I have never traveled to another country before, and I am having some trouble understanding how entering a country is done. I am flying into Dublin from the US. When I get to Dublin, do I collect my luggage and then go thru customs, or do I go thru customs before I collect my luggage, or do I only go thru customs when I leave Ireland for the return to the US? How long should I expect the process to take- from getting off the plane to leaving the airport for my hotel?
I am also confused about the return process?
If I have VAT to get reimbursement for, I first go to the “VAT counter” before checking my luggage. Once I am on the plane and underway, I complete pre-clearance forms and my customs declarations. I switch planes in Chicago for Dayton, Ohio- and I assume my luggage will be switched to the plane by baggage handlers? When and where do I go thru customs in the USA? Do I have to collect my baggage in Chicago, go thru customs, and then check the luggage (and myself) in to the new airline?
My trip is coming up soon (May, yippee) and I am starting to be worried about this process. If I can get a little help from all of you world travelers, maybe you won’t trip over me in the airport when I am wandering around lost and confused!