Below you will find a lot of valuable information summer travel program. If it doesn't provide you with everything you need, please give us a call at 773.342.5200 or contact us. We want you to be as informed and prepared as possible.
The Road Less Traveled, Inc. Important Travel Insurance Information PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!
The Road Less Traveled’s refund policy is clearly stated in our Terms and Conditions. Travel Insurance is available to protect your investment and your child when she/he is out on the expedition. Any coverage you purchase should include each of the following benefits, but is not limited to only these:
• Accidental and Sickness Medical Expense
• Medical Evacuation/Emergency Assistance
• Trip Cancellation/Interruption Coverage
RLT encourages travel insurance for three reasons. Every year there is a student who is unable to attend their program due to illness or injury and must withdraw. In these situations, RLT is not able to reimburse families. Program costs are paid well in advance of each summer. Second, while The Road Less Traveled has an extraordinary safety record, we strongly feel this insurance is crucial in the event of an emergency evacuation. Evacuation can cost upwards of $10,000 per hour, if necessary. Third, you can protect your investment for roughly 4-5% of your trip cost.
PLEASE NOTE: It is NOT necessary to wait until you have purchased your airfare to purchase travel insurance! If you'd like to cover your airfare, you are more than welcome to adjust your policy after it is purchased and after you have made your travel arrangements to reflect the new travel costs.
RLT does not endorse any one insurance provider. However, we work closely with Travel Guard because we believe their plans to be comprehensive for the types of programs RLT offers. We request that you review all insurance material carefully and contact Travel Guard with your questions (1.800.826.1300).
PLEASE NOTE: These policies are only available to families within the United States. We encourage our international families to research and purchase travel insurance to protect their investment and their student while traveling with The Road Less Traveled.
For all programs EXCEPT Colorado: Call of the Wild, Colorado: 5280’ or Peru: Pachamama the following policy will offer sufficient coverage for your child’s intended program:
For all programs (EXCLUDING Call of the Wild, 5280', and Pachamama): Click Here to Get Covered!
For those enrolling on Colorado: Call of the Wild, Colorado: 5280’ or Peru: Pachamama, the following policy will offer sufficient coverage for your child's intended program:
For Call of the Wild, 5280', and Pachamama: Click Here to Get Covered!
These policies offer not only Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Expense/Emergency Evacuation coverage, but additional coverage options such as trip delay, missed connection, baggage & personal effect loss as well as baggage delay. Whatever additional coverages you chose to include in your policy are up to you and your family.
Please see Travel Guard's website for further clarity on their policies and application process. Any questions regarding coverage should be directed to Travel Guard at email@example.com (reference The Road Less Traveled ID #148441).
IMPORTANT: When coverage is purchased within 15 days of your final invoice from RLT, the plan can includes:
• Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver. Applies to the first $30,000 of trip cost per person
• Trip Cancellation/Interruption due to Financial Default coverage
• $250 additional Missed Connection
• $50,000 in Flight Guard coverage
• Primary Medical Expense
Travel insurance coverage without trip cancellation/interruption can be purchased at any time.
Travel Insurance FAQs
For any questions regarding coverage, services, or to file a claim please call 1.800.826.1300
If you are traveling abroad and are under the age of 18, it is required that you have a valid passport. If you do not already have a passport, and you plan on traveling with us this summer, you MUST apply for one as soon as possible due to passport application processing time! Your passport absolutely has to be valid for 6 months after your trip end-date, otherwise you may be denied entry to the country. Please be sure to check your current passport (if you already have one) to confirm that the expiration date falls within this time frame. Your passport should be carried on your person while traveling. Make sure that you also bring two photocopies of the opening page of your passport with you on your trip - keep them in a safe place in case your passport is lost and needs to be replaced. You should leave one copy of your passport at home as well.
Parents, please have a conversation with your child regarding how important it is to guard his/her passport while traveling. The Road Less Traveled is not responsible for the costs involved in replacing a passport.
Every U.S. citizen who is traveling internationally with RLT will have his/her name and passport number registered with the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for the duration of their trip. In addition, every local U.S. Embassy will have our company's contact information and full itinerary should they need it during the summer.
U.S. Department of State:
For general Passport information, please visit www.travel.state.gov/passport.
Some of our international programs require Tourist Visas in order to participate. It is up to the traveler and the traveler's family to obtain these visas! Specific directions on how to go about applying for your student's visa will be provided after application and acceptance to the program. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES are you to apply for a Tourist Visa until The Road Less Traveled give you explicit directions to do so. Tourist Visas are only valid for a temporary amount of time, and if you apply too early your visa will expire before you have departed for your program.
The following programs require a Tourist Visa:
Bhutan: Na May Sa May
Vietnam: Ban Than
Every student who travels with RLT must have had a physical exam WITHIN 18 MONTHS of the departure date of his/her trip. A blank, Road Less Traveled specific Physician's Health History form will be attached to your Traveler's Form Part 1 Email for your use. You are more than welcome to also submit a different physician's form if your student has been seen by his/her doctor within the last year, however we REQUIRE at the very least a doctor's signature on our RLT specific form as well.
The Road Less Traveled does not require any specific vaccinations in order to participate on our programs, other than an up-to-date tetanus shot or booster (within the last nine years). The decision to take medications and receive vaccinations for international travel is a personal one and should be carefully and thoughtfully discussed with a health care professional.
Information on what the CDC recommends for travel to each country in which RLT runs a program can be found below. Please plan accordingly when it comes to making your doctor's appointments - be sure to take all international vaccination information with you to the doctor when you have your general physical exam. This will eliminate multiple visits to the doctor's office!
Here are some additional resources for your use:
World Health Organization
Another source for information about international health issues is the World Health Organization. You can visit their website at www.who.int.
Center for Disease Control
We recommend that you monitor health updates through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov or by phone at 1.800.232.4636 (800-CDC-INFO).
CDC Recommendations by Program:
Belize: Gud Mawin
Guatemala: Amor Por Los Animales
Costa Rica: Pura Vida and El Sendero
Dutch Caribbean, Bonaire: Bon Bini
Italy: Seme Al Piatto
Norway: Footsteps of Giants
Panama: Los Cayucos
Thailand: Tham Dee Dai Dee
Cuba: Beyond Borders
Personal Participant Medical Information
We endeavor to prevent medical problems in the field, and it is critical that our trip leaders possess all relevant medical history to manage a medical emergency. It is your obligation to inform us of any changes in your physical condition, if changes occur after you submit your official RLT medical forms. 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 said participant shall be returned home at his/her expense and without a refund.
For the safety of everyone on the program, all medications must be stored with the designated health care staff. For RLT to administer any personal medication, including over-the-counter and non-prescription medication, the following procedures must be adhered to:
These procedures must be followed or we will not allow the participant to take any medications sent with them, and we WILL be contacting you in search of authorization for administration! This is essential for both prescription and non-prescription medications. Do not separate medications or vitamins into daily dispensers.
Please be aware before you visit your physician that we suggest you discuss the proper dosage, frequency of administration and quantity of dosage for all medications being brought. Please be sure to bring enough medication to last the entire duration of the trip, including arrival and departure days! We are frequently in remote locations where it may take many hours, if not days to reach a pharmacy or doctor in order to get a re-fill.
If you use an inhaler, you must bring THREE with you. You will keep one, your leader will keep one, and one will be kept as a backup.
If you have a history of severe systemic anaphylactic reactions, you must bring THREE EpiPens. You will keep one, your leader will keep one, and the last will be kept as a backup.
If you are allergic to Penicillin, Amoxicillin or Augmentin, you should consider bringing an alternative antibiotic, especially on international programs. Our standing orders prescribe Augmentin, which our leaders carry for use in the backcountry, and if you have an adverse reaction to it, you should have your doctor prescribe an alternative in case you become sick in a very remote area where medical care may be delayed. Please bring your prescription ALREADY FILLED on your expedition.
As a reminder, you must have had a standard physical exam within 18 months of the departure date of your trip. A blank Physician's Health History form will be attached to your Traveler's Form Part 1 Email. Once your health forms have been submitted to RLT at a later date, it is your obligation to inform us in writing of any changes in your physical condition.
Phone and Personal Electronics Policy
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. Traveling with and using a cell phone and/or personal electronics (including ipods, ipads, etc.) is permitted and encouraged for communication on arrival and departure days ONLY. Otherwise, personal cell phone use, emails, texts, and listening to music is not permitted while on an RLT program.
If your child has a cell phone, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND sending it with him/her 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 child does not have a cell phone, do not worry. Many participants are able to use pay phones or 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 as soon as it is necessary!
Social media will be our main source of communication with you while your child is on their program. We ask our leaders to send photos and short updates on how the trip is going which we then communicate through varied social media outlets. If you don't have Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, fear not! Everything regarding your child's program will be aggregated onto a website called Tagboard, where all messages and photos will be clearly displayed for everyone to see. Once the trip departure date gets closer, you will be emailed more details on how to access the Tagboard specifically for your child's trip.
Due to the remote locations of many of our programs, these updates may come sporadically. Again, do not worry if this is the case with your child's trip! No news is good news remains true!
Emergency Situations and Leaving Messages
If you need to get a message to your child, contact the office at 773.342.5200 and we will relay the message through your child's trip leaders. All 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 the Directors. We will be available for emergencies 24 hours a day during the summer months.
If we need to contact you during the summer regarding any situation related to your child, 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.
The tuition price of your trip includes just about everything: all meals, in-country transportation (excluding air fare), laundry and shower facilities, gear, admissions, tolls, guide fees, special events and private tours.
We do suggest bringing between $50-$100 per week for personal items, souvenirs, stamps, postcards, and baggage fees. The amount of pocket-money you send your child with will depend on the location he/she is traveling to - for example, students traveling to Europe will need to bring more pocket-money than students traveling to Costa Rica.
Money should be brought in U.S. dollars, credit card, debit card, or some combination of the three. If you are able to exchange some U.S. currency for the currency used in the location you are traveling to, this is ideal. If possible, please have some U.S. currency AND some international currency on-hand for your student's use. Your student will be able to exchange U.S. currency upon arrival in his/her final destination.
It is IMPERATIVE that your student set aside some money for baggage fees at the BEGINNING as well as the END of the program. Our leaders are not responsible for covering overweight or additional bag fees, and your student must be prepared to manage these costs on his/her own. We recommend setting aside at least $100 to cover bag fees on arrival as well as departure day.
It is also important to note that for all programs traveling to COSTA RICA (Pura Vida for middle-school students as well as El Sendero for high-school students), there will be a mandatory exit fee upon departure. This exit fee is approximately $30 in U.S. currency. Please plan accordingly!
Here are some helpful links that will help with the question "what kind of money should I send my student with?":
- Click here to see Visa Card ATM locations worldwide
- Click here to see MasterCard and Cirrus ATM locations worldwide
We provide all the necessary gear such as tents, ropes, cooking equipment, maps, etc. for your child's program. With the exception of some additional modest gear for a few specific trips (our wilderness adventure programs in particular), packing what is listed on the Equipment Lists will suffice. The type of trip that you will be on will dictate what you will need to bring! Please see your trip's specific Destination Page to access your Equipment List.
Please note: If you are interested in RLT logo'd gear please visit https://www.theroadlesstraveled.com/rlt-gear
WHERE TO BUY GEAR
Many of our programs require a certain level of physical activity. If you are currently on a fitness schedule, keep it up! If you are feeling sedentary, do as Edward Abbey suggests; "Get off your foam rubber backside, stand up straight like men! Like women! Like human beings! And walk-walk-WALK upon our sweet and blessed land!” Be active for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Consider incorporating some running into your exercise regimen, or stair-climbing (both up and down!) if your trip includes hiking.
Mental strength and preparedness are also key to a successful RLT summer. To complete your course, you are going to need emotional and mental strength --- the tenacity to go the extra mile at the end of a long day. These are qualities that don't come from physical fitness alone. They come from an eagerness and willingness to try, two of the most important things you must bring on your RLT course.
You should review travel hygiene prior to your departure. Remaining healthy while traveling can be a challenge, but following some simple guidelines for consumption of food and water helps ensure smoother travel. Our leaders have extensive knowledge of food and water protocols and will help ensure your safety by adhering to strict guidelines, including those listed below:
International Programs NOT including Europe:
Our programs are more than capable of accommodating any specific dietary restrictions your student may have: allergies, vegetarianism, student's who keep kosher, veganism, etc. Please call our office prior to departure to discuss any specific requirements with our staff, and be sure to mention such to your trip leader when he/she calls to introduce themselves at the beginning of the summer.
For programs traveling to high altitudes, it is possible that without proper precautions, one might be susceptible to altitude sickness. Transitory headache, breathlessness, and slight nausea account for the vast majority of high-altitude symptoms. Our programs successfully counteract the effects of altitude by following these precautions:
We are pleased that you have chosen The Road Less Traveled, and you should anticipate an exciting and memorable summer. We realize that even the most enthusiastic participants may experience anxiety about their trip, and we’d like to take this opportunity to address some of these issues.
Homesickness and anxiety are natural reactions to a new experience. The cure lies in our sensitivity to the situation and in clear communication between you, your child, and us. Some participants display their homesickness outwardly and share their concerns with our staff; others hide it and only tell their parents or peers. Should your child express these feelings to you while on their trip, it is important that you let us know. It is not uncommon for some participants, for one reason or another, to let their parents know (either during the mid-trip phone call home, or sometimes in a letter) that they are feeling homesick and/or unhappy. Frequently, these students are actually happy and doing quite well. If you let us know that you are receiving unhappy reports, we can plan together and develop a course of action which will help your child feel more comfortable with this important developmental challenge. All children will, at one time or another, feel doubt, fear, homesickness, anger, etc. Our goal is to guide your child through these frustrating times and help him or her have an exceptional summer.
With all of that said, we also feel it is important to note that when something (even minor) goes wrong, a participant can potentially take things pretty hard. For example, a rainy day or difficult hike can turn into “I hate my trip, I want to come home!” Or stir-fry for dinner can momentarily translate into “The food stinks. I haven’t eaten a thing in a week!” Very often after a few hours have gone by, your child has forgotten he or she ever felt that way. One of the things we work hard to teach on all of our programs is how to work through these feelings and see through to the other side.
We do, however, encourage you, your child, and our leaders to communicate with us. Please be aware that a series of unhappy letters or phone calls is much more significant than one dramatic incident. We encourage you to call us during your child’s expedition with any questions or concerns you may have.
The leader of your child’s expedition will be calling you before your trip starts to talk with you and your child about the trip and to answer any questions that you may have. It is also a chance for our leaders to gain a sense of who your child is and what you all hope and expect to get out of the summer. Please feel free to discuss any concerns with the trip leader at this time; a well-informed leader is that much more equipped to work with your child’s specific needs during the program.
We look forward to working with you to provide an exceptional summer experience!