To ensure that our programs operate in a safe and orderly manner, Rustic Pathways makes all arrangements for students' international air travel from the time they leave North America until the time they return at the end of a successful adventure. There are only two exceptions to this: students who live outside North America may be asked to arrange their own international air travel, and students who apply very late in the season may be required to make their own airfare arrangements when group seats on escorted flights are no longer available.
Our programs span the globe, and the logistics involved in moving groups of young people safely and efficiently around the world require that we control their flight arrangements in all but exceptional cases. By booking group seats, we are able to provide a Flight Leader who accompanies our students on the international portion of their travel and increased flexibility in flight changes should students choose to alter or cancel their program late in the season. The safety of our students is always our primary consideration. We do not allow parents to make air travel arrangements for their children as this causes very real logistical problems for us and can place the students unnecessarily at risk.
All of the prices shown in our catalog and on our website are estimates only and exclude international taxes, airport taxes, and airline fuel surcharges as these can change quite often. Your acceptance letter will show the precise flight cost and the international tax component of your trip. In the event that airlines raise taxes for fuel, security, or any other reason, you will be responsible for covering these increased costs. Most countries also charge a departure tax or an immigration fee. This is shown as part of the international taxes on your acceptance letter and will be paid by Rustic Pathways on behalf of the students.
Rustic Pathways Flight Leaders escort our group flights from each gateway city. This ensures that all students are accounted for and escorted out of and into the United States on a Rustic Pathways group flight and by a Rustic Pathways Flight Leader. On some specific routes, students may not be escorted on their flight. Students traveling on unescorted flights are always checked-in for their flight by a Rustic Pathways staff member and met by a staff member upon arrival at their destination after clearing customs.
When students depart their homes and begin their journeys with Rustic Pathways, we understand how eager families are to receive notice of their child’s safe arrival. Within 24 hours of reaching their program destination, an e-mail is sent to parents confirming their son or daughter’s safe arrival. If the student is connecting multiple trips, parents may not necessarily receive a safe arrival e-mail each time their child transfers between programs.
If your child is classified as an unaccompanied minor by the airlines (14 years old and under), parents will be charged a fee, the cost of which varies between airlines. These fees will be charged to the family at the time of check-in at the airport. Rustic Pathways is not responsible for assessing these fees. Parents will be responsible for making all unaccompanied minor arrangements for their child’s round-trip (both domestic and international) flights and for paying any applicable airline fees. Parents should make sure that the airline understands that while a Rustic Pathways staff member will be on the international flight, the staff will not be able to take responsibility for the unaccompanied minors until they arrive at their destination.
Rustic Pathways works hard to accommodate late-season applicants whenever possible. Quite often, low-cost group seats on our flights are no longer available when bookings are made late in the season. In this case, Rustic Pathways offers parents the option of accepting higher airfares or making their own flight arrangements and paying the $ 150 flight deviation fee. Please apply for your summer program as early as possible to avoid higher airfare costs. Late sign-ups may also incur additional fees for overnight shipping of items such as T-shirts. It is imperative that late-season applicants complete all of the necessary paperwork prior to their departure for their program(s).
An exciting aspect of Rustic Pathways' programs is the opportunity to visit multiple countries during the same summer. Many programs have been designed to interconnect and almost all of our trips can be combined. All dates listed reflect physical departures from North America. While many connecting programs may list a two or three day discrepancy between departure and return dates, they can usually be seamlessly combined in country without missing a day. Please visit the specific page of your destination country for more information on commonly connected programs and whether it is possible to link between specific countries as you customize your itinerary. If it is possible, we will make it happen!
Students beginning their program from outside North America are responsible for booking their own airfare and confirming the travel information with Rustic Pathways. Please contact us for information on the preferred arrival and departure times to and from your program. If special pick-up and drop-off arrangements outside these time frames are required, a minimum fee of $135 will be assessed each way. Please call our office at +1 800.321.4353 for more information.
Any further questions? Please read the specific information regarding your country of travel. If you have any further questions you can call us at +1 800.321.4353.