What To Bring Or Not To Bring If You Are Going To Live Overseas

  • First of all make sure you know what weight you could bring with you.  In your carry-on bag (which shouldn't be too big you may want to put the heavier things like books and electronics. Tour offices do get confused and say the wrong amount of Kg. Do remind them that your final destination is, for ex. Hong Kong and not USA (which may be your first stop). This is important because each country has different weight restrictions. If you want to be doubly sure call the airline of your final destination and if there is a contradiction state it (to both the airline and your travel agent).
  • Bring 2-3 plastic bags to put on your carry-on luggage—you’ll see why later.
  •  Bring food items such as sauces you may not find in your destination—or at least the ingredients.
  • With liquids or anything not solid, tape the lid/cover well and carefully. Remember that during a flight everything in your luggage will face extreme differences in temperature (from +30 to -40) and large differences in pressure (things will expand and shrink). And they will get bumped around and moved a lot. A pack of potato chips for ex. will explode and burst open the minute it hits 2000 ft. What this also means is that should you take with you a sauce and place it in a jar make sure the sauce fills the jar to the top since air in it will expand more than the sauce.
  • If clothing is cheaper in your destination then where you come from do not feel a need to bring your entire closet with you.
  • When you pack use socks and underwear to fill in the holes of your shoes (where your foot goes into). This way you save space and keep your shoes in shape for the long trip.
  • Pack heavy things on the bottom—wherever the bottom may be depending on how you’ll be carrying your suitcases. And it’s a good idea to write a list of all that you’re packing: 6 socks, 14 boxers, 2 shirts etc.
  • Start packing about a week b4 you leave. A week? Why?  Because during that week you’ll find yourself possibly wanting to add things and having no space or weight left. So be ready to pack and unpack a few times. I truly recommend this –and if you do add things do remember to add them to your lists (suitcase 1 and 2). A list is also good so you could visually see what you have and may have forgotten (another reason why a week before is a good idea).
  • Books are heavy but you may want to bring some since at first you may be bored and you may not find anything in your language (English is a huge exception in many places but this is more so in larger cities only.).
  • Do bring about 12 photos of family and those you consider close. You’ll find you’ll want to see them from time to time and you’ll want to show them to your new friends and co-workers.
  • Herbs and spices: You may no longer be surrounded with familiar foods and smells. You’ll soon enough be fed up of eating out and you will want home cooked meals; besides writing down some recipes from your mom, you may also want to bring herbs and spices. 
  • Give telephone numbers, emails and other info to your family (of people you may know of in advance) and write these down for yourself as well). Let family know the time difference should they want to call you (you don’t want to be woken up at 4:00 AM now do you?)
If the country you are going speaks a different language tell your contacts at home that when they call, if they hear words spoken in a language they don’t understand, they should hang up since it may be an operator saying the line is busy or something.
  • Do you like cheese? If yes, then do bring some since your favorite cheese may be non-existent.  If you decide to bring cheese have it vacuumed sealed. If you can’t do that then 1st wrap it up in newspaper than tape it, then cover it with aluminum foil and than a plastic bag. Tie it, twist it around and add another plastic bag and repeat for 4 bags, then tape it.  The newspaper is to absorb the condensation of the cheese; the foil and plastic bags are for making sure the smell, not even a little, escapes your bag. The same goes for any salami or similar stuff. BTW this, in theory is only legal if you bought it properly sealed at the airport duty-free (hence the vacuum sealing). What makes your s different? I don’t know. The customs form may also ask you, if you have or have had this or that disease. Answer no to all of them. If you have had something then take care of it later through the proper authorities.
  • Put on the top of your luggage things that you think may not be absolutely necessary, like for example a towel, this way it will be easy to remove should you have too much weight. (So do weigh your luggage @ home b4 departure). If you find yourself with a weight problem, be polite and beg to the person—tell them about your long trip; tell them you’ll be going away for a long time—or be ready to pay for the extra weight OR give it to whomever took you to the airport. Remember you can always take some heavy stuff away from your suitcase and change it with stuff on your carry-on.
Do not have anywhere on your body or your carry on anything that cuts, a small knife, a razor or anything like that—this you should already know.

About the plane:
  • Do go to the airport early — I'd say about 3 hours b4 flight time or a little more. When it's your turn to get your boarding pass (unless you’re flying business or 1st class) ask for the emergency exit seat—much more leg room. The disadvantage of this is that the seat handles don’t go up.  This (choosing the right seat) is mainly true for the longer leg of your trip. If, for example, you are doing Ottawa-Montreal-Montreal-Hong Kong do not worry about the seats for your 1st plane.
  • Ask for a window seat since (a) you'll be able to see the view and (b) you'll have a place to rest your head. If you're switching planes make sure you get this for all your airplanes. The disadvantage to this is you'll have to inconvenience people every time you want to get up—hence some people prefer the isle.
  • Once you get on the plane, and your seat, immediately head for the back and front of the plane—1st on one isle than on the other. There should be 4 to 6 places near the bathrooms that have magazines. What you want is to be among the first to get a hold of magazines since you'll have something to read—if you don't get them somebody else will. If you end up keeping the magazines then your carry on will be heavier.Once you get your magazines, if you're a he, go to the bathroom and grab a shaving razor—there are only a few (sometimes not) and you may want to shave once you’re close to your destination.
  • Once you have these do sit down BUT be ready to stand up as soon as you see that most of the people have been seated. Why? Look around near you and see if there are rows of empty seats. If there are take possession of them. Lie down on them. Because that is possibly the only way you could sleep somewhat comfortably. Be aware that many people will have the same idea as you—so you may have to be quick—you may have to wait until the flight attendants have counted the passengers and the plane has started to fly. Use your better judgment. 
Remember that even-though you can drink all the booze you like every one drink in the air is like having 3 drinks on land so you will get drunk faster. This may help you fall asleep BUT if you get weird when you’re drunk than you may want to control this.

No comments:

Post a Comment