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Internation flying

Kokomo, Indiana
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Internation flying

I have never flown international. Will someone please tell me what it's like. What I can expect at the airport. I'm flying from Ohare to Istanbul, Turkey. Also, since I don't fly much, is it better to put your shampoo, body wash, ect... in your carry on or in your luggage you are boarding?

Fredericia, Denmark
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1. Re: Internation flying

It's best to put liquids in checked in luggage.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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2. Re: Internation flying

International or domestic, you need to follow the TSA guidelines.

Read the 3-1-1 liquids rule below so you know how to pack:


Check your airline's baggage allowance.

Airport security might ask that you turn on any electronic device you are carrying so make sure the device is charged.

Get to the airport 2 to 2.5 hours before your flight. Once you are checked in, clear security as soon as possible.

Chicago, Illinois
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117 reviews
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3. Re: Internation flying

Departure from the USA is not all that different from a domestic flight. You need to leave a little more time at O'Hare because they board earlier since the planes are larger. But on the way out, it feels pretty similar. You arrive at the terminal. You go to the Turkish Air check in desk. Give them your passport. They'll check your bag. Then there's a security check much like the domestic terminal and you walk to your gate and board like normal.

Arrival is more complicated because you have to clear immigration. Best to ask about that on the Istanbul forum. The one time I was there, for US citizens, you needed a visa that you buy on arrival so walking off the plane you went to the visa line, which was right before immigration. At the visa line you paid I think $20 and they put a visa sticker in your passport. Then you get into the immigration line and someone checks your passport. Then baggage claim. Then you walk through customs which is just walking through a doorway. Then your in arrivals to meet your party or catch a taxi or go wherever you need to go next.

If you have a checked bag then put most everything in your checked bag, including liquids. The only things you need to carry on are

- Things you absolutely cannot lose like medications, contact lenses, money, documents

- Things you want on the plane like a book or toothbrush

- Expensive things you don't want stolen like your cell phone, tablet, laptop, jewelry

- Usually at least one and maybe two sets of clothes just in case your checked bag gets lost to tide you over until they find it.

Put liquids in your checked luggage. You're limited in the liquids you can carry on as the other posters pointed out so better to put these in checked luggage.

Sydney, Australia
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481 posts
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4. Re: Internation flying

I try to streamline what I take on board so check in the non essentials, that includes shampoos.

For carry on, I have a clear cosmetic bag that I carry my headphones, kindle, asprin, phernergan, cough drops (just in case), electrolyte powders, hand wipes, pen, ipod/phone, charger, passports, deodorant, empty plastic baggie for just in case etc. The reason being once Im seated, I don't have to open the overhead/look into my bag for anything. This is a small bag so its what I might need while sitting and it fits into my handbag so its not considered 2nd or 3rd bag.

I also now put a lock on my handbag that's in the overhead so if someone does open the overhead, they cant get my wallet/money.

I always get to the airport early. Yes It can be a waste of time but once you are there you can have a coffee and relax and some airports have massage stores now. I also basically pack my bag about 2 days before and add toiletries in the morning of departure. Just means less stress for me.

Once you have put out all your clothes/packing, take stuff out. You will not need/use everything so take less.

For handbag, I actually travel with a diaper bag (SkipHop) as they are large and have lots of useful zipped areas. You can pack a smaller bag in checkin.

Oh and I also pack a powerboard in my checkin bag as hotels never have enough outlets for cameras, phone, laptops, etc.

Edited: 18 August 2014, 23:30
Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Food and Travel
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5. Re: Internation flying

To save time and skip the line, you can apply for the Turkish eVisa online at:


I guess one of the challenges for you as a first time international flyer could be jet lag due to the time difference between Istanbul and Indiana where you are located. Depending on the time of departure and arrival, you might want to plan how you can adjust your body clock to the new time zone. eg. If I arrive in the early morning in the new time zone, I will try not to go to sleep immediately, instead I would go out and walk around to expose to the sunlights and stay up as late as I can after dinner then go to bed. That also means I will try to catch some sleeps on board before arrival. I know if I go to sleep too early I will get up in the middle of the night and it will take a few days before I get over my jet lag, but this depends very much on individuals.

On the other hand, if I am arriving in the evening I would want to go to sleep as soon as I can then I will stay up as long as possible on board by watching movies non-stop. That also helps to make me feel tired and wanting to sleep when I arrive.

You can google to find many articles on how to cope with jet lag and see whats the best strategy for you, eg:


Kentwood, Michigan
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6. Re: Internation flying

I do a couple of things that others may call excessive but I register with the US state dept's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. It lets the state department know where you are in case there are problems. I also have a copy of all documents, IDs, passports, and credit card #s stored in my phone and someplace I can access online if they all get lost. Let your credit card company(s) know where your going so they don't kill your cards. I usually take 2 to 3 different cards with me stored in different locations. If one gets lost or stolen, I'm not out of money.

Bring a tablet with some movies in it and an extra battery pack as that's going be a long flight.

And bring a black pen 'cuz your gonna have to fill out paperwork on the plane.

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Internation flying

On the above post, taking copies of cc numbers and passport info is good but take separate hard copies. Not on your phone.your phone is with you at all times. If you are pick pocketed you'll lose all that with the originals. Keep separate hard copies ideally locked in your hotel safe, although that's not always possible.

Also you don't need copies of your cc numbers. You only need the phone number to call if you lose the card. I write those on a piece of paper and leave them in my hotel room when I'm out.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,122 posts
243 reviews
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8. Re: Internation flying

The previous posters have provided excellent advice. I urge you to obtain an evisa online before you leave the US. Ataturk can be crowded and busy. Everything you can do in advance will save you time. It is about a 30 minute drive from the airport into the city. If you are staying in a boutique hotel in Sultanahmet or Sirkeci, and you made your reservations directly with the hotel and will spend three or more nights the hotel will provide free transportation from the airport to the hotel. If you don't have this benefit you can grab a taxi from the taxi stand. It will cost no more than 50TL or $25USD. If you have lots of energy and very little luggage public transportation is also an alternative.

I'm not sure what other flight information you need. Since you are flying non-stop I assume you are flying Turkish Air, which has been selected as the best airline in Europe for the last three years. You should have a pleasant flight experience.

If you have any additional questions about Istanbul you should check out the Istanbul forum. There are some very wise & helpful people there.

9. Re: Internation flying

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