Our 37th 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:

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

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

This teen tour was an experience I will never forget. You meet a lot of new people that are really nice and so is your staff. I would definitely do another Westcoast Connection teen tour next summer and I would strongly suggest going without knowing anyone.
Olivia Goldberg, Parkland, Florida

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

Izzy did not know anyone in her group and she came home having made the friendships of a lifetime. She had the best summer she has ever had, experienced new places and learned much about herself and others. Loved every minute and did not want to leave!
Lisa & Todd Eisenberg, Boca Raton, Florida

Daniel hasn’t stopped talking about his friends and everything he did. We are so thrilled that he decided to take a chance and do this on his own. The staff was wonderful. When our daughter is ready to move past her camp, we hope she will enjoy the same experience with Westcoast Connection.
Lisa & Neil Shirvan, Haworth, New Jersey

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

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. 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 shebang!
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

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 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

I came on this teen tour knowing nobody but left feeling like these boys and girls were my family. Best three weeks of my life!!! I’ll never forget this amazing experience.
Cosette Futoran, Bayside, New York

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

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

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

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

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

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

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