FIRST OF ALL CHECK THE VALIDITY OF YOUR PASSPORT. IT MUST HAVE ATLEASET 6-8 MONTHS VALIDITY FROM THE END DATE OF YOUR TRIP ABROAD. You can renew your passport even one year before the expiry date.    Once you appear at the passport office for the renewal,  the renewed passport will reach you within 10days. It is always worth to staple together the expired one with the new one.


  1. There is a left luggage facility at Chennai airport complex just on the eastern side of the airport building complex. You may use that by paying Rs. 100/- per article per day if you arrive very early and have something to do in Chennai city.
  2. If you are transiting Chennai and want to book dormitory or room accommodation at the airport, you may approach the Airport Manager at the domestic terminal 1st floor or at the concerned Kiosk therein. Do not believe touts with coat and tie saying that the accommodation is full . It is always easily available if you approach& very very rarely gets filled up. You need your arrival air tkt. and the onward air tkt. for the reservation. A/C & hot water facilities are available there.
  3. Have the photo copy of your passport in your hand luggage, in your cargo luggage, one with your family in India, and two color passport snaps with white background of yours. If possible one another original photo Indian  ID card,preferably with signature which will be of great help if, God forbid, you lose your passport.It is also better to scan your passport and keep it as a draft in your e-mail so that you can take a print out which ever country you are in.
  4. If insurance is mandatory, your tour operator will arrange for your travel insurance. If you want to arrange on your own you can do it yours on line. I prefer the following online company to choose my insurance option.
  5. Carry an international adapter to charge your camera, cell phone, laptop etc. If you have an USB adapter you may use it for charging during flight at the entertainment panel in the seat in front of you.
  6. Be at the Chennai airport3 hours before your flight departure,just outside near the International departure gate where your tour operator’s representatives will be there to assist you.
  7. Tour operators cannot book your specific seats in advance, though they can block seats which may be in one block or may be spread out since the airlines sell the seats to those who book online for a premium amount. Hence you and your spouse may be separated. We may be able to adjust among ourselves. However, you may make your request to the person at the counter who will check in your cargo luggage, who may be able to allot nearby or adjacent seats, window seat or aisle seat .
  8. Allowance for checked cargo baggage varies from airline to airlines. Generally airlines offer 30 Kgs for economy class and 10Kg for infant not occupying a seat. For hand luggage 7Kg. A laptop will also be allowed as extra. If you exceed this limit , you will have to pay enormous amount on per kg basis.
  9. You areallowed to carry a maximum of 5,000 US$ and Rs. 10,000/- Indian currency as hard currency per person.( Now you may take Rs. 25,000/= ) If you carry more, you will have to declare it at the customs with documented reasons.(Foreign currency in excess of US$ 5, 000 in the form of currency notes or equivalent US$ 10, 000 in the form of currency notes, bank notes or travelers cheque )
  10. Must have a minimum of 500 US$ or an equivalent amount of that country’s currency, when you enter.
  11. Tie any colored ribbon to your cargo baggage so that you can identify it easily from other similar looking suitcases, when it arrives in the conveyer belt, at the destination airport.
  12. Do not carry any powder, paste, liquids, aerosol, razor or any injury causing articles in your hand luggage,which includes umbrella too. You can carry your power bank in hand luggage. You will be given mineral water in the aircraft. All airlines except low cost airlines supply veg. & non veg. food during flight along with soft drink or liquor where as in others you will have to pay to buy them.
  13. Do not forget to carry clothing according to the time & weather of the country you are going to visit.
  14. Keep your passport, visa if obtained already, insurance policy if any, money, onward & return air tkt. Etc. in your hand luggage along with one set of dress, towel & a writing penor in the hand bag
  15. If the flight is going to be a long one carry, one set of slippers to ease your feet.
  16. Carry oil in sachets & not in bottles to avoid spilling on your clothes. You may bring sun glasses and sun lotions. Ladies limit your jewelry to the minimum.
  17. It is always better to carry the currency of the country to be visited. Or as US$ or Euros. At the arriving airport,  exchange the currency only to the minimum required as you may get better rate outside in the city.
  18. As you arrive at the arrival hall of the foreign country you are going to visit, your tour escort from that country will be waiting for your group with a sign board .This way you can identify them.
  19. Know the names of the hotels you are going to stay in the countries to be visited, if possible their phone numbers even while you are leaving India since you will have to fill it in the Immigration form of the arriving country
  20. Always get the hotel address card as soon as your room is allotted and carry it always. You will not be able to communicate in English in some countries. You can show it to any taxi driver in case you are stranded to reach your hotel.
  21. Do not flaunt cash Or valuables to show off, which may attract miscreants as well.
  22. Always go about in groups and in well lit areas only, especially at night. Avoid exploring dingy areas. It is better to avoid late night outings in a foreign country all by yourself to stroll about.
  23. Never leave your hand bag with cash and passport unattended even during meals in the restaurants. Chances of it being picked up is high even there.
  24. Never leave money even in the safety locker available in the rooms of some hotels. Room cleaners have a master key to open it, in case the previous occupants left the room without keeping the password locked safety locker open. Once I have opened one such password locked locker  with their help. Always keep the money on you, in several places & not in one place.
  25. Have eatables, water & snacks, especially  while on sightseeing. Always have water with you.
  26. Be on time, especially while leaving for train or flight. You may be left alone , so that all others will not suffer missing the flight or train all  because of your fault.
  27. Come with a comfortable walking shoe along with a bath room slippers. Never try a brand new one, it may bite your feet. If it is a new one, use it at least one week before travel and bring it.
  28. Always keep an eye on the tour guide while sightseeing in crowded places to avoid being stranded.
  29. Do not forget to bring your medicines in hand luggage.
  30. For Arrival visa, before your immigration procedures, there will be kiosk marked “ Arrival Visa” at that airport,  where you will be required to fill up the visa form available there. Keep 2 color photo of passport size with white background for this. If you do not have, usually a photo studio will be available near the Kiosk itself, but the charges will be exorbitant..
  31. If you are going to transit a country on the way to your destination country, Eg. When you transit Singapore airport on your way to Australia, your checked in baggage will not be available to you until you arrive in Australia Airport. So keep essentially needed & allowed articles in your hand luggage.
  32. You may buy SIM for your mobile in all the airports. Even inside Chennai airport you can buy international SIM if you do not mind the cost. Some tour guides will also sell it to you. If you miss these two chances, you may buy it in 7/11 stores or in any other stores in the city you are visiting.
  33. When you come back to India, you are allowed to buy and bring  2 liters of liquors and 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 gms of tobacco duty free, per person, above which you will be charged. This varies from country to country
  34. If you stayed in a foreign country for more than 3 days & more than 10 yrs. old , you are allowed to bring in Rs. 45,000/- & only Rs. 17,500/- worth of things, if less than 10Yrs. of age. If stayed abroad less than 3 days then it is Rs.17,500/- and Rs. 3,000/- respectively. For more information, you may visit tis website. may change every year. The given allowance is as on 10th July 2015. In addition
  35. you are allowed one laptop /notebook computer is allowed duty free. But if you already carry a laptop while leaving India and you bought one abroad, you will have to pay tax for the new one. From 26th Aug.2013, Government of India banned duty free import of LED/LCD/Plasma TV.
  36. Some countries offer VAT refund on your purchase above a set amountat one time from Vat refund authorized shops. You will have to present your passport to the shop assistant to fill up the VAT application form. You will then have to present this form along with the original bill to the custom’s person at the designated kiosk at the departure hall of that airport, before immigration to get the refund.
  37. Do not forget to check the spelling of your name in your air ticket with that in your passport, to avoid unnecessary delay and tension while check in at the airport to get your boarding pass.
  38. Last but not least, if you are not used to the toilet paper culture, keep one liter empty mineral water bottle in your hand luggage which will serve the purpose even while at the Airport. There may not be any mug or health faucet in the toilet.
  39. If needed, buy an international SIM before departure or buy one on arrival in a foreign land.
  40. You may also buy multi-currency traveler’s prepaid card.

Please leave a copy of your passport, travel insurance certificate at home with any one of your family member.

Leave a copy of your itinerary with the hotels phone numbers.


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