Alaska Service and Adventure (14 Days)
$4,795 + Airfare
Jun 29 – Jul 12, Jul 13 – Jul 26, Jul 27 – Aug 8
Session 2, Session 3, Session 4
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
9, 10, 11, 12
Anchorage, Glacier View, Homer, Peterson Bay, Seward, Girdwood
|Optional group flight there:||
Seattle to Anchorage
|Optional group flight back:||
Anchorage to Seattle
Alaska, known as the last frontier, the land of the midnight sun, and the place where your life will change! This trip combines the breathtaking beauty of Alaska, meaningful service work and adventures that will have the whole family wishing they could come! This trip is full of active adventures! Hike to the top of a glacier, white water raft down a river surrounded by white capped mountains. Kayak in a glacial bay and look for seals, and spend your evenings star gazing. To top off our adventures we will volunteer at at a wildlife conservation center and help out with some hands on service projects..
Join us this summer in Alaska for the perfect mix of adventure, service, and exploration!
On This Trip You Will:
- Earn 30 hours of community service at two volunteer sites
- Put on crampons, hike up the Matanuska Glacier, and learn how to Ice Climb
- Hop on a prop plane and go to Kodiak to get up close with Bears*
- Hike in Kachemak Bay State Park
- Whitewater Raft up to Class IV rapids in 2 stunning canyons
- Cruise the Kenai Peninsula in search of Seals, Whales, Bald Eagles and Glaciers
- Spend time in Kenai Fjord National Park and hike to the top of the Harding Ice Field
- Embrace your inner angler with a fishing excursion and catch your own dinner!*
- Stargaze and, if we’re lucky, even see the Northern Lights!
- Channel your inner musher as we visit an Iditarod training camp and take the sled dogs out on a run
- Explore the charming town of Girdwood, hike, play disc golf, and adventure to your heart’s content
- Visit the Anchorage Museum and gain insight into the Inuit way of life
- Enjoy delicious seafood fresh from the Pacific
- Kayak in a glacial bay and keep an eye out for seals and other wildlife
*These are optional excursions.
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM SEATTLE, WA
Our trip begins in Anchorage, the State Capital, a city holding 40% of the state’s population yet only the 4th biggest city (In square miles). Here we will explore the city, see what survived the famous quake of 1964 and get an insight into Alaska history and culture while visiting the Anchorage Museum.
DAY 2-3 Wildlife Conservation Center
We’ll spend two days volunteering at Alaska’s Wildlife Conservation Center. We’ll have a walking tour of the property with a naturalist guide and immerse ourselves in the natural history of the 13 species of Alaskan wildlife housed here. Working alongside staff and naturalist interns we’ll work on projects to better the lives of the animals through husbandry, maintenance, and enrichment projects.
Not only is this a fantastic opportunity to give the animals unique experiences, it is a once in a lifetime chance to see Alaskan wildlife exhibiting natural behaviors up close and personal!
Whether your service includes cleaning animal habitations, distributing browse and feed, building structural enrichment items, or assisting in special projects, you will be instrumental in providing quality care to the wildlife that make their home at the Conservation Center.
Day 4 Glacier View
Today is the day to explore the beautiful Matanuska Glacier. What better way than by strapping on crampons, grabbing some ice axes and hiking, scrambling, and climbing all over the glacier. Test your skills on glacial walls ranging from 30ft to over 100ft. We will also rappel down into crevasses and climb our way out under the watchful eyes of trained professionals. This day is truly a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed!
Day 5-8 Homer and Peterson Bay
Continuing with our theme of service we will be spending time at a living laboratory on the south shore of Kachemak Bay. This is only accessible by boat from Homer and we will stay overnight in traditional Yurts. Our group will learn about natural history from naturalist guides as well as assisting with maintenance and light construction projects.
Once the project is completed we will have a chance to explore Homer, the Halibut capital of the world. Our group will go on a stunning hike in Kachemak Bay State Park as well as getting to explore the town of Homer, especially the unique Homer Spit a 4.5 mile piece of thin land jutting into the bay where the harbor, restaurants, hotels, and some of the more historic areas of Homer are located.
Day 9-12 Seward
Seward is considered one of the best adventure capitals of the State. During our time here we will get our adrenaline pumping while Whitewater Rafting down Six Mile creek between two stunning canyons. We will Sea Kayak in Resurrection Bay and learn about the history of the area, discover wildlife, and check out the coastal rainforest. We’ll also visit the Alaska Sealife Center to provide a close up look at many of the species that make up the waters. Some are too big for the Center, we will take a marine tour out past the bay to try and spot Orca and Humpback Whales, Sea Lions, and if we are lucky, see a Calving Glacier fall into the water! We will get to experience what many people call the most beautiful hike they have ever done heading up to the Harding Ice Field at Exit Glacier. In Seward we will also enjoy some of the best stargazing around, and with some luck, maybe even seeing the Northern Lights!
Day 13-14 Girdwood
What better way to end a dream trip than channeling our inner Iditarod dog sledding champion and experiencing what those dogs can do! We will visit a camp for the dogs, get to know the team, ride on a circuit, listen to some incredible Iditarod stories, and to top it off, get to cuddle some pups who will someday be racers themselves! We will spend the rest of the day hiking, playing disc golf and soaking in the beautiful sights of Girdwood before taking a tram 2000 feet up and dining overlooking the spectacular valley and the Turnagain Arm.
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
On this trip we will use a mix of University housing, Hotels, and Hostels.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers are staying. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a trip.
Yes, in fact over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT trip the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students generally like most on this program?
Students love that they are able to explore such a diverse and beautiful part of Alaska. Any student that loves the great outdoors will be blown away by the sheer beauty of this State. Students also enjoy the ability to earn community service hours partnered with a passionate organization.
What is unique about this program?
This program is the perfect mix of meaningful service, unforgettable adventures, and fun activities packaged into 10 action packed days!
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, trip related activities, trip related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included: (not intended to be an exhaustive list) Airfare, rail passes, lunches, visas & visa application fees, beverages other than tap water, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not trip related such as movies, clubs and the like, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the trip description such as damage to hotels, excess baggage fees and the like, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances such as transportation strikes, natural disasters and the like, personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this trip’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the trip starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on trips that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
Who are the counselors on the trip?
The Trip Director for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the trip fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week long training session every May to prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check. Staff on this trip will have a deep experience with outdoor and adventure trips.
What is the average group size?
At Travel for Teens, our trips typically fall into 3 different size categories.
Small: 7-14 students where 14 is the maximum.
Medium: Average is between 14-21 students with 21 as the maximum.
Large: Trips 21-35 students. These are our largest trips. /p>
We expect Alaska to fall into the medium range, but trip sizes vary from year to year.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other trips. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the trip and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
What is the food like on this trip?
In a word – Delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this trip?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group nearly always. Every day we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas they go in groups and for no more than an hour. On this trip, the group will have some free time to explore some of the safe pedestrian areas of every city we go to. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time in each city.
What kind of Visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen will not need a Visa or Passport but will need a form of identification to get through airport security. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.