During Your Journey

“Oh, the places you’ll go!” — Dr. Seuss

How it all works ...


Here you’ll find answers to all of your questions about what will happen during your intelli.tours Academic journey. This includes information about tours and excursions, food and food allergies, spending money, downtime, cell phones and devices, special needs, hotel accommodations, and everything else to expect on your journey.

If we’ve missed anything on your mind about your intelli.tours Academic journey, just pop over to our contact page and let us know and we’ll get answers to you pronto!

What Is a Typical Day Like?

intelli.tours Academic plans active and structured days on your journey full of exciting tours, activities, events, delicious meals, and tasty snacks.

While some days will vary, here’s how a typical day will be structured:

  • 8 AM — Breakfast*

  • 9 AM — Departure 

  • 12 PM —  Lunch**

  • 2 PM — Afternoon tour 

  • 5 PM — Elective activities  ***

  • 7 PM — Dinner **

  • 9 PM — Evening activity 

  • 12 AM — Goodnight!

* Travelers have breakfast at their leisure with the understanding that everyone should be ready to go 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time each morning.

** Time is built in at meals for travelers to relax, have time to catch up on communications, post photos, and explore the surroundings, as all meals are selected not only for the food, but the location as well.

*** This time may be reserved for enjoying various activities, shopping, relaxing in the hotel, or taking a swim in the pool.

We Care

intelli.tours Academic cares about all travelers on our journeys.  

All of our interactions with students in all aspects of our journeys is based on these 4 guarantees for us toward all travelers:

  • Patience
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Empathy

We invite you learn more about us and our beliefs here: We Care

Learning on the Journey?

intelli.tours Academic creates journeys that are all about learning.

We believe that the greatest benefit of travel is learning — so each and every day is about questioning, experiencing, gaining knowledge, and reflecting on what we’ve done and what we’ve learned.

We set the academic tone at the start of the day with conversations about what we will see and do on the day’s explorations and the day’s essential questions. (Students will have access to these questions on their intelli.tours Academic App so they can refer to them throughout the day.)

At lunches and afternoon breaks, we engage students in conversations about their impressions of the morning’s explorations, what they learned, what surprised them, what questions they have, what they wish to know more about, and how they connect their new knowledge and experiences to their lives.

During dinners, we’ll recap the day’s explorations and refer to our essential questions of the day — and those of previous days — to reflect on what we learned, what more we want to know, and ponder our questions and observations.

While learning is the major focus on our journeys, we also take plenty of time to just relax and enjoy all that we see and do — because personal time to reflect and enjoy is a part of learning too!

We invite you to visit our detailed academic page for our essential questions and for specifics about learning on our journeys: Learning on Our Journeys

Is There Free Time?

intelli.tours Academic understands the need for free time on your journey and we plan for it with the understanding that free time is always supervised to ensure everyone’s safety and security.

Travelers are never permitted to go out on their own during the journey.

On tours and excursions, travelers will have free time in less supervised settings to explore and experience on their own and to sit and relax, take photographs, or shop.

At meals, there will be ample free time to relax, post photos, socialize, and explore the surroundings.

In the hotel, free time is certainly less supervised, but always with the watchful eye of journey-personnel to ensure the safety and security of all travelers and compliance with all journey rules and guidelines.

We invite you to explore our behavior code and rules for our journeys: Behavior Code & Rules

Rules & Behavior Code

intelli.tours Academic knows that clear, consistent, and fair on-journey expectations ensure the safety, security, and enjoyment of all travelers.

Based on our extensive experience leading students on international travel opportunities, our journeys have a set of rules that apply to all travelers.

Never are there competing sets of rules and expectations between student groups. Everyone follows the same guidelines throughout the journey no matter who their Group Leader may be, what school or location they may come from, or their age.

Our behavior code and rules adhere to our commitment and belief that all of our policies must:

  • Be consistent, fair, and equitably enforced.
  • Ensure the safety, security, well-being, and enjoyment of all travelers.
  • Be logical, understandable, and easy to follow.
  • Achieve the goal of respect for others and of cultural norms.

Our disciplinary actions for rule infractions on journeys is always based on the following:

  • Understanding 
  • Explanation 
  • Fairness 
  • Respect 
  • Discretion
  • Communication with family

We understand that students make mistakes just as adults do. Our primary objective is always the safety, security, well-being, and enjoyment of all travelers on our journeys. Only in the most egregious of violations would we ever send a student home, and never would we even consider d0ing so without directly consulting with parents or guardians and, based on the situation, considering all other options to resolve the matter.

We invite you to explore our behavior code and rules for our journeys: Behavior Code & Rules

Hotel & Accommodations

intelli.tours Academic has selected the Holiday Inn Express in the colonial center of Oaxaca as your journey hotel.

As a part of our focus on safety and security, we’re pleased to tell you that the hotel has the following:

  • 24/7 reception
  • 24/7 security officers
  • Video surveillance inside and out
  • Smoke detectors and sprinklers in public areas and guest rooms
  • In-room safe

Travelers will enjoy impeccably maintained rooms with these amenities:

  • Spacious bathrooms
  • Free WiFi
  • A heated pool
  • Comfortable public areas
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Outstanding service

All accommodations have 2 queen beds and a private bath.

Students will be either 2 or 3 to a room, based on rooming logistics. Prior to your departure date, we will ask for roommate preferences and do our best to honor such requests.  

We invite you to explore the hotel page for pictures and more details about the Holiday Inn Express Oaxaca: Holiday Day Inn Express Oaxaca

What Are Meals Like?

intelli.tours Academic takes food seriously on your journey to Oaxaca — a region world-famous for its cuisine. We make sure you get to taste it all!

We include all food and beverages on our journeys:

  • Breakfasts are a delicious buffet in the hotel with traditional morning fare and Mexican favorites. (Don’t miss Oaxacan hot chocolate made with water — chocolate con agua.)
  • Lunches are in specially chosen restaurants unique to our tours and excursions each day.
    (One lunch is a cooking class to learn to make handmade tortillas and tamales wrapped in banana leaves!)
  • Dinners are local specialties, as well as standard favorites like pizza.
    (It’s always fun to see how something familiar we know and love is prepared in another country.)

We also include:

  • Bottled water on tours.
  • Beverages at all meals.
  • Local tastes and treats during the day. (Try roasted grasshoppers tossed in lime and chiles!)
  • A 7-day intelli.tours Academic Snack Box full of tasty local treats and beverages.

Check out some food shots from our travels to Oaxaca see the tasty delicacies that await you on your journey: Food in Oaxaca

Dietary Restrictions or Food Allergies

intelli.tours Academic takes individual dietary requirements and food allergies seriously.

However, it’s important that you understand that we do not have control over every dining experience, including food that you may be offered or food that you may select. So you are ultimately responsible for managing your food requirements or allergies on tour. 

When you book your journey you will be asked to let us know about any dietary requirements or food allergies, and this information will be shared with those involved in overseeing your journey. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us so that together we can create a plan to best meet your dietary needs.

What About Flights?

intelli.tours Academic uses American and United Airlines from your home city with a connection in either Dallas or Houston to non-stop service (also on American or United) to Oaxaca.

Never are there layovers or plane changes in Mexico.  

Here are some details:

  • Outbound flights will depart your home city in the late morning or early afternoon and arrive in Oaxaca in the early evening of the same day. 
  • Return flights will depart Oaxaca in the early morning and arrive in your home city in the mid-afternoon.
  • Flight itineraries will be provided to all travelers along with the final journey documents approximately 60 days prior to departure.
  • All travelers are issued electronic tickets (e-tickets) — you only need to bring your passport to the airport for check-in. 

Travelers will meet their Group Leader at the airport punctually at the time specified in the final journey documents. It is imperative that all travelers adhere to the airport meeting times without fail as our contracts with the airlines require that all travelers check in by specific times in advance of departure or risk having their booking canceled.

All travelers will have $75 each way to cover the required checked bag and food and beverage along the way to and from Oaxaca.

Can I Earn Frequent Flyer Miles?

intelli.tours Academic exclusively uses American and United Airlines for travel to Oaxaca, and both carriers currently allow for accrual of frequent flyer miles on group flights.

Please note the following:

  • We will request your frequent flyer information when we confirm specific flights and will provide these details to the airline. 
  • We cannot guarantee placement on flights based on your desire to earn frequent flyer miles on a specific carrier. 
  • We have no control or involvement in the earning of frequent flyer miles, and such policies can change with the airlines.
  • Each traveler is responsible for confirming that the proper frequent flyer number is registered when checking in for each flight. 
Who Will I Travel With?

intelli.tours Academic journeys may comprise several smaller groups from different schools in your area that operate as one cohesive group of no more than 40 travelers, including Adult Chaperones.

All student travelers will be high school students in 10th-12th grades. (On summer journeys, we do accept students who have just graduated from high school.)

For travel to Mexico, you will be part of 2 groups of up to 20-25 travelers each on your flight. There will always be a minimum of 1 Group Leader per 6-8 students when traveling.

In Oaxaca, the larger group will be led and managed by your intelli.tours Academic Intelligence Officer (Tour Director) who will be present 24/7 — in your hotel and with you on all events and activities.

During your journey, you will often be touring and exploring in smaller groups of 10-12 travelers for a more intimate experience during activities and excursions. 

As for lodgings in the hotel, every effort will be made to room students from the same school together in either double or triple accommodations. 

How Much Spanish Do I Need To Know?

intelli.tours Academic does not expect everyone on a journey to Oaxaca to speak Spanish. But we do emphasize Spanish throughout the journey and provide opportunities for you to speak and engage in Spanish, if you desire.*

At selected dinners, you’ll have the chance to meet local Mexican students with whom you may converse in Spanish or English and learn and share the realities of life in the US and Mexico.

We encourage you to take full advantage of every opportunity to put your language skills to work — or just pick up a few useful words and phrases!

* Based on journey enrollment and the level of interest in more Spanish “immersion” on each journey, we will offer groupings for students to use Spanish on tours, excursions, and meals. Please let us know your interest in such immersion, and we’ll do our best to offer you such opportunities and support your learning.

Can You Accommodate Travelers with Special Needs?

intelli.tours Academic welcomes all travelers on our journeys.

The physical requirements of our journeys to Oaxaca, while not strenuous, do require a fair amount of standing and walking. Also, many historic sites are accessible only on foot and involve stairs or inclines as well as walking on narrow and winding cobblestone streets or sidewalks.

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply abroad.
  • Many suppliers and sites may lack the ability or the infrastructure to make special provisions or to accommodate travelers with special needs. 

Please contact us directly with any questions or needs you may have. We’ll do our very best to create a solution together so that you can enjoy a journey to Oaxaca.

For more information, see Section 14 of our Booking Terms & Conditions.

How Much Spending Money Do I Need?

intelli.tours Academic includes virtually everything in your journey cost — a $150 Travel Card to cover food, beverages, and baggage charges on travel days; hotel accommodations and 3 meals a day with beverages; a 7-day snack and beverage box; treats and bottled water on tours; costs of all tours, ground transportation, gratuities, and more.

We recommend that travelers have at least $100 cash in Mexican pesos for incidental expenses and souvenir purchases. 

For more information about all that’s included on our journeys, we invite you to visit: What’s Included?

Will My Cell Phone Work in Mexico?

intelli.tours Academic understands the importance of staying connected on your journey.

Most major US mobile service providers offer free calls and texting to and from the US and the use of your data plan in Mexico.

We suggest that you consult with your mobile service provider to ensure such coverage. You may wish to consider making adjustments to your service plan if it does not cover service in Mexico since additional costs outside of such inclusive plans can be extremely high.

Free Wi-Fi is available in hotel guest rooms and public areas.

Can I Bring a Laptop or Tablet?

intelli.tours Academic offers this advice about electronic devices:

  • We strongly advise against bringing laptop computers.
  • We advise that you seriously consider the need to bring a tablet.

Please consider the following if you do bring any such devices on your journey:

  • You do so at your own responsibility and risk.
  • At no time should tablets or laptops be taken outside of the hotel while on your journey.