2024 Bedford Spain Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2024 Bedford Spain Program! To learn more,  you have two webpages at your disposal. The Pre-Enrollment page shares exciting highlights and important info that you will want to know before signing up. Once enrolled, you'll begin using the Post-Enrollment page which offers a greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for an unforgettable trip!! 
Travel Dates: April 12, 2024 - April 23, 2024
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $1,490 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $1,195

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.

Itinerary

We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
April 12USA - MadridFly to Spain.Airplane
April 13Madrid - ValladolidArrive Madrid, transfer by bust to Valladolid and get settled.Homestays
April 14-19ValldolidExchange school programming. Homestays
April 20Valladolid - MadridToday the group will be met by our program leader and transfer by bus to Madrid. After settling into our hotel, we venture out to explore Madrid. We will begin visiting the Palacio Real and head to two of the most famous plazas in the city, Puerto del Sol and Plaza Mayor. Tonight we will enjoy a Flamenco performance while we have dinner!Hotel Sterling
April 21MadridAfter breakfast, we'll visit the Prado museum, to admire the collections in one of the most impressive art museums in the world. In the afternoon we'll stroll through the Retiro Park, once the king's personal refuge. After lunch, we we will visit the famous Chocolateria San Gines to grab some churros and chocolate for dessert. In the evening we will continue exploring the city on our way to dinner at a local restaurant. Hotel Sterling
April 22Madrid - ToledoDay trip to Toledo! Today we will leave Madrid and take a train to the famous 'city of three cultures,' Toledo. We will spend the day exploring the city. We'll get a chance to enjoy some coffee in the outskirts of the city and see the city’s two most important monuments: the Cathedral and the Alcázar fortress. If time allows, we will visit the Jewish quarter before heading back to Madrid for dinner and to prepare for our international departure tomorrow. Hotel Sterling
April 23Madrid - USAToday the group will fly home. Hasta luego!Your own bed, eventually!

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Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Hotel Sterling

Conveniently located just off Gran Via and 200 m from Santo Domingo Metro station, this hotel offers simple accommodation in central Madrid. Both Puerta del Sol and the Royal Palace are just 10 minutes’ walk away. All spacious rooms have private bathrooms and air conditioning, TV, safe and work desk. A daily breakfast is available, and gluten-free products are available on request. Free Wi-Fi keeps guests feeling connected at all times. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.

 

Group Flight

Type Carrier Name Carrier Code Flight Number Departure Airport & City Departure Date and Time  Arrival Airport & City Arrival Date and Time 
Outbound
Lufthansa Airlines
LH
425
BOS – Logan International Airport, Boston, United States
April 12, 2024 at 08:05 PM
MUC – Munich International Airport, Munich, Germany
April 13, 2024 at 09:30 AM
Outbound
Lufthansa Airlines
LH
1802
MUC – Munich International Airport, Munich, Germany
April 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM
MAD – Madrid–Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain
April 13, 2024 at 02:10 PM
Inbound
Lufthansa Airlines
LH
1123
MAD – Madrid–Barajas Airport, Madrid, Spain
April 23, 2024 at 08:25 AM
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
April 23, 2024 at 11:00 AM
Inbound
Lufthansa Airlines
LH
422
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
April 23, 2024 at 01:30 PM
BOS – Logan International Airport, Boston, United States
April 23, 2024 at 04:05 PM

Once your flight has been confirmed, the itinerary will appear here.

Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure, and travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

FLIGHT INTERRUPTION, DELAY OR CANCELLATION 
Air travel can be unpredictable.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country, and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group in the event of a delay. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

Host Community and Project Details

Packing List

What follows is a sample packing list but you know yourself better than we do so please adjust accordingly. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on daily outings, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all our travelers. The list below should cover everything you would need, but know yourself and what you are comfortable traveling with.  We suggest bringing only as much as you would be able to carry on your own.

Finally, we recommend consulting a weather forecast for your destination.

CLOTHES (quantities depend on your trip length) :

  • Underwear
  • Socks (a mixture of good active socks and casual socks)
  • T-shirts (some quick dry)
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sweaters or sweatshirts
  • Light jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
  • Comfortable, everyday pants
  • Durable athletic/walking shoes
  • Sandals (optional)
  • Hat/s

TOILETRIES:

  • Your basics
  • Sunscreen
  • Basic first aid
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Prescription medication in properly marked original container

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Passport
  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Book
  • Universal adapter
  • Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
  • Durable water bottle
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Deck of cards or other portable games
  • Student ID
  • Spanish/English Dictionary

Support Team

At a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. 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. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

Luke Mueller
Luke Mueller
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO


Emory University – B.A. Sociology and minor in Latin American History

During college, Luke spent a semester living and traveling in rural Mexico. His experience sparked a fascination with Latin America and a commitment to community service that continues to this day. Upon graduating from college, he joined WorldTeach and lived with a local family in a small village in Costa Rica while teaching elementary English. After this experience, he moved to San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and wrote for The Tico Times newspaper. Luke has since traveled to over 60 countries on five different continents.  Now settled in Denver with his family, he continues to crave massive helpings of rice and beans.

Hillary Mora
Hillary Mora
Spain Country Director


Hillary was born in Sarapiqui, a small but pretty town on the Caribbean slope in Costa Rica, one of the most biologically intense places in the country.  She grew up climbing trees, going hiking around rivers, swinging on vines and everything you can imagine in the forest. She is truly a nature lover.  When she finished high school, she thought she wanted to study business administration, but eventually figured out that was not her passion. She began studying English and started working on the airport which opened her eyes to the world of tourism. She soon found out that nature and education are her passions. She began working in Tirimbina Biological Reserve, where she fell in love with the forest once again.  Hillary is  focusing her career on environmental education, where she coordinates a project called the Leaf Cutter Project which helps students get in contact with and learn about conservation, interpretation and everything about nature. She has traveled to Europe, Belize, and Panama. Hillary loves traveling and learning about other cultures, but what she loves the most is helping others.
Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Juan Pablo “JP” Rabanales
Global Country Operations Manager


Earlham College – B.A. International Studies, Minor in Economics

Born and raised with a big family in Guatemala, JP spent seven years living and studying in the US where he was exposed to highly diverse communities. JP worked as a Wilderness Leader guiding expeditions in the Southwest of the US. After spending two years in New Mexico studying the International Baccalaureate, he moved to Indiana where he spent the next four years at Earlham College. His passion for international affairs brought him to spend a semester in China, and several other Southeast Asian countries. During his time abroad, he spent his summers traveling and backpacking through 15+ different countries, and participating in several service projects. Today JP is based in Costa Rica where he works full time with the Walking Tree team.  Juan Pablo also enjoys hosting friends and travelers coming to visit. He’s always down for an exciting road-trip around the country, or even better, around Latin America. He is a long time art and design enthusiast, and a photography aficionado.

Group Roster

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 Adelynne Bunie
  • 2 Alex Pascu
  • 3 Alexis wilczewski
  • 4 Ayeza Shah
  • 5 Bailey Montgomery
  • 6 Caitrin Duprey
  • 7 Claudia DeLeo
  • 8 Elizabeth D'Amours
  • 9 Elizabeth Slozak
  • 10 Erica Rice
  • 11 Ethan Steichen
  • 12 Gabriela Lukasiak
  • 13 Jenna Dinndorf
  • 14 Jordan Hatem
  • 15 Julia St Hilaire
  • 16 Keagan Ware
  • 17 Mary Orrego
  • 18 Melea Jaffe
  • 19 Omar Mahgoub
  • 20 Sarah Ray
  • 21 Yahle Adossi
21 Travelers

Blog and Communication

During travel we will 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, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.

 

GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Standards of Behavior

In order to run a safe and successful program, 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.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1.  Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of, or are consuming, or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs.
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety.
  4. 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

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Threatening physical or emotional harm, or brandishing a weapon.
  4. Possessing, consuming, or distributing tobacco or nicotine, including vape pens.
  5. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  6. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of your program. Please take the time to review these as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Spain website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

Insurance

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers on program, experience teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.

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