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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 2018 to be considered for the Program.

1) Student Application – To be filled out by the student

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

3) 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

Note: Your parent or guardian MUST also fill out the Parent Application for you to be considered

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.



About our application process


Q: How do I know this program/organization is not too good to be true?”

A: While a very fair concern, Trip of a Lifetime is an accredited non-profit organization that has been around for nearly ten years. To date, we've sent over 100 students on our summer travel scholarships from over 50 schools and are recognized as a a recommended summer opportunity by the New York City Department of Education. All students travel on trips run by Rein Teen Tours, a teen travel organization that has been in business for over 30 years.


Q: When do you notify selected students?

A: Selected students will be notified no later than April 15th. We make every effort to get our decisions out earlier if possible.


Q: How many counselors are present on each trip?

A: During every trip, there are 4-6 college age counselors along with a Trip Director (who is usually a principal or guidance counselor during the school year).


Q: Is there a person I can speak to in person or on the phone about the program?

A: Absolutely. You can call our office at 914-874-1051 anytime from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and a member of our team will be available to connect. If for some reason, no one picks up, leave a message and we’ll get back to you in a timely manner


Q: When will there be an in-person orientation before the trip?

A: Yes; all accepted students are required to attend our pre-trip kickoff orientation with at least one parent or guardian. The orientation will cover trip rules, safety, and include separate student and parent Q&A sessions.


Q: What is the name of the program students will be travelling on?

A: All students will be travelling on programs run by Rein Teen Tours, one of the largest student travel organizations on the East Coast. For more information about Rein Teen Tours, please visit


Q: How many students per trip?

A: Every trip will contain 30-40 students. 3-4 of those students will likely be fellow participants in Trip of a Lifetime and the remaining ones are students that sign up directly through Rein Teen Tours (without the scholarship).


Q: What happens if my child gets sick/injured while on the trip?

A: If your child gets injured or sick while on the trip, there are always hospitals nearby each area that they arrive at. The parent/legal guardian will be notified of the incident if any occurs and Trip of a Lifetime provides travel insurance to all students while on their trips.


Q: How does my child get around to each location?

A: Once arriving at their very first destination, the students will be taking a coach bus, specific to their trip, to go from place to place


Q: What expenses are covered by Trip of a Lifetime and what do I have to cover out of pocket?

A: Trip of a Lifetime covers all trip expenses including insurance, airfare, and activities. The program also provides a prepaid gift card to students to cover incidentals and anything needed for their trips. While not required, Trip of a Lifetime recommends parents provide students with $50-100 in cash to cover additional expenses that might occur while travelling.

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


"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 am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered."


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