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Parents
Academic Voyagers customizes each tour based on the group’s age, interests, and learning objectives. Each day is unique and the daily schedule will vary depending on whether it is a travel-intensive program or a more leisurely paced single-city program. We combine just the right mix of educational excursions and free time so students are neither too worn out to appreciate the destinations, nor left on their own too often. A typical day involves a half-day of sightseeing or a local excursion followed by free time where students may participate in an activity coordinated by the tour leaders, explore a museum specific to the group’s interests, shop for souvenirs, or work on any coursework given by the teachers or professors.
In addition, Academic Voyagers takes care of all the practical details, so that students can spend the time abroad absorbing the sights and local culture. All of our tours include round-trip international airfare, transportation while abroad, hotel accommodations, breakfast daily, guided sightseeing tours and visits to special attractions.  For a comprehensive list of important travel information for students, visit the Students Abroad site from the U.S. Department of State. 
 

 
PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION
 
Airfare & Transportation
All tours include round-trip airfare from the pre-arranged group departure point using respected airlines such as British Airways, Delta, and United. Once abroad, we typically travel by deluxe motor coach but we also may use cable cars, high-speed trains, or cruise ships.
 
 
Hotel Accommodation
We arrange superior 3-star and 4-star hotels with private baths that are comfortable, clean and safe. We place a priority on booking hotels in safe locations with easy access to local attractions and public transportation. Each traveler shares a room with two or three other students of the same gender, but travelers may pay a supplement for single or twin rooms.
 

Meals
Breakfast is provided daily and other meals will be included based on the trip’s budget. Students will enjoy a variety of meals throughout the trip, mixing both native and familiar cuisines.
 

Sightseeing & Excursions
Our tours are customized based on the desired learning objectives, and the hands-on sightseeing opportunities only serve to move students towards understanding and reaching those objectives. Although the exact daily schedule will vary depending on the program, students will always enjoy a guided city tour on foot or by bus to see the main sites of each major destination. Typically, the day will be either divided into a half-day of sightseeing with a free afternoon, or a full day of sightseeing. During their free time, students can further explore the city or complete any coursework given by their teachers. Evenings are either free or they include a cultural activity like a theater performance. We also offer a variety of optional excursions (additional fee) that students can take to further enhance their visits abroad.
 
 
Tour Leaders and Group Supervision
Tour Leaders are the teachers and professors who organize the trip and accompany the students abroad. Larger groups (upon request) will also be assisted by a representative from Academic Voyagers who will handle all technicalities while travelling so that Tour Leaders can focus on their students’ experience.
 
 
Contacting the Student
At least 2 weeks prior to departure, you will be sent a Tour Documents Packet with a list of all flight details and hotel names (including addresses and phone numbers). While your student is abroad, it will be easy to stay in touch using an international phone card or the Internet. Most hotels offer Wi-Fi in the rooms and students can use Skype or Face Time for video chatting, social media sites (i.e. Facebook and blogs), or messages sent through their personal Academic Voyagers profile on our website.
 
 
Contacting Academic Voyagers
You can contact us by mail, phone or email at:
 
Academic Voyagers
27-28 Thomson Ave., Suite WS 11
Long Island City, NY 11101
212-203-1021
info@celestialvoyagers.com
 

Safety and Security Abroad
The safety of Academic Voyagers participants is our paramount concern. To this end, we will always follow the recommendations of the US Department of State regarding overseas travel. We receive daily updates and rely on government guidelines to help us make decisions concerning the safety of our travelers. We also highly recommend that participants purchase at least a basic insurance policy to cover any issues that should arise while abroad. In case of emergencies, students can keep a list of the US embassies in their destination countries.
 
For students’ personal safety, we encourage you to discuss the following measures: 
  • Don't wear expensive-looking clothes or jewelry
  • Don't walk around alone; stay with your group or several friends
  • Stick to the main thoroughfares
  • Be aware of your purse/wallet and keep it in a safe place, especially in areas with a lot of tourists
  • Keep your money in a safe place at all times (travel pouches worn under clothing are recommended)
  • Keep important phone numbers with you, including the hotel details & emergency numbers
 
Passports
All passengers must have a passport when traveling outside of the United States, including travel to Canada and Mexico. Your student should apply for a passport upon registering for a tour, as it can sometimes take 14 weeks to process. Make sure that your student’s passport is valid at least 6 months after the tour’s return and that it has at least 3 blank pages. Please refer to the US government’s passport website for more information.
 
Please note that airlines will not permit your student to travel if the name on his or her ticket does not match his or her passport exactly. Ensure that the first, middle and last name on your student’s Academic Voyagers account matches his or her passport.
 
 
Visas
Your student may need a visa for the tour. Contact our visa services partner where you will find the specific requirements for each destination country. You can also find more information and specific requirements on the consulate websites of the destination countries and layover countries. Because the applicant must complete the visa application, we depend on the traveler to take care of this step but will be available to answer any questions and clarify specific visa requirements.
 

Parental Authorization Forms
For tours going to Mexico, Belize, or Brazil, children under the age of 18 require a parental authorization form to be signed and notarized within 30 days of the tour departure date. Celestial Voyagers will send you the form a few months prior to your departure date. Please ensure that your student brings the form on tour because it is required to get through customs in these countries.
 
 
Tour Payment
Upon registration, a deposit by check or credit card is required to secure a space on the tour. On the Statement of Account, you will see the total trip cost less any payments you have made, and the due date for the full amount. The final trip balance must be paid by the deadline to ensure the advertised trip price. After that date, we can no longer guarantee the price of airfare and we will charge an additional late fee.
 
Fundraising is a great way to help you and your student pay for the tour and a few options are listed below: 
  • Sponsorship & Grants
  • Community & School Events
  • Product Sales
  • Use the Internet with sites like ChipIn.com
  • Request donations from family and friends
  • Complete odd jobs around your area
 
Insurance Coverage
It is highly recommended that all participants purchase travel insurance to cover any unexpected issues while abroad (flight delays, baggage loss, emergency services). You can choose your plan through our partners at Allianz Travel. Should you have any questions about a specific insurance policy, please contact them using the information provided on their website.
 

Money Abroad
We recommend that your student bring the equivalent of $50 in the currency of the initial destination for expenses upon arrival. An ATM card is best for cash withdrawals as traveler’s checks are difficult to cash. Check with your bank to make sure your student's card will work abroad.  
 
Students need to keep money in a safe place at all times. Travel pouches that are worn under clothes are always recommended. Also, advise your student not to save a lot of coins. Though they do make good souvenirs, they cannot be exchanged back into US dollars as exchange offices and banks will only change paper money.
 
 
Spending Money & Tipping
Your student can plan on using $40 to $60 per day for spending money. The lower amount covers enough for lunches, soft drinks, postcards and stamps, while the higher amount covers some museum entrances during free time and souvenirs. These recommendations do not cover optional excursions or gratuities.

 
It is customary to tip the tour director and coach driver as a token of appreciation at the end of the tour. We suggest that each student tip the tour director $6 per day on tour and $3 per day for the bus driver. If the tour includes a cruise, we recommend $10 per person per day for the cruise staff in addition to the tour director. Many groups also tip local guides for sightseeing tours.
 
 
Packing
Students will be carrying their own luggage, so they should pack light. We recommend one suitcase and one small carry-on per person. Students will be responsible for taking luggage on and off buses and into hotels, so make sure they can easily carry their luggage up stairs.
 
 
Confirm the flights
Please call the airline to confirm your student's flights at least 24-48 hours before departure. This way you can be aware of any time changes to the flight itinerary. You should also call the airlines a week before departure if your student has any special in-flight meal requests.
 
 
Airline baggage policies
Baggage restrictions and fees vary by airline. Make sure to look on the airline’s website for specific requirements. If you cannot find this information, contact Academic Voyagers by phone or email.

 

Check-in
For international flights, your student should meet his or her group at a location, previously arranged by the group leader, two to three hours before the departure time. This gives ample time for check-in and security. Most Academic Voyagers participants will get e-tickets, which means that students will only need their passports to check in.
 
 
International flights
Most eastbound international flights are overnight. Students should try to get as much sleep as possible during the flight to be well rested upon arrival. Typically, groups have to make one or more connections, either in the U.S. or overseas. When the group lands abroad, students will have to go through immigration and customs. The group will then find a representative waiting in the arrivals area to escort them to the coach bus & hotel. 
 

 
BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANTS
 
Deposit 
A deposit of $500 is due upon registration, at least 91 days prior to departure.
 
Cancellations, Penalties and Fees
All changes and cancellations must be provided in writing. The following penalties apply with the number of days prior to departure:
  • $150 non-refundable processing fee before 90 Days
  • $350 if cancellation is received between 90 – 61 Days
  • 50% of the total trip cost between 60 – 45 Days
  • 100% of the total trip cost within 45 Days or in case of no-show
 
 


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