Journey Details

“When making experiences, attention to detail matters.” — Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

How it all works ...

All the details before you book!

Here you’ll find all the details about your Academic journey before you book, like payment plans, cancellation policies, travel protection plans, and everything else that’s essential to know before booking.

If you’re ready to book, just click the Book Now link in the navigation bar at the top or the button at the bottom of this page.

If you still have questions about booking your Academic tour, just pop over to our contact page, let us know, and we’ll get back with answers to you pronto!

Booking a Journey Academic makes booking a journey easy:

  • Visit the Book Now page and select the journey you’re interested in.
  • Select the number and types of travelers.
  • Choose to pay in full or by payment plan.
  • Complete the payment form.
  • Complete the traveler form(s).
  • Get ready for the journey of a lifetime!
What’s Included?
  • Round-trip Airfare — to and from a US departure city and Oaxaca.
  • $150 Academic Travel Card for food, beverages, required checked luggage, etc.*
  • A Checked Bag — on outbound and inbound flights.** 
  • Accommodations in the Holiday Inn Express Centro Histórico with private bathrooms. 
  • Academic Intelligence Officer24/7 for the entire journey.
  • All Gratuities — covers hotel, guides, dining, drivers.
  • Breakfast each day — including travel days via Academic Travel Card.
  • Lunch each day — including travel days via Academic Travel Card.
  • Dinner each day — including travel days via Academic Travel Card.
  • Academic Snack Box — local snacks and beverages for the entire journey.
  • Bottled water — on all toursactivities, and excursions.
  • Snacks, Treats, and Local Delicacies — on all tours, activities, and excursions.
  • Airport Transfers — at the destination.
  • All Ground Transportation — in the destination.
  • Tours — all sightseeing tours and excursions.
  • Fees — entry fees, access charges, and other sightseeing fees.
  • Local Guides — licensed, insured professionals.
  • Academic Journey App — for the traveler and parents/legal guardians.
  • Academic Luggage Tags — for the traveler and parents/legal guardians.

The Academic Travel Card of $150 is $75 each way on each travel day in the form of a debit card for travelers to use for any expenses — including baggage fees — while traveling to and from Oaxaca.

** To facilitate flight transfers and layovers, to avoid forgotten or lost baggage during layovers and flight changes, and to speed up transfer times, all travelers are required to check any bag that will not fit under the seat in front of them on their flights. Gate checks are NOT allowed: Bags must be checked with the airline at the ticket counter when checking in for flights. The cost of this requirement — currently $30 — is covered by the Academic Travel Card, whose value will increase to reflect any increase in the cost of checked baggage for 2020 and always leave travelers $45 each way on travel days for food and other expenses.

What’s Not Included? Academic includes much more than the average student travel program. Here are the few things that are not included:

  • Travel Protection Plan*
  • Passport or visa costs
  • Increases in taxes, government-mandated fees, surcharges, or currency-exchange fluctuations**
  • Additional food or beverages (other than 3 meals per day, snacks, treats, and bottled water on tours)
  • Souvenirs
  • Personal expenses
  • Telecommunications charges
  • Wi-Fi outside of the hotel or locations with complimentary Wi-Fi

* A valid travel protection plan that meets our minimum coverage requirements is required of all travelers on all Academic journeys. Please see Travel Protection for details.

** Please see Sections 19, 20, and 21 of the Booking Terms & Conditions for details.

Payment Options Academic offers you the option to pay for your journey in full when you register or to select the following payment option:

  • Pay the $200 deposit on registration
  • Approximately 90 days before departure pay the remaining balance

We will invoice you approximately 10 days before your final payment is due and charge your final payment on the payment due date to the card used for your initial deposit. If you wish to change the card we will use to settle your balance due, just contact us before the payment due date. 

For specific payment dates and amounts for your journey please see: Payment Plan Details

Cancellation Policies Academic pays for most of the costs for your journey far in advance of your departure date and many such costs are non-refundable to us. Therefore, our cancellation policies are as follows:

You may cancel your booking for a full refund within 72 hours following your initial booking by deposit or full payment. 

After this 72-hour cancellation period, your journey is refundable under specific conditions and for specific amounts.

For specific cancellation details see: Cancellation Policies

Travel Protection Academic prioritizes the safety, security, and well-being of all travelers.

Travel has inherent risks, and our #1 objective is to ameliorate those risks in the face of any unforeseen events and ensure that each traveler is protected and taken care of as necessary.

To meet these important objectives, we require that all travelers have specified minimum travel protection coverage.

The fact of the matter is that it is simply unwise to travel abroad without a travel protection plan.

For details about travel protection requirements see: Travel Protection

Tour Director & Group Leaders Academic has a 24/7 Tour Director on all journeys — the Academic Intelligence Officer, in our parlance — who stays in the hotel with the group; is intimately familiar with Oaxaca; speaks Spanish and English fluently; knows everyone connected with the journey; manages every aspect of the journey; participates in every single activity, event, tour, excursion, meal, and social gathering on the journey; and is the primary and emergency contact before and during the journey for anything you may need at any time.*

In addition, Academic provides 1 Group Leader (credentialed teacher or other adult professional) per every 5-6 student travelers. The Group Leader is responsible for the students in his or her care and serves as their eyes and ears on the journey with a keen focus on their safety, security, and overall well-being in tandem with the Academic Intelligence Officer. We vet all Group Leaders up to a criminal background check for non-credentialed teachers.

If a teacher has organized a group of students for the journey and is traveling with the group, that teacher is their Group Leader.

If a traveler has been recommended to travel by a teacher or a teacher organized a group but is not traveling with that group, the traveler will be part of a group of 5-6 students for which another adult whom we have selected, interviewed, and approved will serve as Group Leader.

* For 2020 journeys, Jeffrey Kirkman, the founder and owner of Academic and a credentialed Spanish teacher with extensive experience leading international student journeys, will be the Academic Intelligence Officer. 

Students: No Teacher Leading a Journey at Your School? Academic lets you travel even if there is no teacher sponsoring or leading a journey at your school.

All you have to do to join one of our educational journeys is have a teacher from your school recommend you to participate on an Academic journey. We’ll place you in a group of 4-5 other students with a Group Leader who will travel with you to and from Oaxaca, Mexico, and be your point of contact on your journey.

To learn more or to provide a teacher with the link to the Student Recommendation Form, please visit: Join By Recommendation

* For 2020 journeys, Jeffrey Kirkman, the founder and owner of Academic and a credentialed Spanish teacher with extensive experience leading international student journeys, will be the Academic Intelligence Officer. 

Can Parents or Other Adults Join? Academic welcomes parents or other adults to join student travelers our journeys.

For safety and security reasons, parents and other adults are expected to follow and adhere to the same rules, regulations, and expectations of all travelers, students, staff, and chaperones.

The cohesiveness of the journey-group is an essential component of safety and security. So we do not grant any parent or adult on a journey any additional authority — even relative to one’s own child or family members — to deviate from the journey’s itinerary.

There is an adult supplement of $150, which is built into the journey fee when you book your journey and are 23 years of age or older.

Can I Book My Own Airfare? Academic offers you the option to purchase a land-only package allowing you to arrange your own airfare and receive a discount off your journey fee. 

To register for land-only travel, you should register and pay the journey deposit, then email with your booking number and request land-only pricing. We will adjust your balance due to reflect the reduction for the land-only package.

The discount varies by the journey and the number of passengers booked on a specific journey.

We also advise that you wait to purchase the required travel protection plan until such time as you have our confirmation and approval of your land-only booking.

For more details on the terms of a land-only booking, please see Section 16 of our Booking Terms & Conditions.

Late Enrollment Academic welcomes your enrollment on our journeys no matter how close to the departure date! 

The reality is that we have to pay airlines and hotels far in advance of the journey departure date, so when you enroll 109-60 days prior to departure you’re considered a late enrollment and we advise you of these details:

  • Contact us first by phone, email, via our contact page, or by chat on our website so that we may confirm availability for the journey you wish to book.
  • If we can confirm group flights and hotel accommodations and you choose to participate, you will be required to make a full payment plus a $200 late enrollment fee.
    • If seats on our group flights are unavailable, you have the option to arrange alternative flights and buy the land-only portion of the journey.

  • We cannot make flight arrangements less than 60 days prior to departure. Should you choose to sign up at that late date, you must do so as a land-only traveler and you’ll be confirmed pending hotel availability.