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12 Teen Travel Programs Under $2,500
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12 Teen Travel Programs Under $2,500

An immersive travel experience for your teen doesn’t need to break the bank. Choose from 12 Rustic Pathways spring break and summer programs for less than $2,500 in six countries.

Whether your teen is a service buff or adrenaline junkie, future doctor or future conservationist, or just looking to hone their Spanish skills, we have a perfect program for them.

Check out Rustic’s 12 programs for less than $2,500:

Costa Rica

community service in Costa Rica

Intro to Community Service in Costa Rica

Spend a week at our Volcano and Rainforest Service Base outside of La Fortuna, Costa Rica. Get introduced to tico culture and service in rural communities. Participate in a variety of projects, including improving schools, planting trees, and teaching English. Visit natural hot springs, zip line, and go whitewater rafting. Make friends with students from around the world on this popular base house program.

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studying Spanish in Costa Rica

Ramp Up Your Spanish

Attend four hours of class instruction each day taught by native Spanish speakers before adventuring in and around Turrialba. Live with a local family during a unique homestay experience that will enhance your language immersion and provide an inside look at daily tico life. This program’s balance of daily Spanish classes, conversational opportunities, and exciting activities is the perfect combination of education and adventure.

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turtle conservation in Costa Rica

Turtle Conservation Project

This program is designed especially for students who are passionate about turtle conservation and want to embrace the authentic and rustic park ranger lifestyle! Live at an actual park ranger station, take cold showers, and work alongside the rangers to protect this incredible species. Take walks along the beach at high tide to track sea turtle behavior. When not working hard, zip line, surf, and enjoy the beautiful beach views and sunsets.

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Youth Empowerment Project

Partner with Fundación el Futuro es de Todos, an organization dedicated to providing access to sustainable income to youth with mental disabilities through vocational skills development. Work alongside this organization to support build a vocational skills training farm donated by the National Institute of Agrarian Development. After participating in service, explore the lush ecological diversity of Costa Rica with a hike through Juan Castro Blanco National Park and a heart-racing zip line adventure through the rainforest canopy.

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Dominican Republic

community service with Rustic Pathways in the Dominican Republic

Mountain Air and Village Service

Swim in the turquoise water and relax on the white sand beaches of the Dominican coast. Work alongside the welcoming Dominican community on infrastructure and water quality improvements while immersing yourself in island culture. Hike to pristine waterfalls hidden within the country’s mountains. Enjoy the laid-back and welcoming nature of small-town life.

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enjoying the island life with Rustic Pathways in the Dominican Republic

Island Living and Eco-Service

Explore mangroves, reef formations, and marine wildlife at Los Haitises National Park and Samaná peninsula. Get your hands dirty as you work on ecological restoration projects and learn from experts and communities about the efforts to maintain the extensive biodiversity of the region. Swim in hidden caverns to see ancient Taino cave paintings, and soak up the sun on some of the island’s most beautiful beaches.

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Spring to the Dominican Republic (Spring Break)

Explore mangroves, reef formations, and marine wildlife at Los Haitises National Park and Samaná peninsula. Get your hands dirty as you work on ecological restoration projects and learn from experts and communities about the efforts to maintain the extensive biodiversity of the region. Swim in hidden caverns to see ancient Taino cave paintings, and soak up the sun on some of the island’s most beautiful beaches.

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Fiji with Rustic Pathways

Intro to Community Service in Fiji

Work on a variety of community service projects while staying at our beautiful Eco-Lodge Service Base in Fiji. From tutoring at a local school to working on small construction projects, you’ll have the ability to do a range of service work. Get to know Fijian culture through our local staff who will teach you about the country’s history, perform a traditional dance, and show you how to cook delicious local food.

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Rustic Pathways staff in Fiji

Spring to Fiji (Spring Break)

Spring to Fiji is a chance to experience the magic of Fiji in one action-packed week. Get a taste of what Fiji has to offer through a combination of service projects and daily adventures. Zip-line, kayak, and island hop with our happy-go-lucky staff then spend some time helping the community with education and infrastructure-based projects. You’ll enjoy the laid back, relaxed pace of island life with plenty of time to lounge in the sun and share laughs with your fellow Rustic travelers. You’ll wish you had more than a week to enjoy incredible Fiji!

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Spring to the Sacred Valley (Spring Break)

Trade in a typical spring break at the beach for a meaningful service experience in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Contribute to a potable water project in a rural community while immersing yourself into life in the Andes. Round out your Peruvian adventures with an unforgettable trip to Machu Picchu. Camp in a rural community, create bonds with community members, and have an incredible spring break in the Peruvian Andes.

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royal palace in Bangkok

Amazing Thailand

Explore Thailand from top to bottom on this whirlwind touring expedition. Delve into Buddhism in some of Thailand’s most famous temples, and venture into holy caves and jungles along the way. Enjoy a healing Thai massage, shop in funky local markets, and gain an appreciation for Thailand’s diversity and beauty. Build new lifelong friendships during this week of non-stop action and adventure.

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United States

Young Explorers: New Orleans 

Spend a week assisting with the ongoing Hurricane Katrina recovery effort. Damage from the 2005 storm is still being addressed throughout New Orleans. Work with local organizations to rebuild homes and participate in initiatives to help locals regain their sense of community. After work, explore the French Quarter, try some spicy jambalaya, snack on beignets, and relax and unwind as you listen to live jazz.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2018 and has been updated to reflect new programs for 2021.

Still looking for the right program? Schedule a call with one of our Global Program Advisors, our team of travel experts who’ve worked in multiple capacities with Rustic from leading programs to running in-country operations.

About the Author

Jack Weinstein

Content Production Manager

Jack has spent his professional career as a writer and editor. Before joining Rustic, he worked as a journalist in Kansas and Colorado, taught English in Swaziland, and transitioned to marketing roles in the Boston and New York startup worlds. Jack is excited to channel his love of storytelling and his appreciation for education as Rustic’s Content Production Manager. When not working, Jack is either watching baseball or planning his next adventure. Jack and his wife, Blythe, live in Brooklyn.