Walking Tree Travel (WTT) offers educators the opportunity to develop a meaningful international travel program for their students, an experience that is distinct and separate from the typical tour normally available to high school students. Beyond dynamic programing, WTT is dedicated to a holistic approach to group travel which ensures that the highest standards of safety, integrity and professionalism are maintained throughout. Read on in the sections below to get a better sense of the elements that will make your WTT experience one of the most remarkable in your teaching career.
Tuition & Funding
We believe that cost should not prevent enthusiastic students from being able to travel on an WTT program. For this reason we are always try to improve and update our offerings for fellowships, scholarships, and discounts. WTT travelers will be provided with opportunities for fundraising that are easy and fun to implement and take part in.
Safety & Insurance
The safety and well-being of our travelers is our top priority. We are constantly evaluating the safety and security of our destination countries, both from a macro level to a micro level with respect to our partner host communities.Our in-country staff meticulously prepares for all programs by verifying the records of our drivers, testing the integrity and safety of all excursions, vetting homestay families through interviews and home visits and keeping up on important current events.
During travel, our program leaders, who are fluent in the local language and seasoned travelers in the area, make decisions in real-time with the best interest of our travelers at the forefront of their thinking, taking myriad criteria into consideration. Prior to joining our team each leader must pass a background check and undergo thorough training in CPR, First Aid, program management and emergency protocols.
As a part of the application process, participants must complete a medical release form and sign a Standards of Behavior agreement. Information provided on the medical release form is strictly confidential and enables us to best serve and support our participants while they are abroad. WTT’s Standards of Behavior are rules which we require all participants and Program Leaders to adhere to, and help to insure a fair and safe environment.
Walking Tree Travel holds itself to rigorous standards when it comes to program preparation and emergency contingency plans. We register all WTT programs with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and have detailed emergency protocols in place for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based team.
Travel & Liability Insurance
Our experience has taught us that international travel can be unpredictable. For that reason,Walking Tree Travel includes travel insurance for each participant on all of our programs with coverage for lost or stolen baggage, flight delays, medical emergencies, missed connections, emergency evacuation and more.
We also recognize the responsibility entailed when an educator makes the decision to travel overseas with their students. To ameliorate this exposure, WTT offers educators/schools/districts the option to be covered by the same robust liability policy that we carry as a company, at no expense whatsoever.
Standards of Behavior
WTT provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, we must create an environment of trust, security and respect. All participants are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at WTT’s discretion.
- Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.
GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE
- Getting a piercing or tattoo
- Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
- Threatening with or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
- Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
- Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
- Breaking group rules
- These standards are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before deciding to travel with us.
These standards are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before deciding to travel with us.
WTT strives to make the planning process as easy and hassle-free as possible. We do this by helping the Group Organizer with recruiting and then with handling all logistical concerns including meals, transportation, accommodations, and group activities, leaving travelers to enjoy the ride. Take a minute to check out six easy steps that outline the process of setting up a travel program with Walking Tree Travel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click below to access frequently asked questions. If you would prefer to watch a video in which the Directors of Walking Tree answer the below questions, you can do by following this link. Please feel free to contact us anytime with additional questions.
Our team employs a strict emergency protocol. WTT requires incident reports and employs a robust array of safety standards guiding all aspects of program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Below is a summary of our guidelines.
PROGRAM SAFETY SUMMARY
- Program management is aware of the political and social conditions that prevail in the countries being visited and has made contact with the appropriate government officials.
- Participants are registered with the appropriate home country embassy and US State Department.
- WTT monitors any SOS travel warnings and abides by their recommendations.
- Participants and staff are made aware of the political and social conditions prior to agreeing to go.
- Health and medical considerations particular to the countries to be visited are known and researched.
- Program staff are aware of specific health and medical concerns in the countries being visited and how these concerns may or may not be relevant to the planned activities. Things to consider could be close interactions with local population; location, distance, accessibility, staffing, and training of locale medical facilities; and advising participants and staff to bring an extra supply of medications, medical kits, and any other items deemed necessary.
- Participants and staff are informed of health and medical considerations and health risks associated with the planned itinerary prior to agreeing to go and additional individual medical and health concerns for international travel are specifically addressed.
- The personal health history of all participants and staff is reviewed and considerations are made for the health conditions that may present challenges in another country.
- Staff and participants are made aware of any vaccinations required for international travel to host country.
- WTT has reviewed the carbon footprint and environmental impact of program.
- WTT has developed an emergency action plan for international travel.
- The program and/or participants have obtained appropriate insurance coverage for international travel.
- WTT has the required insurance policies to fulfill most district requirements.
- WTT plans and conducts activities with knowledge and awareness of the cultural context of the host country. Considerations include, but are not limited to, having some ability to speak the local language and communicating with local residents; knowledge of laws; knowledge of religious or spiritual customs; dressing appropriately; and understanding the contextual differences of being in a different country and culture.
- WTT has appropriately addressed possible unique situations related to nutrition, hydration and hygiene specific to locale.
- WTT has ensured that local area is able to provide safe food and drinking water for participants and staff, particularly in rural areas.
- Standards are adhered to and adapted if necessary for providing adequate drinking water. Hygiene practices are followed and adapted as necessary for the local conditions./li>
- Participants and staff have, or are provided with the appropriate equipment, clothing, and footwear for each activity.
- Field staff has an appropriate understanding of the equipment they will be using.
- Participants are provided with or have access to adequate water and nutrition.
Hygiene training or education is provided, and appropriate measures are taken to minimize the spread of bacteria and disease.