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The 20 Best Teen Trip Providers

Fun, Safe, and Reliable Teen Travel Companies

By Choice Camps Staff

Updated Oct. 28, 2009, 10 a.m.

360 Student Travel
Throughout the past 27 years, 360 Student Travel, a division of Westcoast Connection, has become one of the premiere teen travel providers in the world. With teen-focused itineraries that provide the perfect mix of fun, adventure, learning, and relaxation, 360 Student Travel programs are great for teens with a variety of interests and ambitions. 360 Student Travel trips are founded on the philosophy of respecting the individual while also creating a bonded groupa principle the company calls "each and every."

Regardless of travel style, all 360 programs are created with the understanding that no matter what you want to accomplish during the summer, the challenges and experiences should be enjoyable as well as rewarding. By moving outside of their comfort zone, 360 tour members experience different cultures and new adventures that encourage self development, group bonding, and an unparalleled sense of discovery.



AAVE - All About Visiting Earth

Since 1976, more than 10,000 students from 48 U.S. states and over 40 countries have enjoyed AAVE trips throughout the world. AAVE programs combine adventure travel with service work, language study, and wilderness skills through carefully-crafted itineraries. All AAVE programs include community service projects which contribute to the environment and communities visited.

The "All About Visiting Earth" community consists of teenagers who choose active participation, individual responsibility, and who respect and care about one another. AAVE trips are led by top-notch trip leaders who teach skills that lead to a lifetime of exploration, friendship, enjoyment, and personal growth. For families looking for a summer that will exceed their expectationsfor leadership, safety, adventure, fun, and depth of programming, AAVE may be the perfect choice.



Academic Treks

Backed by sixteen years of experience in running educational programs for thousands of teenagers, Academic Treks combines the finest elements of experiential learning, traditional classroom learning, and service learning with wilderness adventure, international travel, and cultural exchange to create extraordinary college-accredited expeditions. Each course includes an important community service component, and the themes of teamwork, leadership, and personal growth are interwoven in each AT experience.

Academic Treks students are fully immersed in an educational experience in a real world setting, gaining a global perspective and hands-on understanding of the topics studied. They also get a head start on college by earning college and/or community service credit and by building a host of skills they will use both in school and beyond. For students looking for an educational and exciting summer experience, Academic Treks may be the perfect choice.



ActionQuest

For more than 30 years, ActionQuest has offered water-based adventure training programs for teens around the world. The AQ experience is centered on small, co-ed, age appropriate groups of 8 to 20 teenagers. This encourages close friendships to form while fostering unique, hands-on experiences. Programs are non-competitive, adventure-based, and most are run full-time aboard sailing vessels.

From introductory to advanced sailing and SCUBA, water sports, land excursions, cultural immersion, tropical marine biology and community serviceActionQuest delivers fast-paced action for every experience level and adventurer. All ActionQuest programs and certification courses are performance-based as instructors work one-on-one with students to help them master a variety of skills. For teenagers looking for a high action, life-changing adventure that promotes personal growth, teamwork, and leadership, ActionQuest may be the perfect experience.



Adventure Treks

For more than a decade, Adventure Treks has been taking students on exciting wilderness adventures to some of the most scenic places in North America. Adventure Treks inspires students to develop a lifetime love of the wilderness and outdoors, and with it a corresponding conservation ethic. Adventure Treks' small group experience allows students to join a powerful inclusive community, form friendships with outstanding role models, develop leadership skills, improve self-confidence, thrive without electronics, slow down, and gain a wider perspective on life.

Adventure Treks has an exceptional safety record that has earned the organization a variety of awards and commendations. With a focus on people and quality, Adventure Treks forms long-term relationships with students, their families, instructors, staff, and outfitters. For students looking to meet new friends, learn leadership, gain confidence, and challenge themselves through exciting outdoor adventure and wilderness activities, Adventure Treks may be the perfect choice.



Adventures Cross Country

Since 1983, Adventures Cross Country (ARCC) has provided students with unique and unforgettable community service, language, leadership, and blue water adventures. With destinations all over the world, ARCC students embark on intimate, authentic encounters with the people, cultures, and lands they visit. ARCC groups are co-ed and generally comprised of 8-15 participants of comparable age.

Travelers should not expect a catered vacationstudents are involved in all aspects of the group's adventure from cooking and cleaning to teaching classes and leading the group. Participants will occasionally wake up at dawn and may not have access to showers on a daily basis. Students, however, can expect a life-changing adventure to the world's most beautiful, exciting, and enriching places. Most importantly, the ideal ARCC participant is looking for a challenging adventure within a fun, supportive, small group atmosphere where curiosity and exploration thrive.



American Trails West (ATW)

Founded in 1965, American Trails West (ATW) has been a perennial leader and innovator in the field of worldwide student travel. Known for premier accommodations, great food, and experienced staff, ATW tours appeal to students throughout the United States and abroad. Each trip offers a unique blend of adventure, sight-seeing, and entertainment. With decades of scheduling experience, each adventure is meticulously paced to give students the opportunity to enjoy every minute of their summer.

Spending a summer with American Trails West gives travelers the opportunity to discover new places while making friends from around the world. Although many teenagers come on their own, few leave without lifelong bonds and connections formed on the road. Complimented by a dedicated and mature staff, American Trails West is one of the safest and most reliable tour operators in the world. To see the world at its best, choose American Trails West.



Broadreach

Since 1993, Broadreach has been a leader in worldwide summer adventure education for teens. While each Broadreach program has its own special blend of activities and learning, all share a common philosophy and characteristics - small group size, personal growth within a team, hands-on education, skill building with a learn-by-doing approach, cultural immersion, leadership opportunities, and at least one community service project. Of course, unique adventures, close friendships, and new experiences are also part of every Broadreach experience.

Broadreach students travel to incredible places off the beaten path that have been carefully scouted and integrated into the Broadreach program. Each trip is designed to make the most of a given destination, and all locations maximize cultural, educational, and skill building opportunities. Broadreach's extensive experience gives the organization distinct advantages with respect to staff training, course design, risk management, and safety. For students looking for a summer experience where every day is fun and adventurous, Broadreach may be the perfect choice.



Deer Hill Expeditions

Since 1984, Deer Hill Expeditions have been refining their unique summer programs: a powerful blend of wilderness adventure and community service for students in grades 7-12. Each expedition offers an intimate group limited to 12 students, close in age, accompanied by three experienced leaders. Trip leaders accompany campers from the time they step off the plane to the time they say their goodbyes; this ensures that leaders know each participant's level of confidence and competence as they guide them along their journey. On their extended backcountry adventures, Deer Hill groups learn how to live in some of the wildest and most beautiful places on earth.

Forging connections with native lands and peoples through service projects is at the heart of Deer Hill's mission. Participants on many of their expeditions can expect to interact with local natives who have deep connections to their land and cultural traditions. Some expeditions carry out vital conservation service, learning real skills in incredible locations, all the time learning from inspirational guides from the U.S. Forest Service. Returning to Basecamp at the end of their journey, each group enjoys a final banquet and sweat lodge ceremony, a powerful way to say goodbye to new friends. With experiences and memories that are both profound and meaningful, every Deer Hill participant can expect to find themselves in the middle of nowhere.



Eagle's Nest Hantes

For more than 30 years, the Eagle's Nest Hante program has challenged teenagers to push both mentally and physically to reach a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. By trekking through the wilderness, rock climbing, biking, and whitewater paddling in some of the world's most beautiful natural environments, young people build confidence and self-esteem, learn invaluable leadership skills and form friendships that last a lifetime. For students looking for a strong connection to nature build through a fun wilderness adventure, Eagle's Nest Hantes may be a great fit.


Global Works

Since 1990, Global Works has been providing exceptional community service, cultural exchange, adventure travel, and language learning programs for teens and young adults. With grassroots connections throughout the world, Global Works trips are the ideal impetus and "bridge" for meaningful cultural exchange. Carefully planned and executed itineraries have earned Global Works a well-deserved reputation as one of the most professional and well-organized service travel operations on the planet.

Each Global Works group is led by an experienced, mature staff membermany of whom have been with the program for several years. Tight-knit program groups work, play, and celebrate together with communities and families around the world. For students looking for the perfect blend of community service, small-group travel, exciting adventure activities, cultural exchange, and language learning options, Global Works may be the perfect choice.



Lifeworks International

Backed by over 30 years of experience, Lifeworks offers international community service projects that combine cultural immersion, travel, and outdoor adventure. Grounded in experiential education, Lifeworks is a non-competitive hands-on community service learning program where students can give back to the international community. The program strives for positive change in the world and transformational experiences for all those who participate.

The community service projects that students undertake range from human aid to environmental conservation to community development and any combination. By maintaining small groups of participants, students leave with a great feeling of accomplishment from having completed things themselves, and their self-reliance and confidence soar as a result. Volunteering, living, and learning as part of a small team provides a perfect environment to develop skills such as leadership, compassion, and communication. For teens ready to give something back to the international community while growing tremendously as an individual, Lifeworks will provide an experience of a lifetime.



Longacre Expeditions

Since 1981, Longacre Expeditions has been offering wilderness-based adventure travel experiences for teens in the midst of breathtaking settings throughout the world. The Longacre experience inspires students to grow in leadership and personal responsibility, to feel empowered by their adventures, to discover self-confidence, to lead healthy and active lives, and to become more environmentally conscious.

In general, students who enjoy the Longacre Experience are enthusiastic about the activities and the outdoors. Many have never engaged in adventure travel before but the idea sounds great to them. They are intrigued about testing themselves in a physically challenging environment. And, they like the idea of becoming part of a tightly-knit group in which members work together in a caring manner. For students looking for an unforgettably transformative summer experience, Longacre Expeditions may be the perfect choice.



Rein Teen Tours

Since 1985, Rein Teen Tours has been attracting teenagers from around the world who are anxious to make new friends and try new things. Designed with young people in mind, every trip contains a blend of outdoor fun, local sightseeing, unique activities, and evening entertainment. Each tour is carefully planned to run at a leisurely pace, allowing travelers to enjoy everything they see and do.

On the road, campers travel by deluxe motor coach and stay in centrally located hotels, campgrounds, and dorms. Highly experienced trip leaders make sure that travelers, many of whom come by themselves, are comfortable within their group by the end of the first day.

With amazing itineraries, great food, and an awesome staff, Rein Teen Tours allow you to experience everything without sacrificing time, comfort, fun, or excitement.



SeaTrek BVI

Whether you've never stepped foot onto a boat or are a seasoned yachting veteran, SeaTrek offers water-based adventures for all ability levels. Students are engaged in everything on the boatfrom charting and sailing to snorkeling, free diving, and SCUBA. SeaTrek students literally run the boat on which they live and leave the program with a wealth of yachting knowledge. Each voyage teaches a perfect balance of self-sufficiency and team-oriented cooperation skills.

Most SeaTrek participants have never been on a large boat much less at sea for several days; travelers just need to come with an open mind and a willingness to learn. The SeaTrek programs are designed to take the novice diver or sailor and turn them into a confident, experienced leader. Small groups of 8 to 10 participants give the program an intimate feel where each student gets the attention they deserve. By the end of each voyage, students will be able to navigate, sail, and anchor a yacht all by themselves!



Spanish Learning Abroad

For students looking for an intimate journey into Spanish language and culture, no programs are more authentic than Spanish Learning Abroad's Immersion Programs. The program isn't a traditional teen tourinstead, students actually live with Spanish host families while attending language classes at a local school. Students get a taste of Spain (literally) by eating home-cooked meals with their host families. With an unmatched passion to share their culture, many past program participants identify the host families as the most influential element of the trip.

In addition to school and family life, students get to tour many of Spain's historical and cultural hot-spots. Destinations include Granada, Cadiz, and Portugal. The trip program exposes students to Spanish art, history, dancing, and food. These themes are revisited during daily class sessions with other program participants.

For students looking for an authentic taste of Spanish language and culture, Spanish Learning Abroad programs may be a perfect match.



VISIONS Service Adventures

Since 1989, VISIONS has introduced thousands of teenagers to cultures very different from their own through construction-based and other service projects, adventurous exploration, and on-site cultural immersion. VISIONS works with local organizations and community residents and undertakes a major construction project and other such outreach efforts. Students learn technical skills from staff carpenters or local maestros as they gono previous experience is required.

While there are opportunities for students to visit historic sites and enjoy fun cultural pastimes, VISIONS participants more often visit places only known to the locals and do things that tourists never get to experience. Travelers can expect to share meals and mingle with locals who live in communities rarely seen by outsiders.

VISIONS gives students the opportunity to mature thoughtfully and reflectively within a community of peers and adult mentors. VISIONS programs are known to have a profound life-long impact on their participants. With cross-cultural learning and friendship is a core focus. Working with and for host communities is a doorway to learning about others' lives in different culturesan experience that can't be found anywhere else.



Weissman Teen Tours

For more than 34 years, Weissman Teen Tours has provided a unique family-oriented approach to teen travel that can't be found anywhere else. Each Weissman tour is personally escorted by a member of the Weissman familya distinct component that exhibits the Weissman's devotion to quality, not quantity.

Weissman Teen Tours' diversified and comprehensive program includes not only sightseeing, but a full complement of social and athletic activities. Combined with stays at superior four and five star hotels, travelers spend more time appreciating the sights and less time traveling between destinations. For students looking for a comprehensive, leisurely paced itinerary highlighted by dedicated and professional guides, Weissman Teen Tours may be the perfect choice.



Westcoast Connection

Throughout the past 27 years, Westcoast Connection has become one of the premiere teen travel providers in the world. With teen-focused itineraries that provide the perfect mix of fun, adventure, learning, and relaxation, Westcoast Connection travel programs are great for teens with a variety of interests and ambitions. To ensure that each traveler gets the most out of their experience, Westcoast trips are founded on the "each and every" philosophythe concept of respecting the individual while creating a bonded group on each trip. With amazing sights, activities, hotels, and restaurants, there's no doubt that Westcoast Connection will show you the "perfectly planned, perfectly paced" summer of a lifetime.


Windsor Mountain International

Windsor Mountain International teen trip programs are designed with utmost care. The program itineraries serve as a vehicle for exploration, rather than a list of tasks that must be accomplished. A hallmark of Windsor Mountain International's approach to student travel is the freedom they allow their trip leaders in making spontaneous changes to any given itinerary in response to the daily needs of the group and to new opportunities as they present themselves. Some of the most magical moments on these programs are those that cannot be planned ahead of time, and are created on the fly by students and experienced trip leaders.

When attending a Windsor Mountain International teen trip, it is essential that each group member embrace a willingness to explore, discover, and learn. At Windsor Mountain, taking a risk means more than doing physical things like bungee-jumping or whitewater rafting or rappelling, it means taking the first step into the unknown, and embracing the exploration of uncharted territories, be they physical, mental, or emotional.

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