Comfort and Safety on Tour
What kinds of hotels does WorldStrides use?
WorldStrides uses centrally located 3 and 4 star hotels that have good access to sights and transportation. Students typically stay in triple rooms. Hotels are licensed and inspected by local authorities and WorldStrides also inspects them for cleanliness, quality, location, and overall suitability. They are not “student hotels.” Teachers and Tour Directors stay in the same hotels as students. WorldStrides staff and managers also stay in the same hotels we use for our groups when traveling abroad.Examples of WorldStrides Hotel Locations
When will we know our hotel information?
Confirmed hotel information will be available 30 days prior to departure. Almost all the hotels have websites.
What about special dietary needs/allergies?
Vegetarians, “I don’t like fish”, and the like, is no problem. Minor allergies you can manage yourself are also ok. Serious, life threatening allergies are a problem given the many different restaurants being used. These issues need to be discussed with WorldStrides directly.
What kind of Tour Directors does WorldStrides use?
WorldStrides Tour Directors are rigorously trained by WorldStrides and are unique in being LEAP-trained. Tour Directors have other careers as well. They include writers, artists, teachers, singers, musicians, art historians, film producers, translators, and so on. They all have fascinating stories. They are multilingual, college educated, very well traveled, passionate about the countries they work in, and passionate about working with young people. They are usually the highlight of the program!
What happens in an emergency?
While tours are in progress, WorldStrides can be reached 24 hours a day, both in the United States and overseas. An WorldStrides Tour Director accompanies each WorldStrides program at all times and knows how to deal with minor illnesses, accidents, and so on. Tour Directors are in constant touch with our Regional Operations Managers abroad. The included ACE insurance provides access to worldwide medical assistance, evacuation, and other services if they are required.
How do I contact my child while they are traveling?
Unless there is an emergency it’s usually better not to, as calls home often bring on homesickness and can be very disruptive. Students can rent cell phones for overseas travel so they can be reached easily. Also calls among the members of the group are usually free.
If you opt not to rent a phone you may call the hotel where the group is staying that day. Please remember to check the local time first!
What’s included in the cost of the tour?
Please refer to the itinerary description and the Agreement for exact details
What’s not included in the cost of the tour?
Please refer to the itinerary description and the Agreement for exact details, but essentially: lunches, drinks with meals, optional excursions and activities, local transportation in cities, (except on included activities), personal items, entrance fees other than as described in the itinerary, tips to your Tour Director and (if applicable) the tour bus driver, and Cancellation Protection Plus.
How much spending money should I bring?
WorldStrides recommends a minimum of $50 a day for spending money, to cover lunches, drinks, snacks, local transportation, and small souvenirs. If you plan on shopping you will need more.
What is the best way to carry money?
You may take a credit card or bankcard that can be used at international ATM machines. Remember to check with your credit card company or bank to make sure your card will work overseas. DO NOT USE TRAVELERS CHECKS.
How much money is recommended for tipping?
Gratuities to your WorldStrides Tour Director and long distance tour bus driver (if applicable) are not included in the tour price. For a job well done, recommended tipping guidelines are as follows:
- Europe: 3 Euros per day for your Tour Director and 2 Euros per day for your long-distance coach driver.
- UK: 2 Pounds per day for your Tour Director and 1 Pound per day for your long-distance coach driver.
- Latin America: $3 per day for your Tour Director and $2 per day for your long-distance coach driver.
What is the food like?
A continental breakfast each morning may include juice, milk, tea, coffee or chocolate, bread and/or croissant and/or pastry, and fruit. Some hotels offer a buffet usually consisting of cereals, and cold meats and cheeses. It varies from one hotel to another but it is always more than enough to get the day started.
Dinner is always three courses: a starter, a main course, and a dessert. WorldStrides introduces local food to the students and makes sure that there is a variety of food and plenty of it!
When will we know our flights?
45 days prior to departure. WorldStrides cautions that schedule changes occur VERY frequently, which can often lead to a completely new set of flights. Don’t make any plans around these student travel flights until they are finalized, and even then, allow plenty of time for connections.
Can I get frequent flyer miles?
If you would like to credit your WorldStrides student travel flight to your frequent flier account, please remember to contact the participating airline before departure for qualification guidelines. WorldStrides cannot provide copies of your ticket after your return.
Can I use points to pay for my flight?
No. You can pay a reduced program fee and book your own flights, but you will be responsible for making your way to and from the airport and meeting up with the group and dealing with delays, misconnections and so forth. We would also recommend you don’t book flights until WorldStrides has finalized the student travel flight itinerary for the group. WorldStrides does not recommend this option as it will usually involve flying on different flights from the rest of your group.
What size luggage can I bring?
The best guideline is that you can bring what you can carry yourself (not wheel) once round the running track and up the bleachers! (At least one WorldStrides teacher insists on this test). WorldStrides educational tours do not include porterage. The best advice is to pack smart and bring as little as possible. Officially you may bring one medium sized suitcase (20″ length X 28″ height) and one carry-on bag (backpack, small suitcase) for the airplane. Please contact the specific airline for exact restrictions on carry-on luggage and be mindful of changes in regulations from time to time.
What should I pack?
WorldStrides will give you all the advice that you need closer to your departure. The golden rule is only one suitcase!
What kind of passport or documentation do I need to travel?
A valid passport is required to travel overseas. If any traveler (student or adult) does not have one, please make arrangements to acquire one immediately. WorldStrides will notify the Head Teacher if a visa is required for entry by US citizens to any of the countries that you may be visiting. Please be aware that the time required to process visa applications can be several weeks for each country. Non-US citizens should therefore begin the application process as early as possible.
Passport forms can be obtained at your local post office or visit travel.state.gov for all the information and forms you’ll need. Obtaining a passport can take several weeks, so make arrangements to acquire one immediately.
What about non-US citizens? Will they need any special visas?
Non-US citizens must check about visa requirements with the consulate of each country that they are visiting, including those they are passing through (even if they are not spending a night). Please be aware that the time required to process visa applications can be several weeks for each country. Non-US citizens should therefore begin the application process as early as possible. Visit www.cibtvisas.com/worldstridesdiscovery for additional details.
Are there Rules and Regulations?
Yes. WorldStrides has a basic
Code of Conduct. However your teacher/group leader will add his or her own personal requirements and those of your school or college where applicable.
Will we travel with other schools?
That depends. A typical WorldStrides tour has 3 hometown groups on it. These groups generally make friends, which creates a fun dynamic. However, some groups have just one hometown group.
Can handicapped participants go on a WorldStrides tour?
Many WorldStrides destinations are not like the US, where most places are made handicap accessible. There may be some sites or activities where the traveler is unable to participate. WorldStrides will be happy to work with anyone who has mobility or other issues to try and make it possible for them to participate. We have to deal with this on a case-by-case basis but we are very motivated to make our tours accessible to everyone.