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Travel Tips

Traveling can be stressful! First Descents would like to help make your travel days to and from your FD program be as smooth as possible. Here are a few travel tips for a stress-free start to your FD adventure. If you have any questions, please contact First Descents at [email protected]

 

Pre Travel

Arranging Your Travel
  • Once you have been informed that you are fully accepted and cleared for your First Descents program, you can begin booking and arranging your travel. 
  • Log into your account to check your program’s travel details and arrival/departure times.
  • We strongly recommend purchasing flight/travel insurance when booking your ticket, which is often available for about $30. This may protect you financially in the event of a last-minute cancellation, travel restriction, or medical emergency.
  • Once you arrange your travel, please log into your account and complete your travel form. Your travel form is due at least 5 weeks prior to your program.
Travel Preparation 
  • Log into your account to check your program’s suggested packing list. Please do not feel the need to go out and buy everything on that list. We can help make sure you have everything you need!
  • Checking a bag on a flight? Try to keep it under 50 lbs. to avoid extra fees
  • Your carry on bag for a flight:
    •  Must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. Check specific airlines for requirements to also avoid fees
    • Include an extra change of clothes
    • Any liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes you bring in your carry-on bag must all fit inside a quart-sized Ziploc bag
    • Medications – it is a good idea to have your medications in your carry-on. Check out this link to the TSA Travel Tips about traveling with medication
  • Have the contact information for your FD Lead Staff saved in your cell phone. They will be in touch with you throughout your travel, but be sure to communicate any travel delays.
  • If you are driving, make sure you have the address for the lodge –  use Google Maps to determine the best route. And make sure you note any special instructions that are cited in your account. 

Travel Day

Driving
  • Communicate with your FD Lead Staff to inform them of any travel delays and your estimated time of arrival.
Flying
  • Check-In with one of the following options using the itinerary confirmation number you received from the airline
    • Online – 24 hours before your flight
    • At the airport, airline kiosk
  • Be Early! Arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight
  • Have your I.D./Passport
  • Once you arrive at the airport, your First Descents Lead Staff or Volunteer will be waiting for you! They will be in touch with you throughout your travel day and will meet you by baggage claim to bring you to the lodge and get settled in for the program. (Don’t worry about spotting us in the crowd, we make ourselves stand out!)

FAQ's

If I am flying, do I need a rental car?

Nope! Once you arrive at the airport, your First Descents Lead Staff or Volunteer will be waiting for you! They will be in touch with you throughout your travel day and will meet you by baggage claim to bring you to the lodge and get settled in for the program. (Don’t worry about spotting us in the crowd, we make ourselves stand out!)

When should I arrive/depart?

Log into your account to check your program’s travel details and arrival/departure times.

How do I apply for a Travel Scholarship?

When you are registering for your program, you will have the opportunity to request a Travel Scholarship.

If you were pre-approved to receive a travel scholarship, be sure to email us ([email protected]) your receipt for reimbursement. Typically, we submit for reimbursement the week of your program and you will receive a check within 5-10 business days.

Should I purchase Travel Insurance?

We strongly recommend purchasing flight/travel insurance when booking your ticket, which is often available for about $30. This may protect you financially in the event of a last-minute cancellation, travel restriction, or medical emergency.

What should I pack?

Log into your account to check your program’s suggested packing list. Please do not feel the need to go out and buy everything on that list. We can help make sure you have everything you need!

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