TFY Resources


The safety of our youth travelers is, and will always be our top priority. We have the highest and most robust safety practices and measures of any youth travel program, each safety layer building on and strengthening the others.

Safety is Our Absolute Highest Priority

Safety is, by far, our number one priority when it comes to your youth. We are keenly aware of the intense trust that is placed in us to provide a safe and life-changing experience for your child. As parents of three children, we do not take that trust lightly.

We intentionally keep our program and group sizes smaller, in order to provide the highest levels of safety and attention to each teen. With our program, they are not just one of thousands of youth coming through.

Destinations Personally Vetted from Top to Bottom

Safety begins with our careful destination selections and exhaustive vetting. We will never take your child to a place that we, as the founders, do not deem safe for our own small children, and that we have not PERSONALLY visited and vetted from top to bottom.

While other programs rely on third-party contacts, we go first-hand (most times with our children) and personally evaluate each and every situation and experience to ensure that it meets our program’s strict objectives and standards. We spend weeks on the ground hand-selecting the very safest regions, accommodations, and transport for your youth (not to mention all of the absolute best adventure, cultural, and social impact experiences!).

We walk the streets, take the buses and metros, stay in the Airbnb’s, visit the marketplaces, vet and select the tour operators, check safety after dark, examine the cleanliness of the food and water. We find reliable and professional medical care, look into the country’s political stability and crime rates, and find reliable in-country emergency contacts.

Each piece has to check the boxes and pass our bar for a country to be selected. Growing up with all sisters, and now having two daughters, Kimball is extra sensitive to the safety of female travelers, so that bar is very, VERY high.

We Hire and Train Next-Level Trip Leaders

Trip leaders are an essential and critical piece in your teen’s safety and trip experience. For that reason, we are INSANELY picky when it comes to our trip leaders. We can confidently say that we have the most exceptional trip leaders of any travel or humanitarian program.

Starting requirements are they must be at least 21 years old, be a returned missionary (or have evidence of comparable experience), have extensive international travel knowledge and experience, be engaged in social impact, deeply know and love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and be brilliant with teenagers.

After that cut, applicants go through a rigorous, multi-round interview process. No one is hired without extensive review, and personal interviews with, our program founders, Kimball and Erin. We review hundreds of applicants and only the top one percent are selected to lead our trips.

Trip leaders then go through comprehensive, certified background checks and must pass extensive training to prepare them to watch over your youth.

High Standards for a Safe, Supportive Environment

Our end goal for TFY is not the project or the trip, it is building the youth. We exist to help your teens grow in empathy, in gratitude, in courage, in their witness of Jesus Christ, and to become life-long humanitarians and social changemakers.

We hold them to very high standards while they are traveling with us. This helps ensure their physical safety and provides a safe and supportive environment to foster these attributes.

Examples of these standards/expectations include: following the principles outlined in the Standards For Youth pamphlet released by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; behaving in a way that shows high levels of respect and kindness; never going anywhere alone; upholding the highest principles of honesty and morality; avoiding lewd, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, materials, or conversation; never pairing off; and avoiding all forms of drugs and alcohol.

With dress and grooming, we expect moderate clothing and hairstyles that are appropriate for, and respectful of, the local people and culture. We feel that modesty is deeply personal and involves so much more than the length of your shorts or whether or not you have sleeves. Dress and grooming choices should be made from a place of respect for one’s self and should align with your personal principles and values.

We recognize that our participants are coming from different homes and different places, and each of them is in a different place on their journey to understand better their relationship with God and how that relates to modesty. We never ‘dress shame’ the youth. We trust your youth to make the right choice for them at this time in their lives. The only time they will be asked to change is if their clothing or swimsuit choices are culturally inappropriate for the country we are visiting.

These high standards and expectations are also paired with lots of understanding and love as we teach, encourage, coach, correct, and invite.

Emergency Precautions and Safeguards

While we do everything we can to prevent and avoid emergencies or issues that would negatively influence your trip, inherent in travel are unpreventable circumstances and surprises. When situations outside of our control arise, we have several layers in place to ensure that recovery, wellbeing, and safety are quickly restored.

Robust Insurance: In the case of an emergency abroad, each participant is covered with extensive travel, medical, and evacuation insurance. You can learn more about that here.

Registration with the United States Embassy: Each person who travels with us will be registered with the local United States embassy. This notifies them of who is in the country and for how long. In the case of a natural disaster or state emergency, the embassy is aware of who they need to contact in order to provide safety and evacuation.

Vetted Health Clinics and Hospitals: In every single area we are in, our Trip Leaders are made aware of the very best hospitals and health clinics nearby. In the event that your teen experiences an illness, injury, or other health emergency that requires medical attention, they will be accompanied straightaway to those clinics to receive the care that they need. Parents will ALWAYS be notified in such cases.

Trained Medical Counselors: Every trip will have a designated medical counselor who has been trained to handle a variety of minor medical concerns. They act in the role of a volunteer, but they are a big help for all of the small stuff. They also carry with them a robust first aid kit for the group 24/7.

On-call Medical Doctor: In addition to vetted and highly skilled medical care providers within the destination country, Travel For Youth also has an on-call doctor in the United States available to consult and instruct when needed.

24/7 Emergency Line: While a trip is running, trip leaders and parents have 24/7 access to an emergency line. In the six years that we have been running our program, there has never been a time when parents or trip leaders have been unable to contact us in case of an emergency.

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