FAQs

Reservations

How do I reserve my place on a trip?

Contact the travel company listed on the trip description to book your travel with Penn. Please remember to notify the travel company that you are with Penn Alumni Travel. Certain discounts may apply. If you have further questions, please contact us here at the University of Pennsylvania at 215-746-7442 or PATravel@pobox.upenn.edu.

What if there's a wait list?

Cancellations do happen and wait-listed guests often join our tours. We always recommend that you add your name to a wait list. To add your name to the list, call the tour operator number on the trip page.

Activity Levels

What are the physical requirements for trips?

Penn Alumni Travel trips are designed for people in good health who are comfortable participating in physical activities as part of a group. Many of the sites we visit have very limited access for those with impaired mobility. To help you choose the travel program best suited for you, Penn Alumni Travel has categorized each program with the ratings below.

Level 1: Leisure. Appropriate for people in good health with overall good mobility. Travelers should be comfortable participating in up to three hours of physical activity per day. Activities range from light to moderate intensity and include walking, sometimes on uneven terrain, and climbing stairs.

Level 2: Moderately Active. More demanding than Level 1. Intended for active people who are comfortable participating in up to five hours of physical activity per day. Trip activities are at moderate intensity and may include walking on difficult terrain, climbing stairs, and embarking and disembarking Zodiac watercrafts. Good health is required.

Level 3: Highly Active. More demanding than Level 2. Designed for people who lead active lives and are comfortable participating in up to seven hours of physical activity per day. Trip activities will have a higher intensity and may include all of the above in addition to hiking, exposure to high altitudes, and itineraries that have a demanding daily schedule. Excellent health is necessary.

University Affiliation

Do you have to be a University of Pennsylvania graduate to travel on your trips?

We welcome anyone interested in traveling with us, not just Penn alumni. The one thing our travelers have in common is that they want to be connected to Penn in some way. Our travelers are parents, family, and friends of the university.

Size of the Tours

How large or small are your groups?

Trip size varies. Most Penn exclusive land tours (as denoted by our Penn Exclusive red button) are capped at 20-25 passengers. Cruises are shared with other like-minded organizations and institutions and accommodate between 100 and 350 people, depending on the ship. Penn Alumni Travel reserves 20-30 slots on each cruise.

Does group travel allow for flexible itineraries?

Because we specialize in educational travel, our itineraries are quite busy with tours, museum visits, and lectures. To be mindful of the entire group, it is difficult to change the itinerary to meet the needs or wishes of an individual or couple; however, it is always possible to leave the group for periods of time to explore on one's own. [Cuba is our one exception. Due to the requirements of our People-to-People license, all Penn Alumni travelers must stick to the itinerary as planned.]

Who will be traveling with me?

In addition to your fellow Penn alumni and friends, every Penn Alumni tour includes several hosts and guides that will enhance your travel experience. Read more about these people here and how best to use their expertise during the tour.

Types of Trips

Do you offer family programs?

Alumni Travel offers a handful of programs catered to family vacations with either your children or grandchildren. On these special tours, events and activities tailored for children aged four through 14 are offered at reduced prices. These unique opportunities for families to learn and travel together are noted in the program descriptions.

Are some trips more active than others?

Yes. Any trip noted as “active” may contain 5-6 hours of daily vigorous activity. Excellent health is necessary. We encourage you to contact the travel company to learn more about the trip before booking.

Franklin Flyers

What are the Franklin Flyers?

The Franklin Flyers is our brand new frequent traveler program, and a way for us to show our appreciation to all our loyal Penn Alumni passengers. Now, when you travel with Penn, you automatically earn credit towards great gifts and benefits. As soon as you take your second trip with us you are enrolled in the Silver level. You can also earn rewards by referring friends to our program.  Learn more about the Franklin Flyers program

Value and Affordability

What is included in the price of a trip?

Trip prices are per person, based on double occupancy and in most cases do not include airfare. For single travelers, a single supplement may apply. For most land programs, tours and excursions are included in the price of the trip. There may be an additional cost for pre-program or post-program tours on our land programs and for excursions on our cruises. A professional tour director will travel with you on all programs to ensure worry-free travel.

Do you offer specials or discounts?

Each of our travel partners offer special discounts throughout the year. In most cases, these special discounts are an EBD (Early Booking Discount) price. Book early to get the best price!

Additional Information

What is the best way to receive information about your travel program?

We publish an annual brochure each summer that lists programs offered in the following calendar year. Our brochure is sent to anyone who has traveled with us in the past or requested information about our trips. You can also view all of our trips online here. Our website information is kept up-to-date with sold out and alternate date information. To request a copy of the current travel brochure please fill out an online form.

You can also sign up for our e-newsletter here. We send updates to our e-subscribers whenever there is a special promotion, new faculty host, alternate travel date, or any other important travel news item.