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Travel For Teens

About

Travel For Teens is a program provider that believes that teen travel should be both enriching and fun. TFT offers a full range of travel experiences that teens can choose from to create their own ideal international experience.

TFT's motto is "Teaching teens to be travelers, not tourists," and their itineraries are designed to reflect this. While participants have the opportunity to visit mainstream attractions, TFT also provides insider opportunities and experiences, giving participants the ability to explore the culture far beyond the tourist perspective.

If you are looking for a summer travel program that goes beyond the typical tourist path, then Travel For Teens is the perfect fit!

Reviews

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Vlada
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

LIFE CHANGING TRIP

Traveling to Thailand with Travel for Teens was an experience I will never forget. The sites were incredible and every single day was filled with adventure and fun. The food is incredible as it was authentic and we even got to attend cooking classes. We cooked traditional food that was delicious. The group I was with was filled with like-minded individuals striving to see the world and truly experience what real traveling is like. We shared beautiful experiences with excursions like rafting down the Pai River and scuba diving Thai coral reefs. A highlight was also working at an elephant sanctuary! The counselors made everyone feel safe while being friendly and fun the entire trip. I highly recommend any TFT trip to any teenager eager to seek out adventure. If you want to travel the world Travel For Teens is the way to go.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
In Bangkok I actually ate a scorpion on a stick that was sold from the street markets!
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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An experience with TFT I will always remember!

One word: magic. I will never forget my summer with TFT. Seeing parts of America I would never normally see or experience, spending days in some of the country’s most beautiful natural settings and coolest towns, with fun people. Just a great opportunity to explore our country and a different, more adventurous, kind of summer fun. We visited Utah and Colorado, two places I had been before, but not in the TFT way – hiking and climbing the State and National Parks, river walks, camping, the trip took me far beyond the ski mountains and funky towns I knew. Traveling across the country with amazing people, seeing new places, and trying new things is something you may not fully appreciate until the moment you’re there, but when that perfect day with great people in an I can’t believe I’m here place happens, it’s so memorable, My group was nice, genuine, and down to earth, people I liked sharing my days with and miss once our trip ended. Everyone was closest to one or two people but always traveled and explored as a big group, the dynamic became a group of friends experiencing new places together and making sure no one was left out. They’ve become great friends to me, sharing group chats and FaceTimes, secret Santa, talking about college together, and finding ways to see each other and stay connected across different hometowns, classes, and schedules. I have made lifelong friends, memories, and connections with these people. Lounging in the sun on an Idaho riverbank of smooth stones, finding the best tacos in a cool Montana college town, holding hands to jump across the Continental Divide together, whitewater rafting to the roar of rapids and the laughter of friends, I have hundreds of memories I’ll hold on to. Through TFT I have met some of my favorite people, made some deeply important and warm friendships, and came away loving how beautiful, diverse, and fascinating this country is. All while feeling safe and cared for and in smart, knowledgeable hands. I can’t think of a better summer or a gift from my family that I value more.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't feel like you have to go with someone. I was supposed to go with a friend from home, who in the end couldn't come. But I had no problem making friends. Most of the kids come by themselves so finding a buddy won't be hard. Not everyone stays on the trips for the entire session, so new travels might come on a session that is in the middle of your trip. These new travels are always welcome into the trip so you will have a chance to make new friends and hold on to people from previous sessions. But if you do come with someone, great! Branch out to new people that you and your friend can keep in contact with.
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Chayse
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Italy Photography Trip

My whole life I have wanted to travel the world and experience new things. Once I found Travel for Teens I was so excited to try it out! My first trip was the Italy photography workshop and it changed my life in a great way. At first I was super nervous because I was going to a foreign country with strangers, but I quickly connected with them on our 9 hour group flight. I had the best time with my new friends doing the planned activities as well as the new photography challenges we had each day. The trip really brought out my love for photography and travel. I have traveled with TFT every summer since!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don't second guess and just go for it! I almost never went on the Italy photography trip because I didn't know anyone. I had the best time on that trip and made a bunch of friends who I'm still close with today!
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Tara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The time of my life in Hawaii

Hawaii is incredibly beautiful with all that it has to offer from mountains to oceans. Being able to travel by myself and do something this cool allowed my to expand my comfort zone when it comes to meeting new people and adventuring to new places. We got to do a lot of the fun touristy things, but we also got to do community service which included learning about the oceans/coral reefs and what we can do to protect them. The other campers on my trip were very fun and out going. Our counselors were amazing and made the trip even better than I could have imagined. This was a trip of a life time and I hope I can do more trips like this in the future. I definitely recommend doing a trip through Travel For Teens because it definitely opens doors to learning about new people, cultures, food, and much more.

What was your funniest moment?
The funniest memory I have of this trip was when we visited Volcano National Park. We got to hike down a jungle path down the giant crater made from the lava. We were walking when we saw steam coming out from the ground. My counselor started running and for some reason it became a race between him and I. We ran so fast and it was so funny because it felt so surreal to be walking on what used to be flowing lava from the volcanos.
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Phoebe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Utterly exhilarating and life-changing!

Traveling with TFT absolutely changed my life. When I left, I had never set foot outside of the United States; when I returned, I'd added three new countries (and their public transit systems) to my list! The trip gave me a taste of a few cultures so different from my own in the best way possible. Really, TFT opened my eyes to all the world has to offer. It was a whirlwind of once-in-a-lifetime experiences: climbing the Duomo in Florence, cooking lessons and flamenco shows in Barcelona, wandering centuries-old streets in Rome, and tasting authentic French pastries in Paris. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to explore Europe with Travel For Teens—if you get the chance, take it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Step out of your comfort zone—don't be afraid to try something new! You will not regret a new experience; even if you don't like it in the end, you have a new story to tell your friends and family. You will regret missing out if you don't jump at the opportunity!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 45

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Ivania Salinas

Ivania Salinas

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I wanted to travel to a place and continent I had never been before that offered similar experiences like the ones I usually do each summer, such as going to the beach. I also wanted to experience a different culture and see a different lifestyle from the one I’m accustomed to.

When looking through the various trips, the beauty of Thailand one can witness captured all of my attention. I knew I needed to witness the beauty of the country through my own eyes, and all of the wonderful activities the country has to offer.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

My program provider assisted us with everything, from the daily meals to the information about our flight home. Travel For Teens did everything for us, they booked all of our hotels and flights, were in charge of our meals and made sure that whatever we order was suitable for us. They also told us what to pack, how much money to bring, and the type of weather we would be dealing with based on the place we were visiting. All we, the travelers, had to do was packed our suitcases, bring money for souvenirs and board a plane taking us to our final destination.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

My one piece of advice is to enjoy the trip as much as possible and make every second there memorable. Before you know it you will be sitting on the plane back home wishing you could have one more week, or wishing you would have done something better, or at least that's what happened to me. Even though you can't change how much time you will be going, don’t sit on that plane wishing you would have done something better, or enjoyed it more, instead do everything you can while you are over there, because, at the end of the day, those actions will become splendor memories that will live with you for the rest of your life.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average day in Thailand depends on the place you are in. For example, the average day in Chiang Mai consisted of learning about the culture of helping out the community, while the average day in the Phi Phi Islands was spent going snorkeling or scuba diving in the morning, visiting the beach in the afternoon and going on an adventure at night. Every day was spent doing something out of the ordinary, that any tourist visiting the area would not have the opportunity to do as easily.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear of traveling so far away and alone was that I would not have many friends, or that I would struggle to make friends. I overcame this fear the second I met everyone at the airport. At first, I was a little shy, but then I started talking to people from my group and making small talk, and before I knew it, I had made a bond with everyone there, including counselors, who were also extremely nice and welcoming. All of us became a family with whom we managed to share wonderful memories.

If you had to choose one thing that you either learned or experienced during the trip that will mark your life forever, what will it be? Explain why.

Witnessing the presence of bioluminescence lights during the night is an experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life. This experience is something that I didn’t know even existed, and it's so impactful to know the power that nature has, that it even manages to create tiny algae particles that create natural light, not only in full darkness but also in the water.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Sam Rae Roy

Job Title
Sales & Marketing Manager
Sam is an adventure enthusiast who has spent time living in both New England and Colorado. She has road tripped extensively around the continent, from Canada to Central America, which has aided in her development of our North America programs. In addition to her home continent, Sam has traveled all over Europe, Oceania, Asia, and Latin America. After numerous summers leading trips with TFT, she became a member of our Sales and Marketing team!

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is the last night I spent in the backcountry on a 9-day trek in the Andean mountains of Peru. I had wanted to complete this trek for years but knew it involved an immense amount of preparation and planning. At our final campsite, not only was I overwhelmed with the feeling of accomplishment, but the beauty of my surroundings took my breath away.

A man who had lived in the area where I camped with my companion offered to cook us trout caught from the pristine alpine lake we were set up by and we took him up on the offer! We had a delicious meal in an incredible place knowing we had completed something we had longed to for years.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I started as an ambitious counselor who wanted to make Travel For Teens her full-time career. Over the course of the last nine years that I have been with this company, I have grown and learned so much about how travel positively influences today's youth and myself as well. Travel For Teens fosters growth in everyone it touches and spreads a love for authentic travel around the world.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

The best story I've ever heard from a returning student is that, after traveling on our Hawaii Sea Turtle Service program, he had started an environmental awareness club at his school--and he was the president! It was really special to me that this student had felt so strongly about what he learned about recycling and sustainability in Hawaii that he wanted to share it with others.

To me, that is what Travel For Teens is all about: exposing today's youth to the world and all of its different cultures, beauty, needs, and teaching them to respect these cultures, maintain this beauty, and help our world's needs.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would go on the Hawaii program over and over again because I feel passionate about our planet and sharing my love for sustainability with them. You have the opportunity not only to work with an endangered species while on the beautiful island of Maui but you see a beach on the North Shore that is infamous for collecting hundreds of thousands of tons of micro pieces of plastics that have traveled from the beautiful beaches of Hawaii from California and Asia. It really paints a picture of where the plastic fork you leave on the beach in LA ends up.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are unique because we allow our students to feel like a local instead of a member of a tour group. We don't travel in huge groups of 30 to chain restaurants and ride massive tour buses. We take local transportation and make food a part of our itinerary. It's important to us that our students feel like they've learned how to be a traveler at the end of their trip.

I was especially proud to be a part of this team when I was off in a small group visiting a museum a group of kids had wanted to see while a different group was at a market with a different leader. We ran into a different company who were all wearing matching backpacks following a leader with a giant pink sign in a straight line. They stuck out like a sore thumb and myself and my small group looked like a traveling family which, by that point, we were.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I think being honest and passionate about what you are selling makes all the difference in a successful company. The people that run TFT truly love what they do and believe in the product they are endorsing. This is enhanced by the natural honest the comes with truly believing in what you are giving and that leads to happy customers.