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  1. I live in the area - can I join your group for the day? Can we opt out of the hotel? We have a group package, with hotel, meals, and group activities included in the price. What will our rooms be like? They're similar to hotel rooms, but without the frills. They have Wi-Fi, but don't have a TV, microwave, phone, or mini-fridge. Towels, bedding, and soap is provided, but you'll need to bring your own hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, and any other personal items. Maid service will be provided daily. Each room has a private bathroom. I have a family of 6, 7, etc., and have very young children. Can we all share one room? The hotel I use allows up to 5 in standard rooms, and up to 6 in loft rooms. If you have more in your party, you'll need to have two rooms. Can I stay fewer nights? This is a package deal, so the price remains the same whether you arrive later or leave earlier than the group. What ages do you recommend for this trip? All ages - babies, grandparents and everyone in between! We have teens - will there be other teens on this trip? Yes - we have a lot of teens on most of my trips. Will the children ever be required to be away from their parents for group activities? Children are never required to be away from their parents for group activities. What are meals like? I have food allergies, a special diet, food issues. Can they accommodate me? They're buffet style, with a wide variety to accommodate food allergies and special diets. There are always vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices on the menu. Here's more information about their dining (with a link to a typical menu): What are the group activities? How much do the extra activities (like horseback riding) cost? I'll schedule some group activities, but they may be limited due to the size of our group. Families can also sign up for activities while we're there. Here's a list of all the activities and their cost. Children are never required to be away from their parents for group activities. What airport do we fly into? Is there shuttle service? For families flying in, round-trip shuttle service from St. Louis Lambert International Airport to the YMCA is available at an extra cost. I’ll email information about this to travelers before our departure. Do we have to be members of the YMCA to go? No. Here is the trip description and registration link: http://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/ozarks-retreat/
  2. Join us in June 2020 for our road trip to the Grand Canyon! We’ll participate in private educational programs and explore the skies at the canyon’s week-long Star Party! https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/grand-canyon-road-trip/
  3. Here is the trip description and registration link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/grand-canyon-road-trip/ Was this road trip originally planned for 2019? Yes, but I moved it to 2020 to allow us more time to plan other road trips leading up to and following this one, plus I hope to get a group block of rooms on the rim. (We loved them during our Rail Journey to the Grand Canyon!) Are spots still available for this trip? Spots are still available. I'll update this FAQ and my website when we're full. When are the educational programs scheduled? Programs are tentatively scheduled for Monday-Thursday. I'll post more details as they're finalized. Will we go on long hikes over rough terrain? Walks/hikes will be 2 miles or less (likely less), over even terrain. Will there be evolutionary content? Program staff are sensitive to evolutionary content (for example – they will describe things as adaptations instead of evolution, will present concepts as theories, etc.). However, you can opt out of any program that you feel would be against your beliefs, or use the program as fodder for family discussions later. (The price remains the same.) I live in the area - can I join your group for the day? I'm not arranging hotels, transportation, etc., for this trip, so you're welcome to register for the trip. The fee is the same, regardless of how many days you join us, or where you stay. Can I choose my own hotel? Can I use points for my hotel? Yes to both - families make their own hotel, campground, whatever, arrangements for my road trips, so choose whatever hotel or campground works best for your family. I'll try to get a group block of rooms on the rim for us. I'll provide more information and suggestions to registered families. I have a baby, toddler, preschooler - do they count in the price? Children ages 4 and younger are free, but they won't be able to attend the educational programs. A parent, grandparent , etc., will need to stay behind with them while the older children attend with the other parent or adult. I have a 4-year-old (or younger) and older children, and no other adult will be going with us. Can we attend the educational programs together? Children ages 4 and younger can't attend the educational programs, and older students must have an adult with them during programs. I recommend recruiting a grandparent, uncle, aunt, adult friend, etc., to go with you. You can alternate doing the programs with your older child(ren) while the other adult watches the younger child(ren). We're flying in. What airports do you recommend? Phoenix (PHX) is the closest major airport to the South Rim (231 miles), and Las Vegas (LAS) is the next (274 miles). Flagstaff (FLG) is the closest small airport (81 miles), but may be more expensive. Research all of them to see what the best option is for your family. Will I need a car for this trip? You can fly into the area (see above) and hire a shuttle to the Grand Canyon, then use the Canyon's shuttle service to get around. Renting a car would likely be less expensive and more convenient, though. I'll explain the different alternatives to registered families. Can you give me an estimate for hotel, campground, transportation, flights, etc.? I can't give you an estimate since each family has different needs, prefer different types of accommodations, and will be traveling from different states. Research the different options available and see what best meets your needs. To reduce the cost of your trip, use hotel points, credit card rewards points for flights or rental cars, etc. Have any other questions? Please reply in this thread and I'll answer and add it to the list!
  4. Dianna

    Grand Canyon Road Trip

    until
    Join us in June 2020 for our road trip to the Grand Canyon! We’ll participate in private educational programs and explore the skies at the canyon’s week-long Star Party! Learn more: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/grand-canyon-road-trip/
  5. Dianna

    Rhine River Cruise

    until
    Join us on our 7-night Rhine River Cruise, beginning with the colorful canals of Amsterdam, winding through Germany and France, and ending in majestic Switzerland! Learn more: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/rhine-river-cruise/
  6. Join us on our 7-night Rhine River Cruise, beginning with the colorful canals of Amsterdam, winding through Germany and France, and ending in majestic Switzerland! Find out more here: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/rhine-river-cruise/
  7. Here is the trip description and registration link: https://www.travelinghomeschoolers.com/rhine-river-cruise/ Is the trip still open? What cabins are left? We’re currently at our max, but I'll put your registration on our waiting list and will let you know if spots come available. Please be prepared to pay in full. Regretfully, I can’t hold spots past the payment due date or offer other payment plans. NOTE: I can’t tell you how long your wait might be. Not all families on waiting lists will follow through if offered spots, so even if there are 10 (or 100) families ahead of you, you may actually be the next family on the list. Is the price quoted per person? It's per cabin, and per person. Read the description under each cabin type for pricing. Wow! That's a lot of money to send to someone I don't know. And no refunds! Can you provide references? You're right to hesitate before sending money to anyone you don't know, especially someone you "met" on the internet. I could provide references from families who've traveled with me since I began doing these trips in 2006, but the references could be faked. Instead, read my About page to find out more about our organization, then do a search of “Carolina Homeschooler trips" and "Traveling Homeschooler trips." If I’ve cheated anyone, it’ll be all over the internet. My “Traveling Homeschoolers” name is newer, created in 2016 to differentiate between my local member trips, and trips that are open to everyone, so search both names. You can also get a sense of who we are if you follow/read my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/travelinghomeschoolers/ Please don’t register for any of my trips or send me money until you trust me. It's just too stressful! Do you think you'll fill the ship and be able to confirm the trip? We were able to with our first river cruise on the Danube. We had such an amazing experience on that trip that most of those families said they plan to go on the next cruise, too. If their plans haven't changed, I think there's a very good chance we'll fill the ship and be able to confirm by summer of 2019. Update 7/21/18: The ship is full, but we're accepting waitlist registrations. So... did you enjoy your Danube River Cruise? Yes. Absolutely yes. It was amazing in all respects. Most (maybe all) of us were ready to write the check for the next one before we left the ship. The adults loved it and the children (even the teens) loved it. I've never been on a river cruise before. Can you give me an idea of the ship, activities, etc.? The ship may change (since it's 2 years out), but I think most river cruise ships are typical - the top deck is open for viewing and hanging out in the sun. The remaining decks are half cabins, half social areas (lounge, seating areas, restaurants, etc.). The cabins are 170 sq ft, and have French balconies, with two twins or 1 queen (they hook the twins together to make the queen). My website explains what meals, amenities, etc., are included in the price (almost everything). The focus of river cruises is on the places we'll be visiting, not the ship (the opposite of ocean cruises), so there aren't a lot of planned ship activities during the day (because we're out touring). In the evenings, we enjoy socializing, playing games, getting to know each other, etc., and they often bring local entertainment (musicians, etc.) on board. There’s plenty to do, but also time for parents and children to socialize and bond. And they did plenty of that on our Danube cruise - it was wonderful! How big are the cabins and beds? Most of the cabins are 170 square feet. The two single cabins are smaller, and the suites are bigger. Check the cabin descriptions at my website for more information about each. The beds are smaller than US twins and queens. I had no complaints last time about the size of the beds, but if you have 3 in your party (with one age 10 or younger), really think about whether you want to share two twins or one queen among 3 people. Does your website list everything we're doing? Cruise itineraries for 2020 haven't been finalized yet and is subject to change. We usually have a choice of tours each day, too, so you'll have a lot of choices - tours, walks, hikes, bike rides, etc. When will you post information about the Amsterdam and Switzerland extensions? Information about both is now available at my website. I have young children. Can we all share one room? You can have 3 in a cabin as long as one person is an adult (age 18 and up) and one is age 10 or under as of March 19, 2020 (age verification will be required). However, all three must use existing bedding (two twins or one queen that are smaller than US twins/queens). They can't add bedding (due to size of the cabins and safety issues). This trip is recommended for ages 8 and up. Do they have cabins for families of 4, 5, 6...? Cabins hold 2 people, or 3 as long as one person is an adult (age 18 and up) and one is age 10 or under as of March 19, 2020 (age verification will be required). Larger families will need more than one cabin. I have a baby, toddler, preschooler - do they count in the price? This trip is recommended for ages 8 and up, but everyone, regardless of age, counts in the price. Should people with mobility issues go on this trip. We'll have "gentle walker" versions of most tours to accommodate travelers with mobility issues. Describe your issues in the "special needs" section of the registration form and I'll make sure we can accommodate your issues before I confirm your spots and you mail your payment. What cities will we fly to/out of? Our cruise begins in Amsterdam, and ends in Basel, Switzerland. If you're doing the optional post-trip extension in Switzerland, we'll end in Zurich. What payment methods do you accept? Checks (personal and BillPay through your bank - not PopMoney), and transfers through Zelle (if your bank offers that service). I don't accept credit card payments for this trip. Have any other questions? Please reply in this thread and I'll answer and add it to the list!
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