Flying to Adventure Treks
Travel Planning and What to Expect on Opening Day
Most trips have an arrival window between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please book all flights to arrive as early as possible, except for Alaska (please check the Alaska page for specific travel times). Typically, it is later flights that experience delays and possible missed connections, so earlier flights are best. Return flights need to be scheduled for departure between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m., except for Alaska and California Adventure (again, please check the trip pages for specific travel times).
If driving, plan to arrive between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on opening day, and between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on closing day.
Here are a few tips to create the very best opening day for your child:
- Arrive at the airport early to ensure your child doesn’t miss his/her flight.
- Students should dress for the outdoors on opening day. They need to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes.
- Your child’s daypack (carry-on bookbag) needs to be packed according to the packing list, so students are ready for the park and can survive a few days should the airline lose their bag.
- Pack your child’s prescription medications in his/her daypack; do not put medications in a checked bag. All medications must arrive in the original container.
Meeting Adventure Treks Instructors on Opening Day
Our office staff will track all flights on opening day. A regional director and instructors will greet each student at the airport.
For students traveling as Unaccompanied Minors (please see below for more information about UM status), an Adventure Treks instructor will greet your child at the gate when he/she steps off the plane. Sometimes we may be a few minutes late due to several students’ flights arriving at the same time. For students NOT traveling as Unaccompanied Minors, students should proceed to baggage claim, where instructors will be waiting. Instructors will be wearing an Adventure Treks T-shirt and hat.
Safe Arrival Notification
Each student will call home upon arrival so parents will know they’ve arrived safely. This call usually takes place after your child has met an Adventure Treks instructor, collected his/her bags, and met the other students. Please expect up to an hour between the time your child’s flight lands and his/her phone call home to you. Instructors will then collect all electronics, medications, valuables, and passports.
Students will not wait at the airport long; they will be shuttled to a nearby park to meet other students, play games, and have a pizza lunch while waiting for all of the students to arrive.
All airlines require a photo ID for ages 18+. Carrying an ID is suggested for all students, but is not required.
When a child travels as an UM, it means you will pay an extra fee (often $150+ each way, but varies with each airline) for your child to have an escort the entire length of his/her travel. You will receive a gate pass to accompany your child behind security to the gate, where an airline official will then walk your child down to his/her seat on the plane. Once the plane lands at your child’s arrival airport, a flight attendant will escort your child off the plane, and stay with him/her until a designated Adventure Treks instructor arrives at the gate to sign the appropriate paperwork for the airlines to release your child to us. Most of our students prefer NOT to travel as an UM, instead choosing to navigate airports on their own as a way to build independence. Children under the age of 17 can travel with most airlines as an UM; many airlines require children under the age of 15 to fly as an UM. If your child prefers to travel on his/her own, you may want to select an airline that will allow him/her to fly alone.
If you choose for your child to fly as an UM, you must request this service with the airlines. Most will allow you to pay the extra fee at the time you purchase your child’s tickets. It is best to prepay the UM fee for the roundtrip flight. However, some airlines will only allow you to prepay one leg of the UM fee at a time. If this is the case, you can typically call the airlines after the first leg of the ticket is complete and prepay the second leg of the UM fee at that time. Be sure to provide us with an electronic copy of the payment receipt. You’ll need to provide the airlines with the name of the Adventure Treks instructor assigned to meet your child at the gate on opening day. Please use “Adventure Treks camp representative” when requesting the UM service. We’ll provide you with the assigned instructor’s name and information one week before your child’s trip begins. You can then update the airlines via phone at the time, or when you check in at the airport. Please allow at least two hours to check in as an UM, and list the phone number for Adventure Treks as 888-954-5555.
Please prepay any Unaccompanied Minor and/or baggage fees, or send enough cash or a credit card with your child to cover these fees. Usually, $75 is enough to cover the purchase of food in airports, baggage fees, and any personal items.