Parents

You want your child to build character. To be a good person. To appreciate the world around them. We do, too.

Who we are

We are Antipodeans, educational travel specialists. We create extraordinary people through extraordinary experiences. We started this company because we believe the more people we educate through travel, the more positive our future will be. So, over the past 25 years we’ve dedicated ourselves to empowering students take ownership and embrace the world beyond their own borders. Australian and New Zeland owned and operated, we’ve explored more than 30 destinations, with over 10,000 students since being founded in 1991.

Fathers, mothers, sisters, uncles, nurses, rescue helicopter pilots and former school teachers we are people just like you. You can read all about us here.

Dan Donati and Lachlan Bunn. Directors, adventurers, fathers and big believers in mindful and responsible travel.

We get it

Heart beating a little faster? We understand. Sending not-so-little ones abroad can give even the most relaxed parents a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach. We know because we’ve been through it with our own kids. We understand how big a decision it is. Safety is a big concern, but it’s not the only thing us parents have to worry about. Practical issues, such as finances, can also invite us to re-evaluate how worthwhile something like this is.

We’ve prepared this page to talk about those concerns.

If you’d rather contact us to discuss, we’re always here. Just ring us or email us with questions.

Common concerns & FAQs

Costs


Why does it cost more than some other school trips?

We get this question a lot. The answer is multi-faceted: we employ more preparation and safety measures than any other student travel company; we provide the best travel insurance; and we hire the best staff and leaders to run programs and lead your child on their trip abroad. In a nutshell, we’re the best. Going overseas with Antipodeans costs slightly more but also ensures a safer, more meaningful and enjoyable experience than any run-of-the-mill trip you may come across.


Where does that money go?

20% of costs go to preparation. The key to your child’s safety is preparation. From researching their trek route to ensuring accommodation and transport are appropriate, we do what it takes.

20% of costs go to safety measures. When it’s go time, we make sure your child is covered and contactable at all times. This is a huge priority for us. Though it costs a little more, we employ the very best insurance policies and risk management team, in the unlikely circumstance something should go wrong. On top of that, Antipodeans boasts professional leaders, comprehensive medical kits, live tracking with GPS and a support centre that’s staffed 24/7. We never sleep, so you can.

60% of costs go to trip costs. These are meals, accommodation, flights, taxes, water, transport and additional costs like entrance fees to National Parks when trekking. Our costs cover everything but visas and vaccinations.


What are the specific trip costs?
  • Specifics are program-dependent and can include:
  • Round-trip international flights and in-country costs
  • Accommodation
  • Transport
  • Meals
  • Trekking fees (if applicable)
  • On-the-ground guides
  • Medical kits
  • 24/7 Support on-the-ground and in AU/NZ
  • Leaders (for Expeditions and Schoolies Unearthed)
  • Comprehensive travel and medical insurance
  • iPad GPS and monitoring of teams
  • On-the-ground updates and communication
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Trade registration (MFAT)

I’m still concerned about cost…

We offer a few different ways to help fund a trip—read about them here. From our partner NAB’s tailored personal loan for Antipodeans travellers, to flexible payment plans or grants and scholarships for your child, there are many options to fund an Antipodeans trip.


Can’t they just go on a beach holiday like most kids?

Well yes, they could, but if they’ve sent you here, it’s safe to say your child isn’t most kids and a beach holiday won’t be remotely as meaningful or valuable to them as the Antipodeans experience, the latter of which develops the following within the students who travel with us:

Humility. Understanding. We started Antipodeans because we believe travel in your early years makes you a better citizen of the world. Why? As Mark Twain once wrote, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Imagine how different the world would be if everyone travelled, starting with your child.

Perspective. Fearlessness. Independence. Reed Hastings (founder of Netflix) was once asked how he was able to push past the fear of risking everything to build his ground-breaking startup. He reflected on his time abroad with the Peace Corps, saying “once you’ve hitchhiked across Africa with ten bucks in your pocket, starting a business doesn’t seem too intimidating.” We couldn’t have said it better.

Confidence. Purpose. Perseverance. This trip gives you time to step away from life and look at it in new ways, to experience how people do things differently—often with less—and to learn from new cultures and customs. What your child takes away from those moments stays with you forever. Steve Jobs once said of his time in India, “I didn’t have a dorm room so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, returned coke bottles to buy food and walked across town every Sunday to get one good weekly meal at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.”

Prep & Planning


I’m not sure if my son/daughter is ready for a trip like this

Through in-depth team meetings and pre-departure workshops, we prepare them extensively for their time overseas, long before departure. Our prep and planning takes between 6-12 months depending on the program and is the most extensive in the student travel industry.


I don’t have insurance for this

We do. And it’s included in the cost. All teams are covered by our comprehensive travel and medical insurance policy.* Whether it’s an injury or illness prior to departure, injury or illness while overseas, emergency evacuation overseas or needing to diverting to a new destination or delay a trip before your child goes, our insurance has your most precious possession covered. Plus, teams are registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) prior to departure.


What happens if my child can’t to travel to a destination due to civil unrest?

In the unlikely event there is a situation overseas that presents an unacceptable level of risk and affects a team’s ability to travel safely to their, or in their designated country, Antipodeans can perform a destination diversion or delay the trip to an alternative time.

Safety


What happens if my child gets sick or injured on the trip?

Everything we need to get them feeling 100%. Every child who comes on our trips is treated with the same levels of protection and support as if they were our very own. Students, and families alike, are in the best hands possible with Antipodeans and it’s all covered under the insurance you have when signing up to the trip.

Our comprehensive insurance* gives our travellers access to a worldwide network of medical facilities, as well as 24-hour contact with Australian doctors. In the unlikely event of an injury or major illness occurring while overseas, even in remote locations, your child is covered by world-class emergency evacuation procedures, not matter where they are.


I don’t want my child working or trekking in extreme heat or cold

We don’t either. Your child will not be expected to work or trek in conditions that are too physically challenging for them. We have risk assessments designed around acceptable conditions that students can work in and make sure to adhere to these whilst overseas.


I’m concerned about my child trekking in dangerous weather?

Some of our teams do participate in treks in mountainous areas that can be affected by snow at certain times of year. Antipodeans keeps an eye on weather reports and in stay in close touch with local partners in the lead up to the trek. Risk assessments dictate an acceptable level of snow cover for a team to continue a trek and contingency plans are in place if there is too much snow coverage that poses a risk to the team. Alternate treks can be offered and and predetermined evacuation points are utilised if the snow level changes dramatically during a trek.


I don’t want my child to go overseas with someone we don’t know

Likely this is the first time they go abroad without you beside them, so we understand the hesitation. That’s why we send our Expedition and Schoolies Unearthed teams with a highly-trained leader. These people are local experts, chosen via competitive and comprehensive selection initiatives nationwide. We do not use “drop-in” guides like other travel companies. Additionally, our Expedition leaders are appointed to school groups in consultation with schools and principals and will meet and attend workshops with your children before actually setting off on the trip. All leaders are a minimum of 25 years of age with wilderness and first aid experience. Our university teams travel with a supervisor from their institution.


Who’s looking after the safety of the group and my child while they are away?

We are and we never sleep, so you can. During each trip we have on the ground support and 24/7 local backup and backup in case we are needed to assist with any situations.

Our on the ground support is a long-standing network of overseas partners who have many years of experience working on Antipodeans’ programs. They deliver invaluable local knowledge, professional support and tried and tested assistance on the ground, should teams need it.

We also have 24/7 monitoring. Your child’s location is tracked at all times using GPS. Meanwhile our operations and support teams are based in Australia or New Zealand and are only a phone call away, further assisted by a 24-hour backup crew in our Sydney-based support centre. We really mean it when we say we don’t sleep.


What happens if my child and their team need to exit the country urgently?

Should your child’s team need emergency assistance due to civil unrest or natural disasters, our insurance will arrange for prompt emergency evacuation at no cost to the traveller.

*University placement participants are usually covered by their home institution’s travel insurance policy, as requested by Australian and New Zealand universities. Please read the full Insurance Policy Product Disclosure Statement prior to departure for specific insurance details, inclusions and exclusions.