Elite Educators. Veteran Travelers.
The Ultimate Educational Travel Team.
The Educational Travel Collaborative was born from a simple idea - industry leaders in educational travel coming together to make the world's most impactful voyages available to the general public - transforming lives, empowering exploration, and inspiring futures in the process.
There is nothing like the Educational Travel Collaborative in the industry.
A quick internet search for student or young adult travel leaves a potential explorer bombarded with choices. Here is the reality - most travel companies serving young people are run by tour bus style "mass tourism" promoters, often reviled by local communities for the impacts they have on local life. Trips are run by inexperienced travelers with no particular qualifications in working with young people - a major deficit when it comes to making trips as meaningful, or as fun, as possible.
Our team has a long track record of accreditation, experience, and results, creating communities that young people are excited to be a part of. As an organization, we are passionate about:
Leveraging a collaborative team exclusively made up of dynamic, experienced, highly qualified educators to support young peoples' experiential learning through travel and adventure.
Bringing together individuals with unrivaled and diverse independent travel experience, allowing us to collaborate to meet the academic and personal interests of each traveler.
Supporting gap years and independent travel in a way that meets young travelers' personal and professional goals.
Running guided excursions that are focused on exploration, personal growth, and learning, as opposed to simply filling tour buses with students.
Building collaborative relationships with partners on the ground to provide authentic, mutually beneficial service-learning opportunities in a non-exploitative environment.
Having a certified, fully background checked team, as well as the credentials to operate as travel agents.
Operating at the industry's highest standards of sustainability.
Creating travel opportunities that are lifetime highlights of our young travelers, serving as the foundations of their careers as leaders and travelers.
As accredited by state departments of education, as well as by various independent accreditations, we are happy to say we are the most highly qualified educational travel team in the business today.
Elite Educators Collaborating to Support Travel... Introducing ETC
Our Structural Identity - Dedicated to the Next Generation of Travel
We've introduced our mission - and our team introduction page has given you a sense of who we are. That said, the Educational Travel Collaborative is so much more than just a group of passionate, experienced expert adventurers.
The Collaborative provides the legal and structural framework to allow us to work together with a central goal of empowering young people to partake in transformative travel, engaging in meaningful service, and building up the communities in which we work. Registered in the US and doing business around the world, the Educational Travel Collaborative maintains exacting standards around child protection and safety.
A team of exceptional travelers and educators completes work for the collaborative on an on-demand basis, chaperoning excursions and supporting student independent study based on their own expertise and alignment with the goals of our clients.
What sets us apart from the competition:
Unfortunately, most travel operators marketing towards young people offer mass tourism experiences - picture crowded tour busses and guides lecturing groups of disengaged followers as opposed to stakeholders in their own travel experience. Travelers on such trips don't have the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture, have limited autonomy and opportunities to explore and grow independently, and often do unrealized harm to local communities as they travel.
Transformative experiences are not the result of people being told or shown something, they require true engagement with and analysis of issues relevant to their lives. Master educators not only know this but are experts in making it happen. That's why we maintain a minimum ratio of 1 educator for every four young people on our excursions and intensives - we are there to facilitate reflection for the whole group as well as to engage in side conversations as we go about our day.
Whether providing independent travel/gap year support or guided excursions, working with individuals, families, or academic institutions, what sets us apart is our ability to tailor an itinerary to just about anywhere to the needs and interests of an individual, creating meaningful opportunities for engagement and service on the way. The combination of our experience as veteran travelers and our ability to collaborate to facilitate reflection with young people means we can offer an experience like no one else.
Advantages Over Institutionally Based Programs
We are big supporters of school-based experiential learning and travel programs - many of us create and operate them ourselves. However - school and university-run programs support the needs of the institution first, and the traveler second. Generally speaking, all of the following are considered by institutions prior to individual interest and global relevance:
Does it compete with revenue-generating projects we already have?
Do we have donors whose political or ideological views might be offended by the institution's involvement in this project?
How will our involvement benefit our marketing efforts?
Does our current insurance policy cover this endeavor, or will already overworked staff have to jump through additional hoops?
How much time and energy will it take to set this up?
How do we know this? We've launched programs and had to jump through the above hoops. Schools and universities are amazing institutions of learning - we work in them and love them. But they are not purpose-designed to support immersive, experiential travel opportunities and the growth that comes with them. Because our organizational structure was built from the ground up to support guided and independent educational travel benefitting young people - we are able to facilitate the needs of our clients and their goals above all else.
We are extremely proud of our space in the educational travel world! Let us show you why:
Our elite team of experienced educators and adventurers allows us to offer guided and independent travel opportunities with uniquely verifiable value, while meeting the highest standards for sustainability and safety. Wherever it is you want to explore in this world, we can help you get there, engage, and grow.
Partnerships on the Ground
One of ETCs biggest strengths in the travel sphere is that we are veteran travelers ourselves - we have been around the world and have first-hand knowledge of our planet's most interesting corners. Most travel vendors aren't actually highly experienced independent travelers. Travel agents earn commissions based on how much money they push to a major corporation - whether an airline, hotel chain, cruise line, or international tour operator. Local community-based operators get the short end of the stick. Educational Travel Collaborative has no such corporate commitments and is focused on doing what is best for our travelers and their learning, as well as the communities they are visiting - always.
Health, Safety, and Child Protection
Exploration is about getting out of one's comfort zone, but this doesn't mean leaving safety behind. The most important thing we do on a day to day basis is build a safe, secure, and stable environment for young adventurers to engage with new ways of thinking. Our team meets and exceeds the child protection criteria of the world's top educational institutions, and completes additional child protection, CPR, and first aid training before embarking on any guided travel with young people. We build all of our learning opportunities with the safety and well-being of our travelers in mind and maintain relationships with top monitoring and emergency coordination services to ensure we are prepared for even the most unlikely eventualities.
Sustainable from the Ground Up
Sustainability for people and the planet is at the heart of our mission. After all, how can we ethically support the exploration of a world we aren't working to protect? We, along with the travel we sell, operate as a carbon-neutral entity through collaborations with the world's leading audit and offset teams. In addition to protecting our planet, we work with local organizations and travel providers to ensure that your travel is building a sustainable future for communities around the world.