Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Below find our frequently, and we’ll admit, not-so-frequently asked questions covering everything from how to register to what you’ll eat to how much spending money you should bring.

Registration

How do I register for an ACIS tour?

Participants have three ways to register. You can register online, register through your group’s personalized TripSite which you can find here, or register using our paper form which you can find in our Resource Center. You will need your group leader’s last name and group ID.

 

My child is traveling, should I enter my information or theirs?

Please enter the information of the person traveling. We use this information for all tour bookings. Towards the end of the registration form, you will find a section to enter a parent name for billing information as well as emergency contact information.

Can multiple family members be on one account?

Each traveler needs to have their own individual account. ACIS books flights (if applicable), hotel reservations, and entrances from the information in the account. Therefore, it’s important the full name on the account matches the traveler’s passport/birth certificate and all details are up to date (passport numbers, address, etc.). If you would like to make sure family members room together, please contact us at accounts@acis.com or through online chat, look for the icon in the lower right of your screen. Please have your account ID ready or include it in your message.

I travelled before with ACIS, can I use that same account?

Thank you for traveling with us again! Participants need a new account for each individual trip.

Do I have to finalize my protection plan selection at registration?

You have until 130 days prior to departure to finalize your protection plan. We recommend upgrading to our Ultimate-Plus or Ultimate plans that were designed to provide you complete peace of mind. Learn more about ACIS’ protection plans. If you are registering within 130 days of departure then you will need to select your protection plan while registering.

My Account and Logging In

What is My Account?

Once you are registered for an ACIS tour, My Account is your portal for everything you need to know. You will find your group’s personalized itinerary and hotel and flight information when it becomes available, you can pay for your trip, enroll for automatic payments and select your protection plan. You can also find information that will help you prepare for your adventure ahead such as packing tips, money matters and more.

How do I log in to My Account?

Log in to My Account here. If you registered online and therefore already created a username and password, you will need to enter it. If you have not already selected a username and password, or you forget it, don’t worry, we can help. Reset your username and password. Please note that both username and password are case-sensitive.

My trip changed years, do I use the same login information?

If your trip was moved from an earlier date to a new travel date in 2022 or 2023, we’ve set up a new account for you using the same email addresses you provided when you first registered. You can create a new password for your account here.

Help! I can't log in.

Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out.

  • Please make sure you enter your login and password exactly as you created them as they are case-sensitive. If logging in on a mobile device, double check your device isn’t automatically adding an extra space at the end.
  • Make sure you’re logging into the correct trip. Participants need new account information for each trip they are taking with ACIS.
  • Double check you’ve clicked ‘Login’ and not ‘Register’ in order to avoid creating a duplicate account.

If you’re still having trouble, you can reset your username and password. Unless you are a group leader or assistant group leader, select ‘participant,’ even if you are a parent logging in to your child’s account. To retrieve or reset your account information, please enter the email you used when registering, or if you’re a minor participant, you may choose to enter your parent email. We will send a link to that address for you to reset your username or password. If you do not receive the email within a few minutes, please check your Spam folder.

I've reset my password and still can't log in. What should I do?

If you have tried resetting your password and the login still is not working or you did not receive an email, don’t sweat it! Please either reach out to us by chat, look for the icon on the lower right of your screen, email accounts@acis.com and we’ll sort it out with you.

Am I able to change my login information in My Account?

Yes, you can. Log in to My Account, click My Profile and select Personal Info. Then scroll down the page to Account Information and click the edit button. You must enter your current password before creating a new one.

Payments, Vouchers and Cancellations

What are your payment plans?

ACIS offers two types of payment plans: Automatic Payment Plan and Manual Payment Plan. More time to pay, no deadlines to remember, flexible payment options to match your family’s needs and the chance to win a free trip are just some of the reasons so many participants choose ACIS’ Automatic Payment Plan.

If you elect the Manual Payment Plan, after making your initial payment, you’ll then complete your payments by the following steps:

• If registering before September 1, with an initial payment of $200, you’ll then complete your payments in two steps: an additional $295 in program fees will be due 30 days from the date of your first invoice. Reservations of participants who have not paid $495 by this deadline will be assessed a $50 Deposit Late Fee and will be subject to cancellation. Full payment for your trip is due by the date in the chart below.

• If registering September 1, onwards with an initial payment of $495, full payment for your trip is due by the date in the chart below.

Is there a benefit to signing up for the Automatic Payment Plan?

Yes! Not only do you have more time to pay, no deadlines to remember and flexible payment options to match your family’s needs, you’ll also receive a $50 discount and be entered into a raffle for a chance to win your trip for free. Learn more.

How can I use ACIS Travel Vouchers?

ACIS travel vouchers give you a chance to springboard toward future travel with ACIS or our parent company AIFS. You can use the voucher on any ACIS or Encore Performance Tours program outside of the USA and Canada including our summer fixed-date trips. Vouchers can also be used on college-level programs, namely AIFS’ College Study Abroad and Global Experience’s International internship programs. Study abroad programs are offered in 22 countries, with short-term, semester and academic year options. Internships are available in 13 different locations and cover career fields ranging from business to non-profit to technical fields. Our vouchers are fully transferable, meaning you can sell them to a friend who is interested in any of these programs too. Each new traveler can only use one voucher to pay for part of their trip and vouchers need to be redeemed for travel starting within two years of their issue date.

How do I redeem an ACIS Travel Voucher?

To redeem a voucher with your name or the name of another traveler who you wish to transfer the voucher to, simply send an email from the email address associated with the account to accounts@acis.com and indicate how the voucher should be applied. Be sure to include the voucher ID and the full name and Account ID of the traveler it should be applied to. If you’d prefer, you can also scan and email the completed voucher to accounts@acis.com.

What is your cancellation policy?

Refunds depend on your protection plan. We strongly advise participants to upgrade their coverage to our Ultimate-Plus or Ultimate plans that provide a full refund (less the cost of the protection plan itself) for any reason up to four days prior to departure, and a full refund for a covered reason up to 1 day prior to departure. Participants who do not elect to upgrade have Basic Protection which provides a partial refund up to 30 days prior to departure.

My group is canceling, but I want to travel, do you have any options?

Yes! ACIS is offering summer fixed-date trips that are open to both groups and individual travelers. Individual travelers age 14 and younger will need a personal chaperone.

How do I upgrade my protection plan?

To upgrade your protection plan, log in to My Account and click your plan in the Account Overview section. You may then elect to change your plan up to 130 days prior to departure.

How do I cancel?

We hope you’ll reconsider, as we’d love to travel with you. If you do need to cancel, email accounts@acis.com with your name, Account ID and your reason for cancelling. If you are registered for more than one trip, be sure to specify the trip and travel date. We cannot take cancellations over the phone or chat. For a minor’s cancellation, the email must come from a parent or guardian. If you are an adult and are cancelling another adult’s trip, you must copy them on the email. ACIS will determine your refund based on your protection plan and the date you send the email, regardless of when you receive a response from ACIS.

What do I need to provide if I'm canceling for a reason covered by my protection plan?

If you upgraded your protection plan to Ultimate-Plus or Ultimate, and cancel for a covered reason up to 24 hours prior to departure, you will receive a full refund in cash, less the cost of the plan itself, when you provide the following documentation to ACIS:

  • Medical Reason – a letter from your doctor on letterhead with the date of onset and diagnosis.
  • Job Loss – A letter from your employer within 7 days of termination.
  • Death in the family – Unfortunately, we will need proof such as an obituary or death certificate.

How long will it take to get my refund?

Refunds can take up to 45 days from the date of cancellation.

How will my refund be returned?

Refunds are typically returned in the form you paid. If you paid via a checking/savings account you will receive a check, and if you paid with a credit card, the payment will go back on the card. For credit card refunds, equal percentages of the refund will be refunded to each card used.  For example, if you paid 5 payments of $100, and the penalty was 10% you would receive back 90% of each payment transaction.

Due to credit card company contracts, we must send refunds back in the form you paid. That being said, if for any reason the credit card refund rejects due to an account being closed or expired, or you’ve paid off the card in full, we will issue you a check as long as proof can be provided to accounts@acis.com.

Why isn't the refund check made out to the name of the person who paid for the trip?

Refund checks are printed under the traveler’s name as we legally have the full name of the traveler upon registration. If a parent/guardian or someone else other than the traveler has paid for the trip, ACIS unfortunately, for security purposes, does not have payment information saved to be able to see where it came from. If you’re a parent who paid for your child’s tour and they’re a minor, they should be able to endorse it over to you. If the minor is too young to sign, please send an email to accounts@acis.com asking to reissue a check with the correct full name and address.

Where is my refund check sent?

ACIS sends the refund check to the address we have on file; you can see the address on MyAccount on the ‘My Profile’ page.  Please make sure mailing addresses are up to date to avoid any future errors. Any changes or updates can be sent to accounts@acis.com

Getting Ready to Travel

Do I need a Passport?

Passports are required for all ACIS trips traveling abroad except those to Canada, where a passport is only required if you are flying into the country or if you are aged 19 or over. You are responsible for obtaining your own passport, so please don’t delay! Visit your post office or a local office of the federal government for an application form. Note that some countries require that passports be valid for six months after you return to the United States. Please be sure that yours is up-to-date.

For more information about obtaining a passport and processing times, visit www.travel.state.gov

Do I need a visa?

No visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to western or central Europe, Costa Rica or Mexico. Visas are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Australia, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam.* Groups traveling to Australia are responsible for securing their own ETA Tourist Visa. For many of the other destinations, ACIS will assist U.S. passport holders to obtain necessary visas or will provide all necessary information for you to get your own visa. In the case where ACIS is assisting, your group leader will collect your group’s passports and send them to ACIS for visa application processing approximately 120 days prior to departure. Visas are necessary for participants connecting through these countries, even if they are not the final destination.

Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining all documents needed to enter the countries to be visited or connected through, and for reentry into the U.S. Please consult the consular offices of the countries on your itinerary, as well as the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, for complete information. If traveling to Canada on one of our ACIS Visit Canada programs, non-U.S. citizens can consult cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp for Canadian visa requirements.

*Visas may be required for other destinations. Please contact your group leader for more information.

Why does ACIS need my passport information?

ACIS needs your passport information at least 2 months prior to departure. Some sites require passport information to book entrances or for different modes of transportation. Not entering this information in a timely manner may result in missing some of the listed activities in the program. To enter your information log in to My Account and click My Profile.

What should I pack?

We’ve got lots of packing tips, but the ones we’ll shout again and again are to check the weather shortly before you go, bring layers, and definitely bring comfortable shoes. We encourage you to carry on your luggage and avoid the risk of the airline misplacing it. Our trusted rule of thumb is to bring about half of what you think you’ll need!

How much spending money do I need?

The amount of spending money you’ll need depends on personal habits, but a good rule of thumb is $50 USD a day. This allows for lunch, snacks, soft drinks, souvenirs, free-time activities, optional excursions not already included in your itinerary and local transportation during your free time. Learn more about money matters.

Should I exchange money before I go?

We encourage groups to bring a small amount of local currency with you. Get together with some friends to save on fees. Once overseas you can use ATMs and they generally offer good rates, but you won’t want to spend your arrival day in line for the ATM with your entire group. Save the time so you can start exploring. Learn more about money matters.

Do you have an app?

Yes! ACIS has an excellent travel app that provides a wealth of information including details on your itinerary, flights and hotels (when they become available), as well as maps and destination information that can be accessed offline. Be sure to download the ACIS Travel App before departure.

How do I log into the ACIS Travel App?

The Travel App log in is not the same as your MyAccount. The Travel App uses your primary email address as the Log In, and if you don’t know your password just press “Forgot Password”. If you have used the same email address for multiple accounts then you will have one log in for all travelers.

Are there behavior guidelines?

ACIS requires all participants to adhere to our behavior guidelines. Participants must also meet any additional guidelines as required by their group leaders.

What to Expect on Tour

What types of hotels will I stay in?

ACIS uses 3- and 4-star hotels located minutes (sometimes steps) from the sights you came to see. Learn more about ACIS’ hotels.

How does rooming work?

On international tours, participants stay in multiple-bedded rooms, usually with two or three beds depending on destination and tour type. Group leaders will structure different rooming patterns for their group based on doubles and triples before departure. Those who have paid the double room surcharge, including all adults, stay in double rooms in hotels, and group leaders are guaranteed the comfort and privacy of a single room when they have at leat six participants in their group. On cruises and overnight ferries, rooming may differ.

What meals are included?

Typically, tours include a continental breakfast or hot buffet in the morning, and three-course dinner in the evening. Meals are a mix of authentic and familiar to ensure participants get a taste of local culture and leave satisfied.

I have food allergies, what should I do?

We take the risk of allergic reactions seriously. Please email ACIS and your group leader immediately with any serious allergy concerns. It is important to note, that while we will communicate all allergies with our suppliers, it is not possible to guarantee 100% allergen-free food. So, if your allergies are severe please consider the danger, and traveling on tour will be at your own risk. Please also inform us of special meal requests such as gluten-free, vegetarian and kosher. We will try our best to accommodate these requests, but can not guarantee they will be available at all restaurants. Please inform ACIS of all dietary restrictions at least 65 days prior to departure.

Does ACIS have any tips to help with food allergies/dietary restrictions abroad?

We want to ensure that your dietary restrictions are met. However, as this is group travel, you must take responsibility to check at each meal, especially if it is an allergy.  Although we will inform the hotel or restaurant you should always double check before eating. We suggest you bring a notecard written in the language of the country detailing your food restriction to share with the waiter. This is also useful for free time if you choose to grab lunch or dessert with friends. Always make sure your group leader is aware of your allergy, prior to departure! And, bring snacks in case appropriate food options are not available.

What does a tour manager do?

A tour manager is the group leader’s partner in education. Part guide, part educator, part engineer, part mind-reader, part magician—ACIS Tour Managers know their stuff. But, more importantly they know teachers and students. They keep students engaged, teachers relaxed and the whole group excited to see what will happen next. They provide educational commentary, check you into hotels, recommend the best place for lunch, and so much more!

What's included on tour?

Inclusions vary from tour to tour, but typically include round-trip flights, breakfasts, dinners, at least one ACIS Cultural Connection and a mix of other entrances and visits. Our itineraries are thoughtfully designed to maximize time overseas with the best sights built in, along with reserved entrances to avoid long lines.

What's an ACIS Cultural Connection?

Cultural Connections, included on every ACIS tour, take cultural understanding to a whole new level. Through immersive activities such as learning the steps of the flamenco or a French cooking class, students look at the culture and history of a place from a different vantage point. It is the ultimate in experiential learning.

What are my flights?

ACIS books group tickets on commercial scheduled airlines. Although ACIS books most flights far in advance your flight details may not visible online until approximately 30 days prior to departure when the contract is finalized with the airlines to ensure the least amount of changes.

Am I able to pick my seat?

Maybe.  Sorry we can’t be more specific. Each airline contract is different, and some allow individuals to change a seat or pick an upgraded seat, but some give the group a block of seats and simply assign them alphabetically.

Am I able to upgrade my airline seat?

We book on group contracts and most contracts do not allow upgrades. If you would like us to book you separately, we can try. Please note that there is an additional $150 upgrade charge plus the cost of the seat upgrade. Once the seats have been upgraded normally the ticket is nonrefundable above and beyond the standard ACIS cancellation fees. In order to upgrade please send an email to accounts@acis.com detailing what type of seat upgrade you would like i.e. business, comfort plus, more legroom. Also, state if a traveling companion will be upgrading and if you want to sit together.

I’m coming home later than the group, can I schedule a different return flight?

Yes, as long as you inform us no later than 90 days prior to the departure date. In order to do an alternate return, you will need to fill out an Alternate Return Request Form which can be found in our Resource Center and send into accounts@acis.com. You will need to detail the flight information and date of the return on the form and any other alternative options in case we are not able to get you the first option. Once alternate return tickets are booked they are nonrefundable.

What if the name on my ticket is incorrect?

The name on the airline ticket must match the full name on your passport including your middle name. We ticket based on the names in MyAccount, so please triple check that it is correct. If you do realize it is incorrect after it has already been ticketed, please email us immediately. Once the account has been ticketed, we will need to contact the airline and additional fees may apply for a name chance or a new ticket may need to be purchased.

Travel and Covid

Do I need to be vaccinated to travel?

Earlier this year, many destinations were either denying entry to unvaccinated visitors or introduced vaccination requirements in order to move freely within the country. Given these restrictions, all group leaders and travelers need to be fully vaccinated in order to travel with us in 2022. You are responsible for arranging for your vaccination to meet local requirements and should be prepared to provide suitable documentation of it throughout your tour.

ACIS does not have a vaccine mandate for 2023, however, group leaders and travelers must still follow the health and safety-related entry requirements for the countries they will visit. Each individual traveler is responsible for meeting these requirements.

Will I need to wear a mask on tour?

Travelers will be required to follow all local requirements regarding masking. ACIS continues to recommend masking on the bus, public transportation and anywhere inside where social distancing is not possible, to ensure the health of our travelers.

What happens if the entry or exit requirements of one my travel destinations becomes more restrictive?

If local entry or exit requirements become so restrictive that we are no longer able to operate the tour, we will work with the group leader to move the tour date or destination, even if this is within 45 days of departure. Delivering a high quality and safe experience is always our goal, and we will simply not run a tour if local restrictions would sacrifice the overall travel experience.

What happens if I test positive for Covid shortly before departure?

Unfortunately, if you test positive for Covid you can’t travel until after your quarantine time has elapsed. With our Ultimate-Plus or Ultimate protection plans you would be due a full cash refund (less the cost of the plan itself) up to one day prior to departure because this is a medical cancellation. If you did not elect to upgrade your protection coverage, you are due no refund under our basic plan.

What happens if I test positive for Covid on tour?

Please feel assured that just as ACIS has taken care of all our passengers for the past 40+ years, we will take care of a Covid-19 positive traveler. Medical care will be covered by the protection plan the passenger is enrolled on. On tour, students will continue to be chaperoned either by an adult in their group or ACIS staff, or if necessary, a parent will be flown over. ACIS will manage the logistics of booking the passenger’s and chaperone’s alternate return flight. We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our participants and remove the likelihood of acquiring Covid.

What happens if someone in my group tests positive for Covid on tour?

We sincerely hope none of our travelers become ill on tour, but in the case that happens, we have a full plan in place. The ill student will go into isolation subject to the laws of the destination and a chaperone will stay with them. If a chaperone is unable to stay, an ACIS staff member will help or, if necessary, a parent will be flown over. According to the CDC, individuals who are fully vaccinated do not have to self-quarantine after exposure to a person with COVID-19 and can travel, unless they too have COVID-19 symptoms. This means that unless restricted by local health authorities, vaccinated participants can continue on with their trip or return home at the end of the trip even if other participant(s) on the tour receive a positive COVID test while overseas.

Do I need to take a Covid test before leaving on my trip?

On June 12, 2022 ACIS removed our requirement for travelers to test before departing. Some countries do require pre-departure testing, and all travelers are responsible for meeting the local entry requirements for all of their destinations.

Is Covid testing required before returning home?

No, on June 12, 2022 the CDC rescinded its requirement for travelers to test negative for Covid-19 before entering the US.