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Parents & Students FAQ

Will I need to carry a passport? On international tours, all tour participants need to carry a passport. If your child does not currently have a passport, be sure to apply several months before the tour departs. For Canadian citizens, the passport needs to be valid for at least six months after returning home. Non-Canadian citizens need to carry a non-expired passport and a multi-entry visa. Verify all requirements with the governing agency of the tour destination.
How do I apply for a passport? For all passport information, including how to apply, please visit the Government of Canada's Website or the governing agency of your home country.
Are visas needed to travel abroad? Visa requirements depend on the country or countries your child is visiting, the passport you are traveling under, and the length of the trip. Contact the embassy for each country your child will be visiting as soon as possible to make sure you have time to secure all necessary paperwork.
Do you have any fundraising efforts? We have a great step-by-step process in our fundraising blog here.
Is there Wi-Fi on the bus or hotel? Wi-Fi is available with certain coach companies for an additional fee. Please speak to your Sales Consultant about adding this. As for the hotel, most hotels provide complimentary Wi-Fi.
How will the group be divided at the hotel? Each hotel configuration is different, but we typically request that hotels keep each group on a minimal number of floors (with boys and girls separated). If necessary, please speak to your Sales Consultant about alternate arrangements.
Can my child forgo participation in a part of the tour? Students are expected to participate in all activities scheduled in the tour. There is no reimbursement for any activities in which a student decides not to participate. Any arrangements to shorten or extend your child's tour should be coordinated with the Group Leader. Please note that no discounts will be provided for a child that joins a tour after the initial departure or ends a tour early.
What will flying be like?

If you are flying to your destination, each airline we work with has slightly different processes and protocols to respond to COVID-19. We recommend you check the website of your airline for the most up-to-date information. Airlines are deep cleaning between flights, some are reducing flight capacity, and some require passengers to wear face coverings while on board. Additionally, food service on the plane is either not available or pre-packaged, and so we recommend packing a meal and snacks, particularly if you are flying around a meal time.

You can read more from some of our top partners here:
• United
• Delta
• American
• Southwest

Will we need to wear masks?

Brightspark will provide disposable masks for our participants, as well as reusable masks for our staff. You will need to follow any local, state, or national guidelines. In addition, be prepared for airlines, venues, and cultural sites to have their own specific guidelines you must follow during your visit. When the group is on the bus or outside in open public areas, you may be able to make a group decision about wearing masks.

For performing arts groups (playing musical instruments or singing), we're actively monitoring discussions in the scientific and music education communities to develop options that are appropriate for your ensemble.

What would happen if a student has COVID-19 symptoms while on tour?

If a participant feels ill with symptoms of COVID-19 (which include fever, chills/aches, shortness of breath, coughing), our team will immediately facilitate movement of the participant to a location where they can safely be separated from others. We will simultaneously engage our Doctors on Call or a local medical facility to consult on the next steps, testing, and treatment. We would then, as required:

• Establish and coordinate communication with the participant and the family
• Facilitate transportation for the participant to a local medical facility
• Coordinate quarantine arrangements for the participant, in consultation with local health authorities
• Arrange for transportation for a family member to join the ill traveler
• Provide guidance to the group to reduce the risk of additional exposure and coordinate testing

Brightspark Travel will provide the resources necessary to facilitate the recommended treatment, including an isolated, chaperoned location for the participant to recover and arrangements for a new itinerary to return home.

Will we get our temperature checked?

For the time being, we will ask each Group Leader to facilitate temperature checks each morning to ensure that all participants are feeling well. You may also encounter temperature checks at the airport and at certain sites prior to entry.

How will our group dynamics be impacted?

We may make adjustments to reduce each individual's daily exposure to other people and allow more flexibility in meeting COVID-19-related requirements. This could include changes to keep groups from mixing or adjusting the size of a group (i.e., 7th and 8th grade classes may be kept in separate touring groups rather than mingling during sightseeing activities). These changes will be made on a case-by-case basis and communicated in advance.


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