Below you will find a lot of valuable information about your summer travel program. If it doesn't provide you with everything you need, please give us a call at 773.342.5200 or contact us. We want you to be as informed and prepared as possible.
If you are traveling abroad and are under the age of 18, it is required that you have a valid passport. If you do not already have a passport, and you plan on traveling with us this summer, you MUST apply for one as soon as possible due to passport application processing time! Your passport absolutely has to be valid for 6 months after your trip end-date, otherwise you may be denied entry to the country. Please be sure to check your current passport (if you already have one) to confirm that the expiration date falls within this time frame. Your passport should be carried on your person while traveling. Make sure that you also bring two photocopies of the opening page of your passport with you on your trip - keep them in a safe place in case your passport is lost and needs to be replaced. You should leave one copy of your passport at home as well.
Parents, please have a conversation with your child regarding how important it is to guard his/her passport while traveling. The Road Less Traveled is not responsible for the costs involved in replacing a passport.
Every U.S. citizen who is traveling internationally with RLT will have his/her name and passport number registered with the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for the duration of their trip. In addition, every local U.S. Embassy will have our company's contact information and full itinerary should they need it during the summer.
U.S. Department of State:
For general Passport information, please visit www.travel.state.gov/passport.
Some of our international programs require Tourist Visas in order to participate. It is up to the traveler and the traveler's family to obtain these visas! Specific directions on how to go about applying for your student's visa will be provided after application and acceptance to the program. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to apply for a Tourist Visa until The Road Less Traveled give you explicit directions to do so. Tourist Visas are only valid for a temporary amount of time, and if you apply too early your visa will expire before you have departed for your program.
The following programs require a Tourist Visa:
Vietnam: Ban Than
Every student who travels with RLT must have had a physical exam WITHIN 18 MONTHS of the departure date of his/her trip. A blank, Road Less Traveled specific Physician's Health History form will be attached to your enrollment confirmation email for your use. You are more than welcome to also submit a different physician's form if your student has been seen by his/her doctor within the last year, however we REQUIRE at the very least a doctor's signature on our RLT specific form as well.
The Road Less Traveled requires an up-to-date tetanus shot or booster (within the last nine years). The decision to take medications and receive vaccinations for international travel should be carefully and thoughtfully discussed with a health care professional.
Information on what the CDC recommends for travel to each country in which RLT runs a program can be found below. Please plan accordingly when it comes to making your doctor's appointments - be sure to take all international vaccination information with you to the doctor when you have your general physical exam. This will eliminate multiple visits to the doctor's office!
Here are some additional resources for your use:
World Health Organization
Another source for information about international health issues is the World Health Organization. You can visit their website at www.who.int.
Center for Disease Control
We recommend that you monitor health updates through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov or by phone at 1.800.232.4636 (800-CDC-INFO).
CDC Recommendations by Program:
Thailand: Tham Dee Dai Dee
Vietnam: Ban Than
Costa Rica: Pura Vida and El Sendero
Iceland: Nordic Elements
Norway: Footsteps of Giants
The tuition price of your trip includes just about everything: all meals, in-country transportation (excluding air fare), laundry and shower facilities, gear, admissions, tolls, guide fees, special events and private tours.
We do suggest bringing between $50-$100 per week for personal items, souvenirs, stamps, postcards, and baggage fees. The amount of pocket-money you send your child with will depend on the location he/she is traveling to - for example, students traveling to Europe will need to bring more pocket-money than students traveling to Costa Rica.
Money should be brought in U.S. dollars, credit card, debit card, or some combination of the three. If you are able to exchange some U.S. currency for the currency used in the location you are traveling to, this is ideal. If possible, please have some U.S. currency AND some international currency on-hand for your student's use. Your student will be able to exchange U.S. currency upon arrival in his/her final destination.
It is IMPERATIVE that your student set aside some money for baggage fees at the BEGINNING as well as the END of the program. Our leaders are not responsible for covering overweight or additional bag fees, and your student must be prepared to manage these costs on his/her own. We recommend setting aside at least $100 to cover bag fees on arrival as well as departure day.
It is also important to note that for all programs traveling to COSTA RICA (Pura Vida for middle-school students as well as El Sendero for high-school students), there will be a mandatory exit fee upon departure. This exit fee is approximately $30 in U.S. currency. Please plan accordingly!
Here are some helpful links that will help with the question "what kind of money should I send my student with?":
- Click here to see Visa Card ATM locations worldwide
- Click here to see MasterCard and Cirrus ATM locations worldwide
We provide all the necessary gear such as tents, ropes, cooking equipment, maps, etc. for your child's program. With the exception of some additional modest gear for a few specific trips (our wilderness adventure programs in particular), packing what is listed on the Equipment Lists will suffice. The type of trip that you will be on will dictate what you will need to bring! Please see your trip's specific Destination Page to access your Equipment List.
WHERE TO BUY GEAR
Many of our programs require a certain level of physical activity. If you are currently on a fitness schedule, keep it up! If you are feeling sedentary, be active for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Consider incorporating some running into your exercise regimen, or stair-climbing (both up and down!) if your trip includes hiking or trekking.
For a successful RLT summer. To complete your course, you are going to need emotional and mental strength. These are qualities that don't come from physical fitness alone. They come from an eagerness and willingness to try, two of the most important things you must bring on your RLT course.
You should review travel hygiene prior to your departure. Remaining healthy while traveling can be a challenge, but following some simple guidelines for consumption of food and water helps ensure smoother travel. Our leaders have extensive knowledge of food and water protocols and will help ensure your safety by adhering to strict guidelines, including those listed below:
International Programs NOT including Europe:
Our programs are more than capable of accommodating any specific dietary restrictions your student may have: allergies, vegetarianism, student's who keep kosher, veganism, etc. Please call our office prior to departure to discuss any specific requirements with our staff, and be sure to mention such to your trip leader when he/she calls to introduce themselves at the beginning of the summer.