When traveling abroad whether for the first time, on your own, with family or friends, please be careful who's advice you seek. Some people might help, others may not and may even lead you into an unsafe area.
If you are travelling to more than one country, please make sure you have a valid visa (if required) for each country. If you intend to return to the same country you are travelling out of, please make sure you have a re-entry visa even if it is only to take your flight back home. Visas must be applied for and approved BEFORE you leave your home country. Re-entry into many countries are often rejected even if it is only to take your flight back home because, either the visa is not a multiple entry one or approved for re-entry.
Please read information on what you are allowed to bring in or even take out of the country. What may be permitted in one country may not be permitted in another. This is even more important to note when you are travelling between countries and returning back to the country you have just left. Punishment for breaking the law in some countries carry severe penalties as well as imprisonment even if you believe the offence is a minor one or not even worthy of a caution.
Do not under any circumstances offer to carry items in your luggage or on you for anyone even if you have recently become friendly with someone whether in a likely or unlikely encounter. Some people appear friendly and helpful. However, their purpose may be to try and smuggle something in or out of the country when they ask you to carry an item. Common examples are: 'I haven't got room in my suitcase. Can you pack this item for me please?' or 'My suitcase has already gone through and I have forgotten to put this item in it' or 'I have bought too much duty free stuff. Can you carry one for me?'.
Someone may offer to carry your suitcase, bag, handbag, coats, jackets etc for you. If any item is heavy, use a trolley or if you require assistance, ask an official from the airport not just anyone who looks like an official. Do not under any circumstances let your luggage etc out of your sight. Items are often smuggled into them and when you are caught the culprits won't be there to admit anything. Again, be careful who's advice or assistance you seek.
Whether you are travelling with friend, family or even in a group, do pass through immigration and customs within sight of each other. This will save time and even heartache in the unlikely event should one of you be stopped as another person of from your group will be able to relay information to whomever is waiting for you or to someone you know or to family as to the current situation you are in. Without breaking airport rules, try to get information at each stage of your movement between leaving the plane and getting to the exit or entering security and boarding the plane. If you are travelling alone, the same applies. Create basic text and email templates before you travel which will cut down the time to write simple information. e.g. 'I am at boarder control (immigration)', 'I am through boarder control', or 'I am at customs', 'I am through customs'. This information will help the person on the outside workout at what stage you were should you be delayed or even stopped by one of the authorities.