Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions at Rustic Pathways. Upon enrolling in a program, each school or family will be assigned a Personal Travel Advisor to walk them through the process of preparing for departure. We hope that having a single point person helps to simplify the process and provides a personalised touch. If any of your questions aren’t addressed below, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we would love to speak with you!

General

Is Rustic Pathways right for me?

Our programs are designed for positive and level-headed students with interests in experiential learning and travel. Our programs are not suitable for students with behaviour disorders, chemical dependencies, an inability to work constructively in team environments or follow instructions, or an unwillingness to behave in a culturally sensitive manner.

Where do Rustic Pathways students come from?

Rustic Pathways students come from 55 countries including Australia. Approximately 80 percent of our students on Rustic Trips are from North America, while Pathfinders programs are exclusively for Australians. We happily welcome more Australians, New Zealanders, and other international students each year. The diversity of our students is one of the wonderful aspects of travelling with us.

How old are most Rustic Pathways students? What about gender?

Our school group programs are available for students aged 12 to 18. Rustic Trip students are typically 15 to 17 years old, and Pathfinders Students are 17-19 years old. Gap Year students are typically 18 to 22 years old. If you are curious about the age and gender of other participants on a particular program, just let us know and we will tell you!

Do most people travel with a friend?

No, most students on Rustic Trips and Pathfinders programs do not know anybody when they arrive. However, some students do choose to go with friends to share the experience together.

Are Rustic staff members certified in first aid?

Every program will include staff members with a minimum certification of First Aid and CPR. Many of our programs will include staff members with Wilderness First Responder, EMT, Surf Lifeguard, and other certifications.

Can you cater to my needs?

Rustic Pathways’ Personal Travel Advisors are available to work with you to meet your needs. Whether you have special dietary needs, hope to combine programs, or just want more details about a program, we are here to talk.

Travel Arrangements

How does air travel work?

Students on our Rustic Trips, Pathfinders and Gap Year programs generally travel independently to and from their destination country. Our program leaders meet all students upon arrival. Most airlines can assist with arranging an unaccompanied minor service if required. We do not have chaperones on flights departing Australia.

Students on our school group programs will travel with their teachers from Australia, throughout their overseas journey, and on the return flight home. Rustic Pathways leaders meet groups upon arrival at their destination and travel with the group throughout their time in country.

Does Rustic Pathways book my flights?

Rustic Pathways Travel is a travel agency in Victoria and can book your flights. Please contact us for a quote on airfares to join our programs. Teachers – we will provide you with a package price per student that includes international airfares for your group.

What time does my student need to arrive and depart?

For students travelling independently, we will provide you with a four- hour window in which to arrive at the international gateway airport. Details will be provided in your confirmation letter once you’ve applied. If a student cannot arrive within the designated time frame, we can easily make special pick-up and accommodation arrangements. Students travelling with their school group will have these details confirmed during their pre-departure preparation.

What about visas?

It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure you meet the entry and exit requirements for each country, but we are here to help. Visas depend on both your nationality and the particular country you will be visiting. For destinations that require visas for Australian citizens, Rustic Pathways will send out additional information prior to your departure.

How will my child know where to meet the group?

Rustic Pathways will send students detailed instructions on where to meet their group. We’ll also provide contact numbers for various staff that will be there to greet them. Our staff will be waiting in the arrival hall, with a big smile wearing a Rustic t-shirt and holding a sign.

How will I know my child has arrived?, Will I hear from my child during the trip?

Once your child arrives safely at his or her destination, you will receive a safe arrival email from us within 24 hours. After this email, no news is good news. Programs vary on remoteness, but most provide the opportunity for your child to email or contact you. We suggest working out these expectations with your child before the trip starts.

Can I connect between countries and programs?

Yes! Many Rustic Pathways students choose the exciting option of combining multiple trips. While many of our programs are designed to connect easily, others take a bit of coordinating. If it’s possible, we’ll make it happen! Contact us if you have any specific connectivity questions about our programs.

Information About Your Trip

What medical information do I need to know?

Be an informed traveller! We are here to help with this, but you also must consult with your physician prior to travel. To assist students prior to and during travel, participants have access to the services of HX- Global, a world-renowned medical and travel security company. Make sure to let us know of any medical needs or questions about health risks.

Is there a packing list?, What should I send with my child?

All students will be provided with a comprehensive packing list prior to departure. Depending on your program, this may be posted online or given out at a school meeting.

Adminstrative Details

What does the program cost cover?

Your program cost covers all guides, transport, safety back-up, and essential elements of a program from the time you arrive at the starting location until the program is over. This includes meals, accommodations, and most activities. This does not include spending money or activities listed as optional in the program itinerary.

What is your cancellation or revision policy?

If you would like to change to a different program after you’ve already signed up, email us at rustic@rusticpathways.com.au. Revisions incur a $100 fee plus the cost difference of the program – as long as they are not within 30 days of your first start date. If you signed up as a Star Alumni or Early Bird, please see your specific program rules.

Refunds for program cancellations are issued on a sliding scale based on how soon the start date is. We recommend you carefully read through the cancellation policy on the application form and acceptance letter.

What about international exchange rates?

Rustic Pathways pays for most of its international programs in local currencies. Should currencies fluctuate and thereby increase our operating costs, we reserve the right to increase our program fees in proportion to this shift and invoice participants for the increase in costs. We generally only exercise this right in extreme cases.

What forms does Rustic Pathways require?

Prior to travel, we require all participants to submit medical forms, enrolment agreements, and copies of travel documents. Once you sign up for a program, you will be assigned a Personal Travel Advisor (PTA). This will be your main point person at Rustic Pathways. Your PTA will help you get in all required forms and make sure all your questions are answered.

I Still Have a Questions

These pages have outlined some of our most frequently asked questions. Check out rusticpathways.com.au for detailed information, maps, itineraries, and updates about programs that interest you. You will also find photo galleries, packing lists, and answers to more frequently asked questions on our website.

We are also available to talk on the phone – just call us on 1800 321 435 from within Australia, or +61 3 5972 0862 if you are calling from outside Australia. You can also email us at rustic@rusticpathways.com.au.

We can accommodate most school visit requests or meet you at your neighbourhood coffee shop! We have staff who would love to meet with you and your family – just request a meeting online!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This catalogue provides a brief summary of some of the 2017-2018 travel programs (“the programs”) offered by Rustic Pathways Travel Pty Ltd and Rustic Pathways Australia (USA), Inc. (“Rustic Pathways”), tour operators based in the states of Victoria, Australia, and Ohio, USA respectively. All program participants and their parents and/or legal guardians (collectively “the participants”) are required to read, sign, comply with, and abide by a comprehensive Statement of Terms and Conditions and various waivers and liability limitations that govern and regulate participation in the programs. Rustic Pathways will furnish these various materials to all qualified participants.

All travel can be dangerous, and adventure travel to the more remote areas of the world poses unique risks. Rustic Pathways insists that all participants and potential participants seriously consider the dangers of any program undertaken. Participants should not apply for or participate in any Rustic Pathways program if they are unwilling to accept any and all of the potential risks and dangers such a program could pose.

International travel to and domestic travel within overseas destinations will be on several airlines (“the airlines”). No airline by virtue of its endorsement of this brochure represents itself as contracting with any purchaser of the programs. The airlines are not responsible for any act, omission, or events during the time passengers are not on board their planes or conveyance. The passage contract in use by the airlines, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and the participant.