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Before You Fly

What to Pack

Pack using a checklist so you ensure you bring all the necessities for your experience abroad. Keep in mind that you will likely purchase additional items and souvenirs while abroad. Leave extra space in your luggage or bring an extra bag. Many basic items can be purchased almost anywhere in the world. For some items, such as toiletries, it may make more sense to bring a small amount and purchase more locally as needed.

Documents and IDs
  • passport
  • visa
  • plane tickets and/or boarding pass
  • green card (if you are not a US citizen)
Money
  • debit card
  • credit card
  • Cash in US dollars (in case of emergency)

Check Flight Status

On the day before your flight and also a few hours before you leave your house on the day of your flight, check the status of your flight online on your airline's website. On their homepage, look for a "flight status" link. If your flight is delayed, you can adjust your timing accordingly. If your flight is cancelled, you should contact your airline to make other arrangements (they might have called you by now anyway).

Leaving Home for the Airport

Make sure you have all of your essentials. Before leaving the house, double-check that you have your passport, your wallet, and either your plane tickets/boarding pass or your reservation/confirmation number. Your luggage should be packed a day or so before all this.

Leave with more than enough time to get to the airport. Arrive at the airport 3 hours before your departure time if not a little earlier. Make sure you go to the terminal for your airline—going to the wrong terminal can waste a lot of valuable time.