage amounts & periods are available in India at a nominal premium. In case of a person over specified age, medical reports or examination may be required by the insurance company.
This can be useful and can be obtained from local RTO before your departure. The procedure is simple and costs Rs, 500.
While travelling to Europe or S. E. Asia, the maximum permissible weight of baggage Is 20 kgs for Economy class passengers, but there is no restriction on the size of the bags. However, while travelling to & from USA, you can carry maximum 2 bags with the total dimensions (L e. length +breadth+ height) not exceeding 62" for one bag and 55" for other, weighing not more than 32 kgs each. In addition, you can carry one hand bag or a brief case and a purse (for ladies) or laptop. As far as possible, please travel with bags which can be wheeled around since trolleys are often not available at airports and porterage charges can be heavy. Besides, excess baggage charges are rather high and have to be paid in foreign exchange once you leave India,
If you are travelling to Europe or USA or Japan during the months (i e. November to March) you must go prepared with heavy wooflen clothing Like overcoat, thick sweaters etc. Even in norv winter months, it Is advisable to carry light woollen clothing like a shawl, cardigan, scarf, gloves etc as the weather can be quite unpredictable Also, it Is useful to pack a pair of comfortable canvass shoes for walking. For visiting night clubs or entertainment shows, a format dress (i.&. suit, lie & shoes) Is essential for men while the ladies can be dressed in sarees
Please avoid carrying expensive jewellery, watches etc with you. However, if you must carry such items, please show these to the Customs officials at the airport and gat an endorsement on your passport to avoid payment of import duty on such items While returning to India.
Please carry adequate quantity of tea/ coffee/sugar/milk powder so that you can prepare your own tea or coffee in the morning, which is more convenient and economical as room service is very expensive in most hotels, AJso, it will bg useful lo carry a bottle of pickle and sealed packets of dry snacks like 'Khakra1, 'Matthi' etc. Please do not carry any plants or fruits with you as most countries do not permit such items to be brought inside. SMedicines : Please do pack medicines for general complaints like cold, cough, airsickness, stomach disorder etc, apart from those prescribed by your doctor for specific ailment, if any. In case of any serious ailment, it will be helpful lo keep with you a history card and prescription signed by your doctor.
It will be useful to carry small gadgets like electrical iron, tea kettle, immersion rod etc for using while travelling abroad. However, please remember that in USA the appliances operate at 120 volts and, therefore, it is necessary to carry a special adaptor for this purpose. However, this problem does not arise in Europe, S. E. Asia, Japan etc there the normal voltage is 220 volts. Please pack a water bottle if you need to drink water frequently while outdoors. In many restaurants only ice-water is served which many find difficult to drink,7Gifta & Souvenirs : It will be nice if you carry small gifts (e. g. handicraft items, tea packets, sandal-wood items, silk scarves, trinket jewellery, music cassettes etc) forgiving as a token of your appreciation,Photocopies of passport : Please make out at least 2 photocopies of your passport with (he visa and BTQ endorsements and keep one each in your bag or brief case. These photocopies will be useful in the rare event that your original passport is misplaced while you are abroad-
Please write your complete name & address in English on the stickers and stick them inside & outside your bags which are checked-in. It is also helpful to stick these on your hand baggage. .
Please leave copies of the it -itinerary and address list of hotels with your close friend or relative to facilitate their contacting you, if necessary.
Rules regarding hand baggage have become very strict owing to the security reasons. Hence, please do not pack any liquids, gels, aerosols etc in it. However, please pack a set of clothes, brush/toothpaste and medicine tablets in your hand bag, which might be required during long stop-over or if checked- in baggage gels misplaced,
Please avoid changing money at airports or hotels as the exchange rate is not very favourable in such places. It is better to check the prevailing exchange rates and commission charges with 2-3 banks or authorized money-changers and then convert the required money. If you are travelling from one country to another in quick succession, ii is prudent to estimate your requirement !or the local currency and convert only the bare minimum amount to avoid foreign exchange loss incurred in such conversions. Also, please ensure that all coins are used up in the respective countries as normally only paper notes are exchanged al the money-changers.
Persons over 65 years of age are treated with considerable respect in most foreign countries and special discounts or concessions are available to such tourists in buses, railways or attraction sties. Hence, please specifically ask for such concessions while travelling abroad, if you are over 65 years supported by a proof of your age.
Most sight-seeing attractions have a facility of wheel chairs at a nominal price. Wheel chairs are available free of cost at most airports and can be requested at the time of booking your ticket.
Generally, clean toilet facilities are available in public places like railway stations, bus stands, shopping complexes etc, In most places, a small charge or tip has to be paid for using the toilets. So, please keep some small coins handy.
While travelling in a non-English speaking country, please collect an address card in the local language from the hotel receptionist which can be shown in case you have a problem in locating your hotel.
In case your baggage gets delayed beyond specified period or misplaced, you are entitled to certain compensation from the airline. Please lodge the complaint immediately on arrival at the airport and complete the required procedure.
Please plan your shopping in such a way that you do not have to pay excess baggage charges which can be quite heavy Besides, often such heavy baggage is loaded into a separate flight, thus causing problems for Customs clearance at our airports.
At present, free allowance is Rs. 24,000 per adult and Rs. 12,000 per child below 12 years. Besides, 200 cigarettes and 2 litre of alcohol is permitted free of any duty. However, pooling of this free allowance for a family is not allowed. Excess duty has be paid at the airport in cash. If you do not have any dutiable items, you can walk through the Green Channel where the baggage is only screened and randomly checked. Otherwise, please go through the Red Channel and pay the due customs duty after proper assessment. Barring the unforeseen delay of baggage by the airline, please see that all your baggage accompanies you on the return flight.
Please retain the boarding passes of your incoming flight since the Immigration staff at the airport often ask for it.
Its very useful to have an international credit card which is often asked for security purposes or for collecting payments for extra checked-in bags, meals etc.
These days most airlines use self-help machines for check-in at the airports, where the process is also aided by their staff. It will be useful to get used to this system since thae manual help may not be available in future.