2021 Ms. Curran Northern Spain Cultural Journey
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What to Expect
Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.
We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|1||USA - Barcelona||Today the group will travel from the USA to Barcelona, Spain, arriving the next day.||Airplane|
|2||USA - Barcelona||After arriving and getting settled, we'll check out Barcelona and visit La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Las Ramblas and, if the group's up for it, Montjuic, a large hill that overlooks the entire city. Tonight we'll enjoy our first taste of local cuisine and discuss the upcoming trip in detail.||St. Jordi or similar|
|3||Barcelona - San Sebastian||After breakfast we will travel by train to San Sebastian and enjoy time on the beach as well as sea kayaking. In the evening, we will sample the famous "pintxos" of the Basque Country as we prepare to begin our walk along the camino the following morning.||A Room in the City or similar|
|4||San Sebastian & Donibane Pasaia||Today we will take a bus to Donibane Pasaia where will visit a boat/museum and learn about the unique history and seafaring traditions of the Basque Country. We will then spend the rest of the day walking on El Camino de Santiago along the Bay of Biscay, about 12.5 KM in total distance until we arrive back in San Sebastian.||A Room in the City or similar|
|5||San Sebastian||Today we will enjoy a bike tour! We will explore all that San Sebastian has to offer in addition to a visit to some of the smaller outlying towns along the coast.||A Room in the City or similar|
|6||San Sebastian - Orio||A second full day walking along El Camino de Santiago, arriving to Orio and Zarautz about 18KM in total distance.||Hotel Olatu or similar|
|7||Orio - Zumaia||A final full day walking along El Camino de Santiago, arriving to Zumaia about 24 KM in total distance.||Karakas Kar or similar|
|8||Zumaia - Bilbao||After breakfast we will bus to Bilbao and spend the day exploring one of the most charming cities in all of northern Spain. We will also make time to visit the world-famous Guggenheim Museum.||Ganbara Hotel or similar|
|9||Bilbao - Barcelona||We will have a relaxing morning in the old quarter of Bilbao and take a classic cable car up to Mount Artxanda to have lunch, take in some impressive views of the city and bid farewell to Bilbao before boarding an mid-afternoon train back to Barcelona for our final night.||Sant Jordi Gracia or similar|
|10||Barcelona||We will spend the final full day relaxing in Barcelona, chilling at the beach and wandering the gothic quarter. If the group is interested, we can check out the Casa Picasso Museum. In the evening, we will share a final dinner together and reflect on our adventure.||Sant Jordi Gracia or similar|
|11||Barcelona - USA||Today we'll head to the airport and board our international flight home. ¡Hasta luego!||Your own bed, eventually!|
Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.
Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience for travelers, we follow strict guidelines when choosing our accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels which are centrally located, clean, safe and wifi-enabled.
St. Jordi Sagrada Familia
Centrally located in Barcelona, this hostel has a skateboard-theme and is great for young adults. This facility has air conditioning, free wifi, guest computers and security lockers. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Figueres Hostel is a small, locally owned hostel run by Sergio and Amanda. This hostel is centrally located near the city center, local restaurants and museums. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Operational fishing boat with modern amenities and tight quarters. Students will board in Donibane Pasaia, Spain and share rooms and bathrooms while working on the boat.
Karakas Kar is a small locally owned 3-star hotel in the city center. This estate is surrounded by nature and has a nice view of Orrua Senotia. This hotel can comfortably accommodate up to 4 students per room and has an ensuite bathroom in each room. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
This location is perfect for anyone who wants to walk through the Old Town district of Bilbao or venture further into Northern Spain. This hostel has free wifi throughout the property and access to a communal kitchen. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
We will provide additional details on your Group’s Flight and travel day details here.
We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the group organizer before departure. Nevertheless, travelers will need to check in at the airport and we recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure. For details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure, please contact your Group Organizer.
A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc. Please note that in such an event Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.
WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to find out about baggage fees and options. It is also important to make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.
Host Community and Project Details
At minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every program. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado where we remain available to the group for additional help whenever necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!
Spain Country Director
Loyola University of Chicago – B.A. Spanish, Minor in Psychology
Born and raised outside of Chicago to two avid travelers and teachers, Kelsey has always had a passion for exploration and education, which also led to an interest in language. In fact, her first jobs and volunteer opportunities were as an assistant teacher, translator and interpreter. The opportunity to attend a youth leadership conference in Cuba and a study abroad semester in Spain during university cemented her desire to start a life abroad. She has been living in Madrid for ten years and is currently teaching English to Nursing and Physical Therapy students at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. In her spare time, you can find her exploring new places with friends and family, doing yoga everywhere she can, listening to too many podcasts and desperately trying to add more languages to her repertoire.
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO
Colby College – B.A. International Relations and Government
While at Colby, Gabriel spent a semester in Spain at the University of Salamanca studying contemporary Spanish politics and Spanish language. He also lettered for four-years on Colby’s lacrosse team and earned All-American honors. After graduating, Gabriel hit the road. He fished commercially in Alaska, taught in Chile and China, led programs for students in Spain and Costa Rica, and traveled to over 50 countries and all 50 states in the USA. Regardless of where Gabriel is located, he is constantly haunted by his naive faith and unconditional love for Denver sports teams.
See below for a list of travelers enrolled on the program.
Blog and Communication
We work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program. Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, and can check back any time via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page or the link included in the email.
Beyond our proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.
For any general inquiries during travel, please email your Walking Tree Representative (see top of page) or email@example.com. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the United States.
We have developed a curriculum of activities designed to help each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple and engaging tools are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.
Standards of Behavior
Walking Tree provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs 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 our 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 of behavior 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 choosing to travel with us.
Health and Safety
While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing Premier travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason or loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. While most travelers have opted in for us to purchase basic travel insurance on their behalf during the enrollment process, this plan does not cover trip interruption or trip cancellation. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.
-Recommended Travel Insurance-
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.
Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.
Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.
Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.
Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.
24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.
*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101C series or 101P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800-284-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.