Frequently Asked Questions
What is the deadline to enroll?
There is no deadline for enrollment. We will indicate on our website if a trip has reached capacity, and at that point we will take names for the waitlist.
Do you offer payment plans or scholarships?
If a payment plan would work better for your family, please reach out to us directly to see if we can accommodate your needs. We do not offer scholarships at this time, but do offer a discount of $100 for families that reserve their trip before March 15. Use the code "EARLYBIRD" at checkout.
I don't live in the DFW area - can I still participate?
If you live outside DFW, you are welcome to participate if you can either make travel arrangements to travel with us from DFW, or if you can find a flight that arrives at our destination no later than 1 hour after our group flight lands. We also won't be able to make special trips to the airport on departure day, so you'll have to find a return flight that is compatible with our existing schedule. Please contact us directly so we can discuss your flight plans!
What happens after I enroll?
You will receive an email from us including confirmation of your enrollment, a detailed information packet, suggested packing list, and required forms and waivers. We will email you an invoice for your trip balance and insurance fee, which is payable online or by check. The trip balance is due by April 1, 2021 or within 7 days of enrollment if you book after April 1. Your paperwork will be due at the pre-trip meeting, which is usually scheduled 2-3 weeks prior to departure (specific dates are posted on each trip page).
What happens at the pre-trip meeting?
The pre-trip meeting is a chance for us to get to know each other a little better before departure. We want to make the most of our time together on our adventure, so we find it helpful to jumpstart the get-to-know-you process, learn names, and become more familiar with each other before take-off. Parents and youth will be together during part of the meeting for general information and later split up so that participants on the trip can get to know each other better and parents can ask questions about the waivers, payment, itineraries, etc.
If you register for the Secret Mountain Wilderness Adventure, we'll ask that you bring in your backpacking gear, hiking boots and camping clothes for a "gear check," so that we can make sure that you have everything you need for a great experience.
What is the trip insurance and is it required?
We have found that the simplest and most economical solution to trip coverage is for OutLoud Adventures to purchase group trip insurance that covers each individual on the trip. It is required to participate and protects your investment in the unfortunate instance of illness or other covered reasons you might need to cancel your trip at the last minute. We will handle purchasing the policy and will email each participant a copy. We will invoice you for your share of the policy, which is dependent on the final number of participants. The average cost is $83 per person.
How are airline reservations made?
Airfare is included in the price of your trip. We will book your airfare in a group block to ensure that we are seated together on the same flights. The airlines we typically fly on are: American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Delta, depending on the destination. All of the flights that we book are nonstop.
What should I pack?
A packing list for your trip will be provided when we confirm your enrollment. Most trips require shoes that will be suitable on a hiking trail (like trail runners or hiking boots), comfortable clothing and activewear, a water bottle, and a backpack to bring on excursions. We handle all of the group gear required for the trips - you're really just responsible for clothing and personal items.
Can I bring a laptop?
We strongly encourage you to leave your laptop and other electronic devices besides your cellphone at home! We cannot be responsible for damage, theft, or loss of any personal item, and you will not always be able to keep a close eye on it. Our days are pretty busy and evenings are devoted to hanging out with friends. You won't miss your laptop - trust us.
What is the cell phone policy on the trip? When will we be able to contact parents?
You are welcome to bring a cell phone and use it during down time (like at the hotel or while we're on the road to listen to music). We'll ask you to leave your cell phone in a secure lockbox in the van during most activities and during meals so that you can focus on being present with the group in some of the most beautiful places the US has to offer. We promise a staff member will be taking great pictures that will be made available to everyone via an online gallery.
Throughout the trip, staff will send some photo highlights to parents so they can see all of the exciting adventures we've been up to. You are always welcome to call home at night when we're at the hotel.
What is the food like? Can you accommodate special diets?
One of our favorite benefits of traveling in small groups is that we can avoid the big chains and impersonal buffets. Our staff handpicks delicious local restaurants with a variety of options. We can easily accommodate most special diets, but make sure you reach out to us to discuss your specific needs.
During the three nights of camping on the Secret Mountain Wilderness Adventure, we will be eating deluxe backpacking food. During the pre-trip meeting, participants will select their lunches and snacks and vote on dinner options. Hot dinners and breakfasts will be made as a group over camping stoves.
How does money work on the trip? How much spending money will I need?
Everything you need for a great experience is included in the trip price. You don't need to bring any spending money, but you can if you want!
We're big proponents of letting young people have agency during our adventures. We set a daily per person budget for meals based on where we're eating and whether breakfast is included at the hotel. Each morning the daily budget (usually ranging between $40 - $60) is distributed to each participant in a cash envelope. This money is yours to spend on meals, tips, snacks, and whatever else you choose to use it on. These budgets are more than enough to enjoy great meals at all of the restaurants we're going to, and whatever you have leftover can be used on souvenirs or carried over to meals on other days. If a participant is having trouble budgeting their money, we can step in to offer assistance.
What are the hotels like? How do you determine the rooming assignments?
Our staff takes great care in researching, touring and testing the hotels we stay at. We typically stay at boutique local hotels, rather than large chains, but there are some exceptions when we're in remote areas with limited options. We typically stay at 3 or 3.5 star hotels that are comfortable, clean, and close to our daytime activities.
Rooming assignments are selected by our staff and often mixed up throughout the trip to help participants build new relationships.
How do you address bullying?
We do not tolerate bullying of any kind. We take emotional wellbeing just as seriously as physical wellbeing, and our team is made up of expert facilitators that know how to build an inclusive community quickly. If we become aware of a bullying issue, we will make every attempt to intervene and remedy the situation immediately. If bullying becomes an ongoing issue, we reserve the right to dismiss any participant that is damaging to the emotional wellbeing of the group.
Who holds medication during the program?
Parents have the option to choose whether their child will self-administer medication or a staff member will hold and distribute the meds according to schedule. If your child has a complex medication schedule or specific medical needs, please contact us to discuss your situation before booking one of our adventures.