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Frequently Asked Questions

Yale Educational Travel strives to make your travel experience as smooth as possible, providing the excellent customer service Yale alumni have come to expect from us.  We know you may have questions about our programs and have provided answers in a detailed list below.  Should you have a question that is not addressed below, please feel free to contact us at 203-432-1952 or edtravel@yale.edu.

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What is the fastest way to learn more about upcoming Yale Educational Travel programs?

The most up-to-date information regarding Yale Educational Travel programs can be found on our website: www.YaleEdTravel.org.  While we are not able to provide individual e-mails with full program information, you can find printable PDF files for many program brochures online.  In addition, if you tell us that you are interested in a particular program through the Brochure Request Form on our website for a trip that does not have a brochure available yet, we will send you the printed brochure via first-class mail, in advance of the larger third-class promotional mailing once the brochure is in-house.


I would like to reserve a place on a Yale Educational Travel program for which a brochure is available (printed and/or online), pending receipt of my payment. How do I do this?

Reserve your place securely online with your credit card at www.YaleEdTravel.org.  Find the web page of the program that interests you and select Register Now.  Your credit card will be charged via PayPal.

Mail the completed brochure registration form directly to our office: Yale Educational Travel, P.O. Box 209010, New Haven, CT, 06520-9010 Include your credit card deposit information or a check as indicated in the brochure, made payable to Yale University. Credit cards will be charged via PayPal. For cruise programs, be sure to select your choice of cabin category.

OR Fax the completed brochure registration form with your credit card deposit information to 203-432-0587. Your credit card will be charged via PayPal.  For cruise programs, be sure to select your choice of cabin category.

OR Call Yale Educational Travel at 203-432-1952 and we will be happy to hold your space for one week while we await your reservation form and deposit.


When will I receive a confirmation of my registration?

Within two business days, Yale Educational Travel will send you an email confirmation. Within two weeks, the Yale licensed tour operator will mail a packet of information.


May I use a credit card for final payment?

Rarely. Most Yale travel vendors require final payment by check.  For all special in-house YET programs (Theater Seminars), you may use a credit card for final payment (PayPal).


How do Yale Educational Travel Wait Lists work?

Yale welcomes additions to our wait lists for those with reservation forms. People cancel travel plans for a variety of reasons, even close to departure. Please send us your completed registration form, either online or using the printed form from the brochure. We will let you know if space becomes available.


If I must withdraw from a program, what is the cancellation policy?

Yale Educational Travel requires all cancellation notices in writing. Please refer to the specific brochure for your program for complete cancellation information. Different procedures and apolicies apply.


Should I purchase travel cancellation insurance?

Life is unpredictable. Yale Educational Travel strongly recommends that participants purchase trip cancellation insurance. The cancellation penalty in the brochure will apply. Yale Educational Travel does not recommend a particular insurance company. Yale travelers are free to purchase the insurance product of their choosing.

There is a short window of time (usually 7-21 days from when the first payment is made) when certain provisions, such as pre-existing conditions may apply. If this is important to you, please do not wait to purchase travel insurance.

It is possible that your tour operator may have insurance that they recommend. And the tour operator may send you an insurance application in the welcome packet, but you may not receive the documents in time to meet the window for pre-existing condition coverage.  If this is important to you, please contact the tour operator upon registration.

Note that most insurance companies sell both primary and secondary insurance.  Please be sure to clearly understand the insurance product that you purchase.


What should I know about travel insurance for programs in Cuba?

Yale Educational Travel has a people-to-people license to Cuba that must be renewed periodically.  This may affect your ability to purchase travel insurance prior to the renewal.  Some insurance providers offer a waiver plan.  The issue date of the new license will be after the expiration of the current license.


Does Yale Educational Travel provide any emergency services during a program?

Yale Educational Travel provides emergency medical evacuation services through UHC Global Assistance. While emergencies are rare on our programs, we hope this coverage provides our travelers extra piece of mind with the knowledge that these services will provide assistance, wherever they are traveling with YET.

UHC Global provides comprehensive coordination and care management as well as help with decision making and cost control during a potential medical crisis. It does not include coverage of medical expenses. If something happens to you or someone who is traveling with you that qualifies as a medical emergency or could potentially develop into one, UHC Global will provide assistance to assess the situation and coordinate with qualified local medical and security personnel to ensure you receive support as efficiently and effectively as possible. 

Additional services through UHC Global Assistance includes security, political or natural disaster evacuation and transportation; continuous updates to family, home physician, and Yale; medical records transfer; hotel arrangements for convalescence; translation services; and more. You are welcome to contact UHC Global directly should you have additional questions.

In the event of an emergency medical situation, UHC Global and YET should be notified immediately so we can work together to assist you. Delays in notifying UHC Global or YET may result in limited assistance.

Note that this is not personal health insurance nor travel insurance. Medical coverage is the responsibility of each individual traveler. We encourage you to review the details of your health insurance and what is covered when traveling before you depart. UHC Global, Yale Educational Travel, and Yale are not responsible for costs incurred with any required treatments such as, but not limited to, doctor appointments, medication, surgery, medical testing, physical therapy, etc.

Please let us know if you have questions about your upcoming journey, or need additional information. Feel free to contact us at 203-432-1952 or edtravel@yale.edu.


How active are YET programs? How much walking/physical activity is involved?

Depending on the type of program, the level of extended or strenuous activity can vary.  So that all involved may enjoy the YET experience, participants must be in good physical and mental health and be able to keep up with the pace of the group.  Anyone requiring extraordinary assistance must be accompanied by someone who can and will provide assistance.  Due to their program responsibilities, we cannot ask University or tour operator staff to provide such aid.

By submitting a deposit, the participant certifies that s/he does not have any physical or other limitation that would create a hazard for her/himself or other travelers. If you have any questions regarding the fitness level of a particular program, please contact us at 203-432-1952 to discuss the itinerary.

To help you choose the travel program best suited for you and to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of our programs, we describe them in the following categories:

Mildly Active – Easy pace, some walking and stair climbing. Possible standing for extended periods of time on tours.

Moderately Active – Faster pace, substantial distances covered (several miles a day), walking on uneven surfaces, and/or stair climbing (possibly without handrails). Standing for extended periods on tours.  Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs.

Active – Fast pace, long distances and/or extensive movement, extensive walking and hiking on rugged terrain, and/or extensive stair climbing.  Possible high altitudes. Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs.  Itineraries may include hiking, biking, and whitewater rafting.

Challenging – High level of fitness and ability to sustain exercise for prolonged periods required, usually in remote or rugged regions with challenging terrain, possibly in high altitudes. Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs.  Itineraries may include hiking, biking, and whitewater rafting.

Strenuous – Vigorous activity in remote and rugged wilderness regions often at high altitudes.  Steep and rocky terrain and encounters with snow and ice (or heat and sun) probable.  Very high level of fitness and excellent physical health required. Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs.  Itineraries may include hiking, biking, and whitewater rafting.

Should you question if a program is right for you, please call us at 203-432-1952.


Are YET programs accessible to people with physical handicaps?

In most cases, no. Many countries are particularly challenging for those with physical limitations – cobbled stone streets, long staircases with no railings, etc.  Ships have corridors that are too narrow to allow wheelchairs.  Many of the sites Yale visits have very limited access for those with impaired mobility.

Anyone required extraordinary assistance must be accompanied by someone who can and will provide assistance.  Due to their program responsibilities, we cannot ask University or tour operator staff to provide such aid.

Once we have a frank assessment of your needs, we will be glad to work with our travel vendor to determine if the program is right for you.  Please call us at 203-432-1952 to inquire. 


Do I have to be a graduate of Yale to participate in the Educational Travel programs?

No. Yale Educational Travel warmly welcomes friends of Yale.  Although Yale connections are an important aspect of our programs, Yale Educational Travel programs are inclusive. We are open to alumni, families, and friends of Yale graduates, and to others who would like to participate in a quality educational travel program under the auspices of Yale University.


How many people participate on a YET program? Will Yale fill the entire trip? What is the minimum number of participants required in order to guarantee that the program will operate?

The number of participants on a particular program may vary from 25 to 50 or more.  On land-based programs we usually have about 25 to 40 participants, while our cruise programs often accommodate larger groups, depending on the size of the vessel and whether or not we are sharing the program with another organization.  On our larger cruise programs, however, the Yale group usually does not grow larger than 50 to 60 people, although there may be more passengers in the entire program group.

Often Yale is the only group traveling.  However, it can vary from program to program.  Land programs are usually comprised of Yale passengers only (Yale Exclusives), but on many cruise programs, we share the ship with colleagues from other university alumni associations or members of museum associations.

The minimum number required varies from program to program though on the rare occasion when enrollment has not reached double digits, we may decide to cancel and refund the money of the few that are registered.


Do you accommodate single travelers?

Yes!  Yale welcomes with enthusiasm those who wish to travel alone. Our staff will make every effort possible to incorporate each participant into the life of the group.

On all programs, a limited number of single spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis for an additional fee.  In rare cases, a travel vendor may waive the single supplement and if so, singles should book immediately to ensure a spot.  We are happy to take share requests though many single Yale travelers prefer private accommodations.


How are your family programs different from your other travel programs? What are the age limitations for children? Can I bring children on a non-family program?

Each year we offer several programs designed to permit you and your children or grandchildren to enjoy traveling and learning together.  On our family programs, planned during the popular weeks for school vacations, we arrange for special, education-focused activities as well as offer reduced fees for children. 

The age limit can vary depending on the destination.  On most family programs children should be between the ages of 7-17 at the time of departure.  For the more adventurous family programs, the minimum age may be adjusted upwards to 10-12 years of age.

Some of the adult travel programs are suitable for those older children who have the necessary maturity and curiosity, and we welcome inquires about their participation.  For non-family programs, however, children of any age must pay the price advertised to other travelers.

If you are interested in taking a child on a non-family program, please talk to us before you register in case the program is not be appropriate for children.


What do I do if I need to give up my passport for perhaps a month when I apply for a needed visa, and will need a passport during this month?

You can obtain a second passport while your first one is used for other purposes. The process can take time so plan ahead.


What are the complete terms and conditions for a Yale Educational Travel program?

The complete terms and conditions for a Yale Educational Travel trip may vary slightly depending on the travel operator. You will receive complete terms and conditions from the operator. The standard terms and conditions for Yale are as follows:

MOBILITY AND FITNESS TO TRAVEL The right is retained to decline, to accept, or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of Yale Educational Travel (“YET”) is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance.

CANCELLATION YET must strictly adhere to its cancellation policy to offset costs incurred prior to the commencement of The Program, which may include but are not limited to: advance payments to land operators; ship charters; communication expenses; development/promotional expenses; and loss of time that might have permitted resale of reserved space. All cancellations must be made in writing to YET, and are subject to a $300 non-refundable administrative fee. At the time YET receives written notification of cancellation, the following charges will apply: cancellations received more than 91 days prior to departure, full refund less the non-refundable administrative fee; no refunds will be given for cancellations received within 90 days of departure.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE  A deposit of $1,000 per person, payable to Yale Educational Travel, of which $300 is nonrefundable for administrative fees, is required with the reservation application. Final payment must be received 120 days prior to departure. Mail to: The Association of Yale Alumni, Yale Educational Travel, Box 209010, New Haven, CT 06520-9010. Or call: 203-432-1952.

HEALTH  All participants must be in good health. This program involves extensive walking over uneven surfaces, climbing stairs at monuments and other locations not handicapped accessible, and climbing in and out of various conveyances. Any condition that may require assistance or special medical attention must be reported at the time of your reservation.

INSURANCE  Yale Educational Travel highly recommends that participants purchase travel insurance as the cancellation policy will apply. However, Yale does not recommend a particular insurance company and Yale travelers are free to purchase the insurance of their choice. There is usually a short window of time (7-21 days from the first payment date) when one can purchase travel insurance and still be covered for certain provisions (such as pre-existing conditions). If travel insurance is important to you, please do not wait to purchase insurance.

CHANGES IN ITINERARY & COSTS  The itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) and the tour operator. All prices quoted are based on prevailing fuel prices, airfares, and currency exchange rates in effect at the time of brochure printing and are subject to change without notice. Deviations from the scheduled itinerary are at the expense of the individual.

RESPONSIBILITY CLAUSE The participation of AYA is limited to educational sponsorship of the program described in this brochure (The Program). AYA acts only as an agent for the participant with respect to transportation, accommodations, and all other services, relating to The Program. AYA, and/or their agents assume no responsibility or liability for any act, error, or omission, or for any injury, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any defect in any aircraft, ship, train, bus, or other carrier, or through neglect or default of any subcontractor or other third party, which may be used wholly or in part in the performance of their duty to the participants of The Program. The passage ticket issued by the carrier is the sole contract between the participant and the carrier. Nor will AYA and/or their agents be responsible for loss, injury, damages, or expenses to persons or property, due to illness, weather, strikes, local laws, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, or other such causes in connection with The Program or anything beyond their reasonable control. AYA is not responsible for transportation or other program delays and changes, nor additional expenses or loss of time that may be incurred. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable for the comfort or well-being of the participants, or for any reason whatsoever, to alter the itinerary at any time, without notice to the participants, such alterations will be made without penalty to AYA. Additional expenses, if any, shall be borne by the participants. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the participant at all times. AYA reserve the right to accept or decline any person as a participant at any time, or to require any participant to withdraw from The Program at their own expense when such an action is determined by AYA to be in the best interest of the participant’s health and safety, or the general welfare of the other participants.

AUTHORITY  TO USE IMAGES AND AUDIO RECORDINGS On occasion,  Yale Educational Travel obtains, from its staff or from trip participants, photographic or video images of passengers and trip activities. By participating  in this travel program, you authorize  Yale Educational Travel, without providing compensation to you, or obtaining additional approvals from you, to include photographic and video recordings of you, as well as voice recordings included  with any videos, in YET’s sales, marketing,  advertising, publicity and/or training activities.