Do I need previous backpacking or camping experience?
First, which exploration & adventure trip is best suited for me?
What are the backgrounds of the students?
What about passports?
How do I plan my travel?
1- Do I need previous backpacking or camping experience? (Return to top)
8- Do you have special arrangements for vegetarian or other restrictive diets? (Return to top)
Instructions on How To Enroll in an Explorations & Adventures trip
Excursions with Explorations & Adventures are carefully designed to offer a variety of activities and experiences for everyone. You can experience everything from ice climbing on glaciers to basking on beaches, from backpacking in the savannas of Southern Africa to rafting in jungle rivers of Costa Rica. Our staff would be happy to discuss which trip is right for you. Call us and we would be happy to answer your questions and guide you to the appropriate exploration & adventure.
Enrollment is limited on all Explorations & Adventures trips. We encourage you to call our office when you have decided on a specific trip and dates. We can notify you of trip availability and reserve a spot for you on a trip while your application and deposit are being sent in the mail.
You need to call our office once you've picked an exploration & adventure to check as to the availability of that specific trip. We can reserve a spot for you while you send in your application and deposit. An application can be found in the back of our catalogue, as well as on this web site. Fill out the application and send it in with a $750 deposit. Upon receipt of your application and deposit, you will be sent an enrollment package, containing more detailed information about your specific exploration & adventure, as well as several forms for you to fill out and return to our office.
Since many trips are fully reserved by May, there is a chance that your first choice will already be full. We do have a waiting list for all trips, dates, and age groups. Many students sign up for their second-choice trip and put their name on a waiting list for their first choice. The trip deposit and final balances can be moved about between trips. There is a surprising amount of movement and changes of plans among registered students throughout the spring.
Some of our students schedule in several trips in one summer. Since most of our excursions have several starting dates, it is easy to accommodate students who would like to take more than one trip. If you would like to discuss the possibility of combining two or more trips, please call us and we'd be happy to assist you.
A $750 deposit should accompany your application. The balance of your tuition is due May 1st. If you sign up after May 1st, full tuition must accompany your application.
Certainly you may plan on a trip with a friend. Most if not all of our students, however, come alone and we find that this is best for encouraging group experience on the trip. If you do decide to attend with a friend, you will find that the leaders will encourage you both to interact with the entire group.
Students of Explorations & Adventures
The students participating in our excursions come from many different countries and backgrounds. Actually, we strive for diversity as it provides an enriching experience for participants.
We believe strongly that students in similar grades should be grouped together. To allow this, each Exploration & Adventures trip date has several groups departing at the same time. We divided our trips a 7th and 8th grade group, a 9th and 10th grade group, and an 11th and 12th grade group. Each group did identical activities, but in a slightly different order and generally did not see any other group members.
We strive for a balanced 50:50 ratio of males to females in each scheduled excursion. In some cases there may be slightly more of one that the other, but generally the balance is no different than can be found in most any school in the United States.
Well before your excursion begins, you will receive a list of participants in your group. You may find something in common with one of them and may want to contact them or even meet them prior to your departure. The list of participants will also give parents a better idea of the make-up of your particular group.
Taking International Trips
All students traveling internationally (to Australia, Southern Africa, Ecuador-Galapagos, Dominica, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica) must have a valid passport. Applications are available at your local post office. If you do not already have a passport, you should apply for one as soon as you begin enrolling in your international trip. It normally takes four to six weeks to process a passport application. It can be optioning sooner if you pay extra charges.
For trips to Puerto Rico, since it is a U.S. Commonwealth, a driver's license or photo identification will suffice for American.
No visas are required for citizens of the United States participating in trips to Puerto Rico. If you are not a US citizen, please contact us for more information on traveling to these countries. If you are participating in the Australia Exploration & Adventures, you will receive an Australian visa application form with your enrollment package. You should return this application with the rest of your forms to our office. We will process all visa applications together as a group, so dont worry about it.
On trips to foreign countries, as on all trips domestic or otherwise, Explorations & Adventures required that students be current on their tetanus vaccinations and be protected against Hepatitis A. This can be done, as your physician will know, by two options: using an immune serum globulin (IG) injection (formerly called gamma globulin), or using the Hepatitis A vaccine.
For those of you who want to be in contact with your home, we suggest bringing a pre-paid international phone card or calling card. Our experience is that AT&T or MCI calling cards are the best. Both companies have operators in all countries involved in trips by Explorations & Adventures. If you cannot arrange for a calling card, contact your long-distance operator for information as to how best use their service while away from home.
You dont need to speak the language of the country you are visiting since your expedition leaders will manage all contacts and help you with your own use of the language. If you do speak the language, such as Spanish, or have some familiarity with it, you will have ample opportunity to speak it in Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and other Latin-American countries.
If you are a student on an international trip with Explorations & Adventures, and would like to meet your family in any of the capital cities of the country at the end of your trip, we would be glad to coordinate and assist in the arrangements.
Preparing For Your Exploration & Adventures
Our equipment lists have been developed over the years based on our experience and on the suggestions of students and leaders. Although the list may seem long, each item on the list is there for a reason. We ask that students follow the list as closely as possible when packing for their trips. If you have questions about specific items, or would like to know why a certain item is on the list, please call us and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.
Hiking boots are one the most important items of equipment that you will have on your trip. Boots that dont fit properly can be the cause of great discomfort and distress, even on short hikes. We strongly urge students to try on several pairs of boots before deciding which one is best for them. Once you have decided on a pair of boots, give them extensive use before the start of your trip.
Like hiking boots, backpacks come in all sorts of brands, models, and designs.
We don't recommend a specific brand or model, rather encourage students to spend time in an outdoor specialty store and try on as many different packs as possible.In the past, most students come with internal-framed packs, as opposed to external-framed packs, although both work equally well on most Exploration & Adventures trips. If you have more specific questions about your pack or about shopping for the right pack, please call us. It's important to come on your trip with a pack that is comfortable and which fits your body size.
You want to be in your best physical condition for your trip. You should plan your personal physical conditioning program well in advance. At least, starting four weeks prior to your trip, you should run, swim, hike, or bike from thirty minutes to an hour a day, five days a week. Arriving in good physical condition will help you meet and enjoy the physical challenges and activities of your trip. It will also allow you to concentrate on learning skills, gaining experience, and enjoying the natural beauty of the wilderness.
Travel Day and Arrangements for your Exploration & Adventures
Once you have enrolled in an Explorations & Adventures trip, you will be sent detailed information on flight departures and arrivals connected with the trip. It is your responsibility, of course, to meet us at the designated location, usually an airport, at least before noon of the first day of the expedition. On the final day of the expedition, we usually plan to depart before 10 am. It is important for students to meet these guidelines since the expedition groups may have several hours of travel from the destination airport on the first day. Your travel arrangements should be make well in advance so that you can be sure to get space on the flights you need. If you have questions about whether or not your travel plans are compatible with the trip schedule, please call us.
Some Exploration & Adventure trips includes airfare. The tuition on the Southern Africa Explorations & Adventures trip includes airfare to and from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa. The Australia Explorations & Adventures trip includes airfare to and from Los Angeles, CA and Sydney, Australia. For more information sea our Packages information or call us.
When you sign up for a trip with Explorations & Adventures you will be sent a Travel Guidelines package which will indicate when we would like you to arrive and depart from the specific city. Then, once your family has made your travel plans, you should send all of your flight information back to our office. This information is then given to your expedition leaders who will meet you at your gate of arrival at the airport.
If you will not be flying on the first day of your trip, we still ask that you meet your group at a designated airport. We will arrange a specific meeting place and time for leaders and students to meet. Once you enroll in an Explorations & Adventures trip, we will notify you on details about meeting your leaders on the first day.
If you would like to meet your family at the city of departure on the last day of your exploration & adventure, arrangements can be made through our office. We will have arranged a specific meeting place and time in each airport of departure for students and their families. Your leaders will escort students to the designated meeting area and wait with them until they have united with family members.
Many of our students travel alone, without friends or family, to the destination meeting place for their Explorations & Adventures trip. If you so desire, airlines can assist you as an Unescorted Minor and provide an airline representative, usually a stewardess, to escort you during boarding and arrival. You must, however, provide them with the name of the specific leader from Explorations & Adventures who will meet you upon arrival at the destination city. Another possibility is that there might be another student on an Explorations & Adventures trip on your flight, especially if you are coming from a major city. If you would like to see about coordinating travel plans with a fellow student, please call us and we can let you know if there are other students coming from your area on travel day.
The first priority of your Explorations & Adventures leader, after you have been met and have claimed your baggage, will be to call your parents to let them know that you have arrived safely and met your group.
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