Five Fall Travel Tips From Josh Mulcoy

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As many nomadic surfers will tell you, fall is the best time of year score on a surf trip. Kids are back in school (sorry kids), most ultra-hot-weather destinations begin to cool down, summer flat spells give way to fall-time swell windows opening wide, and often time, fall trips land between peak-season travel times making airfare more reasonable than most other times of year depending on where you’re heading. If you are planning on a fall surf trip, here are five helpful travel tips from a guy who’s been around the world and back and gotten tubed at every stop, Josh Mulcoy. Oh, he also runs his own surf surf travel business, so trust us when we say the dude is a travel pro.
1. When you are heading out for a trip keep a eye on the forecast. We are lucky these days to have so many forecasting tools. Last thing you want to do is go on a trip and bring a step up when you should have brought a fish. Watch wind models, as well as swell models—people see pumping surf but often times miss seeing bad wind.
2. Save yourself a headache and get to the airport at least two hours early. Lines can be long especially through security and this is something to be very aware of when returning back to the USA. A lot of countries make it tough to check in a surfboard and take their sweet time accepting your payment. Just make the first part of your journey less of a headache to start with by getting to the airport early. You can also pay for boardbags online sometimes, which saves you the hassle trying to negotiate fees with an ornery desk-jockey at check in.
3. Pack light! I really try to bring just the basics on a trip. The smaller the boardbag the better, there’s way less of a chance of them opening up your board bag when it is in a small bag. If you have three boards in a huge coffin your just asking for trouble, everyone is different on this one but I don’t like to put all my clothes in my board bag for this reason. I will either check in a clothes bag or carry it on. Anytime you can carry things on you are way better off airlines do loose bags. Another thing if traveling with friends, put one of your boards in his bag and one of his in yours, just in case the worst happens and they loose one of your boardbags. Keep a pair of trunks in your board bag as well as your carry on, just in case one or the other gets lost.
4. When traveling to the tropics its pretty simple, sunscreen, hat, surfshirt, fins, wax, leash, bug repellent and some nutrition bars. Of course your trunks, boards and clothing. But it is easy to forget the things that will absolutely ruin your trip so never forget things that keep the sun off you and food if you are at the beach all day and its firing. If you are going to the cold never forget layers of clothes and especially rain gear and rubber boots. Cold is doable, but the last thing you ever want is to be cold and wet.
5. Make sure you call your credit card company before you go and let them know what country you are going to. If they don’t know and you go to make a charge very good chance it will be declined because they think it is a fraudulent charge. Get two scans of your passport and leave one with someone at home and take the other one with you separate it from your passport just in case your passport gets stolen. Always bring some cash just in case your card isn’t working or there is an issue with it.

Bonus Tip: Try and learn a few words from the country you are going to visit. People really appreciate it when you at least make an attempt to speak their language, plus making the effort even if awful can be fun—you may even make new friends.
Check out Mulcoy’s recent travels to Mexico

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