Flying to Adventure Treks

Travel planning and what to expect on opening day

Most trips have an arrival window between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Typically, it is later flights that experience delays and possible missed connections, so earlier flights are best. Return flights need to be scheduled for departure between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m.*

*Exceptions include Yellowstone Teton Adventure and Alaska Expedition. Please see your CampInTouch account for those trips’ specific travel information.

If driving, plan to arrive between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on opening day, and between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on closing day.

Here are a few tips to create the very best opening day for your child:
  1. U.S. citizens under 18 flying domestically are not required to fly with an ID (unless traveling to British Columbia, in which case they’ll need a valid passport).
  2. Arrive at the airport early to ensure your child doesn’t miss their flight.
  3. Students should dress for the outdoors on opening day. They need to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes.
  4. Your child’s daypack (carry-on book bag) needs to be packed according to the packing list, so students are ready for the park and can survive a few days should the airline lose their bag.
  5. Pack your child’s prescription medications in their daypack; do not put medications in a checked bag. All medications must arrive in the original container.
  6. Even if your child doesn’t fly as an unaccompanied minor (please see below for more information about UM status), you may still be able to get a gate pass from the check-in desk to go through security and walk your child to the gate.



Meeting Adventure Treks instructors on opening day

Our office staff will track all flights on opening day, and a regional director and instructors will greet each student at the airport. For students traveling as unaccompanied minors, an Adventure Treks instructor will greet your child at the gate when they step off the plane. Sometimes we may be a few minutes late due to several students’ flights arriving at the same time. For students NOT traveling as unaccompanied minors, we try to meet them at the gate but cannot guarantee that we will be there due to airline regulations. If we are unable to greet them, we will call or text them and let them know exactly where to meet us. They will proceed to baggage claim, where instructors will be waiting. Instructors will be easy to find in an Adventure Treks T-shirt and hat.

Safe arrival notification

Each student will call home upon meeting with an instructor so parents will know they’ve arrived safely (even if they’ve already called you separately). This call usually takes place after your child has met an Adventure Treks instructor, collected their bags, and met the other students. Please expect up to an hour between the time your child’s flight lands and the phone call home to you. Instructors will then collect all electronics, medications, valuables, and passports.

Students will not wait at the airport long; they will be shuttled to a nearby park to meet other students, play games, and have a pizza lunch while waiting for all of the students to arrive.


Photo ID

Carrying an ID is not required for U.S. citizens under 18 unless traveling to British Columbia, in which case they’ll need a passport. for international students traveling to the U.S., please check your country’s visa requirements several months prior to departure.

Unaccompanied minor

When a child travels as an UM, it means you will pay an extra fee (often $150+ each way, but varies with each airline) for your child to have an escort the entire length of their travel. You will receive a gate pass at check-in to accompany your child behind security to the gate, where an airline official will then walk your child down to their seat on the plane. Once the plane lands at your child’s arrival airport, a flight attendant will escort your child off the plane, and stay with them until a designated Adventure Treks instructor arrives at the gate to sign the appropriate paperwork for the airlines to release your child to us.

Most of our students prefer NOT to travel as an UM, instead choosing to navigate airports on their own as a way to build independence. Children under the age of 17 can travel with most airlines as an UM; many airlines require children under the age of 15 to fly as an UM. If your child prefers to travel on their own, you may want to select an airline that will allow them to fly alone.

If you choose for your child to fly as an UM, you must request this service with the airlines. Most will allow you to pay the extra fee at the time you purchase your child’s tickets. It is best to prepay the UM fee for the roundtrip flight. However, some airlines will only allow you to prepay one leg of the UM fee at a time. If this is the case, you can typically call the airlines after the first leg of the ticket is complete and prepay the second leg of the UM fee at that time. Be sure to provide us with an electronic copy of the payment receipt. You’ll need to provide the airlines with the name of the Adventure Treks instructor assigned to meet your child at the gate on opening day. Please use “Adventure Treks camp representative” when requesting the UM service. We’ll provide you with the assigned instructor’s name and information one week before your child’s trip begins. You can then update the airlines via phone at the time, or when you check in at the airport. Please allow at least two hours to check in as an UM, and list the phone number for Adventure Treks as 828-698-0399.

Airline fees

Please prepay any unaccompanied minor and/or baggage fees, or send enough cash or a credit card with your child to cover these fees. Usually, $75 is enough to cover the purchase of food in airports, baggage fees, and any personal items.