Crossing into another country’s border and getting to the airport and onto a plane can cause some people anxiety.
The border patrol agents and airport security guards are only trying to keep people safe and help traffic flow efficiently! They honestly don’t want to hassle you.
Here are a few tips to help your expedition go more smoothly
Planning and Documentation considerations
- Make sure your documentation matches. Names need to match on the ID and passport, etc.
- Do your research. Look at the applicabe websites. Know the regulations for the country or airline company.
- Some countries are strict about who enters their country, when it comes to criminal offenses, etc. Others are not as tolerant of personal beliefs or choices. For example, some countries expect women to dress modestly and others may shame gays, openly! Be aware of the customs where you are traveling.
- Create a journal.
Firearms and Pets
- Pets and firearms cause the most problems.
- Does your pet need to be quarantined in another country? What documentation will you need to travel?
- How does your firearm need to be shipped? Once, I was stuck in the middle of winter, in Fairbanks, Alaska with a firearm. My husband insisted I bring it home. The airport insisted that my box and locks were not sufficient for travel. It was a debacle! It was -10 degrees Fahrenheit, outside, with blowing snow. I am not exaggerating. Luckily, a solider, behind me in line, had a lock that met their criteria. I returned it to him when we landed. Bush plane rides bring you closer together! 🙂
Customs and Airline considerations
- Know how much stuff you can return with, on a plane, or when crossing the border in a car. For example, they always ask if we are carrying eggs and weird stuff!
At the Airport or at the Border crossing
- Be calm, collected, have all the documentation required, be ready.
- Keep the conversation short but be polite. There are other people waiting.
- Don’t wear your favorite marijuana t-shirt that day.
- Remove hats and sunglasses. They want to see your face.
- Large vehicles with lots of stuff will probably get searched at the border crossing.
- Take a few unopened snacks. Items purchased after passing through security, at the airport, is typically allowed on the plane, within moderation.
- Be patient and flexible during the peak season.
- Be courteous of other travelers. Don’t stop traffic to take a picture of the Canada sign… really?
Air Travel considerations
- Did you choose your plane seats? If not, you should call.
- What can you take as carry-on luggage? Is there an additional airline fee on luggage? How much more will additional fees be if any? Do you have children or a baby? Will the baby ride in your lap? I would recommend purchasing a seat and carrying a car-seat for a small child, turbulence can be dangerous, occasionally. However, some airlines will let babies ride in your lap. It is cheaper!
- Plan to wait if the weather is bad, or if you are traveling during the holiday season.
- Arrive early, better to be early.
- Use the restroom before boarding the plane.
- Planes take cash and credit cards now. You can purchase drinks, meals, WiFi, rent electronic devices, etc.
- Bring your own device with downloaded movies or music. WiFi can be patchy.
- Pack light, but take things that make you comfortable.
- Fly first class if you can afford it. It is much more comfortable.
- Bring the people you enjoy.
- Fasten your seat belt, and enjoy your escape!
Tips on How to Deal with Severe Travel Anxiety
If your anxiety is severe, it is highly recommended that you see a physician before your trip to discuss your concerns.
Your wellness and sanity, on a plane, or in another country, is super important for everyone around you!
This planet is such a beautiful place to explore. Get out there!