2025 Alice Deal France Explorers Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2025 Alice Deal France Explorers 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 France! 
Travel Dates: April 12, 2025 - April 20, 2025
Dates are tentative
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $4,750 USD

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 12FlightFlight from Baltimore to ParisAirplane
April 13Paris, FranceToday you will arrive in Paris where you'll meet your program leaders at the airport. Upon arrival the group will check into the hotel and get settled. Depending on time of arrival we'll hold an orientation meeting, get settled in the hotel, we will get to exploring the neighborhood of Montamartre.Hotel in Paris
April 14Paris, FranceThis morning we will go by public transport to visit one of the most important museums in the world: the Louvre! Inaugurated in 1793, it boasts a collection of more than 300,000 pieces. We'll start early to miss the worst of the crowds. We will have a picnic lunch at the Tuileries garden. In the afternoon, we will head towards the “Champs de Mars”, where we can continue taking photos and climb up to the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower and enjoy the panoramic view that it offers us. We will then hop on a 1hour Seine river cruise before taking a public transportation back to our hotel and eat dinner nearby.Hotel in Paris
April 15Biarritz, FranceIn the morning we'll depart by bus towards Dune du Pilat, the largest sand dunes in Europe. Afterwards, we will drive to Biarritz. We will check in and do a walking tour of this beautiful town before heading to dinner.Hotel in Biarritz
April 16Biarritz, FranceAfter breakfast, we will hop on our bus and drive to Saint Jean de Luz where we will have a walking tour of the old town. We will then continue driving to San Sebastian to have our lunch. We will then have a walking tour and then free time to enjoy the beach. We will reconvene for dinner and then we will drive back to Biarritz to finish our day.Hotel in Biarritz
April 17Avignon, FranceWe will start the day by making we our way to Provence. Our first stop will be Carcassone where we will have a tour of the town. We will go to a local resturant for lunch before boarding our bus to go to our next stop, Pont de Gard. Next stop will be Avignon. After checking in our hotel, we will have our dinner at one of the local resturants.Hotel in Avignon
April 18Avigon, FranceToday, we will drive to Arles and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. During our excursion, we will visit the Saint-Paul Asylum and Glanum archaeological site. We will then go to Arles to get lunch and then we will recovene to have a walking tour. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Avignon and have tour of the town. We will have dinner before heading back to the hotel.Hotel in Avignon
April 19Nice, FranceAfter a well deserved night of rest, we will have breakfast at the hotel and then the bus to Nice. Our first stop will be Matisse museum. We will check in our hotel and reconvene for group lunch. We will have a walking of the old town of Nice. We will board the petite train afterwards and visit the Castle Hill and La tour Bellanda to have some beautiful view of Nice. We will spend free time at the beach before heading to dinner.Hotel in Nice
April 20Nice, FranceAfter breakfast, we will drive to Montecarlo, Monaco. We will have a walking tour starting at the Jardin Exotique, home to a diverse collection of succulents. We'll also explore the charming Old Town of Monaco-Ville where the Prince's Palace stands proudly overlooking the Mediterranean.We will go inside to marvel at the beauty of the palace. Afterwards, we will visit the Monaco Cathedral and pay respects to Grace Kelly at her final resting place. We will then have lunch and board the bus to make our way to Menton where we will have a walking tour of the old town and free time at the beach before driving back to Nice. We will have group dinner and closing program before we pack our bags for our flight tomorrow.Hotel in Nice
April 21FlightFlight from Nice to BaltimoreYour own bed!

Fundraising

Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.

Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more.  There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!

Learn more here.

WTT coffee

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. 
Citadines Montmartre Paris

The Citadines Montmartre Paris is located in a residential area in Paris near Place de Clichy at the foot of the Butte Montmartre. It offer furnished studios and rooms, just a 10-minute metro ride from the Champs Elysées. Its apartments are equipped with private bathrooms area and some of them have balconies. Citadines Montmartre Paris has a rooftop terrace that provides a view of the city. Citadines Montmartre Paris is just 200 metres from the Moulin Rouge and 1 km from the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. The property is a 15-minute metro ride from the Gare du Nord and Saint Lazare Station.

Group Flight

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. 

Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT!

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
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Rain jacket
  • Travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
  • Comfortable, everyday pants
  • Nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer for such occasions)
  • Durable athletic/walking shoes
  • Sandals (optional)
  • Hat

TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:

  • Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Band Aids and Neosporin
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medication in properly marked original container

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Book
  • Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
  • Power Converter
  • Alarm Clock and watch
  • Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
  • Durable water bottle
  • 1 quick-dry towel
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Batteries
  • Deck of cards or other portable games
  • Host family gift
  • STUDENT ID
  • French/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.

Harriet Docena
Harriet Docena
France Country Director


Harriet caught the travel bug early in her life. Born in the Philippines, with 7,107 islands, both of her parents are avid travelers. Most of their weekends and holidays were spent roadtripping and traveling to new places. After finishing her degree in Fashion design and merchandising, she realized that the fashion world was not for her. That’s why in 2006, she left her job and worked as a photographer on cruise ships. For years, she traveled the world to places such as the Caribbean, Alaska, South America, Europe, the Mediterranean, Hawaii, and Asia. After working and traveling nonstop, she decided to choose a place where she can stay put and have a “normal life”.  In 2010 she was lucky to be awarded a “skills and talents” visa in France and chose Paris to be her new home. Harriet is also an avid surfer which brought her to different surf spots and exotic locations around the world. As of this moment, she has visited 80+ countries and around 500+ cities. She doesn’t think she will ever stop traveling. Nowadays, you can find Harriet traveling around Europe, obsessed with her chihuahua and surfing when the European waters are not that cold.

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.

Jordan Sparrow
Jordan Sparrow
Director of Operations - Lisbon, Portugal


University of Kansas – B.A. Latin American Studies; Global and International Studies, Minor in Brazilian Studies

Jordan hails from Kansas City where he spent his entire childhood. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, his first international experience would set the course for the rest of his life.  After high school, he traveled to Guatemala where he began learning Spanish and cultivated a deep interest in everything Latin America. In college, Jordan spent almost half of his university career studying abroad in both Costa Rica and Brazil.  In 2010, Jordan moved to Costa Rica for six years where he began his professional career teaching Portuguese to Costa Ricans and working with Walking Tree Travel.  From Costa Rica he moved to Denver, Colorado and spent seven years traveling the USA and experiencing life as an adult in America for the first time. Jordan is trilingual and has traveled to more than 30 countries around the world. He currently lives in Lisbon, Portugal and enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, biking, spending time at the beach and cooking Middle Eastern food.

Group Roster

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

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 France 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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