When Can My Teen Book Their Flight for High School Summer Abroad?

Your teen might be the first in the family to study abroad, to travel outside the U.S., and/or to take a solo flight.  

This is both exciting and nerve-wracking—so the best thing to do is to plan early for this big step! 

Read on to learn more about high school summer abroad flights and start preparing for your teen’s air travel. 

1. When Can I Help My Teen Book Their Flight? 

Students and staff huddled at Lisbon airport on arrival day

Between December and May, CIEE provides flight information for summer abroad programs.  

We’ll send information by email to your teen and to you (as long as you are listed as their legal guardian in their application). Participants should NOT book their flights before receiving flight information from CIEE. 

Once you have flight information, you will be required to purchase flights through flight search company FlightFox.  

Why Does CIEE work with FlightFox?  

  • They provide competitive pricing.
  • They provide real-time, 24/7 travel day support. 
  • They understand our participants’ needs. 

We have a long, established relationship with FlightFox, working closely with them all year round over the past four years.  

Working with an expert flight search company like FlightFox helps us track every leg of your teen’s journey and ensures a seamless travel experience for your teen. 

2. What Types of Flights Are Available? 

High school students with their luggage in Rome airport waiting for flight

During the flight booking process with FlightFox, you and your teen can choose chaperoned group flights to/from their program destination OR travel on an independent flight.  

While a chaperoned flight may provide more peace-of-mind and an opportunity for your teen to bond with other participants, an independent flight may be a more direct flight to the destination and/or be more cost-effective. You’ll have to decide what’s the better option for you and your teen. Either one is possible. 

Note: ALL flights to CIEE Global Navigator programs, whether an individual flight or chaperoned flight, must be booked through FlightFox.

3. What Documents Will My Teen Need Before Travel Day?  

Passport books resting on a world map

To travel outside the U.S., your teen will need to have a passport.  

The routine time to process an application for a U.S. passport could last up to 3 months. To avoid the stress of waiting for their passport to arrive before summer, it’s best if your teen applies for their passport in the wintertime. 

Check out our blog on how to apply for a passport for the first time

Depending on the program your teen is accepted to, there may be additional travel documents needed.  

4. In What Other Ways Can I Help My Teen Prepare for Travel? 

Students posing in a group at the airport

Helping your teen have a successful study abroad experience is a collaborative effort.  

Through your Parent Portal, be sure to check your pre-departure tasks and readings and look for information on additional documents your teen may need and other resources that can help you prepare.  

Also, check out our step-by-step guide to your teen’s experience that details the entire process from application to return from program.