The perfect blend of cities and outdoor adventure, this trip is great for those seeking a mix of classic destinations while also experiencing some of Europe’s best-kept secrets! Step back in time to the fairytale city of Prague. Wander the cobblestone streets and see why this is Eastern Europe’s trendiest city. Head over to Austria for palaces, markets, breathtaking views of the Alps and a first-hand look at the country that inspired “The Sound of Music.” Take a tour of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest where, in one of history’s weird turns, a birthday present to Adolf Hitler is now a restaurant with a spectacular 360-degree view of the Alps. Explore stunning Lake Bled in Slovenia and walk along the cliffside over the stunning turquoise waters of the Vintgar Gorge, go for a traditional pletna boat ride across the lake, and relax on the beach by a castle. Finish up this trip in stunning Croatia. Home to the famous Krka waterfalls, pristine beaches and ancient seaside cities, you’ll discover for yourself why it is steadily climbing to the top of every traveler’s list. Your time here will be filled with a mix of relaxation and adventure. These hidden gems won’t remain hidden for much longer, so come join us for the experience of a lifetime before the secret gets out!
During this program, you will…
- Bike through Prague’s winding cobblestone streets on our hit bike tour and sign the famous John Lennon Wall
- Savor a slice of famous Viennese chocolate cake and take an authentic Austrian cooking lesson
- Visit the elegant Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna and go for a ride at the Prater, the world’s oldest amusement park
- Ride an elevator up to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, perched at the top of a mountain in the Bavarian Alps
- Jump through waterfalls, cascade down natural rock slides, climb over rocks and swim in crystal clear pools on a canyoning adventure in Slovenia
- Island-hop the spectacular Dalmatian Coast on our private boat cruise
- Experience an official Game of Thrones tour on the stunning island of Lokrum, where the hit series was filmed*
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM PHILADELPHIA (PHL)
DAYS 2-3: PRAGUE
Our first stop is Prague, in the Czech Republic, a destination where the historical and the modern collide. Old cobblestone streets provide space for a vibrant youth culture. We’ll learn about the Velvet Revolution, shop in Wenceslas Square, climb to the top of Prague Castle to watch the changing of the guard and enjoy a night of live jazz music on the Vltava River. Plus, enjoy our awesome bike tour throughout the hidden corners of this Bohemian city. We will top it all off with a city tour and the chance to sign the famous inspirational John Lennon Wall!
DAYS 4-5: VIENNA
In Vienna we will visit the elegant and decadent Schonbrunn Palace, which was the imperial family’s summer home. We will be amazed by this lavish 18th century palace and get lost in its garden maze. Afterwards we will enjoy some of Vienna’s famous chocolate cake for an afternoon snack followed by a walking tour of the city seeing all of the best sites, including Mozart’s famous Opera House. We’ll also enjoy a wonderful Austrian cooking lesson where we’ll learn how to make schnitzel and other local favorites! Our time in Vienna will conclude with some shopping on the upscale Mariahilferstrasse.
DAY 6: EAGLE’S NEST
En route from Vienna to Slovenia, we will spend a day in the Bavarian Alps while stepping back in time and visiting Hitler’s infamous Eagle’s Nest. Since it’s perched at the top of a mountain, we will ride an elevator up and have the unique opportunity go inside this piece of history. Not only will we learn about this dark period from the past but the views of the surrounding Alps are also stunning!
DAYS 7-9: LAKE BLED
Nestled in the Alps, Lake Bled in Slovenia is a postcard-perfect lake town surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery. Our time here will be filled with adventure! We will jump through waterfalls, cascade down natural rock slides, climb over rocks and swim in crystal clear pools while canyoning. We’ll hike the cliffside boardwalk of the Vintgar Gorge, tour the castle sitting serenely in the center of the lake, explore some enchanting caves, and of course swim in the lake’s inviting and refreshing waters. You’ll also ride a traditional pletna boat out to the island in the center of the lake, watch the sunset from atop a lookout point after an easy hike, and slide down a luge!
DAYS 10-12: KRKA FALLS > SPLIT
After crossing the border into Croatia, stop at the famous waterfalls of Krka National Park for amazing views and a refreshing afternoon in the water. Head on to Split, a coastal town known for its pristine beaches, whitewashed marble streets, and the ancient fortress of Diocletian’s palace at its center. In Split we will spend our time relaxing at the beach, soaking up the sun and culture while enjoying some of the freshest seafood! Our last day in Split might be everyone’s favorite – we island hop on a catamaran day trip exploring the breathtaking locations of Hvar, Brac, Solta and the Pakleni islands, with ample time to swim and soak up the Dalmatian sun!
DAYS 13-14: DUBROVNIK > LOKRUM ISLAND
Leaving Split, we will finish off our trip in the elegant Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik. This ancient walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage site with millennia of history and an easygoing, seaside vibe. It is home to beautiful churches, fountains and palaces and provides plenty of breathtaking views. Climb the walls of the city, explore the narrow pedestrian streets, and see the second oldest synagogue in Europe. Plus, you’ll explore rugged and beautiful Lokrum Island with some time to swim in its tranquil bays, and have the option of going on a Game of Thrones tour–you’ll even get to sit on the Iron Throne! We’ll wrap up this amazing trip of a lifetime with a photo shoot in front of one of the prettiest sunsets you’ll ever see, before enjoying a fantastic final Croatian feast overlooking the coast.
DAY 15: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?
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 11th or 12th grade and approximately 16 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 Prague, our 3* hotel is right in the center of the city and near Wenceslas square. We are in a great location that connects easily with the public transit. Our hotel has a lot of experience with groups and is ready to work with us to make our stay memorable. In Vienna we stay in a 3* hotel right on one of the hippest shopping boulevards. In Lake Bled we stay in a modern, comfortable hotel right on the lake. It is within walking distance to everything and a great place to hang out! In Split we’ll be staying at an award-winning youth hostel right in the city center, and in Dubrovnik we’ll be in a beautiful bed-and-breakfast in the historical quarter of the Old Town.
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 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 the Czech Republic, we will dine on the finest goulash, bread dumplings, and beer cheese in all the land! Try these Czech specialities at a critically acclaimed beer hall for an authentic dining experience in Prague.
Then try Austrian and Slovenian cuisine — both are hearty and fulfilling and includes a variety of meats and potatoes, but with their own national twists.
Croatian cuisine is very diverse with each region boasting its own mouth-watering dishes. Try various charcuterie, goulashes, stews and of course incredible seafood fresh from the sea!
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 trip?
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!
Do I have to bring a backpack?
No–the bag you bring is up to you, but we strongly recommend a smaller lighter bag, preferably one with rolling wheels to make your travel a bit easier. Larger “backpacker-style” backpacks are also appropriate. Please keep in mind you will be responsible for your own bags throughout the duration of the trip so packing light like a true traveler is key!
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.
"Thank you sooooo much! Yesterday’s pics are AWESOME - that water is lovely beyond! And how cool is that Croatia won their match and you will be there - its going to be wild and fun!! I have immensely enjoyed the pictures and tales - the trip sounds incredible!"
"Thank you for the updates and pictures. Adrian is having a great time! And we are so jealous about the World Cup viewing."
"Thanks so much for the great pics & updates! Looks like all are having a good time!"