Thailand for Older Teens
$4,895 + Airfare + $550 Intra
Jul 13 – Jul 29
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from all over the world!
Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Ko Tao, Chiang Mai and Pai
|Optional group flight there:||
LAX to Bangkok
|Optional group flight back:||
Chiang Mai to LAX
Prepare to fall in love with Thailand on this incredible journey just for older teens! We’ll start our adventure by immersing ourselves in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Here, we’ll explore temples, palaces, floating markets and ancient ruins. After Bangkok we’ll slow things down and experience the island life on Ko Tao. Known as the dive capital of Thailand, it’s white sand beaches and pristine blue waters make it a true island paradise. We’ll swim, snorkel, scuba dive*, trek and relax. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
After some island relaxation we’ll head north to Pai, where we will spend two days white water rafting down the mighty Pai River taking in the scenic mountain surroundings and enjoying each others company on the peaceful river banks. During our two day jungle journey we will spend a night at an awesome rustic jungle lodge. If you’re lucky, you might see wild monkeys swinging through the trees!
From Pai we will head down to Chiang Mai, the adventure capital of Thailand. We will spend our time trekking, playing with elephants, swimming in beautiful waterfalls, and of course practicing our haggling skills at local markets. Come join us this summer and see for yourself why Thailand is on every traveler’s bucket list!
On This Trip You Will:
- Step into a bygone era while exploring Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam, with its iconic overgrown Buddha head and countless other archaeological treasures
- Savor the best pad thai of your life while exploring Bangkok’s street food scene
- Marvel at the beautiful Royal Palace
- Soak in sunset from atop Wat Arun
- Discover new underwater worlds as you scuba dive on Ko Tao’s incredible reefs*
- Relax on a private island-hopping cruise around Ko Tao
- Trek to beautiful viewpoints and bask in the pristine water of Ko Tao
- Relish two days of exhilarating white water rafting as you navigate rapids on the Pai River
- Drink in the relaxing vibe of Mountainous Pai
- Have the ultimate jungle experience staying in a peaceful and secluded jungle lodge on the river
- Feel refreshed as you swim in beautiful jungle waterfalls
- Savor incredible mouth-watering meals during traditional Thai feasts
- Seek enlightenment as you explore the temples of Chiang Mai
- Hunt for bargains as you practice your haggling skills in the captivating markets of Pai and Chiang Mai
- Make new friends with majestic elephants
*These are optional excursions.
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHTS DEPARTS FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Your adventure officially begins just after midnight as you peel away from the tarmac on your way to Thailand!
DAYS 2-3: Bangkok
We will start the trip jumping right into the hustle and bustle of Bangkok! Be transported to a bygone era as you explore the vibrant Bang-Pa-In, the old summer palace of the kings before roaming through Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Siam, with its iconic overgrown Buddha head and countless other archaeological treasures. Check out the opulent Royal Palace, serene reclining Buddha, and the most iconic temple in Bangkok, Wat Arun. Embrace the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok as you hunt for bargains at various markets and savor the flavors of Thailand with an introduction to this country’s eclectic street food scene.
DAYS 4-8: Koh Tao
We will fly into Koh Samui and travel by ferry to the paradise of Ko Tao. This turtle shaped island boasts what is considered some of the best beaches, reefs, snorkeling and scuba diving in the world! We’ll take advantage of everything this island has to offer on an unforgettable private boat trip exploring a number of sites around the island. We will also go hiking and enjoy a Thai BBQ dinner on the beach.
DAYS 8-16 : Pai & Chiang Mai
After experiencing the fast paced Bangkok and the very relaxed Ko Tao; Chiang Mai and Pai are the perfect places to provide a well rounded Thai experience. Pai is a beautiful, serene town in the foothills of the Himalayas – after all, you can’t spell Paradise without Pai. We will use this traveler’s favorite as our base for an awesome rafting adventure. On this trip of a lifetime we’ll navigate a meandering path through the quiet jungle; tackling challenging rapids, spotting wildlife, swimming in gorges, enjoying showers under waterfalls and relaxing in hot springs. Don’t worry if you have never rafted before, this adventure is great for all skill levels! On our rafting journey we will have the ultimate jungle experience staying in a peaceful and secluded jungle lodge on the river.
After resting up and celebrating conquering the mighty Pai River we will head to Chiang Mai to enjoy a famed Thai massage, see the beautiful golden Doi Suthep temple, trek through lush jungle, and soak up the eclectic vibe of this city.
Of course, whats a trip to Thailand without making friends with a few Elephants? During our time in the North we will spend a day at an elephant conservation center learning about these gentle giants. We’ll even have the opportunity to bathe them!
At the end of our adventure we will celebrate the new friends we made and forever cherish the time we spent together exploring this incredible country.
DAYS 17: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM BANGKOK TO LOS ANGELES
WHO CAN GO ON THIS TRIP? WHAT KIND OF TEEN TYPICALLY GOES ON THIS TRIP?
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.
In Bangkok we stay in a modern three star hotel in close proximity to the main attractions and best parts of the city. Near Chiang Mai we stay at a centrally located hotel with great access to markets and the heart of the city. In Pai we stay at a well-appointed resort right on the Pai River, decorated in traditional Lanna Thai decor. On our rafting adventure we stay for one night in a rustic and secluded bamboo hut on the river. On Ko Tao we stay at a boutique style resort right on the beach.
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 is staying abroad. 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.
DO MOST TRAVELERS GO BY THEMSELVES?
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 the variety of locations we visit and experiences and adventures we offer on this trip. From visiting an elephant sanctuary in the jungles of Northern Thailand, to the incredibly diverse marine environments of Ko Tao, this trip really highlights the best parts of this amazing country.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
Not many people can say they SCUBA dived, white-water rafted, made friends with elephants, and explored palaces in Thailand. Students leave with a deeper understanding of the Thai culture and the world that exists outside of their communities.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts, lunches 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, 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.
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.
Typically Thailand trips fall into the medium range, but trip sizes differ from year to year.
HOW DOES THIS PROGRAM CONNECT TO OTHER PROGRAMS?
Most of our Asia programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other trips in the region as well as Fiji, Australia and New Zealand. 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 Americanized 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!
Thai cuisine is bursting full of flavor, aromatic smells and vivid color, with lots of attention paid to balance, detail and variety. You’ll savor the best pad thai of your life and sample hundreds of incredible dishes featuring mouth-watering combinations of rice, noodles, seafood, meats and fresh vegetables. What will your new favorite be?
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. Everyday 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. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time in each city and a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising whenever anyone is in the water.
WHAT KIND OF VISA DO YOU NEED FOR THIS TRIP?
Any US citizen that enters Thailand does not require a visa. Instead you will automatically receive a 30-day stay in the country. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
DO I NEED TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!