Hola Spain: For Younger Teens
$2,995 + Airfare + $200 Intra Trip Flight
Jul 20 – Jul 29
|Places we visit:||
Madrid, Segovia, Málaga, Nerja, Barcelona
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Optional group flight there:||
New York-JFK to Madrid
|Optional group flight back:||
Barcelona to New York (JFK)
¡Bienvenidos a España! With its laid-back atmosphere, Spain is the perfect introduction to Europe for younger travelers. You’ll get to experience four diverse regions of Spain–metropolitan Madrid, Mediterranean Andalucía, the small-town medieval charm of Segovia, and the unique Catalan culture of Barcelona. Stroll through the parks and plazas of regal Madrid and feast on churros and paella. Shop ‘til you drop on the Gran Vía, ride rowboats in the lake at Buen Retiro Park, and even get a behind-the-scenes tour at the home of Real Madrid Football Club, Bernabéu Stadium. Try your hand at all different water sports on the pristine beaches of the Costa del Sol in Málaga. Spend an afternoon wandering the windy cobblestoned lanes of Segovia, where you’ll also explore a Disney-style castle! We will end our trip in fun and funky Barcelona, where we will bike around this beautiful city, sample local cuisine at an old-world marketplace, marvel at the unique architecture, and so much more. Come and experience four of the complex cultures that can be found in Spain and see that there’s more to this beautiful Iberian country than meets the eye!
On this trip you will:
- Visit Madrid’s royal palace, still in use by the monarchy, and learn about the scandals that took place here
- Stroll through the bustling Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol
- Have an up-close visit of both the Real Madrid and FC Barcelona soccer stadiums (including the players’ benches and locker room!)
- Climb to the top of a Disney-like castle and marvel at ancient Roman architecture in Segovia
- Go snorkeling, try water sports, and relax on the white beaches of Málaga’s Costa del Sol
- Watch a spectacular flamenco dance show in Andalucía
- Enjoy a fresh fruit juice at the Boquería Marketplace
- Bike through Barcelona’s hidden passageways to find treasures both old and new
- Take in Gaudi’s incredible architecture at Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia
- Learn how to make your very own paella at a private cooking course
- See the incredible lights and music show at the Magic Fountain
- And so much more!
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK-JFK
DAYS 2-5: MADRID and SEGOVIA
Welcome to Europe! Madrid welcomes us with open arms, a vibrant culture, and a plate of steaming churros con chocolate. We’ll get to know downtown Madrid like locals as we shop in the Puerta del Sol, learn about the bullfights and beheadings in Plaza Mayor, and hang out with the turtles in Retiro Park. You’ll gaze in awe at the massive Santiago Bernabéu soccer stadium, home to Real Madrid, and learn the secrets of the Spanish Royal Palace with our local guide. We’ll see original paintings by Dalí and Picasso, and feast on a wonderful paella dinner. We’ll also take a day trip to Segovia to see the Alcázar fortress (and climb to the top tower) as well as the incredible Roman aqueduct.
DAYS 5-7: MÁLAGA
Next we head south to the Costa del Sol, a Mediterranean paradise! Try your hand at windsurfing or paddle boarding, or simply relax and soak up the rays on these beautiful beaches. Of course, no trip to Spain would be complete without attending an exhilarating flamenco show. You will also get to walk around Málaga’s beautiful Old Quarter and see the remains of the Moorish civilization that lived here. We’ll also take a day trip to the whitewashed coastal village of Nerja to explore its amazing caves and enjoy an afternoon snorkeling trip surrounded by schools of rainbow-colored fish.
DAYS 7-10: BARCELONA
Just a short flight away is Barcelona, where we’ll dive right into this funky city with 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 see the home of FC Barcelona, the Camp Nou soccer stadium. A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be complete without marveling at Gaudi’s masterpiece cathedral La Sagrada Familia, as well as a visit to Parc Guell, where the Cheetah Girls movie was filmed! Finally, we’ll enjoy a fancy final dinner on a rooftop terrace and finish our time in Spain with an amazing lights and colors show at a magnificent fountain in front of the royal palace.
DAY 10: RETURN FLIGHT HOME TO THE USA
How much free time is there on the trip?
Any time we are outside of the hotel, our counselors are with the group. Participants are allowed to use the buddy system to shop and explore certain restricted areas for activities like shopping during the trip. At no time are students permitted to be exploring on their own without a buddy or counselors. Every day we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants lots of choice and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping in defined areas that we are very familiar with, for example Calle de Fuencarral in Madrid.
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.
Our hotel in Madrid is in the heart of Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s version of Times Square, within walking distance of nearly everywhere we want to go. In Málaga we stay in the center of the Historical Old Quarter just steps away from the stunning beaches. Our Barcelona hotel is one we’ve been staying at for years and where we have a wonderful relationship with the staff. It is just off la Rambla (the main pedestrian boulevard), so it’s close to all of the action!
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 four of Spain’s diverse cultures in one trip while getting to combine adventure activities and cultural exploration. While they are all in Spain, Madrid, Málaga, Segovia and Barcelona are all incredibly different, which keeps things exciting.
What is unique about this program?
Between our TFT Tapas Tour through Madrid designed just for us by a local, our diverse array of adventure activities, and the chance to see the stadiums of both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, this Spanish experience is truly one-of-a-kind.
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, rail passes, lunches, visas and visa application fees, 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?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our Europe 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 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 Spanish are happy to boast of their Mediterranean diet with anyone who asks. It’s a diet that focuses on ham, cheese, seafood, and eggs, as well as rice and fresh vegetables. And of course, no Spanish dish would be complete without at least a little extra virgin olive oil.
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
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/.
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. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country 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 in Spanish!