Trip of a lifetime

Empowering students through summer travel experiences

                                Apply For Our Trips                                    


Of our application process

Application Process

Our Selection Criteria

  • You must currently be in grades 7-11. If we are able to extend trip offerings to students in other grades, we will let you all know as soon as possible.
  • You are able to spend two to four weeks during the summer to go on a teen tour or community service trip with an established teen travel company. All applicants should try to keep the month of July free on their summer schedules.
  • Your family must qualify for financial need either through the Free Lunch Program, Food Stamps, or another federal assistance program. If you don’t qualify for these programs but can still exhibit financial need, please email us so we can work with you to determine whether you are qualified to apply. This is a needs based program.
  • You have never been suspended from school or been involved in any criminal activity.
  • You will use the experience to become a catalyst for change in your community. Previous students have volunteered at hospitals, started community service clubs, and have run for student government all as a result of their experiences.
  • You are from the Tri-State Area. We are focusing on Westchester County and the Five Boroughs but will accept applications from any student in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.
*Scroll down for Additional Information

For Parents & Students

"Trip of a Lifetime was the best thing that has happened in my children's lives. I highly recommend that you and your child get the same excitement and riveting passion to experience an unforgettable Trip of a Lifetime." - Mom of Summer 2014 Student


All students applying need to submit the following three items by March 1st 2017 to be considered for the Program.

· Student Application – To be filled out by the student

· Parent Application – To be filled out by a parent or guardian

· Counselor Application - To be filled out by a teacher or guidance counselor

This year’s application is digital only and contains a “save and return” feature that lets those filling out the applications to save their work and return to making edits at a later date. Applications can be filled out using any internet browser, including mobile devices.

If you have any questions about the application, please send us an email at 

For Teachers and Counselors

“My student's eyes have been opened and as a result, he is more confident, worldly, and motivated to follow his dreams. Thanks Trip of a Lifetime!" - Counselor at International High School at Lafayette


In order for your student to be considered for Trip of a Lifetime, he/she needs to fill out our Student Application and you need to fill out our Counselor Application. We are looking for students that meet our selection criteria, as listed above.


Once we receive all of our applications, we will follow up with you and the students for additional information to make our decision. Please feel free to email us at any time if you have questions about the application process.


For Accepted Students

Trip of a Lifetime has a dedicated part of its website for Accepted Students and their families.

Check back on the Spring for more information.

Additional Information

About our application process

·Please make sure all of the information on the application  is as accurate as possible. The more accurate the application is, the quicker we will be able to make our decision.

·All sensitive information provided in the application to Trip of a Lifetime (such as family income and government assistance) is 100% confidential. We will not share any information received , even with our teen tour provider, and take confidentiality extremely seriously.

·If your child is selected to go on a "trip of a lifetime", all costs (including airfare, spending money, and trip insurance) will be covered by Trip of a Lifetime. The only items your family will have to provide are clothing, toiletries, etc. for the trip.

·If your child misplaces anything on their trip (such as spending money), Trip of a Lifetime is not responsible for these lost or stolen items. Please instruct your son/daughter on safely securing the money when they are traveling, especially in crowded areas. Your child will also be responsible for any intentional damage caused by them to any of the personal property in the hotels they are staying at.

·We will place all students on trips operated by American Trails West and their sister company, Rein Teen Tours. Both organizations have over fifty years of combined experience and train their trip staff in First-Aid and CPR. Every trip has at least four supervisors (typically college or grad students) and one trip director (usually a teacher who has been on multiple American Trails West trips).

·Although your child will have a fun experience, we want to make sure the lessons from their trip extend past their arrival back home. Please discuss their experience with them and encourage them to use their lessons learned to become catalysts for change in their communities. All students are required to submit a 2-3 page essay about their experience within two weeks of returning home and provide any photos or videos from their trip to Trip of a Lifetime.

·Important Note: Due to limited funds, we cannot accept all qualified students. The amount of students selected in any one year is dependent on funds raised by the charity as well as the number of qualified applications we receive.

·If you have any questions about the application process or the trip itself, please feel free to call us at 1-914-874-1051 or email us at at any time. We are more than happy to answer your questions.

  • testimonialImg
    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."
    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."


  • testimonialImg
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”


  • testimonialImg
    "The trip has taught me to have confidence in myself and believe that anything can come true."
    "The trip has taught me to have confidence in myself and believe that anything can come true."


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