Follow these tried and tested tips for smooth international travels. Be sure to thank us when you’re back!
- Ensure that you pack and carry only your own bags so you’re certain of their content. Try to say a firm no to those distant relatives who bring padlocked Ghana Must Go bags for you to send to someone in the country you’re travelling to, you might unwittingly fall on the wrong side of the law due to something illegal packed in such luggage.
- Never leave your bag unattended and never offer to carry or hold anything for people you meet at the airport while waiting for boarding, no matter how friendly or innocent they seem.
- Get an idea of the quarantine laws and banned substances for your country of travel. It wasn’t so long ago an Igbo High Chief was arrested in Kenya for sporting a genuine ivory bracelet. Yes, it may have been handed down several generations of ancestors, but in Kenya and many other countries, ivory is a big no-no due to the decimation (read: killing) of elephant populations for their ivory tusks.
- We know you must bring some African goodies (dry fish anyone?) when visiting your loved ones in diaspora, just make sure they are well wrapped and packaged to ensure they do not get thrown out by Border Control. A tip for dry fish is to microwave a bit to remove moisture, then wrap in foil paper and polyethylene bags (a little perfume lightly sprayed on the poly bags won’t hurt either).
- It’s no news that we like to pack heavy! It’s good practice to try to cut down though as less luggage means less stress. Having fewer luggages makes it easier to move around and pay attention to all your stuff. Try to stay within the baggage allowance by splitting all items between the luggages of all the travelling party. A family can pack within each others’ boxes to reduce the number of bags needed.
We have many more tips on this topic, so we’ll continue on our next post. Practice these for your next trip, and let us know how it goes. You can share your own tips with us in the comments section!