Travel and Arrival Questions

HOW DO I GET MY TRUE NATURE PROGRAM?

Your registration confirmation letter will provide specific travel windows. Please be sure the trip has been “officially confirmed” before booking your flights. All of our programs provide group transport to/from the airport. Most flights are met by a True Nature Representative at the airport.

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?

As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity after your departure from your destination. That means if your passport has less than six months remaining until the expiration date, you should renew it right away! For Costa Rica, Italy, Iceland, Guatemala, and Peru, visitors from the USA, Canada, and most European countries will receive a visa at the port of entry (i.e. the airport).

Requirements can vary by country and may be dependent on your country of origin. Here are two general resources you may find useful for your travel: Kayak and Sherpa. Both web pages provide information on current entry, in addition to requirements for re-entry into the United States and Canada. 

In addition, please be sure to check directly with your airline. Most airlines will also be providing updates on their website about changes to entry requirements and if you do not find them it is important to contact your airline directly.

For those traveling from the United States, we recommend looking into Mobile Passport. This app allows you to skip the customs lines in 24 US airports on your return from your retreat. Whether or not you use Mobile Passport, please make sure to have a valid passport for your travels.

WILL SOMEONE BE MEETING US AT THE AIRPORT?

Yes! When you arrive at the airport, a True Nature representative will be waiting with our sign directly outside the terminal. There are some programs that have a different procedure, but you will be notified.

Safety and Medical

WHAT ARE THE MEDICAL CONCERNS?

All of our sites are within 1 hour of either a hospital or a 24-hour Emergency Clinic. We have never had a medical situation that has not been adequately resolved. In extreme cases, air transport is available. Please check your health insurance for coverage in foreign countries. We recommend that either a family member or friend have a copy of your daily itinerary and your passport in case of a State-side emergency. We also will have an emergency number in the unlikely event we need to contact someone at home.

When you register for the trip please include information about any allergies and/or medications we need to know about.

Should I get Travel Insurance?

True Nature Travels highly recommends that all of its participants get travel insurance before their trip.

We cannot emphasize more the importance of travel insurance. As we all know, especially as travelers, "life happens." Whether it's family, work, mother nature, or a change of heart, it is important to be prepared in case you need to unexpectedly change your travel plans. Often for less than $100, you can purchase a travel insurance policy and be protected in the event that you need to make a change or need to be covered financially prior to or during your trip. 

We have partnered with two insurance companies: Trawick International and CSA Travel Insurance. We encourage you to research the insurance company and policy that best meets your needs. You may read more about our insurance partners on our website.

Is it safe to travel in these countries?

General Safety Precautions: Follow airport safety guidelines (about your luggage), do not go places alone unless you have notified your group leader, carry the money you will need in a safe place (like a money belt), and leave the rest of your belongings at your hotel/retreat center. Carry important phone numbers with you at all times.

What important phone numbers should I have?

Please take our US number, the number of the center(s) you will be visiting, and your local True Nature representative. This information will be provided to you in the final instructions letter you will receive a couple of weeks prior to embarking.

Can my family reach me in case of emergency?

Yes, we will give you the number of the center where you will be staying and a U.S. number for True Nature. We would be happy to assist in any way we can.

Costs and Extras

What is included in the program?

Each program is different. Please check the program description that has been sent to you. Room, meals, group ground transportation to and from the airport, group activities, and taxes are included in your package. Flights, tips, and extra excursions are not included. Please feel free if you have a specific question to get in touch with us.

How much money should I bring? Do places accept US dollars?

If you would like to begin your trip with the local currency, you can check online or at your local U.S. bank. Oftentimes you can order foreign currency to bring on your trip. Also, please advise your credit card company on the dates and location of your trip. Many of our centers allow you to set up a bill linked to your room so you can pay with a credit card at check-out.

Is ground transportation included?

In most cases, one group transportation to and from the airport is included if you arrive within the flight windows of times we have outlined. Please check the trip webpage for further details.

Are flights, tips, treatments and excursions included?

No, these extras are not included in most programs. Please check your package for the specifics of your program. Group activities are included.

Is there access to local shopping?

Yes, some of our centers have small gift shops and all of our centers are near towns where you can shop.

How much are spa treatments?

This varies from center to center. Upon arrival, you can book your treatments. If you need to know in advance please contact us and we can send you prices.

PAYMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS

CAN I SET UP A PAYMENT PLAN?

Depending on when the participant signs up and our agreements with the venue, we may be able to set up a payment plan for participants. These are customized to the needs of the participant. If somebody would like to set up a payment plan, they should reach out to us directly at info@truenatureeducation.com.

CAN I MAKE SMALLER PAYMENTS TOWARDS MY REMAINING BALANCE?

Participants may make smaller payments towards their remaining balance before the auto payment dates indicated on the confirmation letter. Any remaining balance will be processed on the final auto-payment date.

WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL?

Should you need to cancel, please email us immediately at: info@truenatureeducation.com

Please see Our Policies to review cancellation guidelines.

Cancellation Policy:

Initial deposits and the $35 registration fee are non-refundable and non-transferable.

50% of payments are refundable up to 90 days before a trip excluding the initial deposit and the $35 registration fee.

89 days prior to a trip, tuition is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Full tuition is refunded if the trip is canceled due to low enrollment. The $35 registration fee is not refundable.

True Nature is not responsible for any loss incurred due to currency conversion rates.

Full tuition is refunded* if the trip is canceled due to low enrollment.

*Refundable amounts do not include applied credits.

Program

How many sessions do we have each day?

Each program is unique. Your itinerary will be sent to you. Typically you will have 2 - 4 service programs during the week, hikes, tours, and adventure excursions – there is always free time.

How many people can join a program?

The group size varies but usually, we have between 15 - 25 students.

Who are the guides?

All Society and Education trips are led by our True Nature Professional Group Leaders. Our leaders are experienced and passionate about sharing their knowledge of the area. Your guide will meet you at the airport and they will be with the group for the duration of the program.

Can Non-Members of NSLS join the Society trips?

Yes, non-members of the NSLS may join the program. While the programs are open to anyone, most of the people are of college age and traveling abroad for the first time. If you have an interest in the program, have an adventurous spirit, a desire to experience a different culture, and a willingness to participate in group activities then you are welcome to join our programs.

There is a non-member fee and this is indicated on the individual registration form for the trip. We ask that non-members fill in a questionnaire prior to signing up.

Will I get school credits for participating in the program?

Please check with your school to determine if credits can be given for the trip.

Are there scholarships available for the program?

At this point, True Nature does not offer any scholarship for our programs. If you are interested in a scholarship for your trip, we recommend that you contact your school and/or your NSLS chapter to see if any are available.

Who are my traveling companions?

For privacy reasons, we cannot provide you with advance details on your traveling companions. However, we do have a Facebook group for each trip that we encourage participants to join. This information will be in your Confirmation Letter that you will receive once you sign up. 

The trip is open to all ages; however, most participants are college age. Most of whom, share an adventurous spirit, a desire to experience a different culture, and a willingness to participate in group activities.

What To Bring

What should I bring?

We suggest bringing only one suitcase that you are comfortable handling and that is easy to use/move, and one daypack. Once you register for the program you will receive a confirmation letter that has many resources including a packing list in the Trip Packet.

What if I forget something

There is always a town nearby any of our sites. To your surprise, they will have almost anything you would need. If you forget something, you will be just fine.

Food

Do they accommodate special diets?

Yes! Our centers accommodate most special dietary restrictions like allergies, vegan, and non-gluten diets. They serve wholesome, fresh, and organic (when possible) meals that are simple and delicious. If you are concerned, you can bring some alternative snacks to supplement your meals.

Is the food organic?

Each of our centers does its best to serve organic fruits and vegetables when possible.

Will there be enough protein?

Most meals have a protein source (eggs, beans, cheese, nuts, etc.). If you are on a high protein diet, please let us know in advance so we can have something for you. Some past participants have brought protein bars along for snacks in between meal times.

Should I bring my own snacks?

If you like to snack, we recommend bringing some special snacks with you, but this is not necessary. The meals are abundant and we are confident that you will be well-fed. If you have extreme allergies or strict dietary needs, you may want to bring some supplemental foods so you do not have to worry if you will have what you need.

What kind of drinks do you serve?

Most of our centers have alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine. Usually, smoothies and fresh juices are offered as well as sodas, tea, and coffee. Extra drinks are not included in our packages and prices vary from center to center.

Accommodations

Are there laundry facilities?

Most of our centers have laundry services to wash your clothes. There is an extra charge for laundry services.

WHAT KIND OF ACCESS DO I HAVE TO COMMUNICATIONS (PHONE/INTERNET)? WILL MY U.S. PHONE WORK?

There are a couple of options: 

  1. You can call your U.S. phone company and purchase an international plan. This will be more expensive, but you can keep your U.S. number.
  2. You can use your phone with WiFi. If you have an iPhone, iMessage and FaceTime Audio/Video are free with WiFi. You can also make international calls via Skype and send free international texts via the "Whatsapp" App.
CAN I HAVE MY OWN ROOM? CAN I CHOOSE A ROOMMATE?

In many cases, it is possible to have a single room for an extra fee.

We try our best to honor roommate requests. You can request a specific roommate on your registration form.

Shared occupancy is 2-4 people (depending on the venue) per room of the same gender sharing a room.

I AM TRAVELING ALONE BUT STAYING IN SHARED OCCUPANCY. WHO WILL I ROOM WITH?

Shared occupancy is 2-4 people (depending on the venue) per room. If you are traveling on your own, you will be sharing a room with other True Nature participants of the same gender.

Do I need to bring toiletries, a hair dryer, or a towel?

Please bring all your own toiletries and, if possible, bring biodegradable products. Most centers do NOT have hair dryers. A detailed packing list is included in the Confirmation Letter you will receive upon registering. A couple of weeks prior to your trip we will send out a letter that will outline any specific items you need to bring.

Do they have a pool, sauna or hot tub?

Please check with us for the specific location and the amenities available.

Can someone with mobility issues get around?

We, along with our centers, continue to strive to have our programs accessible to all. Please check with us in regards to the program you are interested in.

Miscellaneous

What if I want to extend my trip? Can you recommend other hotels?

Yes, we can assist you with your plans prior/post-program. Just let us know.

Can I come alone to the program?

Yes! Coming on programs can be a great place to find your own space and connect with new friends. Since this is a group experience you will not be alone unless you want to be. Rooms are based on double, triple, or quadruple occupancy. If you are traveling on your own, you will be sharing a room with other True Nature participants of the same gender.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE AGE OF PARTICIPANTS?

While the programs are open to anyone over the age of 18, most of the people are of college age and traveling abroad for the first time. If you have an interest in the program, have an adventurous spirit, a desire to experience a different culture, and a willingness to participate in group activities then you are welcome to join our programs.

If you have any questions about someone who might want to join and may not meet these criteria please contact us.

Are children welcome?

The program schedule is geared towards adult participation and most of the participants are of college-age. We cannot accept young children on this trip due to the age limit of the excursions. 

If you would like to bring a child between the ages of 12 - 17 please contact us. Participants who are 16 - 17 years old will need their parent's consent to join the trip and approval from True Nature Education.

If you have any questions about someone who might want to join and may not meet these criteria please contact us.

Pets

True Nature loves animals however we do not allow pets on trips. In the cases of a certified service animal, arrangements may be made in accordance with venue policies.