Our trip over from was uneventful and flying on Delta was a good idea as I was able to take advantage of my elite status while it lasts. The next time we do any long distance travel my status will have diminished and we’ll be relegated to the back of the bus.
Disclaimer: I know you seasoned travelers will chuckle at my advice as we all have our own methods . Feel free comment and give me better ideas on this page.
preparations for travel
A list of items recommended before you get on the plane:
Recommend making a copy of your passport. There will be a safe in most high-end and mid-range hotel rooms. I generally wander around with the copy of my passport in my purse and keep my passport in the safe. This has never really been tested though as no one has stopped me yet on any of the more than four continents that I have travelled on to ask me for my papers except in Airports and Train stations when I was carrying my passport.
Have an electronic copy of your passport that is easily acessable.
On a trip to Europe a year or so again a friend has his passport stollen. He was allowed to board his plane with minimal hassle and without a passport because he was carrying an electronic copy in his phone
Make copies of any other important documents and credit cards as well.
Carry a debit card to use at ATMs for cash. The exchange rate at the ATMs is supposed to be the best. Michel and I have stopped carrying large amounts of cash and just go to the ATM when we need more. Of course, your bank will charge foreign transaction fees so these should be factored into the frequency of your withdrawals.
Carry credit cards for other purchases. Many businesses in Asia prefer VISA. Be aware that many small businesses will charge you 3% additional for using your credit cards.
Before you leave the U.S. be sure to notify your banks about international travel and which counties you will travel to. I normally login to my bank website and do this on-line. The banks typically only allow you to notify them of international travel for 60 days. I plan to login every 60 days and notify them again. Also, Chase would not allow my notify them do travel to Laos or Cambodia because of the frequency of theft in those countries. I don’t understand the rational behind this, I am just try to notify them..
details about the flight over and BKK
Travel from Seattle to Japan
No issues. We checked in and got on our 767. We were in the economy comfort section which has a few extra inches. Each seat had an individual movie screen and good movies that were all free. They fed us dinner and breakfast. The flight seemed endless and my legs were pretty sore by the time we landed. I took some aspirin to try to cut down on the muscle discomfort.
Since we were not staying in Japan we don’t have to fill out any paper work for this landing. After you exit the plane there are signs clearly labeled international connections (don’t go to arrivals or baggage claim) that will guide you to another security point. They did not make me remove my shoes but they did ask me to put my ipad in a separate basket for scanning. The helpers were very sweet as at security and we attempted to communicate but I really didn’t understand what they were saying. After security we found a big display of all the flights and their gate numbers. It is fun because it alternates between Japanese and English but your flight number to Bangkok will eventually show up in English with the gate number.
Travel from Japan to Bangkok
It was a 747 and pretty empty. Were able to stretch out over multiple seats and sleep. By now you are exhausted and wondering why anyone would spend this much time on a plane to get anywhere. Hopefully you get some sleep on this flight.
On this flight they will hand out a form with pages marked arrival and departure. Ignore the departure page. Fill out the front and back of the arrival page. They ask you where you will be staying in Bangkok. Write the name of your hotel. Don’t lose this document. They will put it in your passport and you’ll need it when you leave the country.
When we arrived in Bangkok they had us deplane and get on buses. Then you’ll line up in immigration, there is a section clearly marked for non-Thai visitors and there are people to help. We were through the line and to our luggage very fast.
Getting a taxi
We printed a map of our hotel location with address and directions in Thai before leaving home.
There are signs coming out of customs that clearly mark the direction to the taxis. There is a table outside where you get a ticket that you hand to your taxi driver. Then show him the printed instructions. On our ride we crossed through two toll both and gave the driver money for both tolls. The total cost of the ride was roughly 400 baht.