Welcome! Train hard, travel safely.
Welcome to Training & Traveling – a blog designed to share my experience in strength training, and my experience in travel.
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International Travel – get to where you need to be.
Let’s start with the basics. For any international flight, it is suggested to arrive at the airport 3 hours prior to the scheduled departure time. You should check in for your flight and be through security within 1 hour of departure. Most importantly, you should be at your gate 45 minutes before takeoff. All international flights begin boarding 45 minutes before take off, but could move faster or more slowly depending on how full your flight is.
Those time frames are pretty well known, and may not seem stressful as you’re planning your trip to the airport from your home airport. However, things can get stressful, and time can slip away if you don’t plan accordingly for the trip back home.
For example, my trip from DFW to Cabo San Lucas, BCS.
I don’t typically schedule in any additional buffer time when flying out of DFW – even for an international flight. I’m usually between 2-2.5 hours early for international flights – but don’t stress about the 3 hour rule. The reason I don’t is because I’m fairly familiar with this airport, given that it’s the one I am always flying out of.
However, traveling through an airport, in a country whose primary language you are not fluent in, can be be stressful, overwhelming, and you run the risk of missing your flight if you’re short on time.
So, what can you do if you find yourself in this situation? **side note: I hope that you do! Go somewhere new and unknown.
#1: Do Your Research: Upon asking a close friend of mine (thank you, rP), his best advice was: “Google a few phrases beforehand” – pick specific phrases so that you don’t have so much to memorize. Your best bets: gate, terminal, flight, the hour of your scheduled flight, baggage claim, arrivals, destination.
#2: Plan, Plan, PLAN: As mentioned earlier, arriving 3 hours prior to your departure is always recommended. When flying internationally from an airport that you are unfamiliar, it can go from recommended to crucial. You never know how big or small the airport is, how quickly security will move, how well staffed the airport is (which can make or break your experience), and the list goes on.. And even worse, you never know how they’ll communicate delays/cancellations. For this reason, it will be necessary to arrive 3 or more hours prior to your scheduled departure. This will give you the necessary time to check in, check your bags, and find your way to your departing gate.
#3: Be Resourceful: When all else fails, look for a sign! Quite literally. Although the language on the posted signs throughout the airport may not have an English translation, typically, the symbols associated with posted signs are pretty universal.
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