From the pristine sandy beaches of Barcelona, its bustling Gothic Quarter and markets, to the cosmopolitan streets of Paris and its stunningly beautiful monuments and galleries, this trip will stay with you long after you return home. We start our program in fun and funky Barcelona, where we will take a bike tour around this beautiful city, sample local cuisine at an old-world marketplace, and marvel at the unique architecture. Then it’s over to Paris, Europe’s gem that will exceed your highest expectations. Stroll the wide boulevard of the Champs-Elysées, savor crêpes at outdoor cafés, and climb the Eiffel Tower! Plus, enjoy a delicious fondue dinner in the heart of the Latin Quarter, followed by a sunset cruise of the Seine to see the Eiffel Tower lit up and sparkling! See for yourself what makes the European lifestyle unique, learn about the Spanish, French, and Catalan cultures, and of course savor the delicacies of these two metropolises. Join Travel for Teens this summer for an adventure you’ll never forget!
During this program, you will…
- Discover Paris’ and Barcelona’s hidden gems on bike tours led by our local guides
- Have an up-close visit of the FC Barcelona soccer stadium
- Watch flamenco dance show at a traditional tablao
- Learn how to make your very own paella at a private cooking lesson
- Soak up the sun on the lively Barceloneta beach
- See the incredible lights and music show at the Magic Fountain
- Soak in the most iconic Parisian sites such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Musée d’Orsay and the Champs-Elysées
- Explore the Royal Palace of Versailles, learn about the Sun King’s lavish parties, and stroll through the gardens*
- See where Van Gogh and Picasso spent time in Paris’ hippest neighborhood, Montmartre
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-5: BARCELONA
Dive right into this funky city with a walking tour of downtown Barcelona, including stops at La Rambla, the Gothic Quarter, Santa Eulalia Cathedral, and Plaça Catalunya. Have lunch at the Boquería Market, a hip old-world marketplace that sells the freshest fruit juices, tastiest tapas, and the best meats and cheeses fresh from countryside farms. Learn how to make your own paella with our private cooking classes and shop along La Rambla, the main boulevard in the downtown area. We’ll take a fantastic bike tour around the city and visit the home of FC Barcelona, the Camp Nou soccer stadium. Spend an afternoon relaxing on the beach, then try to keep track of the dancers’ fast-moving feet at a flamenco show. A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without marveling at Gaudi’s masterpiece cathedral La Sagrada Familia, as well as a sit on the world’s longest bench at Parc Guell. Finally, we’ll finish our time in Spain with an amazing lights and colors show at a magnificent fountain in front of the royal palace.
DAYS 6-9: PARIS
In Paris 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 all of the famous artists hung out in Montmartre, and shop on the Champs-Elysées. You’ll have an option to visit the lavish Palace of Versailles and learn about the rise and fall of the French Monarchy, as well as stroll through Marie Antoinette’s gorgeous gardens. Bike through some of Paris’ “hidden” neighborhoods, explore the Luxembourg Gardens or Père Lachaise Cemetery, and take a sunset cruise down the Seine. 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!
DAY 10: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Who can go on this program? What kind of teen typically goes on this program?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in grades 9th through 12th and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are chosen specifically in safe areas and are well suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. 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.
Our hotel in Barcelona lies right at the intersection of the beautiful Gothic Quarter and the Rambla, the main pedestrian boulevard. It has been recently renovated and is a modern gem in a historical neighborhood. In Paris we’ll stay in safe, comfortable 3* hotel in the heart of the 9th arrondissement, right next to the Opera House.
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 the program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
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 form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we 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 friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students generally like most on this program?
Students love that they are able to explore major European cities in two of the most-visited countries in the world. This program allows them to discover the similarities and differences of the unique French, Spanish, and Catalan cultures.
What is unique about this program?
Between our local connections in Barcelona that allow us experiences like private cooking classes and bike tours, and TFT’s years of expertise in leading programs through Paris, this program provides unique insider access to these two countries.
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts and dinners.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; lunches; visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is usually chaperoned by a TFT staff member, and it also offers an opportunity for the students to get to know one another prior to the start of the program. Parents are responsible for coordinating transport to the departure airport – however, the logistics team will send out instructions detailing the exact meeting spot and airport point person. For additional information about flights, visit our dedicated flight page.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
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.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
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!
The food in Spain can be a variety of styles. In Barcelona, tapas are a very popular cultural specialty. Tapas are appetizer sized dishes that amount to a full meal. Both the Spanish and the French love their ham and cheese products. They also eat a lot of bread, have plenty of egg dishes, and many desserts have Nutella. In France, we’ll enjoy classic French café fare, including the world-famous croissants, French bread, and a classic fondue dinner. And for the brave, escargot of course!
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
What kind of visa do you need for this program?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s 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!
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. Eat, stay, and travel like a local.
Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we were awarded Top Youth Travel Organization in 2017.
"I had never done an overnight camp before and I decided to go big and go to Scotland and Ireland with TFT! It was the best experience I ever had and I made so many memories. First off, the staff is incredible and they always take care of safety first, they are very fun and very supportive. One of the best adventures I remember was when we went rock climbing on the cliffs and rocks on the coast of Ireland, we got to jump off from the cliffs and into the ocean and that was such a blast. We also got to visit a castle and learn about falcons and even hold them as they would fly back and forth off our arms. The food was also incredible, as we got to try typical meals like a full English breakfast and haggis. The accommodations were very good too. For two of the three places we stayed at, we stayed at a hostel. They were quite small, but with all the new friends you meet there, it does not feel weird to be within such close proximity with others. The third place we stayed at was at an outdoor activity center on Achill Island and that was the most fun since every day there was a new activity such as surfing, canoeing, coasteering (climbing the rocks by the ocean), archery, and so many more. I have traveled a lot before, but with TFT, they are always on the move and you are trying new activities and trying new food while taking in the breathtaking scenery."
"I was given the opportunity of a lifetime: to travel across Europe with amazing kids my age and outstanding counsellors. This trip showed me beautiful parts of the world I longed to see since I was a little girl. Not only were the people, accommodations and food incredible, but also the activities. Like canyoning down a mountainside in the middle of the Swiss Alps, paddle boating in the canals of Amsterdam and riding my bike on a beautiful trail just at the foot of Neuschwanstein Castle to a lake where we could swim to the middle and face the German hillside with two beautiful castles as the backdrop. After going on this trip, I can now tell my friends that I’ve travelled across Europe and I’m not even finished with high school yet. It was truly an incredible experience and I would totally recommend it to any teenagers aspiring to travel."
"I have traveled with TFT for four summers now, exploring Costa Rica, Croatia, Fiji and Greece. These trips have been the highlight of my summers. They have broadened my horizons and strengthened my confidence. Going on these trips and meeting new people changed how I view the world. I love having conversations with locals and people I meet along the way. The small TFT groups and the knowledgeable and enthusiastic group leaders make for a fun and eye-opening experience. What sets TFT apart is that we immerse ourselves in the culture and we are not just tourists. We meet locals, hear stories about their lives, and it is truly invigorating. Travel For Teens has given me so much more than fun memories over the summer. They have given me the ability to be comfortable talking to anyone, being in new places, having a widened perspective on other cultures, and to be independent. On my Costa Rica and Fiji trips, we volunteered with school children. In a very short time we made deep connections that I will always cherish. I feel so fortunate to have had my eyes opened through TFT to so many beautiful places and memorable people."