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Get to the Airport Late But Don't Miss Your Flight

I travel a lot. Not as much as a lot of business travelers, but maybe in the top 1% for independent travelers. That means that I spend a lot of time on planes, in airports, and experiencing just about every air-travel scenario possible.

People get to airports ridiculously early in fear of missing their flights. I almost never get to the airport more than forty-five minutes before my flight departs, and have only missed three flights in that time. One was because I had bad information on how long it took to get to the airport, another was because the guy driving the canoe to the airport stayed up all night doing cocaine and then slept in, and the most recent was because I forgot I had switched my flight to an earlier one. I've never missed a flight when I got there forty-five minutes early.

Now, this only applies if you don't check bags. If I can travel for months on end with a half-empty nineteen liter backpack, I'm sure that you can travel for any duration with the largest-allowed carry-on.

Check in for flights generally closes an hour before the flight takes off. Sometimes this is a soft deadline and you can actually check in later. It's best, however, to check in online twenty-four hours before your flight. Almost every airline in the world allows this, and you can choose a good seat.

Arriving in Costa Rica, Renting a Car, What to Expect?

On Freedom Hunters International

Jet Blue flies direct from JFK into Liberia, Costa Rica. VERY handy! And, thanks to Costa Rica's welcoming attitude you don't need a separate visa to visit, just your passport. You will fill out customs and immigration forms (very simple) on the airplane so you're all ready when you arrive. Liberia is a fairly small, but recently updated airport so we moved through immigration quickly. The kids were thrilled to get their passports stamped for the first time, and I have to say I was pretty excited myself.

Baggage claim and customs were also totally painless. I had a letter from my chiropractor noting the supplements, vitamins, etc. that I had with me (you can find a list of what you can and can't bring into the country on the Costa Rica Embassy site), but they didn't even open my suitcases. The only item of interest in my luggage was my microphone stand.

And so, looking like total tourists (like the camera around the neck?) we looked for our car rental rep. I always feel like a celebrity when there's someone waiting for me at the airport with my name on a sign, but besides that ego boost I do recommend reserving a car before your get to Costa Rica and doing some homework.

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