California and the Grand Canyon
$3,495 + Airfare
Aug 1 – Aug 11
9, 10, 11
|Places we visit:||
Los Angeles, San Diego, La Jolla, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Page, Antelope Canyon, the Grand Canyon
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Optional group flight there:||
New York-JFK to Los Angeles, CA
|Optional group flight back:||
Phoenix, AZ to New York-JFK
Live out the last days of summer in the Golden State and Grand Canyon! From LA to San Diego you’ll soak up the SoCal sun in two of California’s greatest cities. We’ll begin our journey in the star studded city of Los Angeles. Stroll the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and admire the city lights at sunset from Griffith Observatory. Hang out in Venice Beach and ride the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier. In San Diego, hang ten as you learn to surf at one of the city’s most famous beaches and kayak through secret caves in La Jolla while looking out for sea lions. If the San Diego Zoo or Disneyland has been on your bucket list, check them off here!
On our way to the Grand Canyon State of Arizona, we’ll make a pitstop in Nevada in the vibrant city of Las Vegas. Ride the High Roller ferris wheel and enjoy a delicious feast at an interactive dinner show! There’s no downtown in America quite like the Las Vegas Strip! The flashing lights and fountains compliment the high energy of Vegas.
There’s no better way to end this road trip through some of the most famous places in America than at one of the seven natural wonders of the world: the Grand Canyon. See it for yourself and try to envision how the Colorado River created such a masterpiece over hundreds of thousands of years. Using Flagstaff as our home base, we’ll also travel to Page, Arizona to see less known hidden gems! Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend are not to be missed sites in the Grand Canyon area.
On this trip you will:
- Watch sunset from Griffith Observatory and see LA light up!
- Stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame and see the famous sign
- Shop in Beverly Hills at Rodeo Drive
- Live out your childhood dream of visiting Disneyland*
- Hang out at Venice Beach and shop in Abbot Kinney
- Relax at the beach in Santa Monica or enjoy one of the rides at the pier
- Hang ten on a surfboard in San Diego
- Kayak secret caves and look for sea lions in La Jolla
- Visit the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park
- Ride the High Roller in Las Vegas for views of the strip
- Enjoy an interactive show while eating dinner at one of Vegas’s top rated casinos
- Take in the wonder of the mighty Grand Canyon
- Check out the natural beauty of Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
*This is an optional excursion.
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS NEW YORK-JFK
DAYS 1-4: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Tackle the second-largest city in the US without feeling overwhelmed! Wander through “Tinseltown” to spot your favorite celebrity along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, window shop in Beverly Hills at Rodeo Drive and check out the Chinese Theatre. Spot the Hollywood sign on your way up to the Griffith Observatory where you’ll watch the city light up as the sun sets. Explore vibrant Venice Beach and shop in the famous Abbot Kinney neighborhood. Play on the Santa Monica Pier, or relax on the beach. You will even have the chance to go on an optional day trip to one of America’s favorite theme parks: Disneyland!
DAYS 4-7: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Our adventure continues in sunny San Diego. We’ll a taste of the laidback Southern California lifestyle as we explore the neighborhoods and coastline that make this city so well known! Wander through Balboa Park and visit the world famous San Diego Zoo. Kayak through secret caves and watch the lazy seals in La Jolla. Take a surf lesson and learn to catch a wave in the Pacific. Absorb the history of the gaslamp neighborhood and enjoy colorful sunsets every night in the beautiful San Diego weather with your new friends.
DAYS 7-8: LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
On our way to Arizona we’ll stop in the vibrant city of Las Vegas to stroll the Strip and check out some of the well known sites, including the dancing fountains at the Bellagio and the High Roller ferris wheel. We’ll hang by the hotel pool and catch a dinner show at one of Vegas’s top Casinos before heading to our next destination.
DAYS 8-11: FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA: GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Flagstaff is a perfect jumping-off point to both Grand Canyon National Park and Page, where you can find some of the best hidden gems of the Southwest. Discover one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, and see for yourself what makes it one of the grandest sights in the entire country! Page is home to both Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. If you love traveling to natural wonders off the beaten path, this stop is sure to satisfy your spirit. A short walk takes you to the overlook of Horseshoe Bend where the Colorado River wraps around the canyon below in a literal horseshoe shape! Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon secretly tucked below the ground. You’ll wander through the canyon, gazing up at the bright orange walls that make you feel like you’re on another planet. If you’re feeling up for a swim, stop by the beautiful Lone Rock Beach on the shores of Lake Powell.
DAY 11: RETURN FLIGHT HOME FROM PHOENIX
After 11 days together, you will leave with lasting memories and lifelong friends!
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means 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.
All accommodations on this trip have been selected to ensure quality while still maintaining character of the places we are visiting. All hotels or dorms are guaranteed to be clean, safe, and equipped with 24 hour security.
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 a trip.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
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 are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you 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 BFFs on another TFT trip the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open 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 a wide variety of cities and landscapes on this 11 day program. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, you truly get something for everyone. In addition to the cities, the natural wonders along the way are not to be forgotten. Seeing the Grand Canyon is on every true traveler’s bucket list and this trip is sure to accomplish many more!
What is unique about this program?
This program is a legitimate road trip designed for teens in mind. Intimate sized groups make this an incredible experience for everyone on board. You’ll see cities and spend time outdoors in some of the greatest places in California and the Southwest that will create lifelong memories. In addition to the Grand Canyon, your journey to the American Southwest will include visiting hidden gems in Page, Arizona–a destination no other teen travel company ventures to.
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, trip related activities, trip related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, lunches, beverages other than tap water, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not trip related such as movies, clubs and the like, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the trip description such as damage to hotels, excess baggage fees and the like, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances such as transportation strikes, natural disasters and the like, personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this trip’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the trip starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on trips that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
Who are the counselors on the trip?
The Trip Director for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the trip fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week long training session every May to prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
What is the average group size?
At Travel for Teens, we like to keep our group sizes small to allow for a more personalized program. Our average group size is between 14-21 students, which provides an authentic travel experience without any student feeling like “just a number.” You would never be able to have the same experience with a group of 40-50 students!
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our North American programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other trips. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the trip and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
What is the food like on this trip?
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 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!
We’ll have seafood and food influenced by the neighboring continent of Asia while in California. In the Southwest, try the best Mexican food you’ve ever had!
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this trip?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group nearly always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas they go in groups and for no more than an hour. On this trip, the group will have some free time to explore some of the safe pedestrian areas of LA, San Diego, and Flagstaff. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time in each city.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.