So my plane leaves in less than 24 hours for a 4 month trip starting in Thailand... and now is when the panic hits me, haha. So I fly from Canada to the US, then to Japan and then Bangkok. For Canadians I don't have to do anything in advance to go through customs in the US, right? I don't remember anything but I'm just kind of panicking now haha. And Japan I think I don't have to go though customs. And for Thailand, I read on here most people don't bother with getting an onward ticket to prove you're leaving with 30 days, so I didn't plan on doing that either. Except that now I keep thinking "Oh no, I'll definitely get turned away at the airport".
Agh! It's as if I planned this trip but never actually realized I was the one taking the trip, haha. Now I can't help but feel like I would rather be in class, but I know I can't back out now.
#1 Toxifer has been a member since 10/5/2011. Posts: 12
I'm guessing that you'll be flying into Chicago and then to Tokyo? Regardless, there's nothing that you need to do for US customs. However, it's always a good idea to get to the airport good and early because you'll have to clear US customs in Canada before leaving for your US transfer point. I've seen ridiculously long line-ups for people flying into the US, and I've been on flights that should have been full but weren't because of the pace at the customs desk.
From there on you won't have to go through any customs again until you get to Thailand, but you will have to go through security and get your carry-on stuff scanned, etc.
In Tokyo you won't have to go through customs unless you're leaving the airport. Whether you're starting in TO, Ottawa, or wherever, you'll most likely get checked straight through to Bangkok. Don't sweat it. It's easy.
Take your own headphones for the flight. They'll be better than the ones they give you.
And don't forget to put your toothpaste and stuff into a zip-loc bag if you're taking anything like that onto the plane.
First off, I know how you feel
Is it excitement? Is it fear? Is it nervousness? Is it thrill? Maybe some nostalgia, sadness, or "pre-homesickness"? Maybe even shock that it's actually here?
The fact is, it's a mix of all those things and so much more. There's no describing the feeling one gets just before embarking on a big trip overseas. Relish it while you can!
My first answer to your questions is: don't worry too much, you'll be fine!
You shouldn't have to go through official customs anywhere, just a few layers of security checkpoints. As for the airline not letting you board the plane, that's highly unlikely if you've booked a round trip fare. If it's one-way you might want to book a cheap "throw away" ticket (i.e. ~ US $35 for a one-way BKK > KUL or BKK > SGN). If you've booked round trip it's highly unlikely you'll have any problems, but if you want to be extra safe be prepared to tell them your plans for traveling to other countries. If you want extra extra safe print out a copy of your bank statement proving that you have adequate funds in the bank.
Now, don't worry, you can do that stuff if you really want to be safe, but I've flown to Bangkok from New York twice, Singapore from New York once, each time with round trip fares where the return trip was after 30 days, and I was never asked anything. The only time I was asked was when I had a one-way.
Is this your first time in Thailand / SE Asia? Do you have a plan for when you get to Bangkok?
I'm currently living in Bangkok and would be happy to help if you have any questions. I should be up for 4 more or hours, doing some work online, so I'll check back on this thread every 40 minutes or so....
Phew. Reading these replies has really helped, haha. It sounds kind of silly but I felt exactly how you described DLuek. And yes it is my first time to Asia, but I do know about getting a taxi from the airport, and I have a hostel booked.
I'm actually departing from a small airport in Moncton, NB. So it's my first time flying to the US through my local airport, but I have done so in Toronto. I also just found out last night that Continental will charge me $25 to check my pack for my flight from Moncton to Newark, but not for the other parts of the trip. I was planning on checking it before, but now would it be worth it to just chuck my liquids and swiss army knife and not have to pay that?
The only reason I want to take those things is because I have pretty sensitive skin, so I want to put off changing soap brands as much as possible, although I am only bringing 125ml. And I am almost albino so I will just need to find some strong sunscreen in Bangkok.
#4 Toxifer has been a member since 10/5/2011. Posts: 12
I've got lots of family in Black River and Covered Bridge. Not exactly close, but not too far.
Over the years I've noticed more sunscreen on the shelves in Thailand, but I still take my own. The number of brands is fairly limited (for a long time it was almost exclusively Nivea and the max spf was around 15 ... better now, though), you have to hunt around for it, and it's not cheap. If you need a really high spf and lots of it, I would recommend that stock-up, pack it up, and swallow the $25 fee. It may save you $ in the long-run, and you won't have to bother going around looking for something suitable.
You'd be wise to re-check the sizes of the containers for carry-on. I think you'll find that they are 100 ml.
I guess that settles it then, I'll just check the bag. I wasn't too sure the bag would fit in the overhead compartment for that part of the trip anyway, the plane is super small, and ANA which flies me from Tokyo to Bangkok didn't mention anything about having a personal bag in addition to a carry on, so it will probably be safer this way.
Thanks so much for your help guys, much more relaxed now haha. Although I do somewhat suspect I've just reverted back to a state where I don't actually believe I'm going, heh.
#6 Toxifer has been a member since 10/5/2011. Posts: 12
Yep ... anyway, when you finally get your boarding pass, go through security, and find your gate, all those worries and concerns will probably just fall away and you'll have nothing to think about except the great times ahead ... and more immediately, what movies you'll be able to see on the plane.
I always find that a Gravol and 3 or 4 glasses of red wine is helpful for sleeping if you have trouble with that.
This is a lovely thread! I'm also flying on my own to SE Asia for the first time soon and this has reassured me a bit good luck!
#9 Phiddy has been a member since 1/12/2011. Posts: 64
Toxifer - I had the understanding that if you were flying internationally on the same airline (booked on the same ticket) that you would not have to pay to check in your bag. If that sounds like you, maybe give the airline a call to double-check.
When I flew pack to/from NZ to the US last year with my parents, I had to pay the $25 on each leg of the trip whereas the rest of my family didn't - because they had booked everything on one ticket through an agent. I, on the other hand, took the DIY approach and booked each leg separately to get a better deal. But it cost me an extra $75 or something in the end because of the bloody bag fees!