We hope you are getting excited for your Vietnam: Ban Than trip this summer! Enrollment has progressed enough that we are ready to officially release your program. Please read all of the information listed on this page carefully.
Click here for a printable PDF version of your Vietnam: Ban Than Trip Journal!
You will be provided links on the last page of your Traveler’s Form Part 2 where you will be able to upload ALL forms required to be returned to RLT.
The RLT admissions team will be emailing you a DocuSign envelope with release forms for the activities your student will be participating in on the program.
Additionally, in the envelope, you will find a document requesting an emergency credit card and health insurance card authorization form. The purpose of this form is to have a credit card on file in case of any necessary charges on behalf of your student. Examples include but are not limited to doctor's co-pays, dental treatments, over the counter medications, prescriptions, baggage fees, and any miscellaneous fees for care of your child that are not covered by The Road Less Traveled.
Your student will need a TOURIST VISA in order to enter Vietnam. Our guides will help our students to obtain their individual visas upon arrival. In order to obtain the visas in country we need a high resolution color copy of your student's passport. Please email this copy/photo to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15, 2018.
Once we have your student's passport copy we will send you a visa approval letter that you will print and send with your student in order to get an arrival visa. At the airport they will fill in a form and have the visa stamped in their passport.
If you have questions about this process, please call our office at 773-342-5200.
YOUR TRAVEL OPTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
DOMESTIC FLIGHT FROM HOMETOWN TO MEET OPTIONAL ESCORTED FLIGHT OUT OF LAX INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Purchase your domestic airfare to LAX International Airport using frequent flier miles, online services or your own travel agent. RLT strongly recommends direct flights whenever possible. Be prepared to be flexible with your travel expectations. If connections are required, please allow ample time.
Your arrival time at LAX should be at least 3-4 hours before the international flight leaves. This means you should plan on arriving at LAX NO LATER than 9:10 AM on 6/24. Please check with your airline regarding best practices for checking your bag to the final destination. Depending on delays, etc. you may not have time to claim and re-check your bags upon arrival at LAX.
We prefer that you get on the earliest flight possible to LAX (even if you arrive earlier in the morning)! Our leaders will be at the airport all day, and the early arrivals will reduce the stress of potential tight connections due to weather or delays.
If you are arriving at LAX airport by automobile, plan to arrive within the same time parameters. Specific timing and location can be discussed day-of – please call our office (773.342.5200) on your way to the airport so we can let our leaders know.
If you are concerned about your student flying alone to Los Angeles, please feel free to call our office and we will provide you with names of other participants coming from your area (if possible).
PLEASE NOTE: Our escorted flight back to LAX is not scheduled to arrive until 10:20 AM on 7/18. Do not schedule your return flight home until after 1:20pm to account for potential delays, customs, reclaiming bags, etc.
OPTIONAL ESCORTED FLIGHT FROM LAX TO HANOI
We will have an RLT leader on the flight below. If you would like to have your student fly with a leader, you are welcome to purchase the same itinerary as below:
|Dates||Airline||Airport||Flight #||Departure time||Airport||Arrival time|
|6/24/2018||Asiana||LAX||201||12:10 PM||ICN (Seoul)||5:35 PM +1|
|6/25/2018||Asiana||ICN (Seoul)||733||7:30 PM||HAN (Hanoi)||10:00 PM|
|7/17/2018||Asiana||HAN (Hanoi)||734||11:30 PM||ICN (Seoul)||5:40 AM + 1|
|7/18/2018||Asiana||ICN (Seoul)||202||2:40 PM||LAX||10:20 AM|
ON YOUR OWN INSTRUCTIONS
If you would prefer to make your own travel arrangements to Hanoi, we will have a leader at Hanoi International Airport in Hanoi to meet your student. You must arrive in Hanoi between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM on June 25th. Your departing flight should be scheduled to leave Hanoi between 9:00 PM and 12:00 AM on July 17th.
It is your responsibility to enter ALL flight information (including your escorted flight details) into your Traveler's Form Part 2 at least 2 months prior to departure to ensure smooth coordination of everyone’s flights.
Please consult with your airline(s) directly about the best method for checking your bags. Keep in mind that if your connecting flight is late, you won’t have time to exit security, re-check your bags, and go back through security in time to catch your international flight.
Additionally, RLT is not responsible for checked bag fees or overweight baggage fees. Please plan accordingly. Many airlines will no longer accept cash for these fees. It is best to pay for checked bag fees (if necessary) when booking your airfare.
It is possible that your student may be required to travel as an unaccompanied minor depending on age and which airline you book with. Check with your airline for specific rules. As such, you may need to provide a contact name for the ticket. If your student’s leader has already been assigned, their information is listed below. If "Jim Stein" is listed, that means we are still in the process of placing your student’s trip leader. You will be able to go back to the airline and tell them the name of who will be picking up your student at a later date - in the interim you can give them the details for our office:
Name: David Erbach
Address: 2331 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone Number: 773.342.5200
It is critical that our trip leaders possess all relevant medical history to ensure the safety of your student. It is your obligation to inform us of any changes in your student’s physical condition leading up to their trip departure. Should a participant arrive with a previously undisclosed physical or psychological condition, The Road Less Traveled Inc. reserves the right to immediately terminate that individual’s participation and send them home at their expense without a refund.
The Road Less Traveled does not require any vaccinations in order to participate on our programs other than an up-to-date Tetanus Booster (within the last 9 years). However, some countries may require yellow fever vaccinations if you are traveling from a yellow-fever endemic area (this does not include the US).
We recommend that you use the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website to review suggested medicine and vaccination recommendations for travel to INTERNATIONAL TRIP. Their website can be accessed by clicking here. You may also call them at 1.800.232.4636 (800-CDC-INFO) with any specific questions.
Additionally, we suggest that you make an appointment with a Traveler's Immunization Clinic or an international travel health specialist to discuss what is best for your student. Note that some vaccinations need to be administered ahead of the departure date to be effective, so plan accordingly.
Before going to your student’s health professional, you will need to print out our International Physician's Form and the Malaria Calendar (found in the FORMS link at the top of this page). Bring these forms with you to your appointment. We need the International Physician’s Form filled out, signed by a parent, and returned to us even if no vaccinations are received. Note: This form does NOT need to be signed by a physician!
For the safety of everyone on the program, all medications will be held by the RLT designated health care staff for the duration of the program. For RLT to administer any personal medication, the following procedures must be adhered to:
*Including all vitamins, dietary supplements, and homeopathic medicine*
IMPORTANT: If there is a change to your student’s medication (prescription or non-prescription) or an additional medication is added to his/her regimen, you must re-access and update your Traveler’s Form Part 1 or inform our office IN WRITING as soon as possible. An email will suffice!
REMEMBER! Please pack all medications in your carry-on bag.
If your student uses an inhaler, they must bring THREE with you. Your student will keep one, their leader will keep one, and one will be kept as a backup.
If your student has a history of severe systemic anaphylactic reactions, they must bring THREE EpiPens. Your student will keep one, their leader will keep one, and the last will be kept as a backup.
If your student wears prescription glasses or contacts and they are critical to their vision, please make sure they bring along an old pair of glasses for use in case the originals break. Also, send a copy of their eyeglasses or contact lenses prescription (it's better to be prepared).
As a reminder
Your student needs a valid passport both to enter and exit Vietnam. If he or she does not already have a passport, it is IMPERATIVE that you apply for a passport AS SOON AS POSSIBLE due to passport application processing time.
Your student's passport must be valid for 6 months after the trip end date, otherwise they may be denied entry. It is your responsibilty to ensure validity.
Your student must carry their passport securely on them while traveling.
Make sure to pack two photocopies of the opening page (with the picture) in case passport is lost and it needs to be replaced. Pack these photocopies separate from the original and in a safe place.
Students under 18 need a Parental Permission to Travel Abroad Form, found in the Forms to Print section at the top of the page.
All gear should be packed into one manageable checked bag and one smaller carry-on backpack. Consider packing by category in labeled stuff sacks or packing cubes, so your student doesn’t have to constantly pack and repack!
We recommend that your student use a “passport pouch” or money belt of some kind to carry his/her passport, cash, ATM card and airline ticket ON THEIR PERSON. Do not check items such as medications, passports, or other "must have" items (especially medications!). Please have a conversation with your student regarding how important it is to guard their passport, cash, ATM card and ticket. The Road Less Traveled is not responsible for the costs involved in replacing a passport or getting an airline ticket reissued, nor are we responsible for replacing lost cash.
You should use your daypack to carry important items including identification, MEDICATION, passports (if you’re bringing one), cameras, etc. onto the plane. It is also a good idea to carry on toiletries, a fleece, water bottle, and a rain jacket, in case of delays or cancellations. Please review the latest security measures regarding carry-on luggage at www.tsa.gov.
All luggage/bags must be clearly labeled with the destination point for the outgoing leg of the trip. Please see the link below for your printable luggage tag addresses and directions. Use your home address for the return trip. Mark your home address indelibly somewhere on the pack and duffel before you leave home. Be sure to understand your travel insurance policy regarding lost luggage.
Consider purchasing luggage tracker devices which can assist in tracking lost luggage.
Remember: The Road Less Traveled is not responsible for overweight baggage fees or lost luggage.
Please understand that our expeditions are designed for group participation, and it has been our experience that frequent, long phone calls can be a major distraction. Personal cell phone use, emails, texts, and listening to music is not permitted while on an RLT program. However, traveling with and using a cell phone and/or personal electronics is permitted and encouraged for communication on arrival and departure days ONLY.
For programs in the United States:
For International Programs:
If your student has a cell phone, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND sending it with them for use on arrival and departure days in case of flight changes, delays, etc. We will collect all cell phones and personal electronics upon arrival and return them at the end of the trip. Please bear in mind that we cannot take responsibility for any lost or damaged cell phones or personal electronics, and it may not be possible to recharge batteries during the expedition. Participants may be able to charge their phones at the airport upon departure. If your student does not have a cell phone, do not worry. Many participants are able to use a leader's phone to call home or our office on arrival and departure days.
Generally speaking, the old adage of NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS certainly applies here. If you do not hear from us in the office, please do not assume that anything is wrong - we will be in touch throughout the summer.
Social media will be our main source of communication with you while your student is on their program. We ask our leaders to send photos and short updates on how the trip is going which we then communicate. Everything regarding your student's program will be aggregated onto a website called Tagboard, where all updates and photos will be displayed. Once the trip departure date gets closer, you will be emailed more details on how to access the Tagboard.
To stay updated on the Vietnam trip, click the link below:
Due to the remote locations of many of our programs, these updates may come sporadically. Again, do not worry - No news is good news!
If you need to get a message to your student, contact the office at 773.342.5200 and we will relay the message through your student's trip leaders. Trip leaders call the office frequently to retrieve messages and relay information to our office staff.
If you have an emergency situation after hours, please call our office at 773.342.5200 and follow the instructions on the voicemail to get in contact with one of our staff. We will be available for emergencies 24 hours a day during the summer months.
During the summer if there is any situation related to your student, including illness or injury, our procedure dictates:
In emergency situations, we will attempt to contact you immediately. In the case of minor illness or injury, we will contact you that day during reasonable hours, or at the earliest possible time the following day.
In the coming weeks, we will be able to provide further information about the full Ban Than leader team! For now feel free to check out our instructor's page to meet some of our dedicated summer leaders.
There will be occasional opportunities to buy snacks and souvenirs, but you will rarely need to spend money on anything. Be sure to plan for snacks and meals in the airports. How much money you bring is largely dependent on how much you think you will want to spend on souvenirs. Depending on your personal preference, you should budget up to $100 a week spending money. It is up to you whether to bring cash, a credit/debit card, or some combination.
To reiterate – RLT is NOT responsible for paying for overweight baggage fees. It is not uncommon for students to have to pay extra when flying home, so please budget this into your spending money plans. In addition, some airlines will not take cash for checked bags or baggage fees, so be sure to have a complete understanding of what your airline will or will not accept. Sending your student with some form of debit and/or credit card is highly recommended.