our selection criteria

Meet all the below? If so, we encourage you to read on and learn more:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. You have never been suspended from school or been involved in any criminal activity.

5. 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.

6. You are from the Tri-State Area. We are focusing on Westchester and Rockland Counties and the Five Boroughs but will accept applications from any student in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.

How To Apply:

Remember: All Applications are Due By March 1st 2019

Step 1: Complete The Student Application

Step 2: Have a Parent or Guardian Complete The Parent Application
Step 3: Have a Teacher or Counselor Fill Out The Counselor App

frequently asked questions

Have more? Send us an email at

Q: How do I know this program 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 145 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. However there are a few trip options where students need to purchase lunch (total cost: $200-300) and these will be indicated before they are accepted to a trip. If this is an issue for any family that applies, please contact our office and we'll discuss alternate arrangements with you.