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:

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

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

Westcoast Connection created a comfortable, warm and welcoming environment with everybody, regardless of whether you knew people.
Daisy Elliot, Brookline, Massachusetts

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. He. It was a positive experience on all levels.
Wendy & Davis Weiss, Singapore

Coming into this program alone, I did not know anyone who was going to be on the trip. You made it easy for me to make friends with ice breakers, random roommates for the first couple of nights, and random seating in the vans.
Courtney Shore, Syosset, New York

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

I came into the trip not knowing anyone and left with many friends. The staff was always cooperative and understanding. I enjoyed all the community service and truly learned the meaning of giving back. I learned to open my eyes to how other people live and in that process. I gained a new perspective on life. Westcoast Connection did a good job of making sure we covered most parts of Costa Rica and there was a great balance between community service and adventure.
Ivy Meyers, New York, New York

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 shabang!!
Logan Goldberg , Shaker Heights, Ohio

I did not know anyone or anything about this trip prior and I will miss everyone and everything about it. The community service projects were all absolutely amazing and really opened my eyes to the world around me.
Lauryn Fanok, Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania

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 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

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, Short Hills, New Jersey

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

This trip was the best summer I’ve ever had. I came alone and left with so many amazing new friends. The staff is amazing, they couldn’t have been better. The activities were once in a lifetime moments. I loved it!
Michael Sacks, West Bloomfield, Michigan

It was the best weeks of my summer! I was excited that I made really good friends after coming on the trip alone!
Lilly Johnson, Cary, North Carolina

Despite knowing no one on the trip, Ricky ended up really growing and said “now I am actually looking forward to college”.  He saw that he could start out not knowing a soul and end up liking everyone and feeling liked, as well as end up with yet another new group of friends. What else can a parent ask for? This was without question a valuable and wonderful life experience.
Bonnie & Richard Stein, New York, New York

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 was the best summer of my life. I came by myself but once I met everyone, we became great friends in one day.
Kyle Goodman, Pepper Pike, Ohio

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

The thing we were most nervous about sending Shauna was that she did not know one person. However, the staff is just outstanding in getting the kids to interact with each other. The icebreakers, seating and sleeping arrangements, and the day-to-day activities, all made it seamless for her to have tons of friends on the very first day. This is our third child we’ve sent on Westcoast Connection and you guys are batting 1000. You’ve knocked this one right out of the park just like the other two.
Evie & Scott Miller, Nepean, Ontario

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

Riley went alone and never once felt alone or unsafe. She adored the kids she met. Learned wonderful life lessons & made new friends. Staff did an excellent job.
Yolande & Bob Bel Bruno, New Canaan, Connecticut

I had reservations about going on this trip alone, not knowing anyone but now after doing it I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.  I feel like I’ve known some of these people for my entire life, we all got along great and are like a giant family.  I made friends that I’ll have for years.
Evan Ginsburg, Slingerlands, 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 was the best experience of Hailey’s life. She loved all that she saw and did while traveling. Your staff helped to make her experience a complete success; they were nothing short of amazing. They helped all the kids traveling alone and those traveling with people interact and get to know each other right from the start. She made friendships that will last a lifetime. Westcoast Connection is such a well-run program from beginning to end.
Gwen Crystal, Old Tappan, New Jersey

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

Coming alone was an amazing experience and chance to learn more about myself and make lots of new friends! I loved the European Discovery!
Madison Ross-Levy, Frisco, Texas

Andrew went on this trip without any friends from home or camp. He came home with so many new close friends. Our young Renaissance man loved cooking school in Florence, plunging into the lake in Annecy, and swimming in the green grotto in Capri. As a history buff, he appreciated the tours and absorbed the information so much that he spent hours giving us details today! What a wonderful (yet different) experience for each of our children!! Thank you!!
Lauren & Jeff Carton, West Harrison, New York

I came alone hesitantly. By the end of the trip I made a little family and was so sad to leave. The staff really took the time to get to know us all and made sure we always had a smile on our faces. The sights we saw were amazing and I was so happy I came on this trp. It was pretty life-changing!
Lauren Anders, Germantown, Maryland

I had the summer of a lifetime. I came not knowing anyone but left with so many new friends from three different countries. Costa Rica community service was eye opening, life changing, and extremely fun. I would recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys making a difference and having fun!
Jaime Goldman, Sharon, Massachusetts

Coming independently, I was a little nervous but I made friends from all over the USA, Canada and England the moment I got to the airport. The trip, staff and other members were really awesome!
William Ratner, Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey

My staff was awesome! The cities were amazing and everything ran extremely smoothly. I felt like I could be anybody I wanted to be and I would be accepted into the Westcoast Connection family for whatever person I chose to be. Even though I embarked on this trip individually, I ended as part of a family.
Samantha Stein, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Going without knowing anyone, I was thrilled at how much fun Jack had. I could tell by looking at the pictures, his brief and almost non-existent texts home that it was going well. He loved it and made great friends.
Melissa & Marc Solomon, Alpharetta, Georgia

Megan has a blast on her trip. At the age of 14, she was determined to go on a Westcoast Connection trip just like her two older brothers. She looks forward to summer camp every year. This summer, she decided to go on the US Explorer, not knowing anyone. She made great friends from all over the states and plans on visiting them soon. She loved every day of the trip. The staff and Director were all excellent. Thanks for another great summer experience! Megan plans on going on another trip in the future.
Carolyn & Lawrence Sager, Richmond Hill, Ontario 

This summer was truly the most rewarding, enjoyable summer I have ever had and I am truly grateful. I learned it is better to know no one going in and come out knowing everyone. I will remember it forever.
Noah Gassman, Albertson, New York