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Spring Break Begins at High School Vacations!

High School Vacations Frequently Asked Questions

What airline will I fly? Do I have a choice?

We offer both scheduled flights and charter flights to transport you to the destination of your choice. You will have a choice on both the times and scheduled flight you want. Our chartered flights are usually cheaper then scheduled flights, but you must be flexible with your travel dates and times. We offer various charters that fly at specific dates and times, but have no control over which day they travel. Although scheduled air will usually have a higher price then charters, you can pick and choose the day, time and airline you want to fly with. If booking a cruise, you can choose to book your air with us through the cruise line, or you can purchase your own air.

Why travel with High School Vacations?

Because we offer Great Spring Break Trips! In addition, our knowledgeable staff will help put together the best trip imaginable, at a price point that won’t break the bank! Our specialty is high school spring break vacations. But we’re around all year round to help with all your other vacation needs. Cruises. Disney. Vegas. Skiing. Package deals to Mexico and the Caribbean. Our mission is to provide memorable, fun filled trips that will keep you coming back long after your high school graduation!!

Are there meals included?

If you book an All Inclusive Resort, all meals and drinks will be included at your hotel. Cruise Vacations include unlimited food and free room service, but drinks are additional on board.

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Do I need a passport or birth certificate?

ALL U.S. citizens traveling to any foreign country will be required to have a valid U.S Passport to clear U.S. Customs if traveling outside of the U.S Borders. A birth certificate with Image ID is not accepted. You will be denied boarding on your plane and not allowed to leave the country if you do not have a valid passport! You will need your documents at the airport. Keep all documents handy and not packed in your suitcase. If you are not a US Citizen, you need to contact your local Consulate office for documentation requirements. High School Vacations is not responsible for travelers with incomplete documentation.

If you will not be 18 at the time of your trip, there is one extra thing that you will need. Students under the age of 18 traveling out of the country are required to provide a notarized letter from both your parents / legal guardians permitting you to travel outside the U.S. (Both parents must sign and the letter must be notarized even if they are separated or divorced. In the event that one parent is deceased, you will need a notarized letter from your living parent along with a copy of the death certificate for your deceased parent.) Remember, if you don't bring the right documentation to the airport, you won't be allowed to board the plane and may have to forfeit your entire trip!

Where do I go when I arrive at my destination?

Once you arrive at your destination, proceed to the baggage claim area to pick up your luggage. There you will see a ground handler from your tour operator who will take your bags and drive you to your hotel or cruise ship. This is included in the cost of your trip, unless previously stated.

Why should I reserve my vacation early?

Spring break is a peak travel time; booking early ensures your spot on the trip and guarantees you the best price. Early booking also gives you more time to spread out your payments.

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What if I find a better price for the same vacation package?

This rarely happens, as our prices are very competitive! Spring Break trips may look similar, but they are rarely the same and difficult to compare. Many in the industry may give you a low price and then up the price with extras and fees. The insurance we build into our packages is among the most comprehensive in the industry, giving you an even better value.

Who can I contact during the trip if I have a problem?

We suggest using the front desk staff at the hotel or cruise ship; they will usually provide assistance and solve your problem. If the problem can’t be resolved there, please call the travel wholesaler. Their phone number will be printed on your travel documents. If they are unable to help you, call us. High School Vacations is here to help make sure your trip runs as problem free as possible. If you’re having a medical related problem, call the number on your insurance card. This card will be provided to you with your travel documents; they are available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What happens if I get sick or hurt while on my trip?

Our packages include medical as part of the insurance plan, covering you for many unexpected events. If you are on a cruise, visit the infirmary. If at a resort, notify the front desk staff. They will get you help. You will be responsible for the bill (should there by one), but should submit it to the insurance company for reimbursement. For full insurance plan details, please see the travel insurance policy on the forms page.

Are chaperones necessary?

Yes. The ratio of adults to students depends upon the specific hotel or cruise line.

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Are families with siblings allowed on your trips?

Of course! If your child wants to party with his/her high school friends on their final spring break vacation, why not all come!! You can chaperone your high school student and enjoy being with your family at the same time. Many of the hotels offer a Kid Club to keep younger siblings occupied.

Do adults pay the same price as students?

Yes. Note that many resorts offer quad and triple accommodations in addition to the standard doubles. For families looking to be close to their student (but not too close) we also have nearby resorts available that are separate from where your student is staying. While this is an option, you would not be considered a chaperone if staying at a different property.

How are roommates chosen?

You will choose your own roommates for all destinations, as long as everyone is paid in full. Should any or all of your roommates cancel, they are responsible for finding new roommates or paying for the difference in price due to occupancy changes. Occupancy prices are based on doubles, triples or quads. You may choose fewer roommates and pay the difference.

How much spending money should I bring?

American currency is accepted at all destinations. Instead of traveling with cash, we encourage traveler’s checks, as they can be replaced if lost or stolen. Depending on the destination, we recommend bringing between $50 and $75 per day for shopping and incidental expenses. If you need additional money during the trip, Western Union and ATMs are widely available at all destinations. Many businesses take major credit cards if the user is over the age of 18 and the credit card is in their own name.

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When will my tickets arrive?

After we go over your travel documents to assure names, dates and hotels are correct, you should have them within about 10 days prior to departure. Most tickets are electronic. If yours are not, we will send them to you via UPS Ground service. If for some reason we need to ship your documents to you via UPS overnight service, you will be charged an additional $25 fee.

How do I make a reservation?

Start the ball rolling by filling out the contact us form or call us at 847.986.5956.

What are the late fee’s if I don’t pay on time?

We will always do our best to work with you, but unfortunately we must ultimately deal with the airline, hotel and travel companies who demand payment on time. If a reservation is canceled due to lack of payment, all cancellation penalties will apply, and there is no guarantee we will be able to get your space re-instated. In addition, there is a $75 per person fee to re-instate a booking, plus any other fees. Your trip is not considered booked until your trip is marked paid in full, and all documentation and has been submitted.

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What happens if I have to cancel or change my trip?

Changes to an existing reservation can be difficult, but we will make every effort to accommodate your request. Such changes will incur a fee of $75 per person, plus any additional costs by the supplier. Please keep in mind there is no guarantee your change can be fulfilled. If you need to cancel, all cancellations need to be received in writing. Since all our trips include travel protection insurance, please see the policy for specific cancelation information.

To avoid a substantial cancel fee, you may be able to find someone to fill your space on the trip. You can then transfer your reservation to the new person and only be charged a $100 name change fee, plus any additional fees from the supplier.

Please contact us at 847.986.5956 if you have further questions on this matter.

Why do you include Travel Insurance for all your vacations?

We include travel insurance because there are so many unexpected issues that can come up!! What if you have to cancel* your trip? The airline loses your luggage? You get sick or get hurt while traveling? You jump in the pool with your iPod in your bathing suit pocket? Our travel insurance covers you for these unexpected issues, and many, many other things that sometimes happen. The insurance will provide you with a refund, less the cost of the insurance. Without insurance, there are no refunds, regardless of your circumstances.

*For more detailed information, click on our insurance page, or call us for further information.

What is your payment schedule?

A $300 per person deposit and the signed terms of use form are required to make your reservation. A second $300 payment is due 160 days prior to departure. The final payment is due 100 days prior to departure. Payment of your deposit constitutes full acceptance and understanding of HSV's terms and conditions. Any change to your reservation once under deposit, will result in a $75 HSV fee per person, plus any additional costs by suppliers. Reservations not paid in full on time are subject to cancellation, and all cancellation penalties will apply. Late payments also risk loss of first choice of hotel/flight, as well as possible late fees starting at $50 per person. The first two deposit payments are payable to HSV by check only. The final payment can be paid by check or credit card to:

High School Vacations
113 McHenry Rd.
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

Some of my friends want to travel to other destinations. Do we need to travel together?

We want every High School Vacations traveler to have the ultimate travel experience, so we can help you organize more than one trip at your school! So if you and some of your friends want Jamaica, while another group of your friends wants a cruise – no problem mon! We can take care of all these different groups so everyone has the ultimate spring break experience!

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While I understand that most fees are already included in my package price, what are other fees I should know about?

Security Deposit: Hotels reserve the right to charge each guest (in a student group) for a security/damage deposit at check-in. This is usually returned at checkout if there is no damage to your room. Please be prepared to pay cash if your hotel requires it. This deposit ranges from $50-$100 per person. The Oasis Hotels in Cancun, Mexico charge a non-refundable damage fee of $20-$50 per person that will be collected by the hotel upon your arrival.

Airline Baggage Charges: Please note that many airlines now charge a fee for checked baggage, and excessive weight of these bags. Each person is allowed only one checked bag. Please see your airline’s website or call their toll-free number for their current baggage allowance. These fees are currently up to $100 per piece each way. If a fee should apply, it must be paid by you directly to the airline upon your physical check in on your day of departure.

Optional Activities: Most destination offer a wide variety of activities, such as diving, wave runners, sightseeing tours, swim with the dolphins, spa visits, special meals, specific higher end restaurants and more. While these options are always available to you as a High School Vacations trip participant, the actual cost of these options must be paid directly to these providers.

Spending Money: We recommend you bring between $50 and $75 per day. Everyone's spending habits are different, so these figures are just a general guideline.

What should I pack?

This depends on you. You may plan to live in a swimsuit and sandals. Or you may plan to dress up to go dancing every night. Note that the dress code in most destinations is pretty casual but you are not able to enter some restaurants in swimsuits and barefoot. Some restaurants do have a dress code so guys will want to bring a shirt with collar and slacks. Although our destinations are typically sunny and warm, you may want to check the weather forecast before you travel. Please leave your expensive jewelry at home; that way you won’t need to worry about losing it!

What is the drinking age in Mexico?

The drinking age is 18. You may be carded, and have to prove your are 18 in order to obtain an all inclusive bracelet that includes alcoholic beverage service. High School Vacations does not promote, endorse, sponsor, advocate or recommend the use of alcohol in any way. However, if you are of age and you do choose to indulge – please do so responsively!

What if I need medical attention?

Professional medical services are available at most every trip destination.  Go to the front desk of your hotel and ask to see the on-site doctor or medical professional.  They can take care of most issues.  If you have an issue that they can’t take care of, call the toll free number on your insurance documents.  Someone will answer your call as they are open 24/7, in case of a medical emergency.  Not only will they get you set up with the proper help, but they will guarantee payment for that help as well. 

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