United States

 

Domestic Student Travel in the USA

Explore the USA With No Barriers Youth Programming

No Barriers Youth offers an exciting and unique Alaska student travel experience. Take in the flora and fauna of this diverse state while exploring glaciers and learning about the effects of climate change.

Travelers can also:

  • Embark on a wildlife glacier cruise into the heart of Kenai Fjords National Park. Look for the abundant wildlife, including whales, sea otters, endangered Steller sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, and colonies of nesting sea birds
  • Explore the effects of climate change on the environment through guided treks in the Matanuska Glacier Valley, Chugach State Park and Kenai Fjords National Wildlife Reserve
  • Discover the history and tradition of the Iditarod sled dog race through an interactive workshop with a former Iditarod champion

What to Know Before Educational Trips to the United States

On March of 1867 the US purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire for 7.2 million dollars at a cost of approximately two cents per acre. Shortly thereafter a massive gold rush brought thousands of settlers to the region.  It wasn’t until January of 1959 that Alaska received its statehood, but today more than 740 thousand American’s call Alaska home.

Currently, Alaska’s economy is powered by its wealth of natural resources with 80% of the state’s revenues derived from petroleum extraction. This is often in direct conflict with preserving the state’s wildlife, glaciers, and battling the effects of climate change. As an educational travel destination Alaska offers something for everyone with a multitude of outdoor adventure options with unsurpassed access to engaging environmental sciences content.

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Choose Your Adventure for Teen Travel in the United States

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City Service and the Grand Canyon

Day 1: Welcome to Arizona! 
  • All Day: Travel to Phoenix, Arizona. Meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders upon your arrival and transfer to your accommodations.  
  • Accommodation: Phoenix, AZ 
Day 2: Visit Montezuma Castle and Hike Trails  
  • Morning: After breakfast, start heading toward Flagstaff, AZ.  
  • Afternoon: Stop for lunch along the way at Montezuma Castle National Monument.  
  • Evening: Arrive in Flagstaff and participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Flagstaff, AZ 
Day 3: Community Service and Local Culture 
  • Morning: Volunteer at Flagstaff Family Food Center and Food Bank.  
  • Afternoon: Visit the Museum of Northern Arizona and learn more about the Native American tribes that used to inhabit the Colorado Plateau.  
  • Evening: Have dinner and relax after a long day.  
  • Accommodation: Flagstaff, AZ 
Day 4: Community Service and Hiking 
  • Morning: Return to FFFC for another morning of volunteer work.  
  • Afternoon: Head out to the Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments.  
  • Evening: Have dinner and join the group for a mid-trip discussion.  
  • Accommodation: Flagstaff, AZ 
Day 5: Community Service and Explore Flagstaff 
  • Morning: Dedicate one final morning at FFFC.  
  • Afternoon: Explore downtown Flagstaff.  
  • Evening: Head up to Lowell Observatory and learn about the stars.  
  • Accommodation: Flagstaff, AZ 
Day 6: Experience the Grand Canyon 
  • Morning: Drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  
  • Afternoon: Hike the trails and learn about how the canyon was formed.  
  • Evening: Watch the sunset over the canyon and return to Flagstaff.  
  • Accommodation: Flagstaff, AZ 
Day 7: Discover Sedona and Arcosanti 
  • Morning: Drive to Sedona, AZ, and hike a trail through the majestic red rocks.  
  • Afternoon: Tour Arcosanti, a community that uses ecology to create a sustainable city in the desert.  
  • Evening: Return to Phoenix, enjoy your last dinner together as a group, and participate in the No Barriers closing ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Phoenix, AZ 
Day 8: Goodbye, Arizona!  
  • All Day: Say goodbye to Arizona and reflect upon your adventure as you travel home.  

Crescent City Service

Day 1: Welcome to New Orleans! 
  • Morning/Afternoon: Travel to New Orleans, Louisiana. Meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders upon your arrival and transfer to your accommodations.  
  • Evening: Enjoy a meal of jambalaya and watch a documentary about Hurricane Katrina. Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony and set objectives for your week together in the Big Easy. 
  • Accommodation: New Orleans Base House 
Day 2: Discover the French Quarter 
  • Morning: Take a guided drive through the Lower Ninth Ward and then make your way to the French Quarter and visit a museum dedicated to Hurricane Katrina.  
  • Afternoon: Head to the French Market for souvenir shopping and continue exploring the French Quarter.    
  • Evening: Return to the Base House for dinner, have an opening discussion, and head out for dessert.  
  • Accommodation: New Orleans Base House 
Day 3: Volunteer and Enjoy the City 
  • Morning/Afternoon: Begin your volunteer work with a local organization devoted to food security, environmental justice, or rebuilding.  
  • Evening: Return to the Base House for dinner and relax after a full day of volunteer service.  
  • Accommodation: New Orleans Base House 
Day 4: Volunteer and Cooking Challenge 
  • Morning / Afternoon: Continue volunteering.  
  • Evening: Participate in a cooking challenge for dinner and then join the group for a mid-trip discussion. 
  • Accommodation: New Orleans Base House 
Day 5: Volunteer and Bowling 
  • Morning/Afternoon: Continue volunteering.  
  • Evening: Have dinner out and head to Rock ‘N’ Bowl for an evening of bowling accompanied by live music.  
  • Accommodation: New Orleans Base House 
Day 6: Final Day of Service 
  • Morning/Afternoon: Finish strong with your last volunteering shift.   
  • Evening: Go out for dessert and enjoy a relaxing movie night at the Base House.  
  • Accommodation: New Orleans Base House 
Day 7: Explore the Bayou 
  • Morning: Drive out to a plantation and learn about the history of slavery in Lousiana.  
  • Afternoon: Head to the swamp and search for wildlife on an airboat tour.  
  • Evening: Participate in the No Barriers closing ceremony with your group and enjoy one final night in New Orleans. 
  • Accommodation: New Orleans Base House 
Day 8: Au Revoir, New Orleans! 
  • All Day: Say goodbye to New Orleans and reflect upon your adventure as you travel home.  

From San Francisco to Big Sur

Day 1: Welcome to California! 
  • All Day: Travel to San Francisco, California. Meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders upon your arrival and transfer to your accommodations.  
  • Accommodation: San Francisco, CA 
Day 2: Explore the Forests and the Coastline 
  • Morning: Drive to Muir Woods National Monument and walk in the shadow of giant redwood trees.  
  • Afternoon: Head south along the Pacific Coast Highway and admire the staggering cliffs and expansive ocean views.  
  • Evening: Arrive at your lodging and settle in for the night. Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony.  
  • Accommodation: Santa Cruz, CA 
Day 3: Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium 
  • Morning: Spend the morning with experts who will lead the group through various activities designed to improve group- and self-awareness.  
  • Afternoon: Head to Monterey and learn all about the local coastal wildlife at Monterey Bay Aquarium.  
  • Evening: Return to Santa Cruz for dinner and an evening with your group.  
  • Accommodation: Santa Cruz, CA 
Day 4: Enjoy the Beach in Santa Cruz 
  • Morning: Shop along Pacific Avenue and soak in the relaxing atmosphere of Santa Cruz surf culture.  
  • Afternoon: Ride roller coasters and play arcade games at the Boardwalk, one of California’s last remaining beach boardwalks.  
  • Evening: Enjoy a final evening in Santa Cruz.  
  • Accommodation: Santa Cruz, CA 
Day 5: Surfs Up Santa Cruz 
  • Morning: Hang loose with a surf lesson in Santa Cruz.  
  • Afternoon: Head back to San Francisco and explore one of its many immigrant neighborhoods.  
  • Evening: Have dinner in the city. Return to your accommodations and settle in for the night.  
  • Accommodation: San Francisco, CA 
Day 6: Participate in Service and Explore the Bay 
  • Morning: Begin your volunteer work at a local nonprofit dedicated to the people of San Francisco.  
  • Afternoon: Visit a world-class museum and explore Fisherman’s Wharf.  
  • Evening: Have dinner in the city. Return to your accommodations and settle in for the night.  
  • Accommodation: San Francisco, CA 
Day 7: Continue Service and Visit Alcatraz 
  • Morning: Return to the nonprofit for another morning of volunteer service.  
  • Afternoon: Take a tour of the infamous Alcatraz prison island.  
  • Evening: Enjoy your last dinner as a group and participate in the No Barriers closing ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: San Francisco, CA 
Day 8: Goodbye, California!  
  • All Day: Say goodbye to California and reflect upon your adventure as you travel home.  

Land of the Midnight Sun: Alaska

Day 1: Welcome to Alaska! 
  • All Day: Travel to Anchorage, Alaska. Meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders upon your arrival and transfer to your accommodations.  
  • Accommodation: Anchorage, AK 
Day 2: Discover Denali National Park 
  • Morning: Drive to Denali National Park, home to America’s tallest peak.  
  • Afternoon: Hike in Denali and learn about dog sledding. Set up camp and learn about wildlife safety.  
  • Evening: Gather around the campfire for an opening discussion and settle in for a night in the wilderness. Participate in the No Barriers opening ceremony. 
  • Accommodation: Denali National Park, AK 
Day 3: Explore Inner Denali 
  • Morning: Pack your lunch and hop on a bus to head into the inner parts of Denali National Park that are closed off to public vehicles.  
  • Afternoon: Continue on the bus tour, where you will likely see wildlife like bears or moose.   
  • Evening: Return to camp, cook dinner, and settle down for the night.  
  • Accommodation: Denali National Park, AK 
Day 4: Trek South to Matanuska! 
  • Morning: Journey south from Denali toward the Matanuska River.  
  • Afternoon: Stop for lunch and hike to sweeping views of the river.  
  • Evening: Set up camp, have a mid-trip debrief discussion with the group, and prepare for whitewater rafting in the morning.  
  • Accommodation: Matanuska River, AK 
Day 5: Rafting Adventure on the Matanuska River! 
  • Morning: Work together as a group to raft down Caribou Creek and the Class III and IV rapids of the Matanuska River.  
  • Afternoon: Drive south to the Kenai Peninsula.  
  • Evening: Set up camp and relax after a long day.  
  • Accommodation: Seward, AK 
Day 6: Experience Wild Alaska 
  • Morning/Afternoon: Take a wildlife boat tour in the Kenai Fjords.  
  • Evening: Return to camp and settle down for another night camping in the wilderness.  
  • Accommodation: Seward, AK 
Day 7: Glacier Hike 
  • Morning: Hike the dense blue ice of Exit Glacier and enjoy the views of Harding Icefield.  
  • Afternoon: Visit the SeaLife Center and witness native animal rehabilitation efforts first hand.  
  • Evening: Participate in the No Barriers closing ceremony with your group and enjoy one final night in the Alaskan wilds.  
  • Accommodation: Seward, AK 
Day 8: Goodbye, Alaska! 
  • All Day: Say goodbye to Alaska and reflect upon your adventure as you travel home.  

Off the Map: Hawaii

Day 1: Welcome to Hawaii! 
  • All Day: Travel to Kona, Hawaii. Meet your No Barriers Expedition Leaders upon your arrival and transfer to your accommodations.  
  • Accommodation: Kona, HI 
Day 2: Volunteer and Snorkel 
  • Morning: Start your day with breakfast and by volunteering with a local organization working to preserve Hawaii’s natural resources and wildlife.  
  • Afternoon: Head to the beach for a snorkeling lesson and enjoy viewing aquatic wildlife in their natural habitat.  
  • Evening: Have dinner and join the group for the No Barriers opening ceremony.  
  • Accommodation: Kona, HI 
Day 3: Volunteer and Hike 
  • Morning: Continue your work with the local organization.  
  • Afternoon: Head to a local trail and hike your way through a lush Hawaiian environment.  
  • Evening: Host an oral historian and learn more about Hawaii’s rich and complex history.  
  • Accommodation: Kona, HI 
Day 4: Volunteer and Surf 
  • Morning: Finish your work with the local volunteer organization.  
  • Afternoon: Return to the beach, trade your snorkel for a surfboard, and learn to ride the waves. 
  • Evening: Come together with your group and debrief your volunteer experiences.  
  • Accommodation: Kona, HI 
Day 5: Volcanoes National Park 
  • Morning: Make your way to Volcanoes National Park and visit the world’s most active volcano.  
  • Afternoon: Hike through the park and explore the power and natural beauty of this part of the island.  
  • Evening: Have dinner, relax, and enjoy the evening.  
  • Accommodation: Volcano, HI 
Day 6: Volcanoes and Hilo 
  • Morning: Take one final hike in Volcanoes National Park and head for Hilo.  
  • Afternoon: Settle into your accommodations and explore the quaint downtown area of Hilo.  
  • Evening: Have dinner, relax, and enjoy the evening.  
  • Accommodation: Hilo, HI 
Day 7: Explore Hilo and Mauna Kea 
  • Morning: Head into the jungle for a zipline tour.  
  • Afternoon: Visit the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii and gain a better understanding of the importance of stars in Hawaiin culture.  
  • Evening: Head up to Mauna Kea for some stargazing.  
  • Accommodation: Hilo, HI 
Day 8: Return to Kona 
  • Morning: Journey back to the west side of the island of Hawaii.  
  • Afternoon: Hike to Makalawena Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.  
  • Evening: Enjoy your last dinner as a group and participate in the No Barriers closing ceremony..  
  • Accommodation: Kona, HI 
Day 9: Aloha, Hawaii! 
  • All Day: Say goodbye to Hawaii and reflect upon your adventure as you travel home.  

Getting immersed in the culture of India and getting to know and love the children was the greatest. When the students would cling to me at the end of class, and tell me how much they enjoyed having me there was heartbreaking.

Rachel W., Student

There is so much life, happening all the time. It's crazy to think that, after only three weeks, I feel like I've become accustomed to so much of how the world move.

Saul S., Student

I just wanted to take a moment to formally thank you for another unbelievable and life changing trip. No Barriers Youth made it all possible and took the guesswork out of a potentially nerve wracking and complicated task.

Amanda W., Trip Leader