Why travel with Academic Expeditions?

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Because we care. It’s as simple as that. Our commitment to quality, integrity, and value is the heart of who we are and what we stand for. The level of personalized attention we provide for our groups sets us apart in this industry and is the number one reason why our schools return year after year. Read more on our Why Travel With Us page.

How do you provide security and safety on your trips?

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Safety is our highest priority. We work only with the highest quality vendors and will not run a trip if we feel the safety of our clients and guides is compromised. From full-time staff & logistical support, to 24-hr emergency phone access for all travelers, we’ve got you covered. Read more on our Standard Tour Features page.

What type of tours do you offer?

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U.S. History east coast tours; Civil Rights & Social Justice studies; Environmental & Outdoors Education in the National Parks; Theater & the Arts tours in NYC and Boston; STEM-focused programs in Chicago, California… if it’s in the United States, Academic Expeditions travels there! We develop each tour to meet your group’s unique learning objectives and goals, and our experienced and professional staff work with you every step of the way to ensure that your custom travel program not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Contact us to request a quote for your school today.

Looking to travel internationally? Check out our partner company Discovery Expeditions.

How is a custom expedition different than other tours?

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Many tour operators offer dates for pre-arranged departures and trips with little or no say in how a trip is organized… Not us. Rather than provide the same expeditions to everyone, we recognize that different groups have different needs and desires. We work with you to create your own tailor-made trip that feels right and works well for your group, offering our expert knowledge and advice to help guide your decision-making. Academic Expeditions develops each tour from the ground up and customizes as much as the client wishes. We feel this is the way that fulfilling travel should be.

What level of service and quality can I expect from your tours?

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The best available. Always. We want you to have the trip of a lifetime. We strive to make your experience not only enjoyable and educational, but also comfortable. Read more on our Standard Tour Features page.

Are your trips more expensive because of everything you offer?

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Actually, no. We are a privately owned company that doesn’t need to answer to stockholders’ bottom lines, and with the advantages of mobile technology, our family-oriented team of versatile professionals avoids corporate overhead costs. This allows us to offer better quality tours at a more reasonable price and value than many of our competitors. We never have, nor ever will skimp on the quality of the goods or services we offer and will strive to keep our prices competitive and affordable.

Do you offer scholarships or fundraising opportunities to help pay for the trip?

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Yes, scholarship aid and fundraising opportunities vary by group. Please contact your group leader regarding protocols for submitting a request. If you are a group leader looking for more help and resources in this department, contact us to obtain access to our Teacher Tools containing helpful information on the topic.

How serious are you about the educational aspects of your expeditions?

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Education is our primary goal. Our unique model learning through travel truly opens our participants’ eyes and minds to new ideas, cultures, and understandings. All of our customized educational content complies with school-based curriculum guidelines and is designed to meet teacher expectations and student learning objectives. Our curriculum is based on national and/or state standards and employs higher order critical thinking and develops real life connections for students.

Do you use “step-on” or part-time guides as well as full-time guides?

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Our full-time licensed Academic Expeditions tour educators are present during every moment of the tour for your added safety, education, and sense of well-being. In addition to providing educational information, their relational engagement between all sites and activities adds a sense of security and continuity. To further enhance the educational value of your program, and/or when required by a specific site, we also bring in expert local educators, guides, naturalists, and park rangers to present information in fresh and unique ways.

How do I register?

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Go to your Trip Portal and enter your Tour Code. Don’t have an access code? Please contact your group leader; registration is private and accessible only to members of your school/community.

How do I pay for my trip?

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Payment methods can vary from group to group, and are detailed in the online registration process. Please consult your Trip Portal for payment details. In most circumstances, families pay us directly through their online account and we do not add any additional convenience fees for credit card use. We also accept payments by mailed check. Some organizations and schools choose to collect the funds directly from participants and forward the payments to our office. The payment plan options are another aspect of how each expedition is customized to the best fit for each group.

Can I make a donation towards a students’ trip?

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Yes, you can donate by using the form below!

What does the trip price include?

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The tour price is all-inclusive. All meals, transportation, accommodations, guides, entrance fees, gratuities, security, taxes, transfers, airfares, and insurance are included. The only extra money needed is for souvenirs! For a detailed list of inclusions, please refer to your Trip Portal.

Is individual travelers insurance included?

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Yes. We believe comprehensive travel protection is so essential that we automatically include it with each expedition traveling by air, and also make it available at an affordable rate for groups traveling by road. This policy includes medical and accident coverage, pre-trip cancellation, trip interruption, evacuation, baggage loss and delay. It is a comprehensive package offered by TripMate Insurance, a leader in the tour insurance industry. If you have registered for a trip and would like to view your online insurance pamphlet, or for more general information about the travel protection we offer, visit our Insurance page for full details.

Do you also carry liability insurance?

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Academic Expeditions® carries a $10,000,000 Professional and General Liability Insurance Policy through the Steadfast Insurance Group, a standard in tour and travel insurance coverage. This policy offers our clients an additional layer of protection and confidence in the travel products that we offer. The document is available here for viewing and downloading as needed for proof of Liability Coverage.

What if I need to cancel my trip or substitute someone in my place?

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We understand that circumstances can change. We always attempt to work with our clients individually and find the best solutions for each situation. All details regarding our cancellation terms or substitution are outlined in the Terms and Conditions when registering for your trip online. Travel insurance, if included or purchased as an add-on, covers trip cancellation for legitimate emergencies and interruptions. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

Am I able to purchase my own flight for a trip separate from the group booking?

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Yes, if a number of conditions are met. We understand that there are a variety of reasons for which participants may wish to book a flight separately: for example, if someone is unable to attend the entire trip, or a family wishes to use an airline credit to help fund their student’s travel, etc. We are happy to work with families requesting these unique arrangements, however please note that any time an individual or family makes their own separate flight arrangements from the group booking, there is the potential of delays or missed connections, and it is the family’s financial and logistical responsibility to join the group without interrupting the larger group’s itinerary.

1. Passengers wishing to fly with the group on one leg of the itinerary, and schedule a separate date/destination for the other leg, may inquire to do so. Each case is handled individually and rules vary by airline. Since many of our group contracts are roundtrips, canceling half of the ticket may not be possible; additionally, it can be expensive since one-way tickets sometimes cost just as much as a roundtrip. However, we can often book a deviation to allow staying on the group ticket for the needed leg. Please contact your Program Director about your situation, including your alternate travel dates & city/airport, and we will research deviation options available for your particular group’s flight contract — Note: the sooner the better as availability can be time-sensitive.

2. Booking your own flight – the SAME itinerary: ideally, please book the same flight as the group to eliminate concerns about meetup timings or needing an additional adult chaperone. This may seem simple enough, however with large groups we are often holding so many seats that it is unlikely that those same flights will show up as cheaper or eligible for rewards flights. If saving money is your intention, you may be forced to fly a different airline / itinerary and that could create problems for joining the group.

3. Booking your own flight – a SEPARATE itinerary. If you don’t purchase the same flight as the group, it is possible that there will be a flight change or delay preventing you from joining the group in time. The tour group is NOT responsible for waiting or going out of their way to connect with anyone who purchases flights on their own. You are responsible to rejoin the group at your own expense. Additionally, flights booked on your own are not eligible for coverage by the travelers insurance included with your tour. For these reasons, this option to book a separate itinerary is ONLY available for families: minors who are traveling with a parent or guardian. For unaccompanied minors, you are only permitted to book your own flight if it is the same itinerary as the group flight.

4. Please DO NOT purchase your own flights more than 3 to 5 months out. With group bookings it is common that our group reservation may change departure times and even airports. Consult with your Program Director before purchasing. Avoid becoming separated from the group due to booking too far in advance.

5. Most group flight contracts require submitting Final Names for passengers 2 months out. Ask your Program Director to confirm deadlines specific to your group. If purchasing your own flight before Final Names have been submitted and in compliance with the guidelines outlined above, we may be able to reimburse the group fare from your all-inclusive tour price. TBD for each school.

What is your company’s professional affiliation?

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Academic Expeditions is a privately owned company and is fully licensed and insured to the maximum extent of the law governing tour operators. We are incorporated in New York State as an S corporation filed as Academic Expeditions, Inc. We are proud to be a member in good standing of the National Tour Association (NTA) the Student Youth Tour Association (SYTA), the American Bus Association (ABA), Washington D.C. Guild of Tour Guides, and the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN). We also hold a California Department of Justice Seller of Travel certification number. These organizations demand the highest professional standards in the travel industry and require their members to maintain a consistently high standard of integrity and service.

What if I have more questions?

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Please visit our contact us page for general inquiries or visit our team page to reach out to individual staff with more specific questions. We are always here and happy to help. Personal references from past participants are also always cheerfully provided. We truly appreciate your interest in traveling with us and look forward to helping you create a wonderful and meaningful program that is perfect for you and your group. Thank you!

Need More Information? Get In Touch!