Frequently Asked questions
Who is A La Carte Travel?
A La Carte Travel has been specializing in group travel to Europe, Canada, and Costa Rica, and China for over 20 years. We are committed to providing educational institutions affordable access to a priceless opportunity: the chance for their students to experience new cultures and languages. Join the hundred of groups who have benefited from our language programs and cultural exchanges, and homestay programs.
What Makes A La Carte Travel Different From Other Companies?
Low Monthly Payment Plans: A La Carte Travel arranges for low monthly payment on all its trips to make it easier and more affordable for all the participants.
Exclusive Tours: A La Carte Travel specializes in customized small group tours that provide the best possible experience and avoid the need to share large buses and hotel rooms with strangers.
Medical and Liability Insurance: All participants in the group are automatically covered under our comprehensive medical and liability insurance that include baggage loss and trip delays.
I am a teacher that wants to travel. Where do I start?
Contact A La Carte Travel's travel specialists through our website and a representative will be in touch to discuss your trip ideas and details.
A La Carte Travel will price a one-of-a-kind trip for you and your students that will include: airfare, hotel/homestay accommodations, meals, transportation, entrances, medical and liability insurance
Start advertising! A La Carte Travel will create a unique website for your trip for parents and students to read about the trip details and sign up.
A La Carte Travel will support you through the process and send you marketing materials and guide you through recruitment
A La Carte Travel's team will be with you every step of the way to put together a trip of a lifetime!
What airlines are used?
A La Carte Travel uses regularly scheduled carriers.
What type of hotels are used and how many people in a room?
A La Carte Travel will work with you and your budget when discussing the type of hotel/hostel/student residence to use. All of our hotels are centrally-located with private bathrooms/showers and breakfasts included. Group organizers stay in single occupancy rooms. The rest of the students and adults stay in double and trip occupancy rooms, which are determined by the availability of the rooms at the local hotel.
What Meals are included in the Program?
A La Carte Travel customizes all of the meal selections to work with your 'a la carte' program. Typically, all breakfasts and dinners are included. Sometimes, A La Carte Travel deliberately does not include reserved meals in order to provide students the opportunity to order their own meals, to eat when they want and where they want.
During homestay programs, all at-home meals are provided (including boxed-lunches)
Custom programs may include special arrangements for meals, but breakfast tend to always be included.
Do You accomodate special diets?
A La Carte Travel can accomodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets. Food allergies, especially those that are severe, are more difficult to manage abroad so we recommend that you discuss your child's food allergies with their teacher.
What are the Standards of conduct for students?
Proper behavior is expected at all times. In general, these items are grounds for dismissal:
Possession, consumption, or distribution of alcohol or illegal drugs
Poor attitude or behavior and consistently acting independently of the chaperones' admonishment and warnings
Leaving the group on excursions, or leaving the hotels without the permission of chaperones and after the designated curfew
Getting a piercing or tattoo
Stealing or defacing any personal property, building or material
Possession or using weapons such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc
Breaking group rules
Group leaders can find a printable document under the "Trip Resources" tab and are able to add items to the standards of conduct.
Will the Students Be Alone at any time?
A La Carte Travel does not allow any student to be on his or her own. Students may go to nearby places with a group of fellow students if the group leaders allow. During homestay programs, the students may be alone on occasion, but only with approval of the group leader.
Do the students go out at night?
A La Carte Travel does not promote students going out at night, but if the group leader plans an activity outside of the itinerary, then the group can go together.
Can the students call home?
While it is best that the students do not call their parents very often, as it breaks the flow of the experience, we absolutely recommend traveling with an international calling card or bringing along a cell phone that can connect to WIFI to get in touch with family.
How Much Spending Money should a student bring along?
A La Carte Travel recommends a minimum of $30-$40 per day outside of the family stay. This money covers the cost of lunches, the occasional snack, and souvenirs. Typically, everything is included in the cost of the trip but the trip leader will notify parents if there are additional daily expenses or "options" outside of the cost of the trip.
How are transfers organized from one location to another?
Transfers depend on the distance between locations. Every destination that is not walking distance will be included in the overall price of the trip. Transfers are either organized with private coach buses or public transportation. In some cases, transfers can also be walking distance.
Are airport taxes and registration fees included in the price of the trip?
A La Carte Travel does not charge any registration fees. Airport taxes are included in the price of the trip.
How many pieces of luggage are allowed?
Packing light is recommended: one suitcase per person, plus one carry-on. This is especially important because buses and trains are used during the trip and it can become difficult to transfer and fit luggage.
Can handicapped students travel?
This decision is made by the group organizers and leaders.
What happens to the trip in the event of an emergency or crisis?
A La Carte Travel follows State Department guidelines for travel. We will work with teachers, school administrators or school districts to discuss options for postponing and/or cancelling the trip for the group. In the event of an emergency, A La Carte Travel will modify our cancellation policies for the group. Individual cancellation policies will apply if the group does not decide to cancel or postpone.
In the event that a group is traveling during an emergency or crisis, A La Carte Travel will work closely with our international partners, the international representative for the group and the tour escort, to modify the trip as necessary.
Various scenarios require different responses and we will work closely to find the best option for the group and individual travelers.
What happens if our trip is delayed?
A La Carte Travel will assist in navigating the groups way through any delays along with our representatives abroad. All costs associated with delays will be reimbursed through Travelex Travel Insurance. Students and teachers should keep all receipts throughout the delay. Although A La Carte Travel does follow up with the insurance company to help file the claims, it is up to the insurance company to make the final reimbursement decision.
What insurance options does a la carte travel offer?
Standard travel insurance through Travelex is automatically included in the cost of the trip. The standard travel insurance includes trip delays, baggage loss and/or delays, and all medical and dental emergencies.
Travelers are able to purchase more comprehensive insurance that may also include the "cancel for any reason," policy individually.
A La Carte Travel is also protected by insurance policies required by tour operators (professional insurance, liability insurance). Details may be requested via email.
A La Carte Travel's Standard Payment and Cancellation Policy
$500 is due with the application, payable to A La Carte Travel Inc.
Equal monthly payments will be set up for the remainder of the price, with the final payment due 45 days prior to departure
You will receive monthly statements from A La Carte Travel
All cancellation notices must be received in writing at the A La Carte Travel office ()
A La Carte Travel's standard cancellation policy:
120 days or more prior to departure: Full refund less all non-refundable fees, and a $500 cancellation fee
45 days to 119 days prior to departure: Full refund less all non-refundable fees, 50% of the program price, and a $500 cancellation fee
45 days or less prior to departure: No refund will be issued