See below for our most frequently asked questions regarding travel, food, accommodations—you name it! If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for here, contact us by phone at 440.975.9691 or by email at email@example.com.
Our programs are designed for positive and level-headed students with interests in experiential learning and travel. Our programs are not suitable for students with conduct disorders, chemical dependencies, an inability to work constructively in team environments or follow instructions, or an unwillingness to behave in a culturally sensitive manner.
Rustic Pathways students come from all over the the world. Approximately 80 percent of our students are American, and we are thrilled to welcome more and more international students each year, with students from more than 60 countries so far!
This really varies for each program and session date. If you are curious about a particular program, give us a call and we can help guide you!
No, most Rustic Pathways students do not know anyone before they arrive. Some students do choose to travel with a friend, but either way, Rustic Program Leaders are trained to help each group become a tight knit community over the course of their program.
With so many choices, it can be overwhelming to choose a program. However, we’ve put together this helpful How To Choose a Program video series to help you find the right program for you!
All our staff members will have a minimum certification of First Aid and CPR, while many of our programs will include staff members with higher certifications, such as Wilderness First Responder, EMT, Surf Lifeguard, and more depending on the needs of the program.
Rustic Pathways Personal Travel Advisors are always available to work with you to meet your needs. Whether you have special dietary needs, hope to combine programs, or just want more details about a program, we are here to talk.
If you live in the United States, call us at 440.975.9691.
If you live outside the United States, call us at +1 440.975.9691.
Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our average program usually has about 15-20 students although some programs may be larger or smaller depending on the date and location.
In most cases, chaperoned international flights leave from hub airports within the United States. We require our students to arrive at their hub airport at least four hours before the flight. In the weeks before students leave and just prior to departure, we will send detailed airport information and flight times to parents.
Yes, Rustic Pathways offers chaperoned flights where flight leaders escort our international flights from each gateway airport. We also have staff in these airports to ensure safe travel.
Once your child arrives safely, you will receive a safe arrival email from us as soon as possible.
When you enroll in a Rustic Pathways Student Travel program, you’ll have the option to select a chaperoned group flight arranged by Rustic Pathways (if traveling from the United States to an international destination), or you can choose to book your own airfare. Booking your own flights allows you to use airline miles or book through an agent. To be eligible for self-managed airfare, students must be at least 15 years old by the time their program departs.
Baggage may or may not be included, per the airline’s group contract policies. For students traveling to Costa Rica, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic: passengers are required to pay by credit card during check-in for any checked bags. Please ensure your child is able to carry a credit card, prepaid credit card, or debit card for check-in each way.
No, international airfare is an additional cost. You can find airfare estimates by visiting our Travel Information pages.
After leading trips for 40 years, we have found this is the safest and most orderly way to operate. We can control ticketing, routing changes, and have a chaperone onboard. There have been times in the past when parents ticketed their children to San Jose, California instead of San José, Costa Rica by mistake, and our group tickets minimize some of these wrinkles.
Some of our airlines allow students to earn miles while others unfortunately do not. Your Personal Travel Advisor will be able to provide you with that information upon request. For the airlines that do accept frequent flyer information, please present your information at the check-in counter for your flight. We are unable to add the information to your ticket in advance.
Whether or not you will need a visa to travel with Rustic Pathways depends on both your nationality and the particular country you will be visiting. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you meet the entry and exit requirements for each country. To make this process easier for U.S. passport holders, Rustic Pathways partners with G3 Visas. We will provide you with more information once you’ve enrolled.
You can also review Everything You Need to Know About Tourist Visas for more information.
Yes! Many Rustic Pathways students choose the exciting option of combining multiple programs during a single trip. While many of our programs are designed to connect easily, others take a bit of coordinating. If it’s possible, we’ll make it happen! Contact us if you have any specific connectivity questions about our programs.
Learn more about how programs connect and hear from students who’ve combined multiple Rustic Pathways trips to maximize their summer and create the perfect travel experience.
As a Student Travel client, you have two options for making payments:
- You can Pay in Full at enrollment
- You can opt into our Pay in Four Program, which divides your total cost (program cost + airfare) into 4 equal installments over the next 6 weeks from the date of your enrollment. Your enrollment fee is added onto Installment 1. Installments 2-4 are automatically charged on each date.
Note: The Pay in Four Program is available as an option until 73 days before departure.
If you are traveling on a school-sponsored Group Travel program, your payment options may be customized to your school. Please refer to your custom webpage for details or contact us at email@example.com.
Yes you can pay in installments! Click on “How can I pay?” above for details on installment options.
Yes you can absolutely pay with a credit card! For either of our Pay in Full or Pay in Four Program options, you can choose to pay with a credit card or via ACH bank transfer. There is no credit card processing fee. For clients banking outside of the United States, you may choose to pay with a credit card or via wire transfer. Wire transfers may carry a fee depending on your bank.
You can view your invoice and payments in your MyRustic portal, under the Invoice tab. Look for the login information that was sent to you in an email titled “Your Rustic Pathways Roadmap.”
Username: Student’s Email Address (as submitted to us during the enrollment process)
Password: Refer to “Your Rustic Pathways Roadmap” or to reset your password, go to this page and click “Forgot Password.”
If you would like to change to a different program after you have signed up, simply fill out a revision request. Revisions incur a $100 fee on the program cost. If you enrolled through a special promotion, please see your specific program rules.
If you originally select RP Air, after March 1st deadline, RP Air is nonrefundable and changes will likely result in the purchase of a full fare.
Please review our Travel Guarantee for the latest options for changing or canceling travel plans.
Enrollment Fee: Early enrollment fee through November 1: $100. Before March 6 of the travel year: $200. After this: $300.
Travel Insurance: Helps protect your student’s health, their belongings, and your investment during travel. Price is based on the length of travel. See info here.
Transportation / Special Arrangements Fee: $150 or more each way – For students who arrange their own airfare, if students do not arrive or depart within the designated time frame, a fee of $150 each way will be assessed.
Trip Change Fee: $100 for revisions when requested after issuance of your original invoice. Airfare fees related to a Trip Change are subject to the information below:
Chaperoned Flight Change Fee: If you originally select RP Air, after March 1st deadline, RP Air is nonrefundable and changes will likely result in the purchase of a full fare.
If you enroll after March 1st, you will have a 7-day grace period after receiving your flight details email to opt out of RP Air for no fee. After 7 days, RP Air is nonrefundable.
Airline Ticket Change Fees: Vary depending on airline but after March 1st, any revision to airfare will likely result in the full fare purchase of additional RP Air.
Late Payment Fee: $50 for every payment that is past due
Late Form Fee: $50
Returned Check Fee: $25
Non-USD Check Bank Fee: $10
There are two forms that are required for all students traveling on a Rustic Pathways program, and one that is strongly recommended.
- Online medical form will need to be completed as soon as possible, so our staff can screen your student to make sure they can be safely accommodated on the program they have chosen. A unique link for your student will be supplied to you in the My Rustic Portal
- Participant Enrollment Agreement (PEA) will need to be signed by at least one parent/guardian and your student.
- Strongly Recommended: The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol as well as other international organizations highly recommend that children under the age of 18 traveling without a legal parent/guardian travel with a Parental Consent/Permission Letter. This is an optional letter, that while not required is also highly recommended by Rustic Pathways for participants under the age of 18. Should you wish to create a Consent to Travel Statement, the participant should keep a copy with them while traveling. This document does not need to be returned to Rustic Pathways.Download Sample
Additionally, certain programs have required forms specifically related to activities offered on that program. Those forms will all be in your My Rustic Portal for your completion online.
Rustic Pathways Financial Aid Office provides need-based aid that allows the best students to travel, regardless of their ability to pay. Read our Scholarship page for more information on aid and scholarship options.
As a leader in our industry, Rustic Pathways takes the health and safety of our students extremely seriously. We have comprehensive risk management and crisis response systems and go to great lengths to educate and train our leaders in first aid. In fact, nearly all of our full-time operations staff are certified as Wilderness First Responders. To complement these efforts, we are partnered with one of the world’s leading providers of medical and travel assistance services.
Be an informed traveler! We are here to help with this but legally cannot provide direct medical advice on vaccinations and inoculations. However, we suggest you visit our Travel Vaccinations page for up to date information. You should review this website, consult with your local travel clinic, and discuss your travel plans with your physician prior to travel. Be aware that some immunizations involve a series of inoculations or medications, so don’t put this off for the last minute.
Rustic Pathways requires that all students have international medical insurance coverage for the duration of their travels. In the event of injury or illness, we will take care of your student’s well-being; however, the family is responsible for all expenses incurred for medical treatment and services received. Students should carry their insurance information while traveling on Rustic Pathways programs.
We partner with Roam Right to offer our families an optional Travel Protection Plan (which includes primary medical coverage) for those who choose to purchase it. Visit the travel insurance page to learn more about the plan and get your free quote.
Visas depend on both your nationality and the particular country you will be visiting. It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you meet the entry and exit requirements for each country, but we are here to help. To make this process easier for you, however, Rustic Pathways partners with G3 Visas. We will provide you with more information once you’ve enrolled. Until then, check out Everything You Need to Know About Tourist Visas for more information.
Students traveling internationally from the United States will need a passport. And many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months from your return date. Renewing or obtaining a new passport can take six to eight weeks, but can be done in less than two weeks if necessary. Learn more by reading our post How to Get a U.S. Passport in 2 Weeks or Less.
Once your child arrives safely at his or her destination, you will receive a safe arrival email from us within 24 hours. After this email, expect updates with photos as frequently as is possible in the destination. Some locations can be quite remote and the data required to move high-quality images isn’t always accessible.
Generally, we suggest, that students try to unplug from technology and connect with their program experience. Programs vary in remoteness, but most provide the opportunity for your child to email or otherwise contact you. We suggest working out these expectations with your child before the trip starts.
Each of our programs has a packing list online.
Students may bring a cell phone with them on their program, but we ask them to minimize their use. More specifically we ask that students refrain from using their phone (except as a camera) during any scheduled activities or group time.
We find this helps students truly enjoy being in the present and building new friendships. We also understand that sometimes connected with loved ones at home is important, so we just ask that student’s try and limit this activity to independent time in the morning or evening.
The Rustic Pathways Foundation is the philanthropic branch of Rustic Pathways. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves to amplify the impact of Rustic Pathways’ community development work around the world. The mission it to work together to identify, develop, and support the most necessary and high-impact initiatives in underserved communities around the globe.