Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked QuestionsHere you find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions that we receive. We hope that this can be a useful resource to you. If you still have questions that aren't answered here or you would like to contact us for another reason please feels free to contact us.

Questions Parents Ask
Answer : Common dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, nut-free and vegetarian requirements, can usually be accommodated on site at the food venue, provided that the student can self-monitor.
Severe food allergies, sensitivities or food-related medical conditions regrettably cannot be accommodated in our group dining settings, and special individual menu requests simply cannot be considered due to logistical constraints. In such cases, CTA may require that a parent or parent-appointed guardian attend the trip as an additional paid passenger, in order to ensure the safety of their child.
NOTE: In the event that a participant does not partake of a tour-included meal, even for reasons of a food allergy or sensitivity, no refund or credit is provided by CTA.

Answer : Seat belts are not legally required on motorcoaches as they are on school buses in some states, such as in NJ. Also, due to the softer, padded interior, the sturdier construction of the overall vehicle itself, and their primary design for long distance travel, motorcoaches already have a markedly higher passenger safety rating than school buses. More motorcoaches are being outfitted with seat belts these days, and some motorcoach companies already have them on a portion of their fleet, but no company has them on every single coach. Therefore, it is possible that seat belts may be included on one or more buses provided for your CTA trip, but in most cases they can not be guaranteed. Today there are simply not a sufficient number of seat belt equipped buses available for every CTA trip to have them on every motorcoach, especially during the extremely busy spring tour season.

Answer : CTA is deeply committed to the safety and well being of our tour passengers and staff. In accordance with this goal, should a Federal, State or Municipal government officially ban tourist travel to a CTA destination during dates that coincide with a CTA trip to that destination, then CTA will work closely with the school administration, their staff and our travel supplier partners to either: 1) reschedule the trip to a mutually convenient time, or 2) cancel the trip outright and provide a 100% refund to all registrants.

In the absence of any such travel ban, CTA assumes that a normal and reasonable tourist safety environment prevails and therefore CTA tours will continue to operate as scheduled. In addition, Parents who have previously registered their child for a CTA trip and pre-selected ICW (Individual Cancellation Waiver), will continue to have the option of individually withdrawing their child from the trip for any reason in exchange for a full refund, less the ICW cost, as originally guaranteed at the time of registration.

Answer : Please note that hotel privacy policies prevent their staff from discussing specific requests related to a group hotel arrangement. Parent special requests related to lodging must be submitted to CTA in writing from our website Contact page. CTA will reply on or before the next business day. Please note that students are lodged four to a room (quad occupancy) sharing two double or queen sized beds, and due to fire safety regulations cots are not permitted.

Answer : Any applicable refunds due to ICW cancellation or overpayment are required to be deposited back to your same credit/debit/gift card(s) that was used to make the original payment(s). This is a requirement of all Credit Card issuers (Visa/MasterCard/Discover), and is not governed by CTA policy.

SPECIAL NOTE: When paying by Gift Card, be sure to retain your original gift card (even if the value is zero) until well after the trip is completed, just in case you are due a refund. Even if you no longer possess the original Gift Card, your CTA refund must still be deposited back to the original Gift Card that was used for your original payment.

SPECIAL NOTE 2: If ICW Refund attempt to original credit/debit card is Declined by the credit card issuer, a check refund will be sent to the registering Adult (or to Parent in case of Student registration) minus a mandatory 3% processing fee.

Answer : Before your next trip payment is due, CTA will send you an automatically generated email that includes a simple one-click link directly into your Trip Account with no login required. Please be sure to set your email to “enable links” and to allow messages from CTA by adding "" to your email address book.

Answer :
For Online Registration and Mail-In Registration that includes a valid email address:
Following receipt of your successful registration, CTA immediately sends you a Trip Confirmation email containing a quick link into your CTA Trip Account (no login required). By simply clicking this link, you can view the details of your Trip Account, and you may make your next payment. Before your next payment deadline, CTA will send you an email reminder with the same quick link into your CTA Trip Account for easy payment processing.

For Mail-In Registration with no valid email address:
CTA sends you a payment invoice by US mail two weeks before each payment is due.

NOTE: Only registrants with a valid email address are able to access their CTA Trip Account through our online system.

Answer : Following successful online registration, CTA immediately sends the new registrant a Trip Confirmation email. Within this email are your unique Registration ID and a quick link into your Trip Account (no login required). By clicking this link, you can view your total trip cost, your current outstanding balance, the status of your ICW, your next payment due date, and every payment, refund and credit applied thus far.

NOTE: Only registrants with a valid email address are able to access their CTA Trip Account through our online system.

Answer : This can happen for many reasons. The most common ones are listed below in their order of likelihood.
#1 - It is possible that your email system is blocking CTA messages or sending them to your Spam or Junk email folder. To allow messages from CTA, include the CTA address “” in your address book.
#2 – You may have changed your email address since registering for the trip. If you can no longer access your old email account, then simply send an email to CTA at “” instructing us update your email address – be sure to include the name of the School or Organization, your name, the passenger’s name (if different from yours), plus your old and new email addresses. You may also call CTA 24-hours a day with this information at 800-541-6606.
#3 – You may have incorrectly entered your email address when you registered online for the trip, or if you mailed your trip registration form to CTA then we may have incorrectly entered your email address. Simply send an email to CTA at “” to have your email address corrected in our system – be sure to include the name of the School or Organization, your name, the passenger’s name(if different from yours), and your correct email address. You may also call CTA 24-hours a day with this information at 800-541-6606.
#4 – If you mailed your trip registration form to CTA, you may have left your email address blank. Simply send an email to CTA at “” to have your email address entered in our system – be sure to include the name of the School or Organization, your name, the passenger’s name (if different from yours), and your email address. You may also call CTA 24-hours a day with this information at 800-541-6606.

Answer : Absolutely not. CTA is proud to be the only student tour company that charges no fees whatsoever for installment payments. The total cost of the trip is exactly the same whether paying in full or paying by installment.

In addition, you may pay off your entire outstanding trip balance at anytime before the final payment due date.

Answer : CTA does NOT automatically charge credit cards for future payments. All payments must be submitted by the cardholder before the payment due date. Please check your CTA payment reminder email for a quick payment link.

Payment security note: Our Verisign-certified secure online payment system never transmits credit card data to CTA. We do receive confirmation of your payment, but we NEVER receive your actual credit card number nor any other sensitive data.

Answer : CTA employs state of the art security on our website, especially with regard to the payment process.

Wherever we collect personal information, it is encrypted and transmitted in a totally secure manner. You may verify this yourself by the presence of a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or by the presence of "https” at the beginning of the CTA web page address.

To view our complete privacy policy, click here.

Answer : Once trip registration is complete and initial payment is verified, then only missing the final payment deadline risks a penalty.

CTA may cancel an individual for delinquent payment within 45-days of trip departure (75-days with airfare included). If a previously cancelled registrant qualifies for reinstatement on a trip, a fee of $35.00 is assessed and is due immediately. Both CTA and the sponsoring organization must agree to reinstate any previously cancelled registrant.

Answer : Once an individual is cancelled from a CTA trip, reinstatement on the trip is not guaranteed. Both CTA and the sponsoring organization must agree to reinstate any previously cancelled registrant. If a previously cancelled registrant qualifies for reinstatement on a trip, a fee of $35.00 is assessed and is due immediately.

Answer : Fundraising proceeds are applied promptly to an individual’s Trip Account (usually within 24 hours), following verification from the sponsoring organization (e.g., school, club, etc,…). If you believe that the amount of your fundraising credit is incorrect, please contact the sponsoring organization directly. If your Trip Account shows no fundraising proceeds, this indicates that CTA has not yet received the amount of your fundraising from the sponsoring organization.

Answer : CTA honors your school's policies regarding medications, cell phones and the use of other electronics during the tour. Usually personal cell phones are encouraged for all student travelers, but are turned off during tour hours to avoid disruption of our remote learning environment. Specifics on these details are discussed at the Parent Information Meeting.

Answer : Some trip sponsoring organizations (e.g., school, club, etc,…) offer scholarship awards to offset part or all of the trip cost. Please contact your sponsoring organization directly to determine if scholarships are available, and if you qualify. If a scholarship is awarded, CTA applies the amount of the scholarship directly to the recipient’s Trip Account.

CTA does not accept scholarship applications, and CTA has no authority in determining which applicants are selected for scholarships.

Answer : Some schools may not have a sufficient number of faculty chaperones available for a trip. In those instances, parents are sometimes needed to assist in chaperoning, and you may wish to volunteer. The duties and responsibilities of a parent chaperone are not for everyone, and can even be overwhelming to some. Consider carefully these points when inquiring about chaperoning your child’s school trip.

Check School Policy
Some schools have a strict policy forbidding parent chaperones.
Some school districts require a background check on parent chaperones, usually at the parent’s expense.
Some schools permit parent chaperones but forbid them from traveling on the same bus as their own child.
Many schools give chaperone selection priority to parents with professional medical training.
Most schools do not permit parent chaperones to consume tobacco or alcohol during the trip.
Most schools require that parent chaperones pay their own way, even if the child receives financial aid.
Most schools require that parent chaperones attend one or more mandatory chaperone meetings.

If You’re NOT Selected by the School to Chaperone
Accept the school’s decision, and support their right to determine the best mix of chaperones for the trip.
Don’t take it personally. Complex criteria are considered when selecting parent chaperones.
Be prepared to still support your child in his/her participation in the trip.

If You ARE Selected by the School to Chaperone
Attend all chaperone meetings scheduled by the school.
Always support the school’s trip leaders by following their instructions throughout the trip.
Never break from the group; the school is relying on you to chaperone your assigned group at all times.
Never remove your child from the trip to do some personal family sightseeing.
Never ask to drive your own car to “follow the buses” during the trip, unless your child has Special Needs.
Support the trip schedule and remember that it was designed for students, not adults.
Never undermine nor question the authority of the school faculty or administration during the trip.
Contact your trip roommate prior to the trip to introduce yourself and break the ice.
Patience! You will be away from home, sleep-deprived, stressed, surrounded by excited students all day long, and possibly sharing a room with a stranger. Be prepared, be flexible and be open-minded.

Questions about Planning a Group Trip
Answer : CTA custom designs all items included in every group tour. We welcome special requests, provided that the item meets our CTA quality standards. All requests must come direct from the sponsoring organization’s official representative.

Answer : For a single motorcoach tour, CTA recommends at least 40 passengers, however we will adjust pricing down to a minimum of 20 passengers although the per-person cost does increase dramatically.

For tours that include airfare, group sizes may be as low as 16 paid passengers.

Answer : In order to preserve privacy and avoid contrasting chaperone behavior policies, CTA does not mix small groups. CTA will combine small groups if both organization representatives are familiar with each other and if each requests to be joined with the other.

Answer : If space permits, a group may add a chaperone beyond the free allotment, however an added cost will apply.


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