Who leads your travel programs?
Bon Voyage always has at least one of our teachers who speaks the language of the country accompany our participants. Our European partners also provide staff that run the program in country. The Bon Voyage staff member who travels with our participants is the point of contact between the participants and the European partners.
Can we book our own flights?
No. Bon Voyage has a contract with Delta Airlines and we book all of our flights through Delta. Booking flights through our preferred airline gets us the best airfare possible for you. In addition, we have to coordinate flights coming from different parts of the United States and Canada to arrive at the same time at the destination.
Can we use airline miles on our flights?
No. Bon Voyage has a contracted rate with Delta. This rate allows us to make reservations without paying the airline up front. Because of this, we cannot use miles to book these flights. You can, however, earn miles.
How do you handle flights when participants come from different parts of the United States and Canada?
We have a “hub” in each area of the country. From those areas we create group flights. For example, we will get you a connecting flight to the hub and you will join the group flight. We do this to ensure that all of our participants arrive in Europe to join the whole group at the same time.
Do you provide ground transportation from the airport to the accommodations?
Yes, all transportation in country is included in the price of the program.
Is knowledge of the language required to participate?
No! That is the beauty of our program! You don’t need to know any of the language in order to participate because language classes are included as part of the program in country! In addition, if you already have been studying the language, you will be placed according to proficiency level!
I am sending my son or daughter who is a minor- will there be a chaperone?
Yes. We provide a chaperone to fly from each hub to Europe and then back to the hub. We take student safety very seriously and make sure that there is adequate supervision from the international flights through the rest of the in country program.
Typically, for the connecting flights in the United States, parents can accompany minors to the gate, and our chaperon will meet them on the other side when they arrive at the hub. We can provide a chaperone to fly with your student to the hub for an extra charge. Students 13 and older are allowed to wait at the hub on the return without a chaperone. We can provide a chaperone to wait with your child at their connecting flight once arriving at the hub for an extra charge.
Why has there been an increase in my monthly payment?
Because we work with European vendors a large portion of the program cost is in Euros. We watch the exchange rate very closely and try to make payments to our European partners when the exchange rate is low. The exchange rate changes on a daily basis, therefore the cost of the program in Euros will never change, but the cost in dollars could potentially change depending on the exchange rate. In addition to the exchange rate, we have currency conversion fees that we must pay to our vendors. Paying your balance in full early will guarantee you the best rate and you will never pay more when you pay in full.
Do those who pay in full at the time of booking get any sort of discount?
Yes, those who choose to pay their full balance in full will receive a 10% discount.
Why is the cost of the program after December 1st so much higher than before December 1st?
The closer we get to our travel dates, the more costly the airfare. In addition, the exchange rates tend to skyrocket around the first of the year. We try to pay our partners in full before January 1st. In addition, adding on participants after the first of the year is more costly for both Bon Voyage and our European partners due to adjustments that have to be made to our reservations.
Is there a discount for families traveling together?
Not at this time because our partners cannot accommodate this.
Is there a minimum amount of travelers needed? What about a maximum?
Yes, for most of our programs there is a minimum of 10. We can sometimes travel with less depending on the program, however our travel programs are very popular and tend to fill quickly. We do not accept more than 15 participants (we will accept more if participants are part of a family).
When does registration open? When does it close?
Registration is open in April of the previous year. For example, our registration opened in April 2018 for our programs in summer 2019. Our program registration remains open until March 31st or until all spots are filled, whichever comes first.
Do your travel programs only take place in the summer?
For now, yes. We start our programs in June and they go through the end of August. We hope to offer some programs in the early spring sometime in the future.
How does Bon Voyage prepare for the travel programs each year?
Our director, Elizabeth Porter, does a preview of each program in country before it is offered in our school in order to verify that the program is high quality and something that fits with the Bon Voyage cultural and linguistic standards.
In addition, our director, along with the teacher who will be leading the trip travel to the country where the program takes place to meet with the European partners and customize the experience for each group. These meetings usually take place in the early spring of each year. We pride ourselves on creating a program that fits the needs and expectations of our current group.
Are we required to do the preparation classes before the trip?
Yes. These classes are important for preparing yourself and your family for the cultural and linguistic immersion you are about to experience. These classes are carefully prepared by our teacher leaders and ensure that your experience is culturally and linguistically rich. These classes are self study with monthly live, online check ins with your teacher leader. These classes are important and are required for participation in the program. Our French program is for high school credit, so students will not get their credit if they do not complete the classes.