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Are you traveling for the First time to US from India?

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  • Are you traveling for the First time to US from India?

    Are you traveling for the First time to US from India?

    Nowadays, parents Traveling to US from India is much easier than one would imagine; Apart from the guidance given in the Links below, please keep these tips in your mind.

    1. While booking the Ticket, Please select a suitable airline which maintains Departure
    and Arrival time most of the time; Minimum of 3 hours required between your landed time in one Airport to catch another connecting Flight from the same Airport.
    it is advisable to book International flight ticket through an agent as you might get many options as well as some discounts; also give your passport to the Travel Agent to take correct name details etc from your passport itself.

    2. At the time of booking the Tickets itself, you can select your seat ( some airlines allow this) you preferred meal option such as Asian vegetarian Etc or other preferences in this regard; you can also book Wheel chair assistance while booking the ticket itself for each and every section of your travel. More over booking through Agent helps you to change the return date if necessary easily by contacting him over phone/mail etc. You will be charged for any date change of flight change. You are to give some Advance Information while buying the ticket to US; it is based on your passport only plus the Address where you will stay in US, contact number in case of emergency etc.
    If you need any good Travel Agent Reference, please send me a Private Message, I can help you in this.

    Please keep a weighing Scale/Machine in your home, and check/ double check the Baggage weight and see to that it is within the permissible limit; If there is any excess weight than the permissible free weight allowance per checked in Baggage, you may be asked to bring it down to “within the Limit” at the Check in counter; there you will find it very hard to reduce the weight; Some airlines charge for extra weight to certain maximum weight depending upon the class of your travel.

    3 At the check in counter, they give you Token slips for each one of your checked luggage, boarding passes for the entire Travel by different Airlines; Your seat number is mentioned in the Boarding pass itself; if you are diabetic, need to use Toilet often, please prefer Ailed seat so that every time you get up to go to Toilet, you need not disturb the co passenger seated next to you.

    4 How to Check the Baggage weight at Home:
    This can be done by first standing on the weighing machine alone and see your weight, then lift the Baggage to a level which does not touch the floor and see the weight; the difference between these two weights is your baggage weight. Please do not take to the Airport thinking that you can somehow manage the extra weight at the check in counter, it is never allowed. Please make sure to lock your luggage as pilferages are possible from open baggage. Please keep your Doctor Prescription, Pharmacy bill along with your medicines in the checked in Baggage only.
    Please do dental check up/ cleaning your teeth before you leave India/ also carry some Pain killers from Dentist in case you get any tooth pain in US, this might be handy. Please keep some tablets to control your loose motion if it happens during the flight with you in hand bag, also some anti vomiting Tablets with you.

    5 Please tie your Baggage with a Bright colored ribbon (in the Side handle) so that you can easily identify your baggage when you retrieve it from Arrival conveyor belt. Please also paste Address slip (The address where you will stay during your stay in US) on Top of the Luggage, in sides also paste an address slip inside the Box; it will help them to trace your place and hand over it in case the luggage is missed to arrive by your flight at the final destination. IN US they always try their best to locate lost luggage and hand over it to your address mentioned in the slip. Always keep a few changes over dress in your Cabin baggage also. Cabin baggage weight also should not exceed the permissible limit. You can never keep your Hand Baggage or any baggage unattended anywhere, it will be towed to Security area; even if you are going to Toilet, you can carry that inside as Toilets in any US Airports are big enough to accommodate these PULLMAN etc.

    6 If you are old, you can always book for Wheel chair assistance when booking the Tickets; please cross check it with your travel itinerary paper. As soon as you board the flight and occupy the seat, it is better to inform cabin Air Hostess about your wheel chair assistance at the next arrival Airport; they will assist you to get the Wheel chair assistance. Old people, who can not control their pee, please use large diaper which is available for old people (for male and female) from any big Pharmacy. Departmental stores in India. Keep a few of them with you in hand luggage too.
    Please wear some woolen garments/ keep it in cabin baggage/ in case you are going to US during winter.

    7 Please show your next flight boarding pass to the wheel chair Assistant so that he will be able to take you to your next boarding gate; most airports do security check while moving from one gate to another for boarding the connecting flight.

    8 Please do carry with you your medical requirement tablets in the Hand bag, also please carry any costly Gold and other valuable items in the hand bag only, do not keep it in cabin luggage or checked in baggage.

    9 You can carry, idly, Chappthy, such items in your hand bag; not fluid items like curd rice, which may not be allowed by certain Airlines. You must carry all liquid items like ointment, skin lotion if any, hair cream etc in a separate transparent cover which you have to show during security check in every airport. Please select a suitable place to take your Idly etc in the connecting Airport. No one will bother you, and use dust bin to dispose off the wrappers.

    10 Do not carry any item which is easily combustible like camphor even in checked in baggage.

    11 Do not carry any fruits and vegetables even in checked in baggage.

    12 You will be given certain forms to be filled in and handed over to custom authorities at the final destination; please fill these forms carefully; please do not carry any item for selling when you go to US.

    13 You will asked the duration of days/ months you wish to stay in US at the immigration counter in Arrival Airport in US; please be polite and say your requirement; It is advisable for old Tamil/ other region / Ladies who are traveling alone to carry a piece of paper in which the Address where she will stay, the relationship such as son, daughter, brother etc, purpose of her visit and duration of her intended stay, and show this paper to the Immigration officer at the Arrival Airport. There is nothing to worry even if you are going alone.
    You must know the company name where your relative like son/daughter/brother is working.

    14 Keep your foreign currency and its purchase receipt in the hand bag itself; there is a limit for carrying foreign currency with you; your travel Agent will be able to guide you on this. Please buy your required foreign currency only from reliable money exchangers, your Travel agent will be able to help you; please take proper receipt for your foreign currency purchase.

    15 Keep all the phone numbers in a small phone book which you can carry in your hand bag; do not carry any cell phone as it will not work once you go over to another country. If you want to keep the same cell phone number for use after you return from US, please give your cell phone to very reliable relative/ friend and ask that person to use it once in 15/30 days for a few seconds only so that your cell phone remains alive; please also give your cell phone charger. Keep your hand watch time changed to local time wherever you land.

    16 Do not make ANY COLLECT CALL SERVICE FROM ANY US AIRPORTS; they will be charging exorbitantly for even short call duration. Each airport has many Telephone booths with instruction as to how you can call any number from there using small changes; Keep some 50 cents change with you in your hand bag for this purpose.

    17 Please buy your Over seas Health Insurance for the duration of your stay before you board your flight from India; alternately, your son/ daughter or whoever you are visiting can also buy your health insurance from US companies itself; if you need any guideline on this please ask me.
    Health check up and any health related treatment, dental treatment is very costly in US; if you are prone to falling some illness often, better to stay in India itself.

    18 After going to US, please buy Baggage locks from any WAL MART. Also some Thermal garments from US itself.

    19 Most US cities have Indian Stores where one can get all South Indian Pickles, Appalam, Ready to eat items, and even Chennai Grand Snack items. So do not carry these items from India
    Even Idly batter is available in some Indian Shops.
    20 If you are traveling by Economy Class, the seats might not slant fully with the result you will have disturbed sleep and neck pain; please keep with Head Rest Pillow normally one can inflate it with blowing Air in its mouth and secure it; Use it as you Travel by Air, also you can use it while traveling by Car from Your destination Airport to your Address in US.

    21 Buy Cockroach repellent COMBAT Tablets from WAL MART in US
    These Tablets keep Cockroaches away from your Home for more than 6 to 8 months.


  • #2
    Re: Are you traveling for the First time to US from India?

    Dear Padmanabhan Sir,
    A very very useful post, as these days, there are plenty of senior citizens who have their children in the US while they live in India alone. Your tips should be of immense use to them who are traveling for the first time.
    I may add one more thing. Do not wear too much jewellery,like chains etc., as in the US they have a tendency to ask you to remove them before the metal detectors,sometimes even the bangles etc. Better go with minimum jewels.
    And my advise, do not start multiplying every item's dollar price by Rs.55/-and think " Oh! So much for this? etc. While you multiply the cost, you think and multiply your ward's earnings too similarly. Only then you can enjoy your stay. I do not say,"throw your dollars about", but be practical. You will be visiting rarely and you should enjoy your visit and see places,observe their culture and habits,their cuisine etc. to make your stay memorable.
    Last edited by R.Varadarajan; 05-01-13, 18:54.


    • #3
      Re: Are you traveling for the First time to US from India?

      DEAR Sri Varadarajan Sir
      Thanks for your additional tips; yes in any Foreign airports , you may have to remove all chains including your mangala suatra; so carry with you very minimum and if you wish to carry some new jewels for your near and dear ones, please eep it with you in your hand bag itself.