Custom Group Travelers

Please refer to your program webpage to view if your flight is included or listed separately from your program tuition. In either case, your group flight will be confirmed at least several months before the departure date and your program webpage will be updated with flight details as soon as tickets have been purchased.

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 Teacher/Group Organizer.

Open Enrollment Travelers

NOTE: This section is meant for participants who have already been accepted into an Open Enrollment program. 

In an effort to make the flight booking process as smooth as possible, we’ve partnered with STA Travel. STA Travel’s mission aligns seamlessly with Walking Tree Travel – emphasized by our shared commitment to volunteer service, customer service and world service. This partnership provides our participants with discounted fares through STA’s contracts with the top airlines to help our travelers get the best possible rates. To learn more about STA’s unique organization, check out their website at

STA Travel will help our families and travelers book their round trip travel to between their home city and our host countries. We are excited to offer this premium service to our participants so that we can focus on what we do best – providing meaningful adventures around the world!

Open Enrollment participants are responsible for booking and paying for their own international flight travel – check the Flight section on your program-specific webpage for details on your program’s suggested, chaperoned international flight. As a traveler on a Walking Tree program you have two ways to make your flight arrangements:

1. (Preferred) Book a seat on the chaperoned international group flight.

Each Open Enrollment program has a suggested, chaperoned, group flight that will depart from a designated departure city in the United States and arrive to your host country. Participants on these flights will have the support of Walking Tree Travels’ on-scene Airport Liaison as well as an accompanying Program Leader, on-flight. The Airport Liaison will help gather, coordinate and direct the arrival and departure of our participants in the airport and the Program Leader will accompany the group to and from the host country while on the flight. The grand majority of our travelers choose this option.


  • Unless you live near enough the designated group flight departure city you will also need to purchase a round trip flight between your home town and the departure city in question.
2. Book your own flight to the host country.

For this option we require travelers to arrive at the same time, or earlier (no more than 3 hours), than the suggested group flight’s planned arrival. We ask participants not to arrive later than the suggested group flight’s time of arrival. If travelers arrive on their own prior to the rest of the group we will arrange to have the second Program Leader or the Country Director meet them as they land in the host country.


  • Travelers must arrive in the international destination no more than 3 hours prior to the time of arrival of the chaperoned group flight.
  • If an additional night’s stay or extra meals are needed, or participants arrive earlier than the 3 hour requested window for arrival time, the cost will be passed on to participants.
  • Please email if you will be choosing this option and include your flight reservation information so we can plan when and where to expect you.

With either option, we strongly encourage you to book your flights through STA, but it is not required. Please email with any questions.

So here’s how to proceed:

Call our dedicated representative at STA Travel at 800-781-4040 to learn about your booking options..

  • Tell the agent you are a Walking Tree Travel/Smithsonian Student Adventures participant, the full name of the program you are traveling on and your program travel dates. They will walk you through the details of your flight options.
  • Once you know your flight options, you can book directly with STA or on your own to travel to the host country.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Should you elect not to travel on the suggested, chaperoned, group flight please email your complete flight reservation to
  • Enjoy the support and ease that comes with this new partnership!