"I returned from the Norway trip and it was the most incredible trip I could've ever been on..." - Stephanie E., 2015 Footsteps
The Road Less Traveled programs take teens outside to seek adventure, find challenges, make friends, build community and understand the world in a different way.
In Europe, we visit the magical wonders of Iceland, the cultural riches of Italy and the natural wonders of Norway. From the bountiful fields of Sora to the crystalline fjords plied by Vikings, and from the Italian Riviera on the Mediterranean to the dramatic North Atlantic Coast, the region claims a formative role in today’s world.
The Road Less Traveled covers it all. We paddle, hike, swim, explore and hunt (for truffles in Italy!). We accompany and support each other along the way.
We have safe houses set up in every location
Our leaders (average age, 26) are Wilderness First Responder Certified
Our leaders attend a 10-day intense training program
We have a leader return rate of 50%
We register ALL of our travelers, itineraries and contact information with the US embassy in the destination country so that they can contact us should the need arise
We always have a doctor on call, 24/7, and no traveler has spent a night in a hospital due to an injury
Everyone returns securely home from our international service trips, always changed for the better, and often dreaming of their next adventure with The Road Less Traveled. In fact, many of our teens are returning travelers.
Instructors selected for our European programs have deep experience both with RLT, with young people and with international travel. Beyond this, they are centered, thoughtful, inspiring, skilled, committed, selfless, and dedicated.
During the school year, our instructors attend graduate school or work as teachers, authors, adventure guides, artists, scientists, emergency medical technicians, and as entrepreneurs across the globe. Former Europe program leaders have included teachers, environmental scientists, emergency medical technicians, former Peace Corp. volunteers, graduate students teaching in Europe, wilderness guides, and those with extensive backpacking and travel experience in Europe.
Most importantly, they have strong values: honesty, integrity, respect for the environment, and compassion for others. The average age of our leaders is 26 years old, the minimum is 21. All leaders have a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) (or higher) medical certification.
Get to know last year's Europe program instructors on this page. We will be updating this page with this year's trip leader assignments in the spring.
Each leader is selected personally for their ability to prevent and solve problems in the field, their capacity to relate to and enjoy our young people, their language skills and travel experience, and their knowledge and love of the places we visit.
RLT demands the ultimate responsibility in life. They are more than just leaders, instructors and mentors. They are guardians, in the most genuine sense of the word – essentially a parent to every child.
Directors and founders Jim and Donna would not hesitate to trust the physical and emotional safety of their own children with any of our instructors. To learn more about our instructors and their backgrounds please visit this page.
The accommodations on our European programs vary from trip to trip. Students traveling to Norway with us will be camping in tents for the duration of the trip. Our Iceland participants will split their time between tent camping and hostels. And our Italy travelers will stay at a country-side farm and in a mix of hotels and hostels.
I have had so many amazing experiences with RLT and have met people who are some of my closest friends today. This recent trip to Italy has been my favorite so far! Seeing the architecture and the art took my breath away and the David nearly drove me to tears," Jessica K., Seme al Piatto Alum
I will never forget the wispy mornings in Norway, waking up in a puddle, regretting nothing, and rolling out of the tent to be greeted by some of the kindest and most unique people on the planet. Each day brought a new adventure with its own obstacles and challenges, and even when Mother Nature kicked us to the curb, we were still there for each other...I learned more from this trip than just about the outdoors, I learned about myself. I learned how to be more patient and tolerant and I am proud to say that I became slightly more optimistic " Andy, Footsteps of Giants Alum
Some of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen are in Iceland, and yet there are so many more places I need to go. I want more Icelandic chocolate--lots more. I miss Iceland. I truly think nowhere I ever go will feel or look exactly like it. But at least it’s apart of me now—in my journal, in my photos, in my friends. And most importantly, it's in my heart. Thanks RLT for a summer trip I can't forget :) ," Sam L., Nordic Elements Alum
Interested in hearing more? We have hundreds of alumni families who can tell you more about their RLT experience. Please contact our office at 773-342-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
The Road Less Traveled is committed to providing exceptional travel experiences for young adults. In 2016, the American Camp Association recognized The Road Less Traveled as the winner of the 2016 Gordie Kaplan Program Excellence award. This ACA award honors outstanding student travel programs and recognizes organizations that develop positive and creative responses to the needs of people and ecosystems across the globe.
Our work with children is serious business. Our commitment to safety is unrivaled and we always place quality before quantity. This conviction has empowered and inspired us to provide only the best in training, emergency preparedness, and staffing over the years. To learn more about our ACA accreditation, our exceptional safety record, our Markel's Safety 1st Recognition, B-Corp Certification, and extensive leader training please visit this page. READY, SET, GO!
We invite you to begin your journey to Europe today.