The ‘d’ in the famous I Am-sterdam sign!

Since 2013 is the year of adventure and travel, the second blog of this year is going to be about one of the most exciting things you can do as a young person in the modern world; BACKPACKING!!!

What could encapsulate the spirit of adventure like strapping your belongings to your back and taking off to explore Europe? Though all of TFT’s trips are dedicated to teaching teens to be travelers, not tourists, the backpacking trips that we offer have a special role in allowing teens to develop independent travel skills. On Backpacking I and Backpacking II, we travel by train from place to place and for lunch the participants break into smaller groups and find their meal independently! The trip teaches kids the discipline of traveling on a schedule with the structure of having guides to rely on, but while learning the travel skills to survive when they want to backpack by themselves in the future.

In Backpacking I, you’ll get to travel from Amsterdam to Munich, through the Swiss Alps, and finally to Italy, where you can compare the canals of Amsterdam with the ones in Venice! In Amsterdam you’ll see some of the greatest works of art at the Van Gogh museum, stroll through Vondelpark, walk through the edgy Red Light district, and (if you dare) eat the specialty sandwich of Amsterdam, raw herring! Then you’ll move on to the beautiful German city of Munich, where there is a haunting day trip to Dachau, Germany’s first full scale concentration camp of WWII. From there you’ll stop off in the Swiss Alps to do some hiking, mountain biking, and other fun in the Swiss sun activities! After your mountain sojourn, you’ll hop on the train and visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice, to eat delicious Italian food and see the sights!

Adventures in the Swiss Alps!

For Backpacking II, you begin in Italy, then travel up through the Swiss Alps, and end in Paris! In Italy you’ll get to see Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, home to some of the finest art in the world, and eat amazing Italian food! You’ll also go to Cinque Terre, a collection of 5 sea-side fishing villages for some hiking and some beach time! Next you’ll hop on the train and head up to the Swiss Alps to explore Swiss culture, and do some outdoor activities such as hike in the beautiful mountains, mountain bike, or even do ropes courses! The final train you’ll board will be to Paris, the City of Light! Here you’ll eat delicious crepes, hit the shopping streets of the most fashionable city, go to the Louvre, and much more!

Counselors Teddy and Kaitlin by the Bridge of Sighs in Venice

These trips are both great on their own, but they can also be combined to give you a four week European adventure! Backpacking I ends in Venice, so if you’re continuing on to Backpacking II, you’ll just hop a train with one of the counselors and pick up with your next group in Florence! And though both trips go through the Swiss Alps, they go to completely different locations, so you’ll just be enjoying more of Switzerland!

So if you’re interested in a few weeks or a month of European adventure, where you’ll have the opportunity to explore Europe with the help of a guide but while learning great travel habits to help you in the future, check out our Backpacking trips and join us for a summer of unforgettable adventure!