everything you need to know before your international flight

While we’re sure you’re excited and looking forward to taking the first steps on your trek, it’s important to remember that the first stage of your journey—your international flights—can be an amazing part of your experience as well. Not only is this your first opportunity to meet other teams that will be joining you on your adventure, but it’s also an opportunity for you to set the tone for the rest of your trip. In this post we cover everything you need to prepare for a comfy and enjoyable trip.

Team Meeting and Check-in

Arrive at least three hours before your flight

A Choose a Challenge representative will be at the airport to help you and all of your teammates get checked in and prepare for your departing flights. They will also host a small team meeting about three hours before your departure time during which you will each get your challenge t-shirts and a quick travel briefing, do not be late for this! Make sure to show up to the airport at this time so you have plenty of time to make your team meeting, check in, go through security, and don’t make your teammates wait.

Print out a copy of your travel insurance policy and final info pack

You never know when you might need to quickly access your travel insurance information, so having a physical print copy of your policy or at the very least a clear picture of it stored on your phone is always a great idea. Likewise, it is also good practice to do the same for your final information pack which will be full of all the key information you will need for your travels ahead of you!

Give your briefing pack one last look

Go through your trip briefing pack one last time before you head to the airport to make sure that you have absolutely everything you need for your trip. Spend some extra time reviewing our recommended packing list, emergency contact information, and any further information regarding money and medications you may bring as well.

What to Wear

Wear your boots and any other bulky items that may be hard to pack

Wearing your boots during your flight helps you save a ton of room in your luggage, making your packing job much easier. It also helps you prepare for your trek; in the unfortunate event that your luggage gets misplaced when you arrive in-country, you will at least have the bare essentials to begin your hike while your luggage gets to you. This is a good rule of thumb for any other bulky items you may have to make your packing experience just that much easier for you.

Easy access to important documents

Wear something that can give you quick & easy to all your important documents while also providing a secure place to put them as well. This can be anything from jackets and pants that have plenty of nifty zipper pockets or simply your carry-on bag. However you choose to secure these items, make sure they include your passport, wallet, phone, visa (if required for your trip) and boarding pass once you get it. You CAN'T lose these types of documents and you also don’t want them to get damaged so another useful tip is to put them in a ziplock bag to protect them from moisture or anything else that could damage them. You should think to yourself, "What will I need in my next 24 hours of travel?", and have all of those important things secure and easily accessible.

Layers are the name of the game!

This is true for both your trip itself and also the time you will spend traveling to your destination country. Depending on your personal preferences and how you like to make yourself comfortable on long plane rides, it is super helpful to wear a couple of thin layers for your trip. If you get cold during your plane ride it is nice to have another layer of cozy material (i.e. a thin fleece top), especially when you are trying to sleep. Additionally, you can also use this layer as a makeshift blanket or pillow. On the other hand, if you get too hot along the way you also want these layers to be easy to shed.

Try to find that happy medium between space-saving and being comfy

No matter your trip, you’re going to be in for a lengthy flight so make sure you balance all of these space-saving ideas with what you know will make you comfortable during your flight. You'll thank yourself later for thinking about this ahead of time and, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, flying with your teammates will be some of your memorable moments from your journey so you might as well enjoy it as much as you can!

Other Things to Consider

Look out for our emails + posts before your trip!

In the weeks and days leading up to your eventual trip, we will be sending you our final preparation emails and posting in our Facebook forums with all the important things you need to remember for your trip. Not only will these emails contain your final info packs and flight information, but they will also contain even more tips for how to make the most of your trip. This is information you just don’t want to miss!

Same goes for your phone on the day of your departure

If you are having trouble finding your team at the airport or have fallen behind schedule make sure that you stay aware of any calls or texts that may come through on your phone. You will be getting text updates in the days before your trip but if we are having trouble finding you or need to get in touch with you to share any important information while at the airport, we will also shoot you a text or give you a call to ensure we can reach you quickly.

Speaking of phones…

You will all be starting this amazing adventure together and if you’re like me you’ll want to document each and every moment of it! With that in mind, make sure to charge all of your devices (phone, camera, GoPro, portable charger, etc.) so that you don’t miss one moment of your trip. When you’re at the airport with your teammates it’s a perfect opportunity for that “✌️see ya later US” Instagram post we know we’ll all want to make.

Speaking of Instagram…

This one is for both you and your parents. Before you head off on your trip, let your parents know how they can get updates about your progress along the way. We will be using our trip hashtags (ex: #KILI01, #MACHU01, #EBC01, #EDIN01) to track your team’s trip via Facebook and Instagram; this will start with a send off post when we meet you at the airport and conclude with a welcome back post when you return! This is a nice way for your friends and family members to keep up to date with where you will be and what you will be doing throughout your adventure.

Want More?

Check out some of our other trip-related content.