Our 36th Summer Providing Outstanding Programs for Teens

Traveling Independently

Whether to travel independently or with a friend is a common question. There are advantages to both choices. Traveling on your own may seem intimidating but we’re experts in breaking the ice and helping you form new friendships that will last long after your trip is over. You’ll meet teens from many new places, also motivated to make new friends. Our leaders create a warm, welcoming environment to help you feel right at home.

Here’s a sample of what past independent travelers had to say about their experience with us:

Lainey went by herself and came home with amazing friendships, stories and experiences. We couldn’t be happier with Westcoast Connection and the information you gave us before and during the trip. We were really impressed with WCC’s experience and knowledge. Lainey and her WCC friends are already planning which trip they want to take next summer.
Lisa & Brad Goldoor, Dresher, Pennsylvania

The program in general is an amazing experience! Gabriela went alone not knowing anyone and she made many friends and had the best time! She said the staff was amazing and all the kids were really nice. I can definitely see a maturity growth in her. Ryan had the most amazing trip! He said Costa and all the counselors were great and he met many nice kids. Thanks for everything!!
Fatin & Todd Hawley, West Bloomfield, Michigan

Edye absolutely loved all aspects of the trip. She went alone and the staff was very good from the beginning about forming a cohesive group. She made friends with people from all over the country. The staff was great and the community service was a very important part of her entire experience.
Randye Zerman & Mark Rosing, New Rochelle, New York

I came on this trip not knowing anyone and I left with lifelong friendships. I had an amazing time. I loved traveling this summer and Westcoast did a great job helping everyone meet each other and bond.
Jordan Abramson, Toronto, Ontario

California and the Canyons was a trip that I will remember forever. I was very nervous going into this trip because I came by myself and I didn’t know what to expect, but all the counselors were so sweet and made me feel so comfortable all the time. We did an insane amount of fun activities that I will never forget. I feel so much more independent and confident after going on this trip. I faced my fears by riding a rollercoaster, made so many new friends, and explored the West Coast in many different ways. This trip was definitely unforgettable!
Sara Kaplan, Westfield, New Jersey

WCC is an amazing way to travel, make new friends, and experience things that you would never ordinarily do. One experience that surprised me was how good starting out camping was. No one knew each other and camping brought everyone close really fast.
Jenna Harris, Parkland, Florida

Emilia had an amazing summer. She went on this program knowing no one and left with great friends and great memories & experiences. She bonded very quickly with a few girls and wrote us after 2 days stating she had already made great friends. Every time we heard from her, she would say, “I am having so much fun”. It seemed that every day was topping the next. She loved all the places visited, in particular the fact that she got to see so much of the West Coast of the U.S. and gorgeous sites in Canada. The fact that it was a great group of kids who got along very well made the trip really special. Emilia is already talking about doing a trip next summer with some of her new friends. We are so excited that she had this experience and are so glad that we chose Westcoast Connection.
Jane & Mark Romeo, New York, New York

This was the best summer of my life, and I’m glad I decided to try it even though I knew I would be independent. The staff were always kind and professional, and did everything to ensure you had a great time.
David Serlin, Northbrook, Illinois

We were concerned about Rebecca traveling alone but couldn’t have been happier about the friendships she made and how comfortable she felt from day one.
Paula & Chad Skier, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

I was very nervous to come on this trip, I came on not knowing anyone, however throughout the trip I have created bonds that will last a lifetime, and I’m so happy I took the risk and joined the Westcoast family!!
Samara Wolk, Richmond Hill, Ontario

On the backpacking program, I especially liked the idea the group was not travelling around on a bus. I believe Mack had a much more interactive experience by traveling this way. Mack went on this trip knowing no one. He made what I believe will remain some of his closest friends! He absolutely LOVED everything!!!! The people he met and the places he visited. BIG BIG BIG thumbs up!!!
Gerri & Rick Harris, Roslyn, New York

Daniel had a great time. He told me that he made great friends, had an easy time meeting the kids – even coming solo, and liked the activities.
Rebecca Aqua & Seth Rosen, Atlanta, Georgia

This trip was by far the best experience of my life. I had sooo much fun, and although I came alone I immediately felt comfortable with the group and staff leaders. I learned to be more independent, and that it’s good to step out of your comfort zone. I would 10/10 recommend this trip to friends.
Lucy Greene, New York, New York

I came here more nervous than ever to travel from one part of the world to the other, and meeting people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. I ended up learning a lot, benefitting so much from my experiences, and expanding my point of view. Thank you Westcoast!
Khalid Al-Murshed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

All the kids were welcoming and I made a lot of new friends, even though I didn’t come with any. I had an amazing time doing community service and fun activities.
Kyle Harris, Briarcliff, New York

I didn’t know anyone going on to the trip but it was so easy to meet new people!
Ryan Gitlin, Toronto, Ontario

Meryl went on the trip by herself and made absolutely amazing friends.
Jonna & Scott Berman, Westfield, New Jersey

I came into this being very nervous about some of the social aspects as well as the community service but everything about this experience was so much better than I could have ever imagined. I’m so happy that WCC gave me the chance to have the time of my life surrounded by new friends, amazing staff, and new experiences. I never knew community service could be this much fun!! I would definitely encourage a friend to try this program and would definitely say to go alone. It really gives you the chance to grow as a person.
Zoe Adler, Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Quebec

This trip was amazing! I was nervous at first about traveling to a new place with people I didn’t know, but everyone was so nice and fun to get to know. I made so many new friendships and memories that will last forever! The staff was amazing. They were so nice and fun, and always looked out for us. The activities and service were so fun. The places we traveled to were beautiful. I learned so much from the community service, and it really opened my eyes to the world. I am so glad to have met and helped the people here. This trip was truly an experience I will never forget, and I am so grateful to have gone!
Lucy Doft, New York, New York

Jackson loved the trip. He did not know a single person. Not only did he have to meet new people, he got to experience a variety of new things. I appreciated your detailed itinerary. I loved the collection of photos. This was his first time away from home for this period of time. It was a great learning experience for us all. Thank you for making it a fun and safe trip.
Elizabeth & Greg Scolnick, Louisville, Colorado

This trip changed my life. I came by myself scared that I wouldn’t make any friends but ended up making some of the best friends in my life. I made so many more friends and stronger connections with people than expected. Even the staff was easy to connect to.
Amber Zeitz, Voorhees, New Jersey

Walking into the plane I had one concern: would I make friends? I have never met people as genuinely kind as some of the ones on this trip. I’ve never met people so okay with themselves, that they don’t care what other people think. Meeting these incredible young adults has not only opened my eyes to the differences we all have, but has given me the confidence to be myself. It is the people that made this trip so amazing, and I only wish all of my friends at home had the chance to meet people as wonderful as the ones I’ve met on this trip.
Carly Myers, Los Angeles, California

This trip changed my life. I came alone, and after day one I had made a ton of new friends. Not only did I make great friends, but this experience has sparked a desire in me to travel the world and be more adventurous.
Eli Graff, Miami, Florida

My experience with Westcoast Connection was the best summer I’ve ever had! I learned that making friends for life isn’t as hard as you would think going into this alone. The friendships I’ve made will last and I’m so thankful for that.
Josh Cohen, Woodbury, New York

I came into this trip knowing nobody and am leaving Thailand with new friends and relationships that I will cherish forever and a summer I will never forget. My Director Chris was always very accommodating and made sure everybody got everything they needed. As well being funny and enjoyable to being around he cared about everybody on the trip. It was the most fun summer I have ever had and wouldn’t change it for anything!
Rachel Platt, Allendale, New Jersey

This was by far Lucas’s best experience! He loved all the amazing sites and activities, he respected and liked each group leader, and he made new friends in his co-trippers. I was nervous sending him without a buddy, but the leaders did a great job of getting everyone integrated. I will definitely use Westcoast Connection again!
Monique & Charles Jalenak, Memphis, Tennessee

I was worried at first about going alone, but it only took a day or two to get comfortable with everyone else. The staff were amazing, and were the best I’ve had on Westcoast. The locations were great. Hiking the glacier was a crazy experience, and I would definitely do it again.
Jesse Schmalholz, Armonk, New York

On Westcoast, it’s super easy to make friends even if you’re not coming with anyone! Everyone is open and wants to talk and be friendly. It’s a great experience and I urge everyone to try it at least once.
Ian Spector, River Vale, New Jersey

This program is great, no matter if you go with your friends or by yourself, you’re sure to make new friends and have an amazing time. On this trip I learned the ability to reach out and put myself out there and everyone was nothing other than kind, I had an amazing Westcoast trip and would come back every year if I could.
Sydney Sarotte, Beverly Hills, Michigan

I was nervous coming on this trip by myself and the first night I bonded with new friends. This trip was life changing and is something I will remember for the rest of my life and I will never forget the friends and memories I made.
Harrison Ball, New York, New York

Evan came alone and he made friends quickly and was so happy! I was so impressed by how quickly and seamlessly this all happened!
Sharon Singer & Teddy Smith, Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec

Brianna had an amazing summer. She went not knowing anyone and came home with what she describes as a new family. Not only did she make great friends but she experienced things she wouldn’t of besides this.
Dawn & Scott Singer, Little Neck, New York

Andrew had a great time. He made great friends from all over the USA. He went without knowing anyone and had clearly made friends by the first evening. The staff were wonderful the morning everyone met at the airport. They were enthusiastic, friendly, excited… right away they put Andrew at ease. Andrew loved the activities such as whitewater rafting, surfing, hiking the canyons and especially the Pink Jeep Tour. The California & the Canyons is a superb itinerary.
Barbara & Jeffrey Nimerofsky, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

When I came on this trip I was nervous about meeting new people, but now I have really good friends and I’m sad that it is already over.
Caitlin McCurry, Solon, Ohio

Tess chose to go alone and the staff did a great job of making her comfortable and engaging the kids in appropriate team building activities. Prior to the trip, the staff assured me that many kids travel alone and that made me feel much more comfortable.
Rita & George Bartman, Mahopac, New York

Wonderful experience. Everything we were told ahead of time about the benefits of AJ traveling on his own without friends was accurate. He met so many new people and developed friendships that he likely would not have done had he been traveling with established friend groups. We loved the independence of traveling and having some time alone while still under proper supervision. AJ developed close bonds with the other kids as well as the staff.
Lianne & Stephen Goldsmith, Toronto, Ontario

I came on this trip alone and met a lot of people that I will be friends with for a long time. I saw many new places across North America, with many new friends, while gaining valuable life lessons, throughout the program!
Michael Mariam, Rye Brook, New York

When coming into the trip, I was nervous, but once I met everyone, I felt so welcomed. I knew this was going to be an amazing experience as I worked with my fellow trip members to improve a community in need.
Jacob Grebber, Needham, Massachusetts

Julia gained a tremendous amount of independence from this trip. She went not knowing anyone, made great friends and did amazing things!!
Alyse & Tony Wanger, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Isabelle really enjoyed her experience. She met some really nice kids that she stays in touch with and Westcoast Connection did a great job of getting the kids to befriend each other. This was important to us since Isabelle went alone.
Ella & Doron Ilan, Pleasantville, New York

Alex is still talking about how incredible the trip was. He loved Noah, the Director, and all of the counselors. I sent Alex on the trip not knowing anyone and he bonded with the kids immediately. He loved everything. It was an incredible experience and we are so happy he had the BEST time.
Tammi & Steve Shnider, Wellington, Florida

Amanda loved the experience and staff. I am pleased with the degree of independence for the participants combined with the supervision provided. She has only great things to say about the people and the trip in general. Getting pictures is great as well! Kids going alone felt comfortable and friendships were encouraged.
Debra Israel, Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec

I came alone and met way more friends than I thought I was going to. WCC did a great job keeping us entertained and we always had a fun time.
Justin Steinberg, New City, New York

Adam knew no one going on this trip and it turned out to be the best way to travel. He had a great summer. We were thrilled with his experience and excitement. Thanks again.
Sandy & Paul Brodsky, Parkland, Florida

This was Sydney’s second Westcoast Connection trip and it was amazing. It was a great group of kids and a fantastic trip. A lot of the kids were from many different places and joined the trip on their own, which made it easy and welcoming for other newcomers. Sydney had a fabulous time and was sad to leave her new friends. She will definitely keep in touch with the kids from the trip. We only have positive feedback on a well-executed trip which was filled with great memories that will last a lifetime.
Sandy Leider & Alan Grad, Toronto, Ontario

Westcoast Connection did a great job of making kids feel comfortable and inclusive if they didn’t know anyone on the trip. It was great how active Jessica and the kids were, they did many exciting things that challenged them.
Laurie Wolk & Stephen Rosenblatt, Larchmont, New York

Sam loved the trip. He felt comfortable from the first day despite not knowing anyone. He made a great group of friends with whom he has kept in touch and plans to see throughout the year.
Jennifer & William Theriault, Weston, Connecticut

This was the best month of my life. I made so many friends and got to experience so much. The staff always had my best interest. I have so many memories from this trip that I will never forget. I came alone and Westcoast Connection helped me to feel at home with the group with excellent staff that was always supportive and fun activities to bring us together.
Gillian Sarrett, Madison, New Jersey

Jake went on the trip not knowing anyone and his experience was exactly what we had hoped for. It was a positive experience on all levels.
Wendy & Davis Weiss, Singapore

This was the best trip of my entire life. It would not have been the same without the amazing staff. I came alone, yet I left with so many new friends. I wouldn’t trade this summer for the world.
Samantha Fernie, Dorval, Quebec

Sydney traveled alone and made new friends who she will definitely be in contact with. She said she picked the perfect tour and the kids were down to earth.
Stephanie & Michael Popkin, Boca Raton, Florida

We cannot say enough wonderful things about Westcoast Connection. From our first inquiry, to the actual trip, the level of professionalism was excellent. Every aspect of the trip was well coordinated and thought through. Emma really enjoyed seeing the different sites and equally enjoyed the service they did. She went on this trip alone and the staff all understood how to team build and how to create community. The community building began the moment they reached their first destination, they really had it under control. Emma made wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime! She also loved the staff and this was a feeling held by all of the kids. We couldn’t be more thrilled!
Melissa & Bruce Patz, Needham, Massachusetts

This trip was amazing and I had a lot of fun! Going into this without knowing people is a really great thing to do in order to meet new people. Monica was a really great Director. She was always inclusive and always made sure that we had fun!! Westcoast Connection did everything well!! Very impressed with the whole shebang!!
Logan Goldberg , Shaker Heights, Ohio

When I came on this trip I was nervous about making friends, but by the time I got off the plane I have already made many. And after a few weeks those friends felt like family.
Emma Staller, Jericho, New York

I came by myself and was a little worried about making friends, but within a day I found so many! Our Director Sam was awesome and all the leaders were so sweet and easy to get to know and talk to!
Sienna Boshard, Provo, Utah

I signed up for this trip knowing absolutely nothing about anyone, but I made so many amazing friendships with people from all over the world. It was truly an amazing summer.
Harrison Sturner, Delray Beach, Florida

I came on my teen tour alone and I was very nervous. Within the first day I had such good friends that people thought we came together. The staff was very warm and welcoming to everyone on the trip! Thank you for planning this amazing trip!!!!
Jack Kalvar, Owings Mills, Maryland

This was a wonderful experience for Samantha. She went completely on her own and the staff did an amazing job from the start getting the kids to meet each other and make friends. The supervision was wonderful and Samantha always felt safe and well cared for. Thank you for everything.
Betsy Kushen, Deerfield, Illinois

Andie came home saying this trip was “the best three weeks of her life”. She went on her own and became close friends with virtually every member of her trip. She felt that the staff was phenomenal. The trip was packed with amazing activities. Andie came home healthy and happy (well…actually very sad to be far away from her new best friends). Thank you!
Cathy Spencer & Scott Harris, Hidden Hills, California

Emily had an amazing time on her teen tour. She made fantastic friends and… you were right! Traveling alone was not a problem at all. We were very impressed with every aspect of the trip including the wonderful staff.
Nancy & Scott Levine, Weston, Florida

This trip was such an amazing experience for Emma. She went by herself, and made lots of friends, and she said it was the best summer of her life. She loved the group and the staff. It was such a well-run, outstanding trip, and we will definitely send her on another Westcoast Connection trip in the future.
Gail Tenner, Highland Park, Illinois

I came alone and ended up making some of the most amazing life-long friends. The staff was some of the nicest, funniest, most awesome people I’ve ever met. If I could, I would re-do this summer one million times over again.
Matthew Schafer, East Brunswick, New Jersey

Sabrina had the BEST time on the trip. Everything was A+. She had the time of her life and loved every minute of it. The teens were also a lovely group that really supported each other and got along well. Sabrina now knows that she can go on a trip by herself and have the time of her life.
Danielle & Stu Seltzer, Mamaroneck, New York

This was Jordan’s first experience away from home for a long period of time. He was nervous about going away alone. When he got to the airport, the leader had all of the kids in a circle. By the time he said goodbye to us, he already made friends. He absolutely loved everything about the trip. He loved his friends that he made and he really bonded with all of the staff. His only regret was that he didn’t stay longer. We asked him to rate the trip from 1-10 and he gave it a 10.
Kim & Steve Schoenburg, Encino, California

This summer was the best summer ever! I am so incredibly lucky to have made so many new incredible friends! I am so happy I came alone because now I have friends from all over the country! My Director Lauren was absolutely amazing!
Jacob Wilentz, Weston, Florida

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