London and Paris: two complementary European capitals that are at the top of every teen traveler’s list. In London you will be amazed at both the similarities and the differences with American culture, while Paris continues to set the trends that the rest of the world strives to emulate. Take in London’s best museums, go to a theater show in the West End, stroll along the Brighton Pier, and get a bird’s-eye view of the Thames from atop the London Eye! In Paris, soak up the City of Light as you explore the hip artistic neighborhood of Montmartre, get the best view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, go on a guided tour of the Louvre including a visit to the Mona Lisa, cruise along the Seine at sunset, and so much more! Your expert TFT guides will tie together history, day to day life, cuisine and the arts to create the ultimate travel and immersion experience. Come with TFT to London and Paris to experience two of the greatest European capitals in one unforgettable trip!
During this program, you will…
- See London’s most famous sites, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, and Abbey Road
- Take in the British Museum, National Gallery, Cutty Sark, and other fantastic museums
- Hunt for treasures and enjoy London’s best ethnic food at Camden Marketplace
- Experience the magnificence of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London
- Enjoy the rides on the Brighton Pier
- Hear London’s bloody, gory history on a nighttime ghost walk
- Attend a play in the West End
- Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
- Enjoy afternoon tea and scones at Kensington Palace
- Channel your inner witch or wizard where Harry Potter was filmed at Warner Brothers Studios*
- Shop til you drop at Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus
- Go to the most-visited museum in the world, the Louvre, and see works like the Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa and so many more
- Visit the most iconic Parisian sites such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Luxembourg Gardens and the Champs-Élysées
- Explore the Royal Palace of Versailles, learn about the Sun King’s lavish parties, and stroll through the stunning gardens*
- Take an off-the-beaten-path bike ride through Paris’ most historical neighborhoods
- Enjoy fondue in the Latin Quarter, escargot at a classic bistro, and crêpes along the Seine
- See where Van Gogh and Picasso frequented in Paris’ hippest neighborhood, Montmartre
- Have a fancy final dinner followed by the best ice cream in Paris
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-5: PARIS > VERSAILLES*
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. You’ll have the option to visit the Palace of Versailles and learn about the rise and fall of the French Monarchy, as well as walk through Marie Antoinette’s gardens. 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!
DAYS 6-9: LONDON > BRIGHTON
Bright, buzzing and full of life, London is one of the most eclectic and exciting cities in the world. You can attend concerts, a play in the vibrant West End, and shop ‘til you drop in Piccadilly Circus and Camden Market with its hip urban vibe. 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 Royal England at the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey. Hang out on the Brighton Pier, buzzing with all the people enjoying the summer ocean breeze and the amusement park. 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. Harry Potter fans will also have the option of visiting the film studios where all eight movies were made. We will attend the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, followed by high tea, and let’s not forget fish and chips! See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London and have the Yeoman Warder tower guards explain its bloody history. To close out our time in England, we’ll take a day trip out of the city to the fun seaside city of Brighton, where you’ll hang out on the pier like the locals and even have the chance to go on the amusement park rides. London awaits you for an experience you’ll never forget!
DAY 10: RETURN FLIGHT HOME
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of teen typically participates in 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 only for students who are currently in 9th and 10th grade and approximately 14-16 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 London hotel is right in the heart of the city, right near two main train stations and dozens of wonderful restaurants and museums. In Paris, we will be staying in a modern 3* hotel very close 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 like the most about this program?
Students love that they are able to explore two of Europe’s most important cities on an in-depth trip that experiences all the sights they’ve heard about but never before seen. They also like discovering the cultural differences between the UK and the US, for example, by enjoying high tea and on our nighttime ghost tour in London.
What is unique about this program?
Between a full week spent soaking in all of London’s most thrilling sights, and TFT’s years of expertise in leading trips 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.
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!
Even though a lot of food will look familiar to you, we encourage you to be adventurous, and step out of your comfort zone, try something new! Most British food will be similar to American food, although we will try fish and chips, meat pies, scones, and other local delicacies. The French love ham, cheese, and bread, and maybe you’ll be brave enough to try escargot!
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!