You will enter the country as a tourist, so no visa is required. When you arrive in Budapest, go through passport control and then pick up your checked bags. After you get your bags you will exit the baggage claim area through the passage that reads "Nothing to declare." You do not have to declare your laptop, cameras, etc. Customs agents may randomly stop people and search their bags looking for prohibited items. They are simply doing their job and most will be courteous. Do not argue with them or question them. I will be waiting for you when you leave the baggage pick up and customs area.
If your bags are lost, go to the lost baggage counter there at baggage claim. They will be able to trace where your bags are and make arrangements to have them delivered to our home. Please keep our address and phone number with you so you can give it to them in case there is a problem.
WARNING: ONCE YOU LEAVE BAGGAGE CLAIM YOU CANNOT GO BACK IN, SO TAKE CARE OF LOST BAGS BEFORE EXITING. DO NOT COME OUT TO SEE IF I AM WAITING FOR YOU UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO LEAVE THE AIRPORT.
Do not change money at the airport because the exchange rate is very low there. If you are taking your money out of an ATM then you may withdraw at the airport, but it will not be necessary as I will ensure that you will not need to change or withdraw money for the first couple of days.
There will be an orientation time after you arrive where we will cover some cultural items, along with do's and don'ts. Included in the orientation are some survival Hungarian lessons - basic greetings, how to ask for things in the market, etc. There are numerous book and tape packages available if you would like to start now, or for free online tutoring go to www.magyarora.com/english/index.html or www.hungarotips.com/hungarian. NOTE: Most English/Hungarian phrase books are based on British pronunciation.
Also during the orientation you will get a lot of practical information along the lines of "What to do when…." A trip to the post office to mail a letter is part of the orientation. So are trips to the grocery store and several other places. You will be prepared to handle a lot of the situations that will pop up on your own. This will give you greater safety and more freedom. We try to make your time here as enjoyable and as productive as possible. Team-building exercises are also part of orientation. Every group is different, so we take the time to learn to function together.