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You have questions, we have answers! We've compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, please call our customer service department at 1-877-545-0070.

What should my child pack for the trip?

Necessary clothing will differ according to the climate of your destination and the nature of your tour, but for the most part students should pack no more than necessary. 

  • One pair of comfortable walking shoes 
  • One weather-appropriate outfit for each day you are on tour
  • One semi-formal outfit if you are attending a performance
  • One piece of rain gear (umbrella, rain jacket or rain poncho)
  • Swimsuit if swimming is allowed on your tour
  • Pajamas
  • Personal items (under garments, socks, etc.)
  • Toiletries — refer to the 3-1-1 rule
  • Grooming tools (brush, comb, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Jacket during cool weather

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How much money should we give our child for lunches and souvenirs?

If a pre-paid lunch is not part of your itinerary, lunches will be $10 or less per day. Consult your group leader if you are not sure whether lunch is included in your students’ tour. Souvenir money is at your discretion, though excessive amounts are not advised.

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What is the policy on cell phones, iPods, iPads, etc.?

This is at your group leader’s discretion.

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Can my child carry their own inhaler or Tylenol?

This is at your school/administration’s discretion. 

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What kind of ID does my child need to get on the plane?

Only adults over the age of 17 need an ID to get on the plane. If your child is under 17, we advise them to bring no ID at all to avoid confusion with nicknames on school IDs. 

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What is included in the tour costs?

Transportation, accommodations, attractions, activities and meals as specified on your itinerary, as well as access to 24 hour emergency services. For domestic tours, Travel Guard medical insurance is included in the trip cost.

Further information

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What is not included in the tour costs?

Taxes, airline baggage fees, and RGP are not included in tour costs. For international tours, Travel Guard medical insurance is not included, but can be added for an extra cost.

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Will we get a copy of the final itinerary before the trip departs?

This is at your group leader’s discretion.

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Are there any forms or resources for parents and students as they prepare?

Please view our Support and Resources page for information to help prepare for your tour.

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Can I get the name of my hotel, along with its contact information?

About three weeks prior to your trip, Brightspark Travel will send out “Final Tour Information.” This lists details about what time to be at school, the name and phone number of the hotel, and their 24-hour hotline.

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Where can I get information for chaperones?

Please visit our chaperone page in the Group Leader section.

Further information

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If there is an emergency and I need to speak with my child, how can I contact them?

You will be able to contact your child on their cell phone or your group leader’s cell phone. If you are unable to reach either of these contacts, call Brightspark Travel’s 24-hour hotline at 800-962-0060.

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What type of motor coach will be used for the trip?

Every one of our motor coaches is a newer model with a wide body, DVD players, air-conditioning, and restrooms. Additionally, all of our motor coach companies undergo extensive audits. Drivers carefully follow rules of the Department of Transportation and many undergo our Certified Driver Program.

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What type of hotels does Brightspark use to house their student groups?

The hotels we use are evaluated based on a checklist of safety features and amenities, and are of the highest quality. Commonly used hotels include Hyatt, Hilton, Doubletree, Hampton Inn, Sheraton, Four Points, and Disney hotels.

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What is quad rooming?

Quad rooming, which is our most basic option, puts four children in a room with two beds. Students will only room with same-gender peers. Ask your group leader for more options.

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What will meals be like?

Though meals differ from tour to tour, Brightspark Travel always provides a healthy variety of options. Breakfasts usually consist of buffets with both hot and cold items. Lunches are typically stops at food courts, and dinners are usually sit-down meals at buffets, cafeterias, or family-style restaurants.

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What airlines do you use?

We are a national wholesaler for United, American, Southwest, and US Airways. Regularly scheduled air flights are used.

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Can parents participate in the tour?

Each trip is unique; therefore parents interested in going on the trip should contact the group leader at the school. There may be an additional surcharge for adults depending on their accommodations.

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My child has allergies or dietary restrictions, can they still participate?

Yes, during the online registration process you will be asked if your child has any allergies or dietary restrictions that we should be aware of.

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What if my child gets sick while on tour?

In case of serious medical situations, our first response is always to call 911. If your child is too ill to tour that day but not sick enough to require medical attention, it will be at the group leader’s discretion to have one chaperone stay with the child at the hotel.

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What is RGP?

RGP is our Refund Guarantee Protection program, which is an optional add-on to your tour. Should a tour participant need to cancel for any reason prior to departure, RGP guarantees you a full refund of all monies paid, less the cost of this option and any nonsufficient funds or late fees. For more information, please see our Trip Insurance page.

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If I sign up for RGP, how and when will my refund be received?

You will receive your payment within six weeks of your cancellation. Refunds will be issued in the same manner with which payments are received.

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How can I register my child for their trip?

In most cases, registration can be done online. Contact the trip sponsor (i.e. the individual in charge of the trip) and he/she will provide you with the password to access your school’s trip.

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What if I have problems registering online?

Don’t hesitate to call our dedicated customer support team at 1-877-545-0070.

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How do I register if I don’t have a computer?

Ask your sponsor for trip enrollment forms, and return them to your sponsor once information is filled out. 

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What are my options for paying for a tour?

There are three options for paying for your tour: AutoPay Payment Plan, Payment in Full Plan, and Manual Payment Plan. Payments can be made by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, money order or personal checks.

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How can I make a payment for my child’s trip?

Select the Login tab on our homepage and enter the password for your child’s trip. Brightspark Travel accepts credit cards, debit cards, and personal checks. For more information, see our Paying for Your Trip page. 

Further information

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How can two parents pay separately?

Only one parent should set up the account for registration. After registering, this parent should use our Help Me Travel program to send the second parent a request for an amount of money. The second parent can easily pay, and funds will be applied.

Further information

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When will my fundraising money be applied to my account?

The tour sponsor is responsible for passing along any details regarding fundraising and instructions on how to apply the credit.

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Can I lower my trip costs by using my hotel points and air mileage?

No, all of our tours are sold as a package with already discounted rates.

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What happens if my payments are late?


Late fees will be added to your accounts if payment is not made after a seven-day grace period. If you are unable to pay fees due to extenuating circumstances, please consult your group leader or our customer service team. 

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Does Brightspark contact families who still owe money past the due date?

Yes, unless you or your sponsor has contacted us about extenuating circumstances. 

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What number is my child on the waitlist?

Each school handles their waitlist differently. It would be best to check with your group leader.

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What happens if my child is taken off the waitlist and placed on the active roster?

Once your child is added to the active roster, you will be notified. If your child is able to attend, please go to the website and make a payment to bring your child's account up-to-date.

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How do I know my child is safe on tour?

With every Brightspark Travel Tour, safety is a top priority. Please read our safety and security page for more details.

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Are your Tour Directors screened?

Yes, all Brightspark Tour Directors are screened and employed by Brightspark Travel.

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Is there security in the hotel?

A professional security staff is available upon request and is present on each hotel floor where your students are staying. These individuals monitor the hallways from 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. All security staff members are pre-screened through criminal background checks and drug testing.

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Do I need to worry about renewing my child’s passport when traveling overseas?

Yes. When traveling to Central and South America, passports must be valid at least six months prior to entry. When traveling to Europe, passports must be valid three months prior to entry.

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How many suitcases can my student bring when flying overseas?

We recommend one carry-on and one checked bag when flying overseas because the traveler will be responsible for carrying his/her own suitcase at all times. In addition, intercontinental travel by plane or train often charges per bag.

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Will I have a bilingual Tour Director if I travel overseas?

Brightspark Tour Directors guiding overseas are required to be bilingual in at least one of the countries that you are visiting on your expedition.

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