- December 2013
- Posted By JohnnyG
- 0 Comments
One of the biggest benefits the Internet has given to ordinary consumers is the ability to seek out and book flights and accommodation without needing to use a travel agent. This makes it possible for consumers to put together their own flights and accommodation in the manner they please and at times and prices that suit them. Sites like I Want That Flight make it even easier by showing consumers which airlines are offering the cheapest seats for particular flights. The downside is that there is no friendly agent to warn them about pitfalls, or clear up any legal or documentary requirements that may fall upon them. Travellers need to brush up on these themselves. Here are some things to watch out for.
Many countries require that all non-citizens entering the country must have a visa before they can enter. In some cases, the visa is a mere formality, and is issued at the point of entry. More commonly, visas have to be applied for in advance.
One of the most common misconceptions people have about visas is that once they are issued by a particular country, the holder is entitled to enter that country. This is not the case. Visas are issued by the consular service of a given country, and are based on the information applicants give when they apply for the visa. On arrival in the issuing country, the holder is still obliged to present at Immigration, and an immigration officer could refuse the holder entry and cancel the visa.
Applying for the wrong kind of visa may result in your being refused entry to a country. For example, if you apply for, and are granted, a holiday or tourist visa, but your intention is to look for work, you may be refused entry. This type of refusal could easily happen if a Customs Officer searched you as part of the routine duties, and came across a bunch of job applications, resumes, interview dates, or anything else that might make him or her suspect you were not a bona fide tourist.
Even the fittest and healthiest people may occasionally need hospital and other medical treatment. People can fall over and suffer brain damage, they can develop appendicitis and need immediate and urgent hospitalisation, they can be involved in accidents etc.
Before you travel abroad, make sure you have insurance to cover you should you need emergency medical services. Make sure you bring the necessary contact information with you. When you take out your policy, make sure it includes repatriation cover.
Be careful about what you attempt to bring into foreign countries, or what you bring home when you return from abroad. Drugs like cocaine and heroin are illegal everywhere, and if you are caught with them you can expect a lengthy prison sentence, or even a death sentence in some countries.
You can also get in trouble with customs by bringing in high value goods, or various foodstuffs, wildlife and plants. You can face hefty fines and confiscation of goods if you breach the rules.
If you have any doubts about entitlements, it is best to raise them with customs officers rather than have them raise them with you. Remember that most people run into trouble with customs officers when they return to their home country.
Always try to bring a globally recognized credit card when travelling. Without one, you can find yourself in difficulties when unforeseen situations crop up. For example, your flight is postponed 24 hours because of fog, so you need to arrange overnight accommodation. Even though the airline or your travel insurance company may cover you for this, you normally have to pay first and claim the amount back afterwards.
I Want That Flight can get you great flights at great prices, but make sure you plan for contingencies. That way, your dream trip is less likely to turn into a nightmare.