Music Tours - Frequently Asked Questions

General

 

Will domestic or high school international groups travel with other schools?

Whether you travel alone or with other schools depends on the size of your group. Schools that travel together generally make friends, which creates a fun dynamic. However, some groups have just one hometown group.

What's included in the cost of a domestic or high school international program?

Every program is customized and what's included may vary from trip to trip. A typical program includes transportation (air or motor coach), hotel accommodations, meals, a daily guide (Course Leader or Tour Director), sightseeing activities, and immersive educational content. All programs also include all of our safety provisions and support. The registration letter provided by the teacher leading your program has all the inclusion details for your specific program.

Who will lead the program?

The official group leader (hereafter referred to as the Program Leader), is most often a teacher at school. The Program Leader is supported by other chaperones as needed, usually either parents of traveling students or other teachers or administrators at the school. This person is supported by WorldStrides specialists at the airport, on the bus, and at the hotel. The educational part of the program is led by a Course Leader, who is an expert in connecting with students and sharing information about your destination. This Course Leader will be with your students at all times, leading them through the incredible destinations included in your program.

What kinds of meals are provided for the students?

For domestic programs, students enjoy full American breakfasts at the hotel or at a local restaurant. Groups eat fast food, food court, or cafeteria-style lunches while touring and are provided with sit-down dinners. In some cases, lunches may not be included in the program price. Internationally, WorldStrides provides a continental breakfast each morning which may include juice, milk, tea, coffee or chocolate, bread/croissant/pastry, and fruit. Some hotels offer a buffet usually consisting of cereals, cold meats, and cheeses. This varies from one hotel to another, but is always more than enough to get the day started. For dinner, WorldStrides introduces local food to the students and makes sure that there is a variety of food and plenty of it!

Will students room together?

Students typically room with three other students (four students to a room), and most hotel rooms have two full or double beds that are shared by students of the same gender. Many programs allow students to select their own roommates. Ultimate approval of all roommate selections rests with the Program Leader.

What kinds of hotels will we stay in?

WorldStrides takes pride in providing safe, quality accomodations for all programs. Hotels are licensed by local authorities, inspected by WorldStrides staff and partners for cleanliness, quality, and location, and rated by Program Leaders on an ongoing basis. All of our domestic hotels are nationally recognized chain hotels including Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Hampton Inn. For international travel, WorldStrides generally uses centrally located 3- and 4-star hotels that have excellent access to sites and transportation. Some graduate programs may use 5-star properties. Please note students on some programs may participate in activities such as camping in tents or cabins, per the itinerary.

 

Can parent(s) or guest(s) come on the trip?

The teacher leading the program makes the decision about parents participating on the trip and will assign any chaperones, as needed. There is an additional cost for adults, depending on the number of program participants per room. Typically, adults room together in double rooms. Please contact the teacher leading your program for specific details and/or questions.

 

Can handicapped participants go on a WorldStrides tour?

Yes. WorldStrides welcomes handicapped participants and makes every effort to accommodate the student’s needs. Middle and High School students should ask the teacher leading their program to contact his or her Account Manager regarding any special needs so we may take care of the necessary arrangements. University students may work directly with their Account Manager. Please note that there may be some activities in which a traveler is unable to participate. WorldStrides will be happy to work with anyone who has mobility or other issues to try to make it possible for them to participate. Additionally, we recommend that students with special needs investigate their destination(s) to make sure any special care would be available. Review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travelers’ Health website for tips.

 

What kind of transportation will we use?

You will travel by either airplane or motorcoach, depending on how far your hometown is from your destination. A comfortable, air-conditioned motorcoach will be used to take your group to the various sites and activities in your destination city. In some cities, you will walk or take public transportation to many of the sites, when convenient.

 

What airlines do you use?

We use all major carriers; American, United, Delta, and Southwest are our top carriers.

 

What will our tour guide be like?

WorldStrides calls these guides Course Leaders or Tour Directors and they are often the highlight of the trip! Our guides are trained by WorldStrides and are unique in being LEAP-certified. Many have other careers that allow them to present interdisciplinary approaches to subject material and to make connections that extend beyond traditional classroom instruction. They include educators, scientists, writers, artists, teachers, singers, musicians, art historians, film producers, translators, and more. They all have fascinating stories. They are collectively multilingual, college-educated, well-traveled, passionate about the destinations in which they work, and enthusiastic about working with young people.

 

What sites will we see?

You can see your complete itinerary on your online registration portal. (Note it is subject to change a bit, but it should give you a good idea of what’s in store.) Can’t find your portal? Go to register and use your TripID to log in.

How much spending money should students bring?

The amount of spending money students need to bring depends on the length of the tour. It is also a personal preference—meaning that if you want to buy a lot of souvenirs, then you’ll need to bring more spending money. As a general guide, we recommend $50 in spending money to purchase souvenirs for programs lasting three or more days. Be sure to check the information provided to you by the teacher leading the trip. On some of our programs, not all the meals are included so students will want to bring an additional $7-$12 to buy lunch each day. Please note, these recommendations may differ if you are traveling internationally.

What is the role of the Tour Manager?

All of our standard touring programs include a Tour Manager who will accompany your group 24 hours a day—from your group's arrival until your departure. The services of our Tour Managers are exclusive to each group—they stay in the same hotels as you, eat dinner with you, and are available to help with planning of evening activities, if desired. Their job is to attend to your group’s needs at all times. In all our destinations, we choose guides who are qualified to meet the unique needs of each particular group. We take great pride in matching guides to groups based on age, gender, or sporting experience.

OnStage Programs

 

What kind of audiences do concert performances attract?

On our performing tours, high audience attendance is always our priority. We strive to arrange concerts at venues that have excellent prospects of securing a sizable and appreciative audience. We pride ourselves on the careful selection of venues to suit each group’s individual performance and audience requirements.

What types of venues will we perform in if we travel abroad?

We offer an unrivaled range of venues for your performing tour. Whether you prefer to perform in one of Europe’s great Gothic or Romanesque cathedrals, a smaller sacred venue, a public place, or a music festival, our operations staff has the experience and contacts to make the best possible concert arrangements for your group. Each one of our customized proposals includes a comprehensive list of frequently used venues in the cities on that itinerary. If a group has a particular venue in mind for a potential performance, we will do everything possible to secure it.

Perspectives Programs

 

 

CANCELLATIONS

 

 

Official cancellation requests must be emailed to cancellations@explorica.com. The parent or guardian of a participant may contact Explorica to inquire about cancellations.

 

Will my reservations be cancelled by Explorica if I do not make my payments?

If you do not meet the conditions of your payment plan, your reservations will be cancelled and standard cancellation fees will apply.

Explorica's Travel Protection Plan Plus: Cancel For Any Reason Benefit

Explorica’s Travel Protection Plan Plus includes our exclusive Cancel for Any Reason benefit. For more information about benefit rules and timelines, and for information about submitting a claim, please see the Travel Protection section of our website.

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ADULT ROOMING

Adults (23 years of age or older) are automatically placed in twin rooms unless a single room is selected and paid for at the time of enrollment. The adult rooming supplement fee for U.S. travelers is $45 per night ($70 per night on ferries and cruise ships) and $85 per night for a single room. Single rooms are not available on night trains, cruises and ferries. Roommates are assigned by your Program Leader and requests should be given to your Program Leader 60 days prior to your departure. The deadline for requests for single room upgrades is 60 days before departure. For more information on accommodations, visit the get ready section of our website.

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STUDENT ROOMING

While on tour, 3-4 students under the age of 23 and of the same gender will be sharing a room. These students will be from the entire group unless otherwise noted. For teacher-led tours, the Program Leaders will assign these roommates. Hotel rooms are furnished with either single or double beds; single beds sleep just one person and double beds may be shared. Participants aged 22 and younger may choose to upgrade to stay in a twin room for an additional $45 per night ($70 per night on cruises and ferries). The deadline for requests for twin room upgrades is 60 days before departure. For more information on accommodations, visit the get ready section of our website.

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REFUNDS

If your account has an overpayment Explorica will process your refund once all funds have cleared the bank. This usually takes about 2-3 weeks from the time the refund is posted. If your account has been cancelled, any refund due will be processed within 6 weeks of the date of cancellation. If you purchased Explorica's Travel Protection Plan, you may submit a claim to Trip Mate.

Explorica issues refunds in the same method payments were made, unless paid directly from a checking account in which case a check will be issued. Please note that Explorica cannot refund credit cards that were not originally used for payments, or that exceed the total amount charged to that card. Please contact Explorica at 888.310.7121 with questions concerning your refund.

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SPECIAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES

Students or adults with special needs or physical disabilities may travel on an Explorica tour. Please let us know in advance of your departure and we will do everything we can to accommodate your needs. Please note: some bus companies and hotels overseas are not wheelchair accessible. We ask that you contact your Program Consultant or a Customer Care Representative with your specific needs. Read more about the Explorica Accessibility Policy.

 

SENDING A GROUP CHECK

If you would like to allocate check funds amongst group members, please fill out Group Check Form. If your check is larger than your participants’ total balance, please assign the extra amount to the Program Leader. If you have more than one group check to submit, please make a copy of the form and submit a separate one for each. Please mail this form(s) with your check(s), payable to All About Destinations, to:

 

All About Destinations
45Sycamore Avenue - Suite 832
Charleston, SC 29407

 

PARENTAL AUTHORIZATION

The governments of certain countries require parental consent for a minor to enter. This document needs to be completed prior to departure and taken with the traveler on tour. The forms below must be signed and notarized in order for each student to enter the country. Each traveler must present the form, along with a valid passport, to the airline attendant upon checking in.

Download the Parental Consent Form.

Any specific questions or concerns regarding the necessity of these forms or how to complete them should be directed toward the embassy of the country being visited.

Note: The above applies to parties holding American passports. Those without US citizenship should contact their local consulate for information regarding traveling out of country as a minor.

FREQUENT FLYER MILES

 

The ability to obtain frequent flyer miles will vary depending on the airline; some airlines will credit your account and others cannot do so because you are flying on a group ticket. You will need to contact the airline directly, as Explorica is unable to negotiate frequent flyer miles on your behalf. It may be helpful to retain your boarding passes.

 

 

TRAVEL DELAYS

Travel can be unpredictable and arrival times are not guaranteed.

If you are flying from the west coast or into southern Europe, you should expect a late arrival time. Your Tour Director will work to readjust your itinerary in order to accommodate your arrival.

If weather or mechanical problems delay your flight, your airline must work with you to make alternate arrangements and you will join the tour already in progress.

We strongly recommend purchasing Explorica's Travel Protection to protect you in the case of a travel delay or other unforeseen circumstances.

 

LAND ONLY

For many of our tours, you may opt to arrange your own airline tickets and join the group at the hotel at their first overseas destination. We will discount your Tour Fee by up to 35 percent. Some tours that include an internal flight do not permit the Land Only option. Please contact a Customer Care Representative for more information.

You may sign up as a Land Only Participant online, by selecting the Land Only box on the “Change Selections” page. Should you wish to mail us a paper application, please mark your application accordingly to reflect this option. This should be requested upon enrollment at least 130 days before departure. Additional fees may apply if requested between 129–90 days before departure. This option is not available less than 90 days before departure.

Please note that all Land Only participants are responsible for their own airline tickets and airport transfers. You will not be met at the airport by an Explorica representative. Please keep in mind that you should not make any flight arrangements until you receive your final tour itinerary and departure date from your Program Leader.

ATTENTION MINOR TRAVELERS (UNDER THE AGE OF 18)

Minors may NOT travel Land Only unless one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The traveler is accompanied by an adult. If the accompanying adult is not the parent or guardian of the traveler, written consent must be provided by the legal parent or guardian.

  2. The parent or guardian of the traveler has signed a consent form acknowledging that the traveler will not be met at the airport and Explorica will NOT supply chaperone or transport service to or from the airport. Forms must be completed at the time of Land Only enrollment and faxed to Explorica at 1.888.310.7088.

 

LATE SIGN UP AND REINSTATEMENT (INTERNATIONAL TOURS departing in 2018)

All enrollments and reinstatements received less than 105 days prior to departure are subject to a $145 late sign up fee and must immediately be paid in full, including the service fee. After late applications have been received, additional charges (for last-minute flight reservations, increased Tour Fees, etc) may apply. You will be notified of these additional fees before any charges are made.

Late applicants will be placed on a waiting list and be marked "pending" while we look into securing hotel and other tour reservations, as well as flight reservations. Over 90% of our wait-listed participants are accepted.

Any participant reinstating under 105 days prior to departure must pay a $50 reinstatement fee in addition to the late sign up fee. All current tour costs will apply, as well as any previous late payment fees or selected optionals.

If your late application is received between 104 and 30 days prior to departure and Explorica is unable to reserve flight space with your group, you may refuse the available flight itinerary and cancel your entire tour reservation for a full refund (or amount paid to reinstate).

We cannot make flight arrangements for anyone wishing to sign up or reinstate between 29 and 16 days prior to departure. Should you choose to sign up at this late a date, you must do so as a land only participant.

LATE SIGN UP AND REINSTATEMENT (INTERNATIONAL TOURS departing in 2019)

All enrollments and reinstatements received less than 110 days prior to departure are subject to a $145 late signup fee and must immediately be paid in full, including the service fee. After late applications have been received, additional charges (for last-minute flight reservations, increased Tour Fees, etc) may apply. You will be notified of these additional fees before any charges are made.

Late applicants will be placed on a waiting list and be marked "pending" while we look into securing hotel and other tour reservations, as well as flight reservations. Over 90% of our wait-listed participants are accepted.

Any participant reinstating under 110 days prior to departure must pay a $50 reinstatement fee in addition to the late signup fee. All current tour costs will apply, as well as any previous late payment fees or selected optionals.

If your late application is received between 109 and 30 days prior to departure and Explorica is unable to reserve flight space with your group, you may refuse the available flight itinerary and cancel your entire tour reservation for a full refund (or amount paid to reinstate).

We cannot make flight arrangements for anyone wishing to sign up or reinstate between 29 and 16 days prior to departure. Should you choose to sign up at this late a date, you must do so as a land only participant.

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LATE SIGN UP AND REINSTATEMENT (NORTH AMERICA TOURS)

All enrollments and reinstatements received less than 95 days prior to departure (60 days for bus groups) will be subject to a $95 late enrollment fee ($50 for bus groups) and must be paid in full immediately. After late applications have been received, additional charges (for last-minute flight reservations, increased Tour Fees, etc) may apply.

Late applicants will be placed on a waiting list; if no space becomes available we'll refund the full payment minus any reinstatement or previous cancellation fees that may apply. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that participants whose enrollments are accepted less than 75 days prior to departure will share the same flight itinerary as the rest of the group.

 

PAYMENT PLANS AND OPTIONS

Explorica offers three convenient payment plans and accepts Visa and MasterCard (credit and debit), checks, electronic checking account payments, online banking and money orders. Payments can be made online, over the telephone or by mail.

Checks should be made payable to Explorica and sent to:

Explorica, Inc
145 Tremont Street, 6th floor
Boston, MA 02111

INTERNATIONAL TOURS departing in 2018

Monthly Automated Plan:

Pay your $50 deposit and travel protection plan costs with credit/debit card or checking account upon enrollment, and the balance of your Tour Fee will be automatically charged to your card or debited from your account in equal monthly installments until 35 days prior to your departure date (checking account) or 65 days prior to your departure date (credit/debit card). Please note that you must make all payments by credit card, debit card, or checking account. If two consecutive payments are returned NSF or declined by your bank or credit card company, we will change your account to the designated Manual Plan.

Full Payment Plan:

Pay in full at time of enrollment.

4-Step Manual Plan:

Pay your $99 deposit and travel protection plan costs upon enrollment, $500 toward your Tour Fee 30 days later, and 75% of your remaining balance at 105 days prior to departure. The final remaining balance is due 65 days prior to departure and can be paid by check, credit or debit card, or checking account. If you enroll 150 days prior to departure or later, you will make only three payments—$99 deposit and travel protection plan costs at enrollment, 75% of your remaining balance at 105 days prior to departure, and the final balance at 65 days prior to departure. Please note that we do not automatically deduct payments on this plan; you must make each payment manually. All full-paying participants, including participants who have previously traveled with Explorica, are required to pay the $99 deposit upon enrollment. Any participant who has already paid the deposit for a previous tour will receive a $100 credit on his or her Explorica account.

INTERNATIONAL TOURS departing in 2019

Monthly Automated Plan:

Pay your $50 deposit and travel protection plan costs with credit/debit card or checking account upon enrollment, and the balance of your Tour Fee will be automatically charged to your card or debited from your account in equal monthly installments until 35 days prior to your departure date (checking account) or 65 days prior to your departure date (credit/debit card). Please note that you must make all payments by credit card, debit card, or checking account. If two consecutive payments are returned NSF or declined by your bank or credit card company, we will change your account to the designated Manual Plan.

Full Payment Plan:

Pay in full at time of enrollment.

4-Step Manual Plan:

Pay your $99 deposit and travel protection plan costs upon enrollment, $500 toward your Tour Fee 30 days later, and 75% of your remaining balance at 110 days prior to departure. The final remaining balance is due 65 days prior to departure and can be paid by check, credit or debit card, or checking account. If you enroll 150 days prior to departure or later, you will make only three payments - $99 deposit and travel protection plan costs at enrollment, 75% of your remaining balance at 110 days prior to departure, and the final balance at 65 days prior to departure. Please note that we do not automatically deduct payments on this plan; you must make each payment manually. All full-paying participants, including participants who have previously traveled with Explorica, are required to pay the $99 deposit upon enrollment. Any participant who has already paid the deposit for a previous tour will receive a $100 credit on his or her Explorica account.

NORTH AMERICAN TOURS

Monthly Automated Plan:

Pay your $50 deposit and travel protection plan costs with credit/debit card or checking account upon enrollment, and the balance of your Tour Fee will be automatically charged to your card or debited from your account in equal monthly installments until 35 days prior to your departure date (checking account) or 65 days prior to your departure date (credit/debit card). Please note that you must make all payments by credit card, debit card, or checking account. If two consecutive payments are returned NSF or declined by your bank or credit card company, we will change your account to the designated Manual Plan.

Full Payment Plan:

Pay in full at the time of enrollment.

Manual Payment Plan (Flights):

Pay your $99 non-refundable deposit and travel protection costs at enrollment, a $300 down payment 30 days after your enrollment is processed, and your tour balance 95 days prior to departure.

Manual Payment Plan (Bus):

Pay $99 non-refundable deposit and travel protection costs at enrollment then the remaining balance is due 60 days prior to departure.

 

NO-SHOW POLICY

If a participant does not check in for any portion of their air reservation, the airline may cancel the return flight and remaining segments, and no refund will apply. You must travel on all legs of your itinerary. If the airline cancels a segment due to a no-show, the participant will be responsible for any service fees charged by the airlines, which may include the purchase of a new ticket. Similarly, any Explorica traveler who chooses not to participate in any activity or tour inclusion will not be provided a refund.

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