Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Money Will I Need?

Is Airfare Included?

What's A Team Leader?

What do I need to know about flying?

Why Do I Have To Speak English?

Why Don't We Put All Kids from One Country on One Bus?

Why Aren't All The Meals Included?

How Do I Get to The Eastern  & Disney Trips?

How Do I save Money on Meals?

Why Can't We Change Rooms or Buses?

What Punishments Do Rule Breakers Get?

Do Rotary Rules Aoply?

What Will Get Me Sent Home?

How Much Money Will I Need? 

$400 for Western / $300 for Eastern / $200 for Disney 

 We have found through our experience that you normally need about $350/$250.  If you are frugal this should allow you plenty for the meals which are not included, some souvenirs, etc... This depends on how much you eat, where you like to eat, and your own spending habits.  We ask you to take what you think you will  need. If money is a major problem talk to people in your Rotary Club and ask their advise and help. 

On The Western Trip Is The Airfare Included?

We included the airfare on your trip in the price for the Western Trip so we can control when you arrive in our departure city.  Flying saves us over 6 days of driving to get to the National Parks and Cities of the Western Adventure.  We ask that you join group airfares when ever possible to keep the price of the tour down.  We presently have group airfares from Columbus, and Charleston SC, other places when we have at least 10 students from that city. 

What's A Team Leader?

We want the students to own this trip and we do so by have a student leadership group we call Team Leaders.  They meet frequently with chaperones and tour leaders and represent the voice of the students.  We also ask them to help us with certain tasks and to make sure all the information gets to the kids.  Sometimes we'll use then to assist in leading hikes and tours.  

What Do I Need To Know About Flying?

You will need a valid government issued ID such as a Drivers License or Passport.  An original, not a copy.  You will need to get to the airport at least 2 hours before flight time.  If you live in a major hub airport, I would get there 2.5 hours ahead of flight time.   You can pack no more than 50 lbs per bag.  You are only allowed one duffle or suitcase.  Do not carry any knifes, sharp objects or any weapons at all when you fly. Keep liquids like creams, and lotions in your checked luggage.  Put all metal objects in your carry on back or backpack for ease of security. Most  Tickets are Electronic Tickets, there is no hard ticket.  The exception is Southwest Airlines group tickets.  You get your ticket by presenting your valid ID and record locator.  They can also find it by your name and arrival city.

Why is the Language of the Trip English?

We have nearly 30 different countries and 20 different languages represented on this trip.  We ask that everyone speak English so your room mates and bus mates don't feel isolated. 

Why don't we put all kids from one country on one bus?

Certain countries send us lots of exchange students and if we put them all on one bus it will overwhelm the other kids on the bus.  So if there are 7 or more kids from one country we will spread them between our buses if we are running more than one bus. 

Why Aren't All The Meals Included?

For one reason, the tour would then cost dramatically more.  Included meals cost far more than what you might spend yourself.  For another, in most of the west it is nearly impossible to include meals.  There are few buffets and places which can economically handle groups like ours or have the facilities.  Breakfasts are included for the Eastern trip everyday. We do try to include some meals towards the end of the trip, like pizza parties if we can.For the Western Trip we try to include as many breakfasts as we can.

How Are Not Included Meals Handled So It Doesn't Cost Too Much?

We stop at places where are a variety of food options.  Usually we try to include a supermarket, fast food and sit down restaurants in the same location.  You get to chose how much you want to spend.  Go together with other students and purchase food you all can share.  Cheap things in the US include fruit, bread, dairy products, and sale items.  Canned meats and meals are very inexpensive compared to many fast food restaurants. Make sure they are precooked.  Last year one room shared meals and spent less than $10 per person per day.  That's only $150 for the trip. Shop smart. 

How Do I Get to The Eastern Trip and the Disney Trip?

The Eastern  and Disney Trips do not include transportation to the trip departure point, Columbus Ohio.  You have to purchase your own air tickets to meet the tour if needed.  Otherwise you can drive to the trip if you live within a few hundred miles from Columbus.

Why Can't We Leave Our Rooms After 10 p.m.?

We are dead serious about students being QUIET and in Rooms after 10:00 PM.  It is for your protection and safety. We'll know you are safe behind your locked doors.  Bad things happen to night walkers. Crime is a problem in every American city and if you are out you are a target.  Also hotels have rules about noise and "kids" walking around the halls after 10 PM.  If you make noise they will ask us to leave and won't allow us to use their hotel again.  It is the one thing which can really get you into trouble.  Our rules are strictly enforced and we do frequent room checks to make sure you are in YOUR ROOM.  You don't have to sleep. You can talk or watch TV, but have to stay in your room. You must also get you ice and cokes before 10:00 PM.

Why Can't We change Our Rooms and Buses All The Time?

About a month before we depart we send each hotel a rooming list showing what room you will be in. .  They need to know where you are so if a relative calls you for some reason, they can contact you.  It also means if we are looking for you because of an emergency we will know where you are.  When we hand out keys, the keys are assigned based on that rooming list.  It causes huge delays when that list is changed.  Also if there is a hotel fire, or regional disaster, we need to know where you are.   Buses can't be changed because they have exact counts on each bus.  Each time before we leave we have to count everyone on the bus. If our counts are off because of people switching around, we leave people behind. 

If I Get Caught Breaking the Rules What Kind of Punishments Can I Expect?

We aren't on this trip to punish you, we are on it to make sure you have a good time.  But we have rules and if you break these rules there are consequences you have to face.  WE STRICTLY ENFORCE THE RULES OF THE TRIP.  We take everything into consideration, but normally we will restrict you from taking part in the next major tour event.  You will be forced to stay back with a chaperone or be forced to stay on the bus while the other students enjoy themselves.  You also may be forced to clean buses and for severe or chronic violations you may be sent home "At your own expense".

Do Rotary Rules Apply on The Trip?

Yes. The "4 D's" , No Dating, Driving, Drinking and Drugs are in effect.  Also this trip is sponsored by the Ohio-Erie Rotary Multi-District.  This is part of your Rotary Exchange and we expect you to act as representatives of your country and your host club.  This trip is run by Rotarians for Rotary Exchange Students.

What Will Get Me Sent Home?

We do not want to send anyone home.  Our job is to make you have the greatest trip in your life.  There are however taboos which will get you in serious trouble and maybe get you a ride home at your expense.  Four times we have had to send students home in the past  for disciplinary reasons and it usually means you will be sent ALL THE WAY HOME!

  • Our chaperones are trained and  dedicated to doing a good job.  They are volunteers who give up good jobs and free time to make your trip safe, fun, and interesting.  Disrespecting, hitting, pushing,  ignoring or cussing at a chaperone will get you a ride home at your expense. 

  • If caught with drugs & alcohol, trying to buy drugs or alcohol, or using a false or altered ID, that will do it. 

  • A boy caught in a girl's room, or a girl caught in a boys room after 10:00pm, especially if there is inappropriate behavior going on.  Or if you are caught having sex (any kind of sex) at anytime, anywhere, with anybody or anything.

  • If you are constantly late, disrupting the trip and causes others to miss portions of their trip.  We will send you home.

  • If you are caught stealing, committing any crime, or being violent or destructive to private property, including buses, hotel rooms and parks. You may not only be going home, but also to jail.

  • If you are a constant irritation to the tour leadership and we feel you are disruptive and hurting the trip by your behavior, we will be sending you home.

  • If you are a rule breaker on one trip, you will not be taken on the other trips.

We hate sending people home. Everyone Suffers when it happens.