First-time solo travelers have a lot of questions about a lot of things. Among them is at the start of the journey – The Airport. Here is what you do and not do when you reach the airport. Nervousness is apparent in a first-time solo traveler. Fumbling at the security or losing your cool might give you a bad experience before you even start your journey.
Solo Traveler – Getting Ready for Security Check
- Ladies do not wear `wire bra`. You will have to be pat down or get x-rayed, once you get the beep.
- Empty the water bottle. It is a big threat. You can always fill water once you are on the other side.
- You cannot take more than 100ml liquid through security. They will keep you deo, expensive perfume, tanning lotion, cream, hand lotion etc.
- Dress accordingly. You might have to take off your jackets, your shoes or even the wire bra.
- Get the tags on the bags. You get that where you get your boarding pass.
- Take a photo of your boarding pass.
- Carry a pen, you will be filling lot of forms on your journey. It will also help you to write directions.
Security Check at the Airport
- Most of the international airports will tell you to empty everything.
- Guys everything include the wallet, pen, change, keys and even the belt. Anything metallic will get you more time at the security check-in. Some airports will ask you to take out your sneakers too.
- You should be in your undergarments a T-shirt to cover and jeans. It needs to be in that order, choice of clothes I will leave it to you.
- Place your scarf, jacket, purse/wallet in the tray. If you are carrying a laptop, that will go on a separate tray.
- The only thing, which goes with you, is boarding pass and the passport.
- Except for your laptop and jacket, you can put all other stuff in your handbag.
At the Security Counter
- Once you see the officer waving, go through the metal detector.
- Keep the boarding pass and the passport at the table.
- Spread your legs and open up your arms.
Make sure you pick up your things at the other end.
Your Bag Need’s to be Checked Again!
- Do not panic, it might be that hand lotion.
- They will initially ask you what you have in your bag. Try to remember. If you are not able to answer satisfactorily, they will check your bag.
- Allow the officers to open your bag themselves. They do not want you to do it for them.
- Be very patient and cooperate, even if you are in a rush.
- Hurrying them will cost you more time and more questions.
- Answer all questions politely and firmly.
Have the above in your mind. These are airport rules and security protocols. It is to make your travel safe. Airports are usually big and these days they are silent. There are fewer or no announcements. So know which gate you have to go. It is better to ask the person who gave you the boarding pass. At other airports where the language is different, you might not get the right direction. However, most of the airports have good directions boards in English so follow them.
My first solo trip at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok – The immigration counter was so far I had to check three times weather I was going in the right direction. However, I followed the directions and made it.
Once through security, it is time for coffee and then Shopping.