First time travel abroad? What to know before flying out of Nigeria!


Posted by: Joshua-Philip Okeafor

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Are you going abroad for the first time this summer holidays? Get smart with this guide by of all the essentials needed for a good trip!

As the summer holidays approach, many Nigerian families will be going overseas for some needed R&R. A lot of theses will be first time travellers. As a first time traveller, it is very exciting to visit a faraway country and get to experience a new culture and way of life. However don’t let all the excitement distract you from the very important things you must know and do to make your trip a success.

Flying out of the country is quite different from travelling within Nigeria, and most times different rules apply. For a prosperous and happy journey, there are stuff to take care of before, during, maybe even after the trip.  Here are tips for handling your first abroad trip like a boss from!

1. Information is king

Before you travel, the first item on the menu is information. Gather it anywhere and everywhere. Get details about the country you want to visit and don’t assume anything is too small or trivial to know. A lot of Nigerians make the mistake of only hustling to get the visa without research about the place. Collect details from past travellers who have visited the country, go online, check up on the country’s website and read up on their policy for foreigners.


Read everything you can lay your eyes on

2. Documentation

Make sure you have all the necessary documents needed for your intended destination and purpose. Some important documents include your visa and passport. Though it is possible to visit some countries and all ECOWAS countries without a visa, you need to make sure you do have everything required. For instance ECOWAS countries require an ECOWAS certificate.


Get your paperwork top-notch, and half the battle is won

>>> If you plan to hire a car & drive yourself around the foreign city, you can apply for an international driver here: How to apply for international drivers license Nigeria?

3. Medication or vaccine certificates

Most countries require you to have your medical reports or vaccination reports in order to enter the country. This is their way of ensuring that no foreign diseases are brought into the country. This is another reason why you should read up on the country you are to visit to ensure you are not missing anything. You might be denied entry at the point of entry if your medicals are not in good order. One of the most requested medical papers is proof of vaccination called Yellow Card for Yellow fever.

4. Book ahead

Flights, hotel, and everything else you might think of. Don’t wait until the last minute. Book these things before you leave; you will be glad you did when you arrive exhausted from the flight and are shown straight up to your room.

5. Park right and light

You will be tempted to fill your luggage with the best of your clothes but it's just not a good move to do that. Reason is that when you get to your destination, you might be faced with a bag full of unsuitable clothing for the weather. Moreover, excess luggage charges will take some of your cash, and you don’t want that. Therefore, pack light.

>>> Check in at these most scary glass bridges in the world if you can: Most scary glass bridges - China glass bridge is just insane!


Sensible packing is chic and stylish

6. Be safe

Your important documents should never be left in your main luggage, but in your hand luggage. Even when you arrive, never leave your passport in a hotel, but carry it with you all the time.  

7. Stock up and snack up

It’s not compulsory, but when you are going to country where the food is unfamiliar, do yourself a favor by packing a few dry snacks to prevent you going hungry for days while you search for food that meets your taste. Also don't forget to pack or buy an adapter that is consistent with the electricity system in the country you are visiting. This is because the Nigerian adapters may not work everywhere. If you are unsure, make provision to buy one when you reach there.

>>> Prepare some food that is friendly to your stomach while travelling: The best food intakes while you're travelling

8. Never carry contraband

As you park, remember not to include in your luggage any item that is a contraband. Many of these are simple, innocent things like knifes, liquor, or any substances that is illegal in that country but not in yours. Most importantly, if you have an item you are to deliver to another person in that country, please perfectly scrutinize the item, as there have been cases where people mistakenly carry illegal drugs without them being aware. Also make sure your luggage is padlocked at all times to prevent anyone slipping something into your bag.


Airport x-rays see everything, so be careful what you carry on your person or luggage

>>> Never pack these items in your hand luggage: 8 items that are strictly banned in Nigerian flights

9. Arrive at the airport on time

Nigerians are used to ‘Africa time’, but do not make this mistake when you are about to travel. You might have heard stories of delayed flights but don't assume your case is the same. It is best to arrive at the airport at least two-three hours before your departure time. This helps you check in properly. If you feel you can't make the time, lodge in a hotel near the airport.


If you get in early, checking in is a breeze

10. Currency exchange

In the case of currency differences, make enquiries to know where to change your currency for the country you are visiting. It could be at the airport in the country. This helps prevent you being stranded with Nigerian notes.

>>> Choosing the airport you arrive at is important as well. Some of them are must-watch: 10+ coolest airports on Earth: None for Africa


Don't forget to check the exchange rate so you don't get short-changed!

11. Exit fee

You should make enquiries about the exit fee (also called departure) you are to pay at the airport when leaving the country again. This fee is usually not so large and many times is included in your airfare, however you should know about it and be prepared.

Now, you know exactly how to go about your first time overseas holiday travel plans. Have a safe trip.

>>> Tips and advice on auto, transportation and travel on! Dive in & explore!

Joshua-Philip Okeafor
Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Joshua-Philip Okeafor

Car buying & selling

Joshua, or KK as friends call him, is a Filmmaker, Writer and Director. A Christian, Joshua is a product of Nigeria’s foremost film school, the National Film Institute, Jos, where he majored in Writing/Directing. Joshua began his writing career at age 18 when an older brother gave him a four page outline of a children novel. Joshua intends to keep writing and directing. His screen name is sometimes Joshua Kalu Ephraim (Writing), and sometimes Joshua KK (directing).

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