Month to Month
What Happens Next?
Being prepared is an important part of travel. Wondering what to expect from us between now and your teen’s departure date? Follow along Month to Month to see what we are up to and any items you will need to complete to be ready for the trip of a lifetime!
September & October
- TFT offers our biggest promotions of the year in the Fall. All returning alumni get an additional 5% off, along with Early Bird discounts depending on what month you register. Check out our Program Discounts page for details.
- Schedule your Welcome Call. Whether brand new to TFT or a returning family, we are here to help. We know the logistics and details regarding sending your teen on a trip can be daunting. Scheduling a time to talk with a member of our Operations Team helps to demystify the nuances of travel and gives parents peace of mind. Even if we are still working out flight paths and itinerary details, we can talk about processes and expectations along with paperwork, insurance, payment, and anything else you may be unsure of!
- The User Experience Team has been busy since mid-August reviewing all student and parent feedback from our previous summer participants to ensure that our programs remain wonderful year to year. With the feedback, they spend these months building out and fine tuning this year’s itineraries and start making reservations for hotels and activities for the coming season.
- The Operations Team works with the User Experience team to map out the transportation to and from all programs, along with reviewing processes to make sure our Client Services remain top-notch.
- The Sales and Marketing team updates all of our literature with improvements to our programs based on the feedback from our previous summer participants, along with calling every family who traveled with us this past summer to hear about their experience.
November & December
- If your teen is still undecided on where to travel, you can schedule a call with one of our Trip Consultants to find the perfect summer adventure. The deadline to choose a program is February 1st, but programs may sell out before that so we encourage families to decide as soon as possible!
- You can begin the flight booking process as the flight paths are announced by completing the Flight Survey. For trips where the group flights are still pending, we will update families with the confirmed flight path by mid-January at the latest.
- Need ideas for holiday gifts? Check out our Gear Store and Amazon Page for a curated list of travel must-haves!
- Travelers on our Winter Programs depart for adventure!
- The Operations Team methodically researches and maps out the ideal transportation details for all of our programs. As the flight paths are finalized, they are announced by email and families can start working with this team to book flights.
- The User Experience Team finalizes reservations for all hotels and big activities and works with the Finance Team on sending out non-refundable deposits to secure our stays.
- Our office closes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah holidays, but we’ll give you a heads up along with dates on when we will return your calls and emails.
January, February, & March
- If your teen has yet to choose a program, now is the time. Our deadline is February 1st, so schedule your call with a Trip Consultant to find the trip of a lifetime. Please keep in mind its possible your number one program choice may already be sold out so we encourage you to decide sooner rather than later!
- Optional Trip Excursions are available to sign up for in your MyTFT account. Optional excursions are activities on the itinerary that not everyone may want to do, such as scuba diving or a high-adrenaline activity. Each excursion is unique and is not included in the tuition. You can sign up directly through MyTFT, or call or email if you have specific questions.
- Check your teen’s passport to be sure they have 6 months of validity from the END of the trip. For example, if they are going to Costa Rica on June 29th and coming back on July 9th, the passport needs to be valid until January 9th, 2024 to be safe!
- Payment in full is due April 1st. You can review our Payment Details page to decide on a payment method that works best for you.
- The Operations and Client Services Teams help new and previously registered families prepare for the summer. They can help with anything you need: booking flights, purchasing trip insurance, completing paperwork, and answering general questions. They also begin a detailed and ongoing paperwork audit. They will contact you with reminders to complete the paperwork packet if it is overdue. Having the paperwork complete in a timely manner allows all teams to thoroughly prepare for the summer.
- The User Experience and Finance Teams work on finalizing and paying for activities, classes, transportation, and special events for the programs.
- The HR Department is in full swing welcoming back returning Trip Directors and Senior Counselors and finding new applicants in our four-step interview process.
- Our Sales and Marketing team is busy speaking with interested families every day and helping them choose the perfect program!
- If you haven’t finalized your flights, don’t delay, they will go up in price rapidly as the summer approaches! Fill out your Flight Survey or schedule a Flights Logistics call with a member of our Operations Team.
- Check your traveler’s account! Some parents put their OWN email addresses and phone numbers instead of their child’s when they register. Our counselors need to be able to contact your teen prior to departure, and they will want to receive our trip update emails as well! If you are unsure if we have your teen’s correct email or phone number, you can check on the lefthand dashboard of MyTFT under ‘Edit Your Contact Info’.
- Any traveler registered prior to this month has the final payment due. Reminders are sent and late fees are assessed. Failure to pay in full by this time can result in losing your teen’s space on their program.
- If your destination requires a Visa for US Citizens to visit, we will notify you this month and direct you to where and how to apply for one. You can review information regarding Visas and Vaccinations here.
- The trip itineraries are updated in real-time in our system and available for parents and travelers on the left side of the dashboard in MyTFT. Forgot your username and password? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will resend.
- Travel For Teens begins preparation for our annual staff training weekend.
- It’s time to start thinking about your teen’s trip! Check out our Trip Specific Packing List to get an idea of what needs to be packed. Need travel supplies? We have an Amazon page of curated travel must-haves sourced by our adventurous staff. Check it out!
- Review the Optional Excursions in MyTFT. Some programs have something really special above and beyond the already amazing itinerary, but there are deadlines to sign up! Make sure your teen isn’t missing out by going to MyTFT and clicking ‘Optional Excursions’ on the left.
- Throughout the trip, our counselors will be taking lots of photos on our high-quality DSLR cameras so that parents can follow along on the adventure! Register with Waldo photos if you would like to purchase a high-resolution digital download of the photos for $50.00. Purchase of the photos can be done at any time before, during, or after the trip, and you can share the link with friends and family.
- From May onward, the final payment and all paperwork are due within one week of registration. This ensures that all teams have what they need to prepare for your teen’s travel experience.
- The Operations Team double-checks all trips for birthdays. If your child has a birthday on their trip, we can arrange a celebration with cake or special dessert for the group to celebrate for $75. This is an excursion and can be added to your account on MyTFT.
- All teams are in full gear preparing for the summer departures. Trip Folders with essential camper paperwork and reservations are organized, and gear bags including med kits and cameras are built for summer counselors. Accounts are audited one by one for any missing information, counselor staffing is finalized, and training materials are sent for pre-staff training homework. Staff flights are booked and airport days mapped out.
- Last minute questions? Schedule a time to chat with our Operations Team, our phones get busy this month!
- Review the entry requirements for your teen’s program to prepare for possible testing for Covid-19.
- The last Monthly Update of the season is sent.
- Excitement grows because school is over and summer is here!
- Travel For Teens core and summer staff gathers for our annual Staff Training.
- By mid-June, our Trip Directors introduce themselves to parents and travelers by email.
- The User Experience team reviews and confirms every reservation, while the Operations team audits every flight.
- Excitement grows because school is over and summer is here!
Prior to Departure
- Our rules, safety measures, and Code of Conduct are in place to guarantee all travelers feel safe and included in our programs. Please, please take this time to review our Five Rules and Code of Conduct with your teen. Failure to follow our rules and safety measures can result in dismissal from the program. If a participant is dismissed from a program for violating the Code of Conduct, no refund will be given for any program costs or flights, whether used or unused. All costs associated with the participant’s departure will be the responsibility of the participant and their family.
- Within 72 hours of departure, all participants are required to submit proof of a negative COVID test through the MyTFT portal or to email@example.com. Instructions on how to upload the test will be provided in the June Monthly Update.
- WhatsApp is the preferred method of communication during our programs. While parents aren’t part of the trip WhatsApp group, we encourage parents to download the app for ease of communication.
- Within one and two weeks of the trip departure, Trip Directors send a pre-departure email with all final checklist items to ensure a smooth departure and a successful trip. In this email, Trip Directors will invite all participants to a WhatsApp group Chat so that participants can start communicating directly with each other.
- One week prior to departure, the Operations Team will send a travel day email with detailed instructions for what to do when you arrive at the airport, how to meet the group, who to contact if you’re running late, and who will be there. If your teen is flying as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM), a separate email will be sent detailing the designated pickup person. Due to the nature of staffing an airport day, this information is not available until closer to departure.
- Forty-eight hours before departure, the Trip Director will send one final email with any last-minute reminders.
During the Trip
- Our counselors are very approachable and friendly. We encourage participants to bring any issues they are having on the trip (broken AC, not liking the food, feeling homesick, etc) to their counselors and not to their parents. Parents, if your teen has an issue during the trip, please ask them to talk to their counselor, they are driven to do anything they can to make your teen’s trip the best it can be.
- Are you enjoying following along with your teen’s trip? Let their counselor know! We love feedback, so don’t ever hesitate to send them an email if you’re following along and want to chime in.
- Your teen’s Trip Director sends an email update every 24-48 hours on how the trip is going, what the group is seeing, eating, doing, etc. Along with the trip photos updated within the same timeframe, you’ll feel like you’re right there with them!
- The Operations Team and staff on the ground at the airports monitor every flight, helping to solve any issues that spring up in real time around the world.
- Our dedicated Problem Solver Team spreads across multiple time zones to answer the emergency line for staff and parents 24/7.
After the Trip
- Tell us about the trip! All participants and parents are sent a post-trip survey to provide valuable feedback on what they loved or didn’t love so much about the program, from hotels, activities, staff, and anything else they want to comment on. We strive to make these trips the best they can be. This feedback is read and implemented, completing the loop that starts in the Fall.
- At the end of every trip, it is normal for some families to reach out to us to share that they would like to show gratitude towards our staff members by tipping them and asking for guidance on how to best make this happen. While this is not mandatory or expected, our staff members are always very appreciative. We send information on how to tip your teen’s counselors if you so choose.
- If your teen participated in a service trip, a certificate is sent by mid-August confirming the hours worked during the trip. If a more-detailed form needs to be filled out, email it firstname.lastname@example.org and we can verify the hours.
- After the return of the last trip, we celebrate another successful summer!
- After Labor Day, we have our annual Think Tank, where each team reviews its processes and brainstorms how to make the next season even better, and we start all over again!