Join us this summer for an unforgettable experience in Berlin, Paris, and London, three cities that are not only historically intertwined but also among Europe’s most vibrant and cultural. See Berlin by bike, visit its museums and memorials, and get a glimpse of what it was like to live during WWII with a tour of its bunker system. In Paris, stroll the wide boulevards and browse the quaint riverside bookshops, cruise down the Seine at sunset, eat on an outdoor terrace, and of course go to the very top of the Eiffel Tower! Finish off this trip of a lifetime in London, where you’ll shop the eclectic stalls at Camden Market, see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and get the best view over the Thames from the London Eye! Learn how to be a savvy traveler as you ride the train from France to the UK, interact with locals, and immerse yourself in these three metropolitan cultures. Don’t miss out on this life-changing experience–join us this summer for a trip you’ll never forget!
During this program, you will…
- See Berlin’s most famous monuments, like the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie
- Climb up the mirrored dome of the impressive Reichstag building to glimpse Germany’s Parliament
- Pay a visit to the Mona Lisa at the Musée du Louvre
- Visit the most iconic Parisian sites such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysées
- Explore the Royal Palace of Versailles, learn about the Sun King’s lavish parties, and stroll through the gardens*
- Bike through the hidden corners of Paris on our awesome off-the-beaten-path tour
- Channel your inner Brit at Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, and Abbey Road
- Hear London’s bloody, gory history on a nighttime ghost tour
- Attend a play in London’s hip West End theatre district
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-4: BERLIN
Located at the crossroads of European history and culture, there’s no better place to begin your trip to Europe than Berlin. From its vibrant cafés and overflowing shopping streets to its poignant reminders of the city’s militaristic past, Berlin will captivate you right from the start. We’ll take a private bike tour to Tempelhof Airport, the site of the Berlin Airlift; climb up the impressive Reichstag to get a glimpse of Germany’s Parliament; visit the somber Jewish Memorial; and see the Berlin Wall transformed into a poignant work of art at the famous East Side Gallery. You’ll also get to savor wonderful German cuisine like pretzels, sausages, and schnitzel. Shop for souvenirs at the boutiques along Unter den Linden, and don’t forget to take an iconic photo with the Alexanderplatz Tower!
DAYS 5-8: PARIS > VERSAILLES* > GIVERNY*
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 the famous French movie “Amèlie” was filmed in Montmartre, and shop ’til you drop on the beautiful Champs-Elysées. You’ll have the option of visiting the Palace of Versailles and learn about the rise and fall of the French Monarchy, as well as walk through Marie Antoinette’s gardens and go for a rowboat ride on the lake. Art lovers can sign up for our optional excursion to Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny. Fans of impressionist paintings will recognize his beautiful Japanese bridge over the lily pond.
Have a guided tour through the Louvre, 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!
DAYS 9-12: LONDON
We then bid ‘Adieu’ to Paris as we board the train for London, shooting under the English Channel at nearly 200mph! London is one of the most cosmopolitan, eclectic, and exciting cities on the planet, even more so since the city hosted the 2012 Summer Olympic games. Awaiting you are dazzling theater shows on the West End, world-class shopping in Camden Market and Oxford Street, and a spin around the London Eye. Explore some of the greatest museums in the world, take a midnight ghost tour, and walk in the steps of the Beatles at Abbey Road. Learn about England’s central role in both World Wars, and go further back in time to learn about Royal England at the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey. Go to famous places you’ve always read about but never before seen–like 221B Baker Street for Sherlock Holmes fans, and Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. As an additional plus for Harry Potter fans, you can choose to visit the Warner Bros. studios and see every magical costume, prop, and set used for all eight of the films! We will attend the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and let’s not forget fish and chips and meat pies. See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London and have the Yeoman Warder tower guards explain its bloody history. Come and explore three of Europe’s most dynamic cities this summer with Travel for Teens!
DAY 13: 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.
In Berlin, our hotel is right in the center of the city, close by the German Parliament, Brandenburg Gate and the Jewish Memorial. Our hotel has a lot of experience with groups and stand ready to work with us to make our stay memorable.
In London, we will be staying near Kings Cross Station, the station made famous by Harry Potter’s very own Platform 9 and 3/4.
In Paris, we will be staying in a modern, three-star 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 three major European cities in some of the most visited-countries in the world. This program allows them to discover the similarities and differences of the unique cultures in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
What is unique about this program?
Between our bike tour around the hidden gems of Berlin, TFT’s years of expertise in leading trips through Paris, and a nighttime ghost walk through London to learn some of its more gruesome history, this program provides unique insider access to all three 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.
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.
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.
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!
In Germany, we’ll have a chance to discover delicious Berliner specialities. German cuisine is hearty and fulfilling and includes a variety of meats and potatoes. Students will also get a chance to sample authentic giant German pretzels!
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!
While some British food may look more familiar to you, you’ll also get to try meat pies, fish and chips, and a full English breakfast.
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
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.
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.
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
"Thanks you so much for everything!! No doubt a great experience for everyone. Thanks for keeping everybody safe!! Thank you so much for your daily updates to keep us connected with the trip. As parents your updates gives us peace of mind knowing that Carla is in good hands and is having a trip of a lifetime."
"Many thanks to TFT for making this trip so wonderful for our daughter Ella. It was her first time doing a program like this (or trip without family for that matter) and she thoroughly enjoyed it! And we were so thrilled that she felt completely comfortable and safe in your care over the course of the trip. Safe travels wherever you are off to next and best wishes for a great summer!"
"Thanks for all the updates and photos. Sona seems to be having a really great time. Not sure she is going to want to come home! Sona had a really amazing time with all of you in Berlin, Paris and London. She says it was the best two weeks of her life!"