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.
"My experience traveling with TFT was nothing but extraordinary. In the summer of 2017 I set off, by myself for the first time, to travel abroad in Europe. Not only did Travel for Teens place me in a group with amazing people that I grew to be very close with, but I was guided through this trip with knowledgeable group leaders who cared about giving us the best experience possible. Through TFT I was able to visit the countries of Italy, Switzerland, and Paris. Each day was jam packed full of different activities including museums, hiking, eating delicious local cuisine, and creating new relationships with my group. My leaders, Taylor and Holden, knew facts regarding each area we ventured to, which made the trip so much more interesting and thoughtful. My favorite part about this trip, and the TFT company as a whole, was that travel, accommodation, and each experience was local and unique. We never loaded onto a tour bus, did not wait in long lines, stand in big crowds, or follow someone with a giant sign to each destination. Travel for Teens was personal, giving chief importance to an authentic experience abroad. I felt so secure with my team throughout the whole trip, with each activity being very well researched and planned, so there was never any confusion or worry. It was through this safe environment I was able to experience the true beauty of travel, which has inspired me to go out of my comfort zone, not to be timid, but to run towards any new opportunity in my life with an open mind!"
"My experience going on an adventure with Travel For Teens was incredible and unforgettable. Last summer, I went on the two week trip to Florence, Cinque Terre, Switzerland, and Paris with Older Teens. My trip had a rough start, since I did not go on the group flight, and my flight missed a connection in Portugal. I was scared that I would be missing out on activities and that it would be difficult to make friends if I joined the trip after it started. It was such a relief when I finally arrived in Florence and was greeted by my counselor Mike at the airport. He made me feel comfortable right away. It turned out that multiple people on my trip had problems with flights and TFT was able to keep track of everyone and collect them one by one from the airport. Once I got over the sleep deprivation from the long overnight flight, all of my worries went away and I had the best time traveling around Europe with people from all over the country, none of whom I had met before yet all of whom I became friends with. From Italy to Switzerland to France, we saw all of the famous sites and tried all of the amazing food. Just a few of the memorable experiences included learning how to make delicious homemade pesto in Cinque Terre, sampling fondue in Interlaken, paragliding through the Alps, and climbing up the Eiffel Tower in Paris. I must have taken over two thousand pictures over the span of the trip, and I look at them all the time to keep the memories of the trip intact and to put a smile on my face. I had the best summer of my life, and I couldn’t have done it without TFT."
"I had the amazing opportunity to travel on the Europe for Older Teens trip to Amsterdam, Munich, Switzerland, and Venice with TFT in the summer of 2018 and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had! My amazing counselors were so welcoming and inclusive to not only me, but all the campers. I was a little nervous to go on the trip at first, but after just one day on the trip I knew I made the right choice! TFT programs are great because the counselors give you that independence you want, while also keeping everyone safe! That trip was one I will never forget, the memories I made with awesome people is priceless. Thank you TFT!"