Organized by Travel For Teens, this ultimate European immersion adventure will have you exploring some of the best cultures and sites Europe has to offer! Participants may elect to choose the 14-day version which includes Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome with an optional day trip to Normandy or 21-day version which includes 7 additional days in Greece between Athens and the Greek island of Santorini.
We begin with the northern canals in Amsterdam, known for its vibrant culture of young travelers eager to explore the city’s treasures. The city itself is a sight to behold, filled with bicycles and gorgeous old buildings, and perfect for us to explore on foot! Then it’s off to Paris, the City of Light, where we will explore the museums, history, food, and culture of this amazing capital city. During our time in Paris, there will be an optional day trip to learn about WWII history along the beaches of Normandy.
The journey continues to Italy, where we visit the floating city of Venice, lined with Renaissance palaces and filled with passing gondolas. We’ll wander the city’s tangled streets, marvel at the colors and reflections that only Venice can offer, and visit St. Mark’s Basilica and the palace of the Doges. Then off Florence, the Renaissance capital of the world, home to Michelangelo’s David, the famous leather markets, and the world-famous Uffizi art gallery! We’ll dive into traditional Italian life at our cooking lesson in the rolling hills of Tuscany, and discover Rome, the Emerald City and incredible ancient buildings blending into the modern, vibrant city.
For the participants who choose to continue on, our adventure heads to the incredible summer destination of Greece. Home to stunning beaches, whitewashed homes, charming towns and centuries of rich history, we’ll get lost in the ancient ruins of Athens and marvel at the incredible views of world-renowned Santorini.
The program is by invitation-only. There are a limited number of spaces for the trip which are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Final price for the 14-day or 21-day trip is determined by the number of paying participants during each section. Cost breakdown below in the FAQ.
Informational Meeting Details
A TFT representative will give a short presentation and answer your questions!
When: Friday, January 31, 2020
Where: Ternan Home
1984 Greenbank Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91361
Tiffany’s Cell Phone: 818-627144
DAY 1: DEPART FROM LOS ANGELES (LAX)
And we’re off to Europe!
DAYS 2-3: AMSTERDAM
Welcome to Europe! Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, is known for its vibrant culture of young travelers eager to explore the city’s treasures. The city itself is a sight to behold, filled with bicycles and gorgeous old buildings, which makes it ideal for exploring on foot. Our focus is on providing a safe and energetic tour of this dynamic place, as we tour the Vondelpark, check out the masterpieces on display at the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, and even take a walking tour through the notorious Red Light District. Throughout, we’ll peer back into the origins of Dutch culture, and pause to reflect on the events of modern history as we visit the Anne Frank House, where the famous diarist and her family lived while in hiding from the Nazi forces that occupied the city.
DAYS 4-7: PARIS & NORMANDY*
Bienvenue en France! Here we’ll experience the best of French culture as we marvel at priceless masterpieces and stunning architecture, stroll along the quintessential Parisian boulevards, and eat our way through the different arrondissements, or neighborhoods. You’ll see Quasimodo’s home at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, where Amèlie was filmed in Montmartre, and shop til you drop on the Champs-Élysées. Have a guided tour through the Louvre, explore the Luxembourg Gardens or Père Lachaise Cemetery, and take a sunset cruise down the Seine. Take a bike ride through Paris’ hidden alleyways with our local guide and learn interesting aspects of the city’s long history. Try some of your favorite recipes at authentic restaurants, such as crêpes, fondue, and omelettes, or maybe taste something new–escargot anyone? Finally, let’s not forget the experience of a lifetime: going all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower!
Students will also have the option to join our private tour of Normandy. We’ll visit the Caen Peace Memorial and learn the history of the crucial WWII battles that were fought in France. After lunch, take a guided tour of the D-Day Landing Beaches. Led by an expert from the Memorial, we will have a guided tour of Omaha Beach, Arromanches Harbor, Point du Hoc, and the American War Cemetery.
DAYS 8-9: VENICE
After a short flight, we begin our Italian journey in the incredible city of Venice – a dreamlike city of bridges and canals unlike any other in the world. You’ll be amazed at the splendor of the Grand Canal lined with crumbling, decadent palaces. We will wander the city’s tangled streets, marveling at the colors and reflections that only Venice can offer. Marvel at the iconic St. Mark’s Basilica in the central square. Visit the classic Venetian Gothic-style Palace of the Doges, which was the seat of the Doge, the supreme authority in the Republic of Venice. This striking structure set along the edge of St Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal is has been converted into a massive internationally renowned museum. Get an insider’s look at the last gondola shop to learn about this centuries-old craft. The Gondola master is one of only five remaining craftsman left producing the iconic Gondolas that thrill tourists daily in the canals.
Check out the Peggy Guggenheim Museum showcasing the eccentric Peggy’s private collection of unique modern art at the former villa where she spent many years amassing a huge array of art from legends like Pollock, Picasso and Dali. Venture to the island of Murano, the center of the ancient glassmaking industry and learn about first hand at an authentic Venetian workshop. Fall in love with the splendors of this Italian city in the lagoon that will surely leave its mark on you.
DAY 10: FLORENCE
We begin our Italian journey in Florence, the city most often referred to as an outdoor museum. Every turn in this beautiful city reveals a new statue, fountain or fresco. In the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, we’ll see Michelangelo’s famous “David,” climb to the top of the Duomo, and visit the Uffizi Museum, which houses the best collection of Italian Renaissance art in the world. We’ll shop in the city’s famous markets and go to an exclusive event at one of the best leather shops in the city.
DAY 11: MONTALCINO, TUSCANY
No trip to Italy is complete without visiting the rolling Tuscan hills. Here too we’ll get a hands-on cooking lesson from expert Italian chefs, using freshly harvested vegetables straight from their garden! Enjoy a special tour of the winery where they produce award-winning wine and receive an introduction to this important part of Italian culture.
DAYS 12-13: ROME
We’ll arrive in the Eternal City where a long and mighty history awaits us. As the city streets buzz with antiquity around every corner, you’ll be in awe as we transport ourselves thousands of years back in time while exploring the most important monuments and structures. From the Colosseum, where we’ll try to imagine the bloody spectacle of gladiator competition, to the Roman Forum, which once housed the ancient city’s bustling center and main marketplace. There’s no better way to learn about the Roman Empire than with a view of the city from atop the Palatine Hill–the very place where it all began.
DAYS 14-15: ATHENS
Go back in time almost 4,000 years where Western civilization was born and the then-new ideas about philosophy, government, and democracy thrived. Stroll through some of the best neighborhoods in Athens and eat to your heart’s content the incredible Greek food in the historical heart of the city. The next few days will be filled with culture and history. Stand atop the magnificent Acropolis and imagine ancient Greek life as you marvel at the architectural wonder of the Parthenon. Return to the modern city and wander among the lively markets full of fresh food and authentic handmade goods and learn to cook Greek specialties while you’re there. Go off the beaten path to the charming Plaka district, beautifully lit up at night and lined with adorable cafes and restaurants. Visit the Pnyx to see where democracy was born, and to capture those paralleled views of the city at sunset.
NOTE: Travelers only doing the 14-day trip will depart on day 14 – June 15 – from Rome FCO airport.
DAYS 16-17: PAROS
Leaving Athens, we will travel the way the Greeks do–cruising by ferry over the turquoise Mediterranean waters. Our next destination is Paros, an island famous in ancient times for its immaculate white marble and for having sided in battle with the Persians against the Greeks! We’ll get a tour of the island, where we’ll learn about traditional island life, past and present, with our afternoon saved for sun, sea. There will be plenty of fun activities on offer including, windsurfing, beach volleyball and swimming in the crystal blue waters. We will also hike the historical Byzantine road for some amazing views of the Cycladic island landscape, pass through beautiful white-washed villages, and end the walk in a fortified village!
DAYS 18-20: SANTORINI
Then we’re off to one of the most famous islands on the planet: Santorini, an island of dramatic red and black sand beaches, whitewashed homes and cobblestone alleyways. As one of the world’s premier luxury travel destinations and the most spectacular of all the Greek islands, we’ll enjoy the last few days of our trip relaxing in true Greek fashion. You’ll recognize the postcard-perfect town of Oia, famous for its blue domes and whitewashed houses, and even have the option of taking a scuba-diving class! We will wander the island’s quaint streets, soak up the sun, enjoy the laidback island lifestyle, eat fresh local cuisine, and experience what makes Greece a truly unique summer destination. The pool of our hotel overlooks the sea, as do the terraces where we dine–what could be better?
DAY 21: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Group Flight will depart from Athens. Suggested connections include via Amsterdam or JFK.
International Airfare is not included in the trip but TFT will help families book flights on an as-needed basis.
Deadline to register: February 10, 2020.
Final Price to be determined no later than February 13th once registrations have been received.
Within 3 Days of Registration:
Participants will pay a $250 deposit. This $250 deposit is fully refundable until the trip has been confirmed on February 13th.
As of February 14th, TFT will confirm the final price per person based on the number of students registered for each trip i.e. the 14-day or 21-day respectively.
By February 18th, Participants will pay a 50% deposit based on the trip chosen (14 vs 21 days).
Balance will be due in two installments: March 2nd and April 1st, 2020
Trip must be paid in full no fewer than 60 days before departure by April 2, 2020.
International Airfare can be purchased with the help of TFT. Airfare payments are due at the time of booking and will be subject to a one time $100 flight booking fee.
TFT strongly recommends all participants purchase travel insurance as all payments are non-refundable once the trip is confirmed. Insurance can be purchased directly from TFT after booking.
Cost Breakdown is as follows
14-day trip with 2 TFT leaders
8-9 paying participants $5,250 PP
10-11 paying participants $5,075
12-14 paying participants $4,925
21-day trip with 2 TFT leaders
8-10 paying participants $2,675 PP Supplement
21-day trip with 1 TFT leader
6-7 paying participants $2,575 PP
4-5 paying participants $2,875
Normandy Day Trip – TFT can run Normandy as an optional day trip for the travelers. The cost of this is $300 per person and that includes r/t train transportation to/from Normandy, transfer to the Caen Peace Memorial Museum, Lunch, private guide, minivan travel to beaches + US Cemetery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Travel For Teens?
We are in our 18th year in the teen travel business and have emerged as the industry leader for teen travel in Europe.
Our philosophy: We offer genuine and authentic trips for travelers, not tourists.
Our goal is to engender a passion for learning about other cultures and places through living like a local in that place.
How much is tuition & what does tuition include?
Tuition for the trip will be calculated based on the total number of travelers signed up for the 14-day and 21-day trip respectively.
Tuition includes all breakfasts, accommodations, transportation, ALL TFT tour guide staff costs, trip planning costs, entrance to museums/events, taxes and tips.
Tuition does NOT INCLUDE lunches and dinners, beverages other than filtered water at meals, international airfare, Internet, laundry, souvenirs, shopping, visas and visa application fees, personal and medical expenses, activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary, excess baggage fees, damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. transportation delays or natural disasters), and Trip Cancellation Insurance (Travel Protection Plans)
*Cost of the trip is dependent on number of participants. This will be finalized by February 13, 2020.
If I cannot afford the payment schedule listed above, does Travel For Teens provide flexible payment plans?
Yes, Travel For Teens is willing to customize a payment plan for any participant who needs a little flexibility in the payment schedule. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on payment plans.
How much is trip cancellation insurance?
Travel For Teens strongly suggests participants to purchase trip cancellation insurance. We feel that this gives one more peace of mind in case of unforeseen events. The trip cancellation insurance, if purchased directly from Travel For Teens, ranges from $258 for 14-days or $385 for 21-days for the standard plan. You may also choose to purchase a more comprehensive cancel-for-any-reason insurance. For more information, please see this page.
How much is airfare? How do the flights work?
Airfare roundtrip from LAX (LAX-AMS, FCO/ATH-LAX) can be purchased via TFT for a $100 booking fee. Airfare payment is due at the time of booking.
Who can go on this trip?
The trip is open by invite-only. Space is limited and is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Where do we stay?
We will be staying in three-star hotels throughout the program. The names of the accommodations are available to all families once they have signed up.
Student travelers will be in a combination of twin, triple and quad rooms.
Single rooms can be requested and will cost $700-$1000 additional per person per single. Note: singles must be requested at the time of registration to be guaranteed.
Trip emails & photographs
We will take dozens, if not hundreds, of photos each day. The best photos will be posted as regularly as possible (ideally every day) to a private webpage where you can follow along with the trip. During the program we will send you an email to alert you when we post new photos.
We will provide every family a link for downloading all pictures immediately after the trip returns. All photos can be purchased in high resolution after the trip via digital download ($50) or USB ($75).
The trip director will be in regular email contact every 24-48 hours, internet willing, with the families. Email will be the best way to communicate messages to the Trip Director.
Safety, sickness & communication
SAFETY & SICKNESS
The safety of your kids is our #1 concern, which is why we have only experienced trip leaders running the show.
All trip leaders will have international mobile phone access and TFT will give you these numbers before departure.
The TFT trip leader will also have a smartphone that is accessible 24/7 that can be called in case of emergency.
Your kids will be given opportunities to call and email home on a regular basis. Teens are encouraged to bring a cell phone on the trip. Outside of the hotel students can use their cell phone for photos/videos and emergencies. At the hotel, they can use their smartphones for social media, texting, emailing etc.
What happens after I register?
Once your $250 deposit is paid, you will receive an email that confirms your registration.
In February 2020, you will receive another email that contains your USERNAME and PASSWORD to MyTFT. All forms to be completed by parents and physicians as well as packing lists, travel tips, travel insurance information, and other important information can be found on the MyTFT portal (hard copies of the essential legal/medical forms can be mailed to participants upon request). Our contract and release must be signed by all custodial parents (or guardians) and the participant. We will host a second meeting, via webinar, in May 2020 in advance of your departure to go over all last minute questions and details.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
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!
What is the activity level of this trip?
This is an active trip. The goal of the trip will be to maximize each day. We aim to achieve a good balance of activity and downtime. You will need to be comfortable walking about 5 miles a day in total.