Travel Information

Airline Ticket 

To increase safety and decrease confusion, we will fly together on one flight to Costa Rica.  Once you have paid your down payment and your first 50% balance payment, we will finalize travel plans around.  Do NOT book your own flight!  Our best guess is that we will leave Lambert International very early (probably between 6 and 7 a.m.) on March 2nd. As mentioned elsewhere in the packet, we anticipate the cost of the round-trip flight to be around $700. You will be responsible for getting to and from the airport.  We often fly from Lambert International to a major hub (Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, or Atlanta) and then directly from the hub to San Jose, Costa Rica.   Once in Costa Rica we will go through customs at the airport.  We will also go through customs upon arriving back at the major U.S. hub at the end of the trip.


If you do NOT have a passport, you will need to apply for one immediately!  Start by getting the application online or at your nearest post office.  You will also need a passport photo.  This can be taken at many places such as Walgreens or Walmart for around $13.  The cost of the application is $135 for new passports or $110 for renewals and takes approximately two months to be processed. START NOW!!  Without a passport you cannot travel internationally.   Your hometown post office will help you finalize your application.  The phone contact for the Topeka office is 785 295-9160 to make an appointment - or consult


105 N MAIN ST 
GLEN CARBON, IL 62034-9998 

Passport Photo Hours

·       Mon-Fri10:00am - 3:00pm

·       Sat-SunClosed

Passport Walk-In Hours

·       Mon-Fri10:00am - 3:00pm

·       Sat-SunClosed

·       Lot Parking Available

·       For more information, contact the Department of State at 


If you DO have a passport, check the expiration date.  If the expiration date is BEFORE March 12, 2018 you will need to get your passport renewed to go on this trip (see details above).  If the expiration date on your present passport is after March 12, 2018, you should be set for this trip.  


Travelers can take one personal item and one carry-on item aboard the plane.  If you have such items, be sure to avoid packing large volumes of liquids (e.g., shampoo, tanning lotion). See airline recommendations at (  We suggest that you consider foregoing the carry-on luggage item (you CAN take a personal item such as a purse or backpack) and check one large piece of luggage, but that is up to you.  If you wish to be responsible for multiple pieces of luggage and can manage them yourself, it is allowable. Most airlines will charge $25 for your first large piece of checked luggage each way.  All checked luggage needs to be under 50 pounds to avoid an additional charge.    

What to Pack

Laundry services will be provided by the hotel in CR so you do not need a separate outfit for every day.  You will need casual (but professional – clean, no holes, no workout clothes) outfits for attending lectures and meeting with people, 1 “semi-nice” outfit for the church service (dress modestly-- undergarments should be completely covered and skirts and shorts should be nearly knee length), a sweater or light jacket as evenings are a bit cool in CR, sturdy shoes (i.e., “workout shoes or hiking boots”), casual comfortable walking shoes, a hat, and a swim suit.  Be sure to consider bringing things such as generic and prescription medications (in their original containers), glasses/sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug spray.  Your U.S. electrical appliances (hair dryer, phone charger) will work directly in Costa Rican outlets.  You do not need adaptors as in Europe.  One tip to make room in your luggage for souvenirs on the return flight and to help less fortunate individuals in Costa – consider donating clothes at the end of your trip.  T-shirts, jeans, socks, etc. are much appreciated by social services groups in the areas where we will be working. 


One of the elements of the trip that previous students have found extremely enjoyable is the partnership and interaction with a Midwest, faith-based organization called Central American Mission Projects (C.A.M.P.).  Leaders of CAMP do a great job in coordinating many of our CR efforts.  Members of CAMP have been going to Costa Rica for over 30 years.  Some of the “charter” members still travel there each year.  So, the experience is an intergenerational opportunity.  You will meet dedicated, compassionate individuals with a love for God and humanity.   

Cell/Internet Service

It is possible to extend your phone plan to include international service.  If you are interested in this, please check before departing.  International calls on cell phones are expensive if you do not have such a plan.  The Wyndham Hotel where we will be staying provides reliable Internet and FREE phone service to the U.S. 

w© Michelle Cathorall 2013