by Kathlin AiChang
Traveling by plane is one of the most stressful aspects of the holidays. From waking up either insanely early or loathsomely late to get to the airport, then trying to make it through security without incident, and you have to or even mentally prepare yourself to be with family for a long time. However, to top off the stress, if you’re going out of country, customs will make you want to pull your hair out. This article will explain all you need to know about surviving customs around the world, and tips to keep your sanity.
Note: All of these countries require a passport and/or visa upon entry.
India: Due to the fact that I have lived in India, I can say without doubt that it is the MOST stressful and annoying place to enter and exit. You will need the following:
Visa (document that states you are coming to the country legally)
Card that says name, where you are coming from, passport I.D
If you are going for work, work visa
Copy of birth certificate
Copies of photos that you took for your passport
Luck that the person who is checking you is competent and not a jerk
Friendly tips: To those who are traveling, bring all of the items above in a folder because you don’t know what the customs people will ask. Also, keep your passport out, because there is another check on your way out of customs. Before you leave the airport there will be a bag screening at the front to make sure that you didn’t bring anything illegal in the country.
Japan: Passport. Everyone speaks English, and it takes 10 minutes to get through depending on the line.
Kenya: Prior to arriving to Africa you MUST get a shot for yellow fever. However, because yellow fever is uncommon in Colorado, finding a vaccine might be a little difficult. Going into customs, bring a card (signed by your doctor) saying that you got the shot; they may ask for it when you get there or when you leave.
Germany: As the stereotype goes, yes, Germans like everything to be efficient. Going into customs, please have everything with you ready to get out because they aren’t too friendly when people take time to pull out the necessary documents.
Israel: Passport, Visa, Electronic Gate pass. When you arrive to the border, you must have your passport and visa out, and give it to the border control officer. As you walk through customs there is modern technology incorporated, and you must get a card “The Electronic Gate Pass.” This pass will prove that you are an American tourist.
Sri Lanka: Aside from having a plane that leaves at 2:00am to Colombo, it shouldn’t take too long to go through. However, I wouldn’t recommend going directly from Colorado to Colombo because that is a 19+ hour flight (with possible layovers).