Why did I get a brochure from Explore America Tours, Inc.?

Explore America Tours, Inc. has worked with high school exchange programs since 1988 to provide safe, fun tours for students aged 15 - 19. Your organization has partnered with us to offer you these great tour opportunities because of our professional history and expertise at creating exciting travel programs for international students.

Can I bring a friend, host brother or host sister?

Yes, as long as they are aged between 15 - 19 and have permission from their school and parents to join the tour. If they are American, we will also need to speak with their natural parents.

Can we share a room with my friend?

Yes, however all rooms are assigned same gender. Most students do not know anyone before the tour begins, but everyone goes home with lots of new friends.

What is included in the tour cost?

We include breakfast, dinner, entrance fees to all listed attractions, transportation while on tour, airport transfers, hotel accommodations (quad occupancy-  4 per room, 2 per bed), professional tour staff, chaperones, taxes and tips.  Meals include beverage, tax and tip.

What else do I need to pay for?

Airline tickets are NOT included.  Money for lunches, shopping , and other personal expenses are also not included. Figure on $8-10 per day for lunches and snacks. Shopping budgets are up to you.

Is airfare included in the cost for the tour? 

No. Airfare from your local host community to the tour beginning point and home from the endpoint are not included.

Can I buy a plane ticket through Explore America Tours, Inc.?
While we do not sell tickets, we are happy to assist with getting you a ticket. 

Can I take more than one tour?

Yes, you may take as many tours as you are permitted to join by your school, exchange program and host  and natural families.

Must I have written permission from my natural parents?

Yes,  your exchange program will require written permission, generally before they grant permission for you to travel with us.  Some exchange organizations will accept an email from your parents.  We will email a form for your natural parents for us.

Can my exchange program refuse me permission to travel?

Yes, if your grades are not satisfactory or if you are on probation for bad behavior, you will not be allowed to join our tours. 

Will I get more information on the tour?

Two- three weeks before the tour, we will send you complete tour details  including, contact telephone numbers, itinerary, how to find us at the airport, etc. If you have questions before then, just email us of call us.

Do you have an emergency phone number for my parents while I am on tour?

Explore America Tours, Inc. office will be open during business hours, and during any hours when students are flying.  Students and Host families are also given all hotel phone numbers. We maintains a 24-hour emergency contact telephone number while you are on tour, just in case you need to be contacted in a hurry, but this is only for true emergencies.

Is my plane ticket refundable?

Most discount airline tickets are non-refundable, which means that will not get a refund for the ticket if you do not travel. Most airlines will allow you to use the value of the ticket against another ticket later, however they will charge a fee for the change, which is usually $100.00-$150.00.

Can I buy travel insurance?

Most students do not buy coverage, but it is available.  You may already have  certain travel insurance as an exchange student.  Please ask us for more information on travel insurance and we will send you information. 

Is it cheaper to buy a ticket with Explore America Tours, Inc.?

While we do not sell tickets, we do our best to assist in locating the cheapest fares, but there may be specials somewhere else we weren't aware of.   See this page for more airfare information.

Chaperone Questions

Are these tours chaperoned?

All Explore America programs are chaperoned and supervised day and night by our professional tour staff as well as chaperones from our partner exchange programs.

Are there times when students are not supervised?

Yes, inside amusement parks, mall or other shopping areas students are free to explore in groups of 3 or more.

How many adults will there be ?

It depends on the trip, but there are generally 3-4 adults per bus.

Payment Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes, after we receive your deposit form and first $100.00, the balance can be paid either by credit card, check, money order or travelers checks (in installments) up until 30 days before the tour.   .

How can I pay ?

 

We accept credit cards and debit cards that allow card-holder not present transactions.  We cannot accept ATM cards or any card that needs a PIN number to work.  We also accept checks and money orders and traveler's checks.  The US banking system is not part of the European banking system (IBAN), and payments "by account"  do not work here.  You may send a "international wire transfer" to pay for an entire trip - but not a deposit.  In this case the sender is responsible for any fees charged by the intermediary banks.

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Can I change my mind?

 

If you cancel more than 45 days before the tour date, you will receive a full refund, less a $25 processing fee. If you cancel between 30-45 days before the tour, there will be a $100.00 cancellation fee. If you cancel between 1-30 days before the tour date, there will be no refund. Refunds on your airline tickets are your responsibility, and you will need to contact the airline directly. Most tickets are non-refundable.

 

Trip Rules

Violation of trip rules may result in Explore America grounding a student or ending a student’s tour participation.  If a student is sent home early from this trip, there is no refund.  In addition, the student will have to purchase an airline ticket at his or her own expense.  Your exchange organization may take additional disciplinary action as needed

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  • All of your exchange program rules are still in effect while you travel with us, as are all US Federal and state laws. Everyone must abide by all laws, as well as the rules of your host organizations. We do not discipline students, we send you back to your host families and allow your host organization to punish you in any manner they see fit.
  • Violation of trip rules may result in Explore America grounding a student or ending a student’s tour participation. If a student is sent home early from this trip, there is no refund. In addition, the student will have to purchase an airline ticket at his or her own expense. Your exchange organization may take additional disciplinary action as needed.
  • Drugs or alcohol will end your tour, and probably your stay in America. We reserve the right to inspect your room and suitcase at anytime.

  • There will be a curfew every night. After this point, you may not leave your rooms for the pay phone, water, snacks, more towels or any other reason. If you feel there is something that cannot wait, phone your chaperons before leaving your room. Students have assigned rooms for the tour duration. Students must sleep in their own room. The hotel front desk has the rooming list, and we must follow it. The nighttime security guards will take room number and names if there are any problems. Violation of curfew rules may result in being grounded, missing planned activities, or being sent home.

  • Nobody is allowed in your hotel room expect your roommates. You are not allowed to go in anyone else's hotel room. You may visit with your roommates in your room (no guests), or you may visit in the hotel's public spaces (pool, breakfast room and lobby) with the people of your choice until Curfew. You may not be on any hotel floor other than your own. There are no exceptions to this rule.

  • Students may socialize with any other students on the trip, but not with non-tour participants. Students may not have anyone in their room that is not part of the tour. Students should not give out your room number to anyone not on the tour.

  • During all free time, you must stay in groups of 3 or more - and only in the area designated.

  • This is a group trip, which means that all the activities are geared to the whole group. All students will be participating in all activities. We expect everyone to be back as the appointed meeting place after any free time.

  • You may not leave the tour unless until the trip is over, and then only according to the prearranged departure plans. You may not meet family or friends unless you send us a letter/ fax/ email before the trip starts. It must include who you are you are meeting and it must be approved by your exchange organization in writing before the trip begins.

  • Many U.S. cities have curfew laws for those under 18 when not accompanied by an adult. Students may be out later than that, but only with a chaperones.

  • Nothing with wheels or motors. That means no roller-skates, bikes, motorcycles, taxi’s, or buses or anything else with wheels or motors unless your chaperon or guides give specific permission.

  • SMOKING: If you are under 18 years of age it is illegal to smoke. This is a non-smoking trip.

  • Your guides and chaperones may share other rules with you.

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