So, you are moving to the United States and need to make flight preparations! First of all congratulations and welcome to the USA. I am currently in the US. I came from Cebu City, Philippines.
Moving to America Flight Preparation:
- Ticket. When booking the ticket, make sure you have about 3-4 hours layover between a connecting flight and your port of entry. If there are any issues with immigration, three hours should be enough to work things out unless there are serious issues.
- Passport/Visa and gate passes. Make sure your visa documentation/paperwork is ready, it will DEFINITELY be checked. Always have your tickets and your passport readily available in your carry-on, in your pocket, in your purse. Where ever you keep it should be where you can quickly grab it and display it. It is always checked in every airport for you connecting flights.
- Comfortable clothes and shoes. Be aware of the weather of your final destination. America has areas as hot as Saudi Arabia and places as cold as parts of Europe. You should carry the appropriate clothes with you. In a connecting flight, you won’t be able to claim your luggage (with your clothes in it) until you reach your port of entry in the United States. If you are from a warm environment moving to a cold area, bring the thickest jacket that you have from your closet and wear a closed toe shoe. The weather is totally different in most states in the US. I understand that women including me wants to look good by wearing high heels shoes. However, wearing high heels stilettos and wedge won’t help during your travel. You will do a lot of walking through the airport so forget it.
- Gadgets. You can bring your mobile, laptop, tablets in your hand carry. Well for me it is very important. Time will pass by quickly if you are busy playing Candy Crush while waiting for your next flight 🙂 Some gadgets will have to be taken out during security checks (usually just laptops).
- Toiletries. For women who are travelling, a long flight is so uncomfortable and inconvenient. In your hand carry, bring a small pouch for your perfume/cologne, make up kit, tissue/baby wipes, hand sanitizer and other stuff that you can’t live without 🙂 . Ensure each bottle you are bringing should contain 100 ml or less. Bigger bottles are not allowed even if they are containing less than its size.
- Prescription. If you have an important prescription medication, make sure you have enough to last the entire flight.
- Food. A small pack of snack will really help while waiting for your next flight. After passing through the security, buy a small bottle of water. You also want to buy a packed meal to bring with you just in case you don’t like the food that they serve in the plane.
- Cash. Bring some cash. Remember some airports may not have conveniently located ATM machines, some ATMs may not take your card so you may need cash. Calculate how much you will need and adjust for the cost of the exchange rate. Also, consider certain terminal fees, for example, if you are coming out of the Philippines, you have to pay P1600.00 for your travel tax. All Filipinos who leave the country have to pay travel tax. No exceptions. You may have different fees for your country.
My personal experience moving to America:
Arrival Date: September 27, 2014
Article date: Oct 2014
On my travel day, I had 3 connecting flights to Colorado. It was tiring. I’ve learned my lesson. You have to thoroughly scan everything from your ticket, pdos sticker (philippines), passport, important files and some cash while travelling. Everything is new, every airport in each state is different, currency changes per country, and people you meet are in a huge variety of races. Everything was a rush in the airport. You have to be physically and mentally prepared during your day of travel or it can get very exhausting. You have to be flexible and adaptable to be in a totally different environment so you won’t get stressed out. The travel took 24 hours for me because I missed my flight after the port of entry. It was hard and my butt was hurting from the very long travel.
Some people immigrate to US with the idea of finding the “American Dream”. Though it was never my personal goal to move to America (I come here only to be with my husband), I can definitely see why many people move here. There is a level of opportunity, convenience, comfort and freedom that many American citizens take completely for granted. I hear many American complaining about “first world problems.” Not everyone has it good here, but most have no idea what real poverty and real corruption is. From the outside looking in I would say there is still an American dream, but its only for those who work hard, dream big, and don’t give up.
What many outside the US do not realize is how each state is very different: Different laws, different weather, different attitudes, different lifestyles. Your experience in Hawaii, for example, will be very different than your experience in New York.
To people who are also moving to USA, goodluck guyzzz 🙂 and have a safe trip!