Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Why Your Kid Should Go On A Trip With Explore America






So early in the middle school year my daughter heard about a school trip to Philadelphia and New York City.  It was through Explore America. Chaperones are teachers from the school, so no, parents can't come. I know some people were wary about letting their kids go, but I was like, you know, they have to grow up some time. Plus I knew it would be a wonderful experience for Natalie. 


The students are well prepared for the trip--there's a meeting every month about it so they know what to expect. In May there is one for parents where a lot of info is given:



If your child has allergies, they'll be okay! You just fill out a form:



Natalie doesn't have allergies, but I thought the chaperones should know this:




There are many reasons why I feel like all students should go on a trip with Explore America, and here are some of them:




1. You see some cool places. This is the room where the declaration of independence was signed:



And yes, of course a trip to the Liberty Bell was in order:



Natalie liked the mascot:



She said the Battleship New Jersey was awesome to explore:





2. The tour guide from Explore America is knowledgable and friendly. Natalie liked her. 



3. Yup, they get security in the hotel rooms. So you don't have to worry about your kid being taken or sneaking out to explore the town. They stayed at a Best Western in Philadelphia and NYC, so they aren't scary hotels. Breakfast is free, so that's another plus. 


4. You can make payments! We opted to do this, and it worked out. Plus, if you start to pay early, you get a bit of a discount. We saved $50 from signing up earlier in the year. 


5. Almost EVERYTHING is included in the price. That's airfare, hotel costs, food costs, entry costs for the places they stop at, 24 hour emergency care if needed. The only money your kid needs to bring is for snacks and souvenirs. 


6. Your kid can communicate with you while they are gone. Natalie called every evening and sent texts throughout the day. You also get the number of the chaperones and the Explore America people so you can ALWAYS be in contact with someone. 


7. Did I mention the cool places? In NYC, they went to the following, plus many more. They went to Ellis Island and saw The Statue of Liberty:



This is the spot where the Twin Towers used to stand:


They went to Times Square:



The Empire State Building:




Natalie took this photo on top of the building:



They watched Phantom of the Opera on Broadway:



Natalie was moved by the 911 Memorial Museum:


And Natalie is a tween girl, so she laughed at this when they went to The Met:




They do a ton of walking, so proper shoes are a must. When they aren't walking, they are taken by a bus. Natalie said the bus driver Tim was funny. They did do one subway ride. 

Also, they are all given a backpack so they are easily spotted:








Look, my daughter came home in one piece:




She said she had a wonderful time. Here's just some of what she brought home. (Not pictured: stuffed animals, shirts, plus the snacks she tried..)




Would I recommend Explore America? Yes! If we had the funds, Natalie would go every year but alas, I told her to pick one, and naturally she picked the first. Next year at her school they are doing Washington DC and NYC. She loves history, so she was all about this trip. She freaked when she saw Alexander Hamilton and Eliza's graves:







If you're curious if your school participates, click here.


Has your child ever been a trip without you?





To learn more about Explore America, check them out at the following: 

33 comments:

  1. What a great program! My kids have been on school overnight trips, but only in our area. I love that Natalie had this opportunity and I love the pictures she took! They went to some great places!

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  2. I am going to definitely check this out. I wonder if my school does to something like this. This is pretty cool.

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  3. What a great way for children to travel and get a taste of freedom. I would have loved sending my children on a trip like this when they were in middle school.

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  4. What a great idea. My son went over seas once with out me and loved it.

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  5. I would love to be a sponsor for this! I would adore working with kids again!

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  6. A field trip outside of school really helps with actual learning. Taking them out in parks, museums, and places where they can learn more about culture and history is also a good thing.

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  7. This reminds me of my trips to NYC and Boston back in high school! The teachers were also our chaperones.

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  8. Our school district starts trips like this one in the 8th grade. My eldest daughter went and it was a whirlwind but she loved it.

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  9. What an incredible experience your daughter will remember for the rest of her life! I would love to go and visit these places, it would be amazing!

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  10. man it sounds like she had the best time ever! I love that kids get to actually see history and make it feel so much more real!

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  11. This looks cool! But we're thousands of miles away haha!But I'm sure this is something our boy would definitely enjoy.

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  12. As parent we are all worried that we are not able to see them for a while but you are right, we should let them explore and enjoy the world on their own. I am glad that she had a great time with this trip.

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  13. Sounds like a very fun trip! I've been to Philadelphia and saw the liberty bell. Amazing!

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  14. I love this! I fully believe that traveling teaches kids (and adults for that matter!) way more than they could possibly learn in a classroom.

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  15. This sounds like an amazing program. My kids would love it because they love history. Heck I would love it!

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  16. Oh wow, this sounds like a really amazing program! Will share this with friends that have kids, I think they'd enjoy it!

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  17. Oh wow! This is pretty amazing! Kids would love and enjoy this place! It so beautiful and so good!

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  18. I went on a tour with them when I was in high school. I think my DC tour in middle school might have been through them as well.

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  19. Explore America seems to be exactly what I need for my kids. Thanks for these tips!

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  20. Hahaha I loved that allergy, "Gets whiny when hot. Also gets hangry." Totally made my day. I wish I had the opportunity to go on a program like this as a child. What a fun opportunity (and great tips).

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  21. This looks fun! It's a great activity to allow kids to learn more and explore.

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  22. I don't have kids but this is actually a very good idea! Kids should definitely explore their own country. Great idea.

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  23. It sounds like an amazing trip! My kids had a few overnight school trips. Some parents were chaperones, but I never went on any with them.

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  24. Explore America are really good in having children tours. You know your children are safe with them. This is a day to remember for them!

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  25. OMG that's so neat! I think any kid would be lucky to have this experience. I like your note about your kid getting hangry - totally useful to those chaperones lol

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  26. That would be such a fun thing to do! I wish this was around when I was a kid!

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  27. If the family has the money - then yes. Travel is the most enriching thing you can buy in life. xo, Suzanne

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  28. Great program! New York is one of the most fascinating places in the world, and is rich in history

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  29. Trips away from home with their friends are a really important part of development. My son has now done 2 and is off to Paris next year. He can't wait.

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  30. I would love to let my two children experience this! They would surely learn a lot of life skills here. By the way, I liked your note about "gets hangry." haha

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  31. Hey, thanks for the encouraging post. I usually am scared to send my kids on a trip without me but I guess if it is someone like Explore America, I wouldn't mind sending.

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  32. this is such a cool program for kids. I think they could really learn a lot.

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  33. Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for sharing. My name is Jenna and I am the EF Tour Consultant that works with Andrea to help set up her trips. I'm so glad to hear Natalie had an amazing time, I hope her passion for travel continues to grow!

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Thanks for the comment!

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