FIRST TRAVEL ABROAD: What to do & What to Bring

PicsArt_04-19-01.50.02[1]If you’re Philippines Passport Holder and you will traveling outside the Philippines for the first time, here are the things you need to know before your trip. This is based on my personal experience. I was offloaded four times, so believed me I’m good with this. haha

Because it’s always traffic in Manila and it involves a lot of queuing so make sure you’re at the airport 2 to 4 hours before your flight. just in case of an emergency you have enough time to resolve it.



1. Pay the Travel Tax. The Travel Tax and Departure are included when you book ticket depends on where or what airline you bought it, so please check your ticket before going to the airport. If it is not included prepare P1,620 per person. You can also pay by credit cards/visa or master cards.

Based on my experience one of my travel I didn’t bring enough cash before I fly from my city thinking that I can withdraw in the airport. But that time all ATM’s are kinda offline or some system error for BDO card holder. I try to go directly to Travel Tax Booth hoping that my card will work, sadly it’s not working. I was hopeless because it was rush hour already and if I will go out from the airport to find BDO bank it’s impossible for me to go back before my flight due to traffic. I also try to ask money to some passengers if they have BDO account so I can transfer money through online banking immediately and in return, they will give me some cash, but my heart was broken because no one help me. To make it short, I realized that people are intoxicated with corruption and scam (Please allow me to be a bit exaggerated haha) It’s hard for them to trust people anymore. So, I decided not to fly that day. I feel very very bad. What I did is rebook my ticket for the next day. I do it online and it cost me a lot but that’s life and I learned that best if you prepared exact fee P1620 for travel tax and have some emergency cash.

2. Fill out a copy of your Departure Card. You will get it at the Check-in Counter or before Passport Control. Reminder! Bring your own Ball Pen and it can be nice to have 1 extra for the needy. Be a Hero. haha I always have ball pen in my bag but in some instance, my ball pen was lost so I try to borrow a pen from a lady and she makes a bitchy face (sorry for the word) then she told me “Hurry Up” with an eyebrow up. Therefore, if you don’t want to receive some bitterness, you must bring your own ball pen.

3. Check-In. Present the travel tax receipt, printed ticket, and passport to the check-in agent. You can drop off your luggage here and the agent will give you your Boarding Pass. Check carefully your name and flight number before leaving the counter.

4. Proceed to the immigration Booths/Passport Control. This part is quite exciting! haha Join the queue and hold your primary requirements like your departure card, roundtrip ticket, boarding pass, passport and make sure that you can easily get your supporting documents from your bag. They will be asking questions like where you going? How long will you be staying abroad? Where will you stay” If you have relatives or visiting friend? What are you going to do there? What’s your job? and etc. Because they know that it’s your first time to travel abroad so they will probably ask you to fill out a form and proceed to the interview area. I experience to talk with a different kind of immigration officials, who conduct the interview. they will ask you a question base to the information that you put in the form. You will be assessed based on the following criteria: Age, Educational Attainments, Financial Capability.

Answer it directly and be polite to them. They will ask you in many different ways but the same question so definitely have the same answer. This is easy if you will just tell them the truth. Less talk, less mistake.

If you want to avoid the hassle of getting asked too many questions and the stress that comes with it, better book in advance and prepare:

  • Visa(if applicable)
  • Round Trip Tickets
  • Hotel Accommodation
  • If you will be staying at relatives or friend’s house, ask if she/he can give you an invitation letter, passport copy of inviting person and anything that will prove your relationship like, Birth Certificate, Marriage Contract.
  • Bring all documents that will show that you’re financially capable to travel: DTI Business Registration Certificate(for self-employed), Company ID, Certificate of Employment (best if it indicates your salary and how long you have been with the company), copy of your latest Income Tax Return ITR, Credit cards, Bank Statement or passbook.

The key is to convince them that you’re going to tour or for vacation and not for work if you only apply for tourist. When you have done with the interview and they’re satisfied you need to go back to passport booth and then they will stamp on your passport. After that, you can proceed to the final security check. Well done!

5. Final Security Check. Remove all gadgets and metal items (including belts and coins) from your body. Take off your shoes only when instructed.

6. Boarding Gate. Check your boarding gate number on your boarding pass. You can see signs where to find the gate. There, you can relax and have some small shopping or a snack. You can also check your social accounts while waiting for boarding time since the airport have free wifi.

7. At the Plane. You can find on your boarding pass your assigned seat or you can try to ask assistance from flight attendant where you can find it. Listen to the instruction given by the attendant or pilot. Don’t sleep immediately. hahaha try to avoid some hassle, then if you need to fill out some form; do it first, so when you arrived and get off from a plane you can go directly to the passport control.

My first travel plan was Singapore, second is Vietnam, third is Hong Kong but they offloaded me and offloaded me again for a second time going to Hongkong. I never lose hope because it’s my dream to travel around, it just happened that as a first-time traveler I’m lack with information, lack of requirements and lots of egos. haha, I hope you learn from my mistakes. Always bring all requirements and photocopies as well as originals. Be inform and educate yourself about the pros and cons. Never lose hope and believe that you can and as long as your intention is good God will help and give it to you.




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