Travel Tips

Domestic Travel to the Meetup Airport

International flight information will be sent out about 90 days prior to your trip leave date. This information will include meet-up time and airport and if you’re going on an international experience, international flight details, baggage guidelines, and any other details you’ll need to prepare to meet your group.

Although we don’t coordinate domestic travel to the meetup airport, we want to give you all the tools you need to have a successful travel experience. Most people fly in, but you are welcome to drive in or arrive by any other means of transportation, as long as you arrive at the meeting point at the scheduled time. If you want to travel with another person from your group, the best way to do so is to connect through your trip GroupMe group message, which will go live 90 days before your trip departs.

Before you leave, make sure you are organized and ready to go! Weigh your bags before, make sure you have a designated place for everything (especially your passport), review our packing tips to make sure you don’t overpack, and plan on keeping things you’ll need access to while traveling in your personal item.

On the day of your travel,  make sure to wear your HumanitarianXP shirt, save your trip leader’s phone number, know where the group meet-up spot is (this will be communicated to you the week you leave for your trip), and notify your GroupMe group message if you have any delays on the way to your meetup destination. This will not only make the journey easier on you, but it will really help your trip leader! If you experience domestic travel delays and you’re running late, leave your checked bags! We will figure out how to get them to you later, but getting your body on the flight is most important.

If you are a domestic builder under 16 and planning to fly as an unaccompanied minor, click here to learn more about different U.S. airlines and the Unaccompanied Minor Services that they offer.

Flying to the Meetup Airport

Each Builder will need to purchase their own flight to the meetup airport if they cannot drive there the day of. There are a few things to keep in mind when doing so. Be aware that the type of seat you book (basic, economy, first class, etc.) comes with different perks. We encourage all Builders to stay away from any non-refundable seats because this will allow flexibility for you and your family if you decide to cancel or change your trip. Some of these refundable seats also include one checked bag! Be aware that not all airlines use the same words for each type of seat available, so read the details before purchasing. If you are using points, be aware of the same restrictions that could apply. 

International Travel

We book international flights, so make sure you come to the correct meetup location by or before the meetup time. Information for luggage restrictions and cost of checked bags will vary based on airline, and will be included in your builder portal under the transportation page once your international flight information is published (~90 days before your trip leave date). Typically, airlines will allow a free personal item and standard-sized carry-on, plus a standard-sized checked bag. For easier travel, we recommend bringing your personal item and only one additional piece of luggage.

The meetup time will always be four hours before your international departure. This may seem a little excessive, but it is extremely important that you plan to arrive on time or earlier than this. After decades of running Humanitarian Experience trips, we’ve found that this is the sweet spot. It gives you time to get off your domestic flight, get your checked luggage, meet up with the group, check baggage again, and travel through security as a group with plenty of time to travel to the gate and settle down before the flight takes off. Even in a crisis situation, it gives HQ and your trip leaders time to figure things out so you can still make your international flight.

If you have a long layover in order to make your meetup time or while you’re traveling internationally, embrace it! This is a great time to get to know your group members better and get ready for your trip. Every part of your experience will be affected by your attitude, and that starts with traveling there.