CelestialVoyagers customizes each tour based on your student’s age, interest, and learning objectives. Whether your student has elected for a travel-intensive or more leisurely paced program, each day is scheduled differently, with just the right mix of education and social opportunity. A typical day involves a half-day of sightseeing followed by some free time in which students could explore, shop or work on academic coursework. All of our tours include: round-trip international airfare, transportation while abroad, hotel accommodations, daily breakfast, 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.
Airfare & Transportation
All group tours have a pre-arranged departure point. Once your student arrives at his/her destination, we usually travel by deluxe motor coach, but we also may use cable cars, high-speed trains, or cruise ships.
We book superior 3 and 4-star hotels (with private bathrooms) in safe locations with easy access to local attractions and public transportation. Each student traveler shares a room with two or three other students of the same gender but can opt to pay an additional fee for a single or twin rooms.
Breakfast is provided daily and other meals will be included based on the trip’s budget. Students will have an opportunity to choose from a variety of meals — both familiar and foreign — throughout the trip.
Sightseeing & Excursions
No matter what type of travel program you choose, students will always enjoy a guided city tour on foot or by bus to see the main sites of each major destination. Typically, each 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 can include a cultural activity like a theater performance. We also offer a variety of optional excursions (at an additional fee), which 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. Upon request, larger groups will also be assisted by a representative from CelestialVoyagers who will handle all of the travel technicalities to allow Tour Leaders to focus on their students’ experience.
Contacting the Student
At least two weeks prior to departure, you will be sent a Tour Documents Packet with a list of all flight details and hotel names including appropriate contact information. 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 FaceTime for video chatting, Facebook for social networking, or messages sent through their personal CelestialVoyagers profile on our website.
You can contact us by mail, phone or email at:
27-28 Thomson Ave., Suite WS 11
Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel: (212) 203-1021
Safety and Security Abroad
The safety of CelestialVoyagers participants is our paramount concern. To this end, we follow the recommendations of the U.S. 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 minimum a basic insurance policy to cover any issues that should arise while abroad. In case of emergencies, students should keep a list of the U.S. embassies in their destination countries. For students’ personal safety, we encourage you to discuss and have them adhere to the following measures:
- Don’t wear expensive-looking clothes or jewelry.
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 as early as possible, as it can sometimes take 14 weeks to process. Make sure that his/her passport is valid at least 6 months after the tour’s return and there are at least 3 blank pages. Please refer to the U.S. 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 CelestialVoyagers account matches his or her passport.
Your student may need a visa for the tour. Contact our visa services partner where you can 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, students under the age of 18 require a parental authorization form to be signed and notarized within 30 days of the tour departure date.
CelestialVoyagers will send you the form a few months prior to your departure date. Please ensure that your student brings the form on the tour because it’s required to get through customs in these countries.
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. If you need additional financial assistance, fundraising is a great option. Here are some suggestions below:
- Sponsorship & Grants
- Community & School Events
- Product Sales
- Use crowdfunding websites
- Request donations from family and friends
- Complete odd jobs around your area
We highly recommend 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.
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 coins since they can’t be exchanged back into U.S. dollars since exchange offices and banks 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 meals and other day-to-day expenses, while the higher amount covers museum entrance fees 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.
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.
Confirm the flights
Please call the airline to confirm your student’s flight 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 CelestialVoyagers by phone or email.
For international flights, students should meet their 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 CelestialVoyagers participants will receive e-tickets, which means that students will only need their passports to check in.
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 and hotel.
Booking Terms & Conditions
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:
|Cancellation Date||Amount Detail|
|before 90 Days||$150 non-refundable processing fee|
|between 90 – 61 Days||$350|
|between 60 – 45 Days||50% of the total trip cost|
|within 45 Days or in case of no-show||100% of the total trip cost|