This trip enables you to visit many unique local cultures throughout Central Europe. Experience firsthand why Croatia’s Adriatic Coast has been a secret kept by the Europeans, get your adrenalin pumping in Slovenia’s Julian Alps, check out many monuments of Prague and see why Vienna is considered one of the most livable cities in the world. Our small group experience allows us to maintain flexibility and spontaneity and to solicit group input within our well-planned European adventure!
Participants on this trip have the option to fly overseas on our chaperoned group flight that leaves in the evening from the New York area to Prague. Our leaders greet you at the airport and are with you from check-in onward. For the many travelers from outside the New York area, you can choose to join the chaperoned flight and we are happy to assist you with arranging connecting flights at suitable times into New York. You may also choose to meet us in Prague and we will help you coordinate your flight times and greet you upon arrival.
For the 18-day trip return flight from Dubrovnik, our leaders help with check-in and remain in the airport until flights in designated times have departed. They then remain in Europe for the duration of the longer 26-day program and chaperone that group flight home. Depending on the number of students departing after 18 days, one staff may chaperone that flight as well.
Welcome to Prague! Castles, bridges, church spires, and quaint cottages are just a few things that make this city magical. Nestled in the heart of Bohemia, Prague is situated on the banks of the flowing Vltava. Here you will explore historic castles, Old Town, cross the Charles Bridge and watch the swans swim by your boat on Slovansky Island. Experience a moving visit to Theresienstadt the former World War II concentration camp.
This small town will delight you with its picturesque cottages and winding cobbled lanes. Enjoy exploring the 13th century castle in the center of town, and lunch on the banks of the Vltava with your friends.
Once a city of emperors and palaces, Vienna now combines fascinating history with exciting modern culture and energy. Feast on local specialties at the Naschmarkt, tour Schonbrunn Palace a masterpiece of Rococo architecture, and enjoy the view from the top of the giant Ferris Wheel at the Prater, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Cycle with your new friends along the lovely Danube.
Emerald green waters and lush mountain scenery lend this lake (and the island castle in the middle of it) an air of majesty and timelessness. This area is a haven for outdoor adventurers. Go underground and explore the vast expanse of tunnels and open spaces at the Škocjan Caves. Feel the thrill of the Alpine Coaster and enjoy an adrenaline-filled canyoning adventure by the glacial Lake Bohinj. After rock climbing, biking, and canoeing, enjoy chilling lakeside at the Lido Beach Club. From here you will take in the sights of the capital city of Ljubljana and discover the fascinating castle overlooking the city.
Imagine exploring the ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, strolling along the seaside promenade and sampling Mediterranean delights at charming cafes. Conquer the thrilling whitewater rapids as you raft on the Cetina River, and hang out at the lovely and popular Bacvice Beach, home to the exciting local beach game of picigin.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is sure to impress. Whether you are kayaking by sunset along the fortress walls or exploring the winding streets and fortresses that give Dubrovnik its unique character, you will feel at home in this warm and beautiful city.
Ibis Praha Old Town is situated in the heart of Prague just steps away from the old town. Na Porici, the main street, is just a few yards away.Visit Website
The hotel is in a youthful, up-and-coming area, but is also close to the famous Belvedere palace. The hotel features Wi-Fi connectivity and is the perfect place to stay while in the Austrian capital.Visit Website
Hotel Park is located in the very center of Bled by the shore of Lake Bled. You can take advantage of the largest swimming pool complex in Bled with an outdoor and indoor swimming pool linked by a waterslide! The hotel offers breathtaking views of the Bled Castle and island.Visit Website
Hotel Globo is situated close to the very heart of the Dalmatian capital of Split. This small hotel is comfortably decorated with modern natural materials. There is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.Visit Website
Ideally located in the center of Dubrovnik, Hotel Lero is walking distance from the old town. The hotel consists of two connected buildings and offers accommodation on 5 floors. Most of the 155 contemporary designed rooms offer sea views.Visit Website
At Westcoast Connection nothing else comes first. From our extensive trip planning department through our management team and our leaders, it is our single biggest priority! Safety procedures, equipment – we’ve got it covered. All Trip Leaders and Directors are certified in First Aid and CPR. We are extremely proud of our safety record and welcome all questions you may have in this area. Please see more under Safety First.
Once you are on your trip, you will have sensitive leaders that are caring, approachable and always there for you. Your Trip Director and Trip Leaders are people with incredible backgrounds including teachers, guitar players, IRONMAN triathletes, SCUBA divers, volunteers, and so much more.
Every staff member takes part in and must complete our extensive training weekends that review our philosophy and procedures to provide a well-supervised and fun-filled program.
Our Trip Directors, the individuals responsible for overseeing each itinerary, take on the roles of teachers, coaches, camp counselors, mentors, concierges and hosts. They’ve been trained to provide individual attention and create an all-inclusive family atmosphere (our EACH & EVERY philosophy). There’s a definite art to building dynamic groups, and we’ve worked hard to master it! We want you smiling on day one right through to a teary goodbye at your farewell banquet.
Our leaders are non-smokers. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Summer Leaders section.
We can’t say it too many times, this is a really incredible group experience. This small group experience greatly enhances development of a warm and welcoming family environment. A great dynamic starts with our secrets for group bonding. Our bag of tricks goes way beyond traditional ice breakers. Imagine people hunts, Rock, Paper, Scissors championships, Ninja tournaments, flash mobs and so much more. We work hard to get everyone moving beyond first impressions and creating an atmosphere of total acceptance. Our staff hiring and training emphasizes social safety and establishing an inclusive culture. Many of our travelers come as individuals and we have a geographically diverse enrollment. This mix helps eliminate cliques at the outset and establish an open environment that benefits you. We take great care in assembling groups to create an unforgettable social experience.
Your summer of a lifetime starts with us carefully crafting the perfect program. Our team is dedicated year round to creating exciting, meaningful experiences! You have a detailed itinerary, but not one that is so rigid that you lose chances for spontaneity! Our Trip Planning Department pays painstaking attention to detail, sweating the small stuff so that your summer experience is stress free. Our trips are designed with a very logical flow: action, adventure and excitement balanced with structured downtime and relaxation. There is a reason our itineraries are known to be “Perfectly Planned. Perfectly Paced.” Our year-round team has 499 summers combined working with teenagers and we understand what you’re looking for. We describe our trips in as much detail as these web pages allow, but to truly appreciate the flow of a particular program, please speak with us to review the trip of your choice.
Planning teen trips is of course a science. But it is also an art. We know when to pick up the pace to get the adrenaline flowing. We also know when it’s time to chill on the beach or have a sleep in. As you review our European itineraries, know that we have worked year after year to make every minute of every day just right.
If we’re not seeing the sights, eating like there’s no tomorrow or resting up because there is a tomorrow we’re out there playing! Canyoning at Bohinj Lake, kayaking at sunset, rafting on the Cetina River. Cultural and historical sites include the Prague Castle, Schronbrunn Palace, and Ljubljana Castle. Your European program will take you “off the beaten path” and allow you to experience Europe!
There is so much more to a teen travel experience than just traveling. Summer after summer we love nothing more than the feedback from parents sharing with us that their son or daughter has matured, has become more confident and outgoing, is more poised, more responsible and more worldly having had not just the summer of a lifetime, but a life changing experience as well. It’s amazing how much growth can occur when you are traveling and sharing the experience with incredible people in a warm and welcoming environment.
As you travel overseas and experience other cultures and customs first hand, your perception will change as your understanding of and empathy for citizens of other countries naturally grows. Whereas prior to your travels media headlines about a foreign government may have led to generalized conclusions, your new interactions with locals and firsthand experience will enable you to see we often share more in common with others than we may have known.
Imagine seeing first hand all you’ve learned about in a global studies class when you are admiring Prague Castle, walking the city walls of Dubrovnik, or listening to the history of Schonbrunn Palace.
Our experience lends itself to trying new things and stepping just outside of one’s comfort zone. With a taste of age-appropriate independence, and a healthy reprieve from the usual pressures associated with school life, we want you to be empowered and we provide you with an opportunity to grow.
Living, experiencing, and learning together, you will be afforded the chance to interact with other teens who share both similar and different backgrounds and interests. Everybody grows in their social acceptance of others. By the end of the program we hope to have lit a spark – to travel, to learn, to meet new people, to try new things and to explore. With new friendships, new memories and new life skills on which to build, our teen travel experiences are truly unforgettable.
There really is a difference in how different summer programs operate! Motivated teens going away with qualified leaders is a given. But what sets us apart is the depth of our qualified personnel that allow us to perform with the greatest consistency at the highest level.
Your Trip Director and Trips Leaders are with you throughout your program. They have daily contact with one of our two 24-hour Communication Centers and are in regular contact with our Company Directors. Our Company Directors are the most seasoned veterans who each oversee specific programs providing support to trip staff and to assist with any situations that may arise. Our Company Directors alternate between traveling to visit programs and being reached in the office.
Program visits enable us to provide ongoing support and development to our Trip Directors, allows trip staff to have a sounding board for their own progress in reaching trip goals, helps us to identify any challenging areas for improvement while it still has relevance to your summer rather than as a mention on your end-of-summer survey, and helps us to identify the future Directors from the current crop of all-star summer staff. These visits are by Company Directors along with our Regional Supervisors, who are former Trip Directors with further experience out in the field. Collectively our planning, supervisory and management team is an incredible resource with 499 summers of combined teen travel experience. This way, we can lend a hand wherever and whenever a little extra effort is called for. Last year, we had 212 scheduled supervisory trip visits to make sure all was running well, provide ongoing support to our staff in the field and have fun! This investment in depth of personnel is unrivaled in teen travel and is a critical element to achieving consistent, excellent program quality and surpassing client expectations!
Included in the trip tuition are all activities and entertainment described, breakfast and dinner daily, lunches as indicated on your specific program, gratuities, taxes, land transportation, accommodations, and fanatical customer service from our full-time team and summer Communication Centers. This can add up to tremendous value!
A big part of a journey’s success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality, quantity and choice of food! Breakfasts in Europe are eaten at our hotels and served buffet style with a variety of options. For dinners, either the whole group goes to the same restaurant or we divide into smaller groups of your choosing with our staff. For lunch, you will enjoy eating in smaller groups and choosing from local cafés, bistros and other restaurants. Are you ready for the freshest seafood and produce in Croatia, succulent roasted meats and herbs in the Czech Republic, and warm schnitzel and strudel in Austria? The food in Europe is terrific, so get set to eat extremely well!
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive personal experience in this area. Please speak with us to review your needs.
On this program you will be using private transportation between cities and sometimes use public transportation as a group within cities.
You only need to bring one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in our packing list. Every week you may drop off your laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go.
While you’re out having the summer of your life, your parents should feel like they are in on the action as well. We post updates to our blog and Facebook page and e-mail photos approximately once a week so those at home can be in on the fun. Parents also have access to our dedicated office Trip Monitors 24/7 for any questions and/or concerns. We’re as in touch as any trip operator could possibly be via smartphones with e-mail and text. The goal is uncompromising safety and peace of mind, day after day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Participants may bring their personal cell phones.
In last summer’s surveys, 98% of responding teens and parents said they would recommend us to others. We must be doing something right!