Why does it cost more than some other school trips?
We get this question a lot. The answer is multi-faceted: we employ more preparation and safety measures than most student travel companies. We include the best travel insurance; and we hire the best staff and leaders to run our programs and lead your child on their trip overseas. In a nutshell, we’re the best. Going overseas with Unearthed costs slightly more but also ensures a safer, more meaningful and enjoyable experience than any run-of-the-mill trip you may come across.
Where does my money go?
15% of costs go to preparation.
The key to your child’s safety is preparation. We research everything—destination, trek, project, community needs and exploration activities so everything runs smoothly. And host information, training and safety workshops before departure to ensure students, teachers and parents are confident and prepared on departure.
15% of costs go to safety measures.
When it’s go time, we make sure your child is covered and contactable at all times. This is a huge priority for us. Though it costs a little more, we employ the very best insurance policies and risk management team, in the unlikely circumstance something should go wrong. On top of that, our Leaders offer a level of supervision and security unlike any other program out there; with comprehensive medical kits and live GPS tracking. Plus a support center that’s staffed 24/7. We never sleep, so you can.
70% of costs go to travel costs.
These are meals, accommodation, flights, taxes, water, transport, on-site equipment, project materials and coordination, excursions and sightseeing and additional costs like entrance fees to National Parks when trekking. Our costs cover everything you need overseas, except visas and vaccinations.
What are the specific trip costs?
Specifics costs depend on your program, and can include:
- Round-trip international flights
- Local transport
- Meals and water
- Trekking fees (if applicable)
- Local English speaking tour guides
- Medical kits
- 24/7 Support
- Experienced Unearthed Program Leaders
- Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
- iPad GPS and monitoring of teams
I’m still concerned about cost…
We offer a few different ways to help students fund their trip. From flexible payment plans to grants and scholarships for your child, there are many options for students to fund their trip of a lifetime.
For more information about fundraising contact your program operation manager.
Can’t they just go on a beach holiday like most kids?
Well yes, they could, but if you're here, it’s safe to say your child isn’t “most kids.” And a beach holiday won’t be nearly as meaningful or valuable to them as an Unearthed experience, the latter of which develops the following within the students who travel with us:
Humility. Understanding. We started Unearthed because we believe travel in your early years makes you a better citizen of the world. Why? As Mark Twain once wrote, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Imagine how different the world would be if everyone traveled, starting with your child.
Perspective. Fearlessness. Independence. Reed Hastings (founder of Netflix) was once asked how he was able to push past the fear of risking everything to build his ground-breaking startup. He reflected on his time abroad with the Peace Corps, saying “once you’ve hitchhiked across Africa with ten bucks in your pocket, starting a business doesn’t seem too intimidating.” We couldn’t have said it better.
Confidence. Purpose. Perseverance. This trip gives you time to step away from life and look at it in new ways, to experience how people do things differently—often with less—and to learn from new cultures and customs. What your child takes away from those moments stays with them forever. Steve Jobs once said of his time in India, “I didn’t have a dorm room so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, returned coke bottles to buy food and walked across town every Sunday to get one good weekly meal at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.”
PREP & PLANNING
I’m not sure if my son/daughter is ready for a trip like this.
We prepare students extensively for their time overseas, long before departure. Our preparation and planning takes between 6-12 months depending on the program. Students don’t need any language skills or previous travel experience, and by the time they return they will be little world traveling experts.
Do I need insurance for this trip?
No. All teams are covered by our comprehensive travel and medical insurance policy. Whether it’s an injury or illness prior to departure, injury or illness while overseas, emergency evacuation overseas or needing to diverting to a new destination or delay a trip before your child goes, our insurance has your most precious possession covered.
What happens if my child can’t to travel to a destination due to civil unrest?
In the unlikely event there is a situation overseas that presents an unacceptable level of risk and affects a team’s ability to travel safely to their, or in their designated country, Unearthed can perform a destination diversion or delay the trip to an alternative time.
For updates on travel advice in our program destinations parents can refer to the US Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affaris travel advisories website.
What happens if my child gets sick or injured on the trip?
We’ve got everything we need to get them feeling 100%. Every child who comes on our trips is treated with the same levels of protection and support as if they were our very own. Students, and families alike, are in the best hands possible with Unearthed. And it’s all covered under the travel insurance you receive when signing up to the trip.
Our comprehensive insurance gives our travelers access to a worldwide network of medical facilities, as well as 24-hour contact with medical consultants. In the unlikely event of an injury or major illness occurring while overseas, even in remote locations, your child is covered by world-class emergency evacuation procedures, no matter where they are.
I don’t want my child to go overseas with someone we don’t know
Likely, this is the first time they will go abroad without you beside them, so we understand the hesitation. That’s why we send all teams (students and teachers) with a highly-trained Unearthed Leader. These people are experts in their field, screened, and chosen via competitive and comprehensive selection initiatives nationwide.
We do not use “drop-in tour guides” like other travel companies, our Leaders form a central part of the adult supervisory team. Additionally, all leaders are a minimum of 25 years of age, trained in remote wilderness first aid, and participate in annual risk management workshops for our programs.
Who’s looking after the safety of the group and my child while they are away?
We never sleep, so you can. During each trip we have in-field support, plus a 24/7 operated incident management team in case we are needed to assist with any situations.
Our in-field support consists of a long-standing network of overseas partners who have many years experience working on our programs. They deliver invaluable local knowledge, professional support and tried and tested assistance for our travelers, should they need it.
We also provide 24/7 team monitoring. Your child’s location is tracked at all times using GPS devices carried by our Leaders. And operations and support teams are in regular contact with each team throughout the trip, further assisted by a 24-hour backup crew in our support center. We really mean it when we say we don’t sleep.
I don’t want my child traveling in extreme heat or cold.
We don’t either. Your child will not be expected to travel in conditions that are too physically challenging for them. We have risk assessments designed around acceptable conditions that students can work in and make sure to adhere to these while overseas.
I’m concerned about my child traveling in dangerous weather.
Some of our teams do participate in treks in mountainous areas that can be affected by snow at certain times of year. Unearthed monitors weather reports and maintains regular contact with local partners leading up to the trip. Risk assessments dictate an acceptable level of snow cover for a team to continue a trek and contingency plans are in place if there is too much snow coverage that poses a risk to the team. Alternative routes can be offered and predetermined evacuation points are utilized if the snow level changes dramatically during a trek.
What happens if my child and their team need to exit the country urgently?
Should your child’s team need emergency assistance due to civil unrest or natural disaster, our insurance will arrange for prompt emergency evacuation at no cost to the traveler.