Traveling to a foreign country always requires you to go through Passport/Immigration and Customs. This is where you will have your passport stamped so that you can gain entry into the country. It is very important. And your luggage may be inspected as well.
You will be required to fill up an arrival form to declare certain information. You will be writing down information in the airplane. Breezing through Customs will largely depend on what you declare on your arrival form and how you look. It will be how you appear to the security inspectors so it is best to be presentable.
Now, I will be detailing some of the things that you can do to help you in the process. These are four great tips to breeze through Customs. It will save you and the security inspectors a lot of time and also spare you from unnecessary stress.
1. Look presentable
The clothes make the man, they say. So, I recommend wearing decent and comfortable clothes for travelling. There are some people that take airport fashion very seriously. For me though, I always prioritize comfort. Don’t wear a three-piece suit with a bowtie because it’s too formal. But also don’t wear cut-off shorts, sandals and a ripped shirt. If you can manage, try to dress somewhere in between.
Jeans, a collared shirt and loafers are recommended. Shoes that you can just slip in and out of are good and will easily get you through security. You can wear anything that suits you as long as it is comfortable, presentable and balanced.
Note that appearances say it all. Although not everyone will believe in what they see other people wear, if you go through Customs and you look like a shabby bum, there will be a high chance of getting inspected. Make sure as well not to wear anything attention-grabbing. Also note that anything provocative or giving a seemingly contrary to the nation’s ideals may be avoided.
2. Freshen up
Before your plane lands, try to freshen up in the bathroom of the plane. You can use your own toiletries if you have them on you carry-on bag or you can use the ones provided in the plane. Try to cover the basics like brushing your teeth, washing your face and combing you hair. Check how you look in the mirror. Straighten your clothes.
It would be a bit of a hassle, but if you really want to use your own toiletries while on the plane, make sure to check the proper TSA guidelines in bringing liquids inside the airplane cabin to avoid trouble. I recommend putting your toiletries in small, clear containers encased in Ziploc for spill-proof protection.
It is always best to look presentable to the security personnel when you go through Customs.
3. Write in your arrival form clearly and legibly
The arrival form is something that you can’t do without when travelling. It will be distributed to you while inside the plane if you are near your destination. You need to declare all the pertinent information about yourself. Make sure to write in the form clearly and legibly. Even though your handwriting is not your strong suit (this is true for some), try as much as you can you write the information properly. Since you will be presenting the arrival form upon arrival, you can easily pass through Customs if all your information can be read easily. If you don’t, you may spend several minutes while the security officer checks your form and checks you out as well.
4. Smile and look confident
It’s not just about looking presentable. It is also important that you smile and look confident when passing though Immigrations. If you don’t have anything to worry about (and if you are not like those guys on the movie Lucy), then there is no need for you to feel nervous or jittery while going through Customs.
Appearances are very important while travelling. If you want to have people accord you the right treatment, what you look like and how you act are two very important things. Now that you know what to do in order to breeze through Customs, you are all set to pass the airport gates and start your great adventure.