Parent Center

Overview

Welcome to GradCity! Our Parent Center will allow you to understand what a GradCity trip is, why you should choose GradCity, and the process of how a GradCity trip works.

We understand the needs and concerns of parents. We are dedicated to providing you with all the information necessary to feel 100% comfortable with your student traveling with GradCity.

Safety is our #1 priority, and our program and procedures focus on practicing safe travel. We also communicate our Break Smart guidelines at every GradCity Welcome Orientation. 

What’s a GradCity Trip?

With over 30 years of experience, GradCity has operated tours for over 300,000+ students. Our accreditations are unmatched, and our reputation is impeccable, allowing GradCity to provide the Ultimate Travel Experience.

GradCity focuses on once-in-a-lifetime Senior Trips for high school students to destinations such as The Bahamas, Mexico, Florida, and more. 

Your students’ GradCity trip will be nothing short of amazing. We strive to give each student the Ultimate Travel Experience and are committed to making the travel process as easy and convenient as possible. Everything from the pre-planning stages of the trip to the post-travel follow-up, GradCity is there every step of the way. 

Before students embark on their trip, we will help them choose the best destination for their group and take care of all group hotel accommodations and airfare (if applicable). Once they arrive at their destination, the students will attend GradCity daytime activities, excursions, and events while accompanied by our professional GradCity destination staff. 

If you are interested in traveling with your student, check out our parent program or speak with a Travel Specialist for more information.  

Why GradCity?

Here are just a few reasons…
Travel Specialists
Customer Care Team
Booking Incentives & Bonuses
Designated Hotels for Parents, Friends & Families
Professional On-Site Staff
Extensive On-Site Orientation
24-hour Emergency Line & Student Center
Exclusive Event Schedules
Travel Insurance provided by Travel Guard America
Medical Expense Insurance
Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance

Professional Staff

  • GradCity provides the highest staff-to-student ratio in the industry to assist in your student’s safety and ensure they have the time of their life!  
  • Onsite GradCity wristbands indicate each student as a GradCity traveler and have the 24-hour emergency phone number printed on them. This helps our staff identify and assist our travelers in knowing they are part of our group.
  • GradCity staff is at all scheduled events from beginning to end, whether a day event, night event, or any excursion that GradCity offers.

How it Works

Group travel made easy. Find your trip, pay over time—we’ll handle the rest. No stress. No drama. Just travel.

GradCity provides all the necessary means for a wonderful travel experience from start to finish. Here’s what you can expect from the process:

1. Planning Your Trip

A dedicated Travel Specialist will coordinate a call, virtual meeting, or in-person meeting for you and your group to explain what GradCity offers, discuss destination options, and answer questions to get your group started. 

2. Registration/Sign-Up

Once the group’s destination is set, you can start signing up for the trip! Parents/students can visit the GradCity website to register for their school’s trip. 

You create a customer profile for the traveler and make an initial deposit online to reserve your spot. If there are additional travelers in your party, each traveler must create their own individual customer profile and make an initial deposit per traveler.

3. Payment Plans and Options

GradCity offers a monthly ​payment plan and accepts multiple payment methods for our customers: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Payments can be made online with a credit/debit card via your online account(s), over the phone with a credit/debit card, or by mailing a check to our office.

4. Pre-Travel Information & Documents

Our team will send a “Know Before You Go” email 2-3 weeks prior to travel that will highlight all pertinent information for your upcoming trip. 10-14 days prior to your trip, Travel Documents will be available to print from your online account, which includes vouchers and other important travel details.

5. Airport Transfers & Welcome Orientation

Once your group arrives at your destination, you will be greeted by GradCity staff wearing our recognizable red shirts and waiting at the transfer area. Our airport staff will escort the group to the hotel in direct, private airport transfers. Upon arrival at the hotel, GradCity staff will meet with the group to discuss the check-in process, local customs, Break Smart Guidelines, event itinerary, and more.

6. Welcome Orientation

Upon arrival at the hotel, GradCity staff will meet with the group to discuss check-in process, local customs, Breaksmart Guidelines, event itinerary, and more.

7. Pool, Beach, and Evening Events

GradCity will provide the group with an itinerary of the week’s events. Depending on the week of travel and destination, this may also include excursions, suggested events, and more. These events are filled with themed events like the All-White Party, excursions from snorkel cruises to private island getaways, and activities offered on-site

9. Easy Hotel Check-Out and Transfer

When the trip comes to an end, our dedicated GradCity staff members will assist travelers with their hotel check-out and provide scheduled airport transportation for their return flight home.

Payment Information

Whether you choose our automatic or manual monthly payment plan, you’ll find making payments easy with our multiple methods of payment acceptance.

GradCity accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express in the form of credit or debit, and also accepts checks or money orders by mail. Upon completing the initial deposit upon registration for your trip, your payment plan will be laid out for you, all the way up until the final payment due date. 

Automatic Payment Option for All Trips

When choosing the Automatic Payment option, the credit or debit card that you use for your initial online payment will automatically deduct the predetermined amount based on the payment plan you select. Payments will withdraw on the last day of each month. Come final payment, your remaining balance will be deducted from your card on file. See below for a basic breakdown of each GradCity payment plan:

Spring Trips:

  • Minimum deposit for trips over $900: $175
  • Minimum deposit for trips under $900: $100

You are responsible for making monthly payments by the end of each month. Your balance must be paid off by your final payment due date (December 15th).

 Summer Trips:

  • Minimum deposit for trips over $700: $150
  • Minimum deposit for trips under $700: $100

You are responsible for making monthly payments by the end of each month. Your balance must be paid off by your final payment due date (February 15th). 

2023 Final Payment Due Dates:

Final Payment Due Dates are listed in your online account under the Reservation Details tab, Make a Payment Tab, or listed on your invoice

GradCity’s BreakSmart Program

BreakSmart is designed to educate students to make smart decisions before, during and after their travel experience. BreakSmart guidelines are provided to students before travel and are reiterated during their Welcome Orientation and in the arrival packets they receive at their destination.

There are 10 BreakSmart Guidelines in place to support student safety:

Use The Buddy System
  • Hang out in groups and ALWAYS use the buddy system.
  • Never allow a friend to leave an event alone.
  • Do not let a friend leave with someone you or they don’t know.
  • Always travel with a buddy in a taxi, bus, or any type of public transportation.
  • If you lose your buddy please find a GradCity Staff member to escort you home.
  • If you see someone who needs assistance, immediately notify a GradCity staff member. If it’s an emergency, call the emergency phone number located on your GradCity wristband.
Always wear your GradCity wristband
  • Do NOT remove your GradCity or hotel wristband. These entitle you to exclusive entrances and easily identify you as part of the GradCity group.
  • Please use the emergency phone number printed on your wristband in case of an emergency.
Attend all scheduled GradCity events
  • GradCity Staff is at every event to help provide a fun and safe experience.
  • GradCity is available to you to make sure you get the service you deserve.
  • See your destination guide for GradCity Staff hospitality hours, the location of the GradCity 24-hour Student Center, and all important phone numbers and locations.
Take care when using local transportation
  • Check with the GradCity Staff for guidance on the easiest and most reliable form of transportation to your specific destination.
  • Use only licensed taxis.
  • Negotiate the fare before entering the taxi and always travel with a buddy.
Be responsible
  • Legal drinking age in Mexico, Punta Cana, and the Bahamas is 18 years of age.
  • Legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years of age.
  • Vacation responsibly.
  • Know your limits.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and the people you meet or travel with on your vacation.
  • Do not carry open containers in public.
  • Do not litter.
  • Be respectful of the local people and their homes.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Remember not everyone in your resort or destination is on their Senior Trip. Please keep noise to a minimum and treat other guests with respect.
Follow these travel tips
  • Be respectful to all citizens of the country or destination you are visiting.
  • Drink water and stay hydrated.
  • Wear sunblock at all times.
  • Tip 15% on all bills.
  • Before leaving the United States, call your phone carried with your parents to determine what international options are available for both coverage and data. If you do not have an international phone plan in place, be aware there are typically always extra charges for phone use (text, voice, data) in international destinations.
  • Do not leave the tourist zone unless through a GradCity-affiliated excursion.
  • Contact home and let your loved ones know you have arrived safely.
  • Leave a photocopy of your travel documents, birth certificate, passport, and driver’s license at home just in case you may need it.
Abide by the rules at beaches and pools
  • Do NOT go to the beaches or swim at night.
  • No diving in the pools.
  • Follow all rules posted at the pool or on the beach.
  • Swim at your own risk when a lifeguard is not on duty.
  • Follow any flags or posting markers on the beach; these are used to warn you about dangerous tides, harsh water conditions, or any other condition the beach patrol determines to be risky.
Follow these hotel guidelines
  • Check your hotel room and report any damage immediately.
  • Do NOT hang out on the balconies of the hotel.
  • Secure any valuables in a hotel safety deposit box.
  • Do not damage any hotel property, including your room.
  • Make sure your hotel door and balcony door are locked AT ALL TIMES, whether you are in the room or not.
  • Check the GradCity hotel board for departure information, staff contact Information, and event schedule changes and additions.
Do not rent motorized vehicles
  • For safety reasons, GradCity advises all travelers to not rent or ride jet skis, mopeds, cars, or any other rentable motorized vehicle during their stay.
Don’t buy, use or sell drugs
  • Drugs are illegal in every GradCity Destination and such laws are strictly enforced.
Professional GradCity Staff

To provide the Ultimate Travel Experience, GradCity staff makes it their mission to promote safety and ensure everyone has the time of their life. From the moment our students get off their plane, GradCity staff is there to greet them and coordinate their staff-assisted transfer to the hotel. Our hotel staff then provides an orientation, which covers the “ins and outs” and the “do’s and donts” for the week. During their orientation, each traveler is given a GradCity wristband that identifies them as a GradCity traveler and provides a printed 24-hour emergency phone number. If a traveler experiences an emergency and is not directly near a staff member, they will have the emergency phone number printed on their wristband for easy access. As GradCity has been operating trips in all of our destinations for many years, we maintain great relationships with our hotels and vendors, allowing us to work together to provide the best experience for our travelers. All of our night events are fully staffed by GradCity staff members and the establishment’s staff members. In addition, any event coordinated by GradCity will have staff members present at all times, from start to finish, whether it is a beach party during the day, a themed event at night, or an excursion.

What The Ultimate Travel Experience Looks Like

Saturday

Day: Arrival, Orientation & Check-In
Night: Welcome dinner

Saturday

Day: Arrival, Orientation & Check-In
Night: Welcome dinner

Sunday

Day: Beach Party at resort
Night: Neon themed event

Sunday

Day: Beach Party at resort
Night: Neon themed event

Monday

Day: Private island excursion
Night: All-White themed event

Tuesday

Day: Hotel Beach party  
Night: Night concert with
international DJ

Monday

Day: Private Island Excursion
Night: All-White Themed Event

Tuesday

Day: Hotel Beach Party  
Night: Night Concert with
International DJ

Wednesday

Day: Pool Events
Night: Stop Light themed event 

Wednesday

Day: Pool Events
Night: Stop Light Themed Event 

Thursday

Depart Paradise

Thursday

Depart Paradise

*This is just a sample itinerary. Dates, duration of stay, events, and excursion vary by destination.

Excursions

Make the Most of Your Spring Break or Senior Trip

GradCity offers optional excursions in every destination, from sunset sails to snorkel adventure trips. Don’t miss out on the best extra activities that your destination has to offer. 

Make your high school Spring Break or Grad Trip as action-packed as you’d like! All of our destinations offer countless excursions and activities that will help you make memories to last a lifetime. Here’s an idea of what you can expect to be offered in your destination of choice:

  • Snorkeling
  • Parasailing
  • Fishing charters
  • Sightseeing tours
  • Swimming with dolphins
  • Jungle tours
  • Ziplining 
  • Miniature golf & much more!

As always, GradCity staff are present at any excursion we offer, such as the Sandy Toes Island Party Adventure in Nassau, Bahamas and the Sunset Party Cruise in Cancun. 

Want to swim with dolphins, or possibly scuba dive? Maybe you want to see local historical sites. If GradCity doesn’t offer the excursion, we will point you toward a trusted vendor that can provide the excursion you’re looking for.

A Special Getaway For Parents Too!

Parents, siblings, or relatives are able to travel with the students. Parents have the option of joining in all the action with the students (i.e. night events) or opting out and enjoying their vacation on their own.

When parents travel with the students their package includes the same inclusions: roundtrip airfare (international destinations), roundtrip airport transfers from the airport to the hotel (international destinations only), accommodations, and the option of adding a party package.  It’s a great way for the whole family to celebrate all together!

Reviews & Testimonials

We pride ourselves on upholding an excellent reputation amongst our travelers and their parents. See all that parents and travelers have had to say about past GradCity trips they have been on.

Professional Accreditation

We pride ourselves on upholding an excellent reputation amongst our travelers and their parents. See all that parents have had to say about past GradCity trips they have been on.

International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN)

GradCity joined the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN) over 5 years ago, becoming part of a group of over 220,000 travel professionals in the US. IATAN members must promote professionalism, follow business standards and provide services and products that benefit the travel industry as a whole.

For more information on the International Airlines Travel Agent Network, please visit their website at www.iatan.org.

US Department of Transportation (DOT)

GradCity has been approved to operate public charters by the US Department of Transportation. DOT was established in 1967 and its mission is to ensure a safe, efficient and convenient transportation system to the citizens of the United States.

For more information on the US Department of Transportation (DOT) please visit their website at www.dot.gov.

Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA)

GradCity gained membership with the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) in November 2007. SYTA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote student and youth travel in a safe and quality service. Members of SYTA must dedicate themselves to providing travel services that enhance social, cultural and educational growth to students and youth across the country. Being a member of SYTA means that GradCity has met all criteria set and continue to adhere to SYTA’s purpose, goals and code of ethics.

For more valuable information on Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) please visit their website at www.syta.org.

Better Business Bureau Care Program (BBB)

GradCity has been an official member of the Better Business Bureau Care Program (BBB) since September 2000. Gaining membership of the BBB means that GradCity.com met all standards set by the organization. The BBB ensures that all its members live up to their “Principles of Trust” which is a set of policies, procedures and practices focused on how businesses should treat the public.

To review information on GradCity’s membership with the Better Business Bureau Care Program, please visit our BBB page.

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