Once you enroll and submit your initial deposit we will get your guest processes started. You will be notified via email with the next steps in your admissions process. These next steps include a short phone interview, two teacher references, and a health and medical questionnaire. Once those steps are completed we will be in touch via email with links to your trip specific homepage. This hompeage will have airfare information, packing lists, forms to be completed, and other details about your program.
If you have questions about the process please call our office to speak with someone from our admissions team 773.342.5200.
If you apply for a session of a program that is already full there may be an opportunity to secure a waitlist spot on your trip of choice. Please call our office at 773.342.5200 to hear more about your options.
Our group size varies from 10 students to 18 students depending on our program goals, the size of the community where we will be doing our service work, and various permit requirements for our adventure programs. Please call our office if you would like additional specifics.
Depending on what trip you are enrolled on, you can expect to be met as you de-board your plane, immediately outside security, or occasionally at baggage claim. If you are traveling as a registered Unaccompanied Minor, you will be met at your gate — or just outside of customs for international trips. If you are traveling on a group or leader accompanied flight, you will travel to and from the destination country with other RLT students and an RLT leader. Detailed information will be sent out in the spring which explains meeting places and communication procedures on arrival days. Leaders will be wearing a Road Less Traveled t-shirt, will have their cell phones and will have all of your information with them. They'll also be in frequent contact with our office should there be any delays on arrival and departure days. If you would like more information, please contact our office as it varies from trip to trip.
Depending on which trip you enroll on, you'll be able to stay in touch with friends and family via letters and postcards. Due to the remote location of some of our international programs, sending or receiving mail is not possible. While you're on an RLT trip there will be a time to call home sometime near or after the 1/2 way point of the trip and right before you travel home. You can bring a cell phone for communication purposes on arrival and departure days only to coordinate meeting up with our leaders. Otherwise, you should leave all electronics (except for a camera) at home.
Any person of average physical ability can succeed on The Road Less Traveled. You do not have to be in great shape to be successful but we recommend you exercise regularly to be prepared. We work hard and accomplish a lot on our service programs and arriving prepared, both mentally and physically, is important. Our programs are carefully designed to allow everyone to begin on a fairly equal basis regardless of experience or ability. Our leaders will provide and guide you with instruction before and during each activity. (A medical exam by a physician is required upon acceptance). It is important for students on Adventure programs break in their hiking boots. Students on the Footsteps of Giants (Norway), Pachama (Peru), and Nordic Elements (Iceland), Secrets of the Huldufolk (Iceland), Aotearoa (New Zealand), and Cascade Calling (Pacific Northwest) should train and be in great physical condition beforehand.
Your summer on The Road will no doubt lead you to new experiences, new places, and to see sights you could never have imagined. We find the students who walk away having gained the most, often came with little to no expectations. The measure of anyone's success on a Road Less Traveled trip is their willingness to give the experience 100% and to come with a “can do and will try” attitude. Prepare to be challenged, prepare for hard work, prepare to explore what you’re capable of, and prepare to have a boatload of fun. Prepare to make lifelong friends and bond over experiences that will be difficult to explain to anyone who was not there. Prepare to have the summer of a lifetime!
Plenty of good food, nutrition and fun are all a part of our shopping for, preparing and eating our meals together. Each group plans, buys, prepares, eats, and cleans up all meals together. With leader supervision, our students help prepare all meals. On our overseas trips, everyone is involved in the cooking. You will have the opportunity to experience local dishes and depending on where you may be on The Road, we may work with local cooks that help shop for, plan and cook meals. Vegetarians are welcome. Other special needs diets may be accommodated, but it is important to keep in mind that many meals at The Road Less Traveled are prepared in basic kitchens (or outdoors), and groceries are typically purchased from small stores that may have limited choices. Please call our office to discuss specifics.
We can meet most special dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan, nut allergies, and gluten free. However, our ability to cater to these needs depends on your destination. It is extremely important for you to have an understanding of what you can and cannot eat and how to self-manage with the support of you trip leaders. If you have a food allergy, we require you to travel with 3 epi-pens. If you have questions, please call of our office to discuss your allergies and restrictions. We would be happy to suggest which programs would be the best fit for you and your needs.
Please know that we may not be able to accommodate all restrictions.
Each trip's itinerary is quite different and if this is a major concern, we suggest you call our office for specifics. In general, we want students to shower as often as showers are available. Students on community service programs that are involved in service projects in remote locations may take hot showers less frequently because no hot showers are available. During the service section, everyone can clean up, soap up and rinse off regularly. After the service section is complete, hot showers are readily available. Generally speaking, students on adventure programs will shower and do laundry after each major section of the trip is completed.
Yes- you can come with a friend, but please know, you will have a better experience if you come alone. Our students come from all over the country (both coasts and everywhere in-between) as well as from all over the world. Our programs are carefully designed to foster group development and positive group dynamics and we work hard to ensure every student feels welcomed and included. Please note that no more than one pair of friends are allowed to travel together on each trip. If you do decide to come with a friend, we will require you to put as much energy into everyone else on the trip as you will your friend. We know that inclusion works and exclusion does not work, nor do mutually exclusive relationships. We expect everyone who joins us to be a positive contributing member of the group.
We are pleased that you have chosen The Road Less Traveled, and you should anticipate an exciting and memorable summer. We realize that even the most enthusiastic participants may experience anxiety about their trip, and we’d like to take this opportunity to address some of these issues.
Homesickness and anxiety are natural reactions to a new experience. The cure lies clear communication with your trip leaders. We understand that it can be hard to admit that you are homesick or unhappy, but know that the only way to solve these kinds of problems on your trip is to talk to someone who can do something about it – your trip leaders. If you let you leaders know about a problem we can plan together and develop a course of action which will help you feel more comfortable on your trip. It is perfectly normal to feel doubt, fear, homesickness, anger, etc. Our goal is to guide you through these feelings to having an exceptional summer!
Since our founding, RLT has endeavored to make our programs available to all, no matter their financial situation. If you have a passion to participate, we are happy to work with you to help make an RLT summer a real possibility. Please contact Ashley Castellanos via email, including your home city and state, current grade, as well as the name of your school, to find out more and to determine if you qualify to apply. Some of our funding is made possible through Geography Of Hope.