Frequently Asked Questions

How does air travel work?

Zeal trips have a gateway airport where the group meets on the first day of the program and where participants return to on the last day of the program. At the start of the program, Zeal trip leaders meet all participants at a specified meeting location in the gateway airport. Once groups are complete, they will fly from the gateway airport to the program’s initial destination. At the end of the program, the group will fly together to the original gateway airport where trip leaders will drop off participants to their parents.

Is airfare covered in the tuition cost?

No. Airfare is additional and the costs depend on the trip and dates of travel. In order to ensure there are enough seats on a plane, and to reduce risk of the group separating due to delay, cancelation, or other unforeseen travel issues, Zeal purchases tickets in advance, and provides chaperoned group travel. Parents are invoiced for the cost of airfare.

If you would rather purchase flights directly with an airline, that is also possible. For more details on flight purchasing options, please click here.

What are the accommodations like?

Accommodations vary by day and trip, but include front country camping (with bathrooms, showers, and other amenities), small family owned lodges, hostels with dormitory style accommodations, and high-end hotels. All accommodations are scouted beforehand by our leadership team to determine that they are to our standards of safety and quality.

Is there community service?

Absolutely! Engaging with and serving communities is a core belief held by Zeal. Every Zeal trip includes community service. Visit our trip pages to see details regarding service by trip.

What's the technology policy?

We recognize that smart phones are multifaceted and very useful, especially while traveling, but we’re also aware of the challenges they present for group formation and immersing oneself in an experience. For these reasons, we allow participants to bring phones and cameras, but no tablets or laptops. Trip leaders hold all participant phones and distribute them back to participants once a week for communicating home.  Of course, trip leaders communicate with our director daily and are available 24/7.

How often will I hear from my child?

In addition to weekly phone calls home, we update Zeal social media accounts on a daily basis and provide a daily blog as well. Our social media accounts and blog are fantastic opportunities to be updated on your child’s incredible summer trip! Under special circumstances, you may hear from you child more often if need be.

What happens in medical emergencies?

All trip leaders are trained and certified in advanced first-aid, holding certifications in either Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness First-Aid (WFA). Every trip has a detailed emergency action plan for each location including all medical care providers in their immediate vicinity. In case of emergency, participants receive immediate medical care no matter where they are because of our leaders’ advanced training, and if need be are transported to an appropriate care facility to receive definitive care.

Can I speak with trip leaders?

Trip leaders are available to speak with you. However, their primary focus is the care and supervision of participants.  If you would like to speak directly with a trip leader, our head office is happy to schedule a call for you. Please note that leaders speak with our home office every single day of the trip. Through this daily communication, information regarding participant wellbeing is free flowing from trip to home office. If ever there is an issue or question regarding your child, Zeal’s director will call you directly. Through this method of communication, parents should feel assured that there is never a problem they don’t know about.