Every traveler knows that while it is super important and super amazing to hit the “must-sees” while traveling (think the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Machu Picchu in Peru), it’s even more amazing to do something different than the norm. So journey with us as we take you off the beaten path for some incredible adventures that most people have only ever dreamed of!

1. Visit Cinderella’s Castle

View of Neuschwanstein Castle Bavaria seen on summer teen travel program

If you ever happen to find yourself in Munich, definitely make time to head south and check out the Neuschwanstein Castle near the Austrian border. This fairytale castle is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, though to be honest, the story of King Ludwig II building the castle in order to withdraw from public life might sound a bit more Beauty and the Beast-esque to some!

2. Say “Hi” to Hermione

We seriously cannot get enough of the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Nerdy, yes…but in the best way possible. Muggle your way out of London and into this enchanted world. The behind-the-scenes tour will give you the opportunity to see scenes and props used in the actual movies! Check out this blog to learn more about what is included on this magical outing.

3. Check Out Middle Earth


Just when you thought that we couldn’t get any nerdier, we just took it to the next level (again, in the absolute best way possible). Yes, there is a Middle Earth Tour and yes, it takes place right in the breathtaking New Zealand wilderness where the films were shot. This epic journey takes you deep into Middle Earth with a private scenic tour of the amazing film locations used in the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film series.

4. Embrace Your Inner Millionaire

Now that you’ve seen the sets of famous movies, why not try to spot some famous people? When in the French Riviera, a visit to Monaco is an absolute must. As soon as you step outside of the train station, you know that you are not in your average country. Everything is absolutely stunning. From the Prince’s Palace to the Monte Carlo Casino to the infamous yacht port…you won’t be able to escape from its glamor and charm.

5. Live the Italian Dream

Teenage travelers jump into swimming pool with Tuscany in background on summer teen travel program

If Monaco leaves you wanting to live more of the vita bella, then head down to Tuscany and experience Italy at its finest. No trip to Italy would truly be complete without spending a relaxing afternoon on a Tuscan estate and vineyard in the picturesque Montalcino. Learn the age-old art of winemaking and take a dip in a swimming pool overlooking the vineyards to end your day in true Tuscan fashion.

6. Time Travel

American Cemetery in Normandy visited by teenage travelers during summer French language immersion program

Step back into history as you visit the eerily modern-looking town of Caen and its state-of-the-art Memorial Museum. Here you will delve far back into history in order to fully understand the development of World War II, giving you the necessary background to this horrific war before visiting the beaches where the Western Allies launched the largest amphibious invasion in history. Here you will visit the ruins of the German defense areas and see first-hand how the Allies scaled unimaginably steep cliffs before meeting their fates. This day would certainly not be complete without a visit to the American Cemetery. It contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. You will see both beauty and tragedy throughout this excursion, making it one of the most recommended trips to take off the beaten path.

7. Marvel at Majestic Temples

There’s paradise…and then there’s Angkor Wat. For any traveler to southeast Asia, a visit to this incredible temple complex is not to be missed! Plus, you’ll be able to cross another country off your list, as we cross the border from Thailand to Cambodia.

8. Scuba…Sharks…Fiji

Shark seen on scuba diving excursion during summer youth program in Fiji

Need we say more? As with most island destinations, Fiji offers water activities galore, but none of them quite as cool as scuba diving with bull sharks! Get ready for one of the most amazing dives of your life as you spend time swimming side by side these amazing creatures.

9. Meet Jaws


Once you become a pro at swimming with sharks, why not head down to South Africa to meet the king of the ocean: The Great White Shark! Hanging out with lions has nothing on chilling (quite literally) in a cage while great white sharks come to say “hello.” It might sound scary at first, but once in the water, you will find yourself more in awe of their massive size and how majestically they move through the water than worried about their proximity to you. The guides on the boat are also full of awesome information about all things marine biology, so come ready to learn as well!

10. Get Your Glide On!

Teenage travelers paragliding in Swiss Alps during summer youth adventure travel program

Just when you thought that nothing could possibly be more exhilarating than getting up close and personal with sharks, there’s paragliding…over the Swiss Alps. Where can I sign up?! This takes you waaaaaay off the beaten path and up up up in the sky! Any adrenaline junkie’s dream come true and an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience for all!