What are your safety protocols?
The safety of our participants is our #1 concern, which is why we have only experienced trip leaders running the show. We offer 24/7 communication throughout our programs and have detailed risk management and safety policies in place. Please review our policies here.
For information regarding our specific policies with Covid-19 please review our Covid-19 protocols page here.
How are you handling travel during Covid-19?
We continue to heed the guidance of public health experts and student travel experts and will make decisions with our participants, staff, and global partners at the forefront of every conversation.
Please read our detailed current safety measures for summer 2022 here. As the world is constantly changing, these requirements are subject to change.
Will I be able to communicate with the office or my child’s Trip Director during their program?
Yes! Our office is available to support you 24/7 throughout the summer. We have a designated “emergency line” we share with families that is monitored at all times so that parents can feel confident knowing they can reach us instantly if needed.
We will provide contact information for your Trip Director but ask that you stick to emails and reserve phone calls for emergencies. Your Trip Director will also be in touch with you every few days with updates!
What happens if a participant becomes sick while on a program?
If a participant becomes sick while on a program we will notify the parents immediately and make sure the participant is given the medical attention they need as quickly as possible, including a doctor or visit to the closest appropriate medical facility. Parents will be looped in with constant communication and updates.
If a participant needs to rest at the accommodation a staff member will stay with them and ensure they are taken care of unless alternative arrangements are made with the parents’ permission.
Our staff are all CPR and First Aid certified and well equipped to deal with medical emergencies.
What does “Older Teen” mean?
Our Older Teen programs are specifically designed for participants finishing 11th and 12th grade (typically 16-18 years old). These itineraries are created for an older age group and allow for more freedom, flexibility, and independence.
Do you have programs just for 9th and 10th graders?
Yes, we have plenty of options specifically for 9th and 10th grade students, or ages 14-16. You can find them all here.
Do you have programs for students in middle school?
Yes, we offer middle school programs exclusively for participants finishing 7th and 8th grade or ages 12-13. On a case by case basis we may allow 6th graders to join, please contact us directly if you are interested in this.
What does “finishing grade” mean?
We determine grades based on the grade you are currently “finishing” this school year. So if you are a current 9th grader, you are “finishing 9th grade” and qualify for all of our 9th grade programs.
Do you offer free time on your trips?
Yes! Our itineraries are packed with fun adventures each day but we always incorporate some free time so participants can explore and gain confidence and independence through traveling.
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 there is always a designated meeting point. Free time is usually for about one hour.
What are "optional add-ons?"
Optional add-ons are an additional cost and are typically excursions that not every traveler would be interested in (scuba diving, paragliding, high adventure activities, etc.). They may also be longer day trips that not every traveler may want to go on. We always have alternative activities that are equally as fun in place for any traveler who chooses not to add any of these excursions!
Enrollment and Eligibility
How do I register?
Registering is easy! Simply fill out our online registration form here and submit your $900 deposit and application fee to secure your spot. Our team will be in touch shortly after with information about the following steps, including paperwork, insurance, flights, and payments.
Visit our “What happens after you register” for a more details.
Contact us if you would like to speak with someone before registering.
Who can join your programs? What kind of teen typically joins a TFT trip?
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.
Our programs are designed exclusively for students who are currently in grades 7th through 12th and approximately 12 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
I am traveling from a location outside of the US, am I still allowed to join?
Yes! We welcome travelers from all over the world and frequently have international students join us on our trips. We have had participants from Canada, France, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China, Turkey, Kuwait, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Bahrain, UAE, Belgium, Bahamas, Anguilla, Russia, Lebanon, Venezuela, and many other countries!
You will find that our travelers are all eager to meet people from different backgrounds and are excited to share and learn from each other.
When is the deadline to register?
Our trips tend to fill up fairly quickly. Many programs sell out as soon as fall or winter, and the majority of our trips will be full by early spring. We do not have a set deadline, but we encourage you to register sooner rather than later to guarantee a spot. We recommend contacting us to see current availability on the trips you are interested in.
What happens after I register?
Our Client Service team will be in touch with information regarding paperwork, insurance, flights, payments, and how to access MyTFT (our parent portal) that has all of the information for your program. You will find detailed trip itineraries, accommodation information, and more in our parent portal.
Do you take photos of the participants during the program?
We will take dozens, if not hundreds, of photos each day. The best photos will be posted as regularly as possible (ideally every day) to a private photo-sharing platform where you can follow along with the trip. Low-resolution photos can be viewed for free during and after the trip. All matched high-resolution photos can be purchased and downloaded in real-time during or after the trip for $50.You will receive instructions for enrolling in our photo-sharing platform after registering.
Will the Trip Director be in touch with updates?
The Trip Director will be in regular email contact every couple days, internet willing, with our families. Emails will include fun detailed updates about the day’s activities and are a great way for families to follow along with the journey. Email will be the best way to communicate messages to the Trip Director.
Are participants allowed to use their cell phones during the program?
While phones are technically permitted on our programs, we have a firm policy to reduce usage. Participants may have their phones for emergencies and during free time in the evenings back at the hotel, but we expect them to be fully present and unplugged throughout the day and encourage them to live in the moment.
Our official messaging platform during programs is WhatsApp. We have a WhatsApp group for travelers and staff for each program. We strongly recommend but do not require participants on international programs to have data in the event that they need to communicate via WhatsApp and no wifi is available.
Teens may use their phones for photo opportunities, however, we will be taking upwards of 100 photos a day on our high-quality DSLR cameras that we upload to a shared album every evening. We find this policy works well to help teens and families feel safe knowing they have a phone if they need it while balancing phones not detracting from the actual trip.
Who are your leaders?
Our staff are leaders and role models. We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with youth. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. They connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
TFT is unique in that we prioritize our staff members to commit to a two summer contract minimum. This means we only get the highest quality applicants who truly feel passionate about the job and are not just looking for a short summer opportunity to travel.
Where are your leaders from?
We celebrate diversity! While the majority of our leaders do come from the US, our team represents 49 different nationalities, speaks a combined total of 21 languages, and has 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.
What is your participant to leader ratio?
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every eight 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 training does your staff go through?
Our staff all receive the same background checks as a school teacher. They are required to participate in an in depth training prior to the start of summer where we cover a variety of skills and topics including group dynamics, safety, health, communication, and executing the perfect summer trip!
Our staff are all CPR and First Aid Certified.
For programs involving water activities there will be at least one lifeguard certified staff member.
What is included in program tuition?
On all programs we include ground transportation, accommodation, chaperones and guides, all program-related activities and admissions (unless listed as an optional excursion), taxes and vendor gratuities.
Our programs all include breakfast and dinners, many of our programs also include lunches. Please reference the specific program page to see if lunch is included.
Tips for TFT staff are not included but are not required.
How can I make a payment?
If you are already enrolled you can make a payment on our payment page here.
You can learn more about payment methods here.
If you would like to register and submit your initial deposit please fill out our online registration form here and you will be prompted to submit your deposit as soon as it is completed.
What is your refund and cancellation policy?
All tuition payments for our open enrollment summer programs are fully refundable until February 1st, 2023. All payments after February 1st are protected by our Flexible Travel Guarantee.
Depending on your level of insurance you may also be able to file a claim through insurance for reimbursement.
Are tips included?
Tips for all vendors, meals, and activities on tour are included.
Tips for TFT staff are not required, but if you would like to show appreciation for your counselors by leaving a tip, we will share you information on how to do so.
Do you have any discounts?
Throughout the year we may offer special discounts. Our Early Bird Discounts in the fall are always the best discounts we have. Alumni are also always eligible for special discounts. Refer anyone to TFT who has never traveled with us before to receive a 5% discount based on the price of the program he or she registers for. You can learn more about current discounts and promotions here.
Do you have solo travelers?
Yes! In fact, 75% of our travelers come solo! Our participants are excited to meet new people and we often have families choose to travel with us specifically for our fantastic group dynamics. Our large number of solo travelers means everyone is in the same boat and ready to make new lasting friendships.
How do you promote healthy group dynamics?
Our staff go through a very thorough training with a heavy emphasis on group dynamics. We start off every trip with icebreakers to help everyone feel comfortable and get to know each other. Throughout the trip we sprinkle in the perfect amount of group games and activities. Our staff are masters at facilitating friendships!
How do you handle bullying?
We have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to bullying. Our trips are a friendly and inclusive environment where everyone can feel welcome. One of our five main rules is “no negative energy” and if someone is bullying another camper or bringing the group down and their behavior cannot be corrected they will be dismissed from the program.
What are your group sizes?
Our group sizes generally are between 14-24 participants. This is the perfect size! Our groups are not too big that you ever feel lost in a crowd or “just a number” but big enough to meet plenty of new people.
Small group sizes allow for our staff to know each participant as an individual. They allow for ease of movement as we travel around. We have greater flexibility to do things large groups cannot, including using public transit, eating at small local restaurants, and enjoying smaller group activities.
Do you allow teens on your programs who may require extra assistance?
Yes, we are proud of offering an inclusive environment and if your teen requires any type of extra assistance we have several options available. If you believe your teen may benefit from additional help on the program outside of our typical staff duties please contact us and we can discuss your unique needs in more detail.
Where do you stay on your programs?
We stay at hotels for the majority of our programs. Our hotels are clean, safe, and comfortable with 24 hour security. When it comes to accommodation, location is key! This is why our hotels are always in safe and good locations with easy access to explore the destination.
On select programs we may occasionally use hostels but only if the quality is the same or nicer than a hotel. They often offer extra amenities and activities that make the stay even more fun! The hostel rooms are always private for only our participants.
We like to mix in unique accommodation when appropriate and if it adds to the trip experience, including college universities, adventure centers, or glamping. Please reference the individual trip page to see the specific accommodation for a particular trip.
Please note- we do not do traditional rustic camping on any of our programs.
What is the food like on your programs?
In one word- delicious! Part of traveling is trying the cuisine! We make sure our participants get to experience each destination’s traditional and typical food. We believe in choice when it comes to food which is why we let our travelers order off the menu. The Trip Director will often select some appetizers for everyone to sample as well to maximize your chances to try everything!
Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
Yes! We are fully prepared to accommodate most dietary restrictions including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or other allergies. We invite you to discuss your dietary restrictions with us prior to departure.
Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
Travel insurance is required on all of our programs. You may choose your own plan or the Travel for Teens travel protection plan offered through Travel Insured International.
What does the optional Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefit provide?
This CFAR optional benefit provides reimbursement for the unused prepaid non-refundable payments or deposits for your trip when you cancel your trip prior to your scheduled departure date for any reason not otherwise covered by this plan. This includes Covid related reasons such as an increase in covid case counts, or if you simply decide you no longer feel comfortable traveling. Additional cost and terms apply. You can learn more about full plan details here.
*Please note, NY residents cannot add CFAR coverage to this plan. However, residents of NY can purchase an individual plan with a non-insurance CFAR Waiver from TII. Additional information is included on the linked page regarding the plans.
International travelers will need to obtain trip insurance on their own as we are unable to offer these plans to non US residents.
How do you get around on your programs?
Transport varies depending on the trip so it is best to reference the specific program page. We will always use the form of transportation that maximizes your experience. For example, sometimes we may use private coach buses, other trips may benefit from us using trains (for example, we love using rail passes on our europe trips for a more authentic travel experience!).
We may use public transit where it is safe and appropriate, especially if it adds to the experience!
How do flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our Logistics team with the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. Our Logistics team will guide you through the options and can even provide a flight quote for your tailored flight itinerary through our private ticketing agent. For additional information about the flight booking process, visit our dedicated flight page.