When registering for Animal Camp Jamaica, tuition is offered to include round-trip airfare or to not include airfaire through us. Depending on which option you choose, your flight plans may vary. This page is dedicated to helping you understand transportation for our program:
We *highly* suggest selecting our airfare option as it includes chaperones round-trip and assistance with anything that may be needed during our travel. It also includes transportation to and from the Jamaican airport to our villa.
The Basics: Tuition with/without Airfare
Here is the basic difference between the two options for your campers travel plans. (Prices for tuition are not included here. You can check prices on the Dates and Rates page.)
Tuition + Airfare
Chaperoned Roundtrip Airfare to/from St. Louis + 1 night hotel accommodation prior to departure + Airport shuttle to and from villa. Tuitions including our airfare package includes the purchase of a group travel round-trip airline ticket. Our team will arrange, book, and plan all travel from St. Louis airport to Jamaica, roundtrip. This tuition includes the chaperones supervision and help with all traveling needs including plane changes, immigration/customs, and unforseesn plane/travel changes or cancellations.
Tuition - Airfare
Basic Program Tuition; Does not include our chaperoned, round-trip airfare. This is the basic tuition for Animal Camp Jamaica. It includes all programming, meal, and villa costs, but excludes our round-trip airfare option. Those selecting this tuition option are expected to plan their own airfare to and from the island of Jamaica in coordination with our airfare. Families are also expected to plan their camper's arrival and departure shuttle to and from the Montego Bay airport. *This tuition may incur other fees- see shuttle fees
Understanding Airfare Options
This section breaks down what each part of the transportation process looks like for those traveling with our group versus those who will be planning their own travels. From Orientation, during travel, and returning, we have broken down including and excluding airfare options.
Our session start date for every session is SUNDAY at ORIENTATION in St. Louis at the Drury Inn (on Natural Bridge Rd). This is the first Sunday of the session. To read more about Orientation, read up on the Travel Itinerary page. Depending on your travel selection regarding airfare, you may not be attending Orientation.
Tuition INCLUDING Airfare
For all campers flying with us, you are expected to meet us on SUNDAY for ORIENTATION. Campers will be dropped off by their family at our designated hotel. Trip Leaders will be there checking in campers and welcoming families- going over individual travel details with each family. This is a great time for parents/guardians to meet the group leaders and ask any last minute questions. At the end of check in, the group will gather to start talking about their exciting trip. Orientation is divided into time to get the group familiar with each other and talking about the trip- but we spend a lot of time prepping campers for the trip and our travel plans. Campers will be staying the night at our hotel with the group to get a good night's rest before flying out early Monday morning.
Tuition EXCLUDING airfare
Campers who are not flying with our package attened Orientation if their flight arragements allow:
A. If they are flying out of St. Louis (either on our plane or on a different flight all together) we would like for them to join us for Orientation! They will meet us in St. Louis during check in time to be dropped off to begin Orientation with the group. * If your camper is on the same flight with us, they are welcome to ride the free shuttle from Drury to the airport, but they will be responsible for checking into the flight, handling all baggage needs, getting through immigration/customs.
B. If you are planning their travel from a city other than St. Louis, you then will not be joining us for Orientation. Your camper will then be planning to meet our group on Monday, when our group is traveling to Jamaica.
Traveling looks different for campers who are in our group travel and those who are flying on their own.
Tuition INCLUDING Airfare
For those who booked their flight through us, chaperones handle all the needs during travel. They will assist all the campers with checking into the flight, checking bags (one checked bag under 50lbs per camper is covered by tuition!), getting through security, and boarding their flights. On the way into the country, campers will have already been prepped on the typical questions they will be asked and in the case that they are nervous/needing help- the chaperones are there! When landing in Jamaica, all campers flying with our group plan will be assisted through immigration and customs.
Tuition EXCLUDING airfare
For campers who are not a part of our group travel plans, they are expected to be able to handle all check-ins, baggage, and lay-overs on their own. In the event that their flight is changed/delayed, rebooking or planning is the responsiblity of the parents/guardians/camper. As a participant of our program, our chaperones wish to be able to help all campers, regardless of travel plans, when we can! But we cannot guarantee that we will be able to help, so we ask that campers/parents/guardian not depend on it.
Travel between the Villa and the Airport
Shuttle service to our villa looks different for campers who are flying with our group vs. those who are not.
Tuition INCLUDING Airfare
After going through customs and immigration in Jamaica, our group will then meet our driver and take the shuttle directly to the villa. On the return, our shuttle will meet us at the villa and get us to the airport in time for our flight. Shuttle fees are covered in your tuition and arrangements for the shuttle is handled by us!
Tuition EXCLUDING airfare
If your camper is flying on their own, but is on our incoming/outgoing flight, they may join our shuttle for a round-trip fee of $150. This cost is included for those who are flying in our chaperoned group, and therefore needs to be covered for those not flying in our group. For those who are not on our incoming or outgoing flight, you must book and plan your camper's shuttle service from the airport to the villa and back. To read more about why this is how we handle this, click here.
Travel Authorization + Paperwork
All but one of the required paperworks is on Campwise. This one paperwork is a digital authorization that must be filled out prior to travel to Jamaica. We are unsure if it will still be required in the summer of 2022, but it was required in 2021. To make sure parents/families/campers are prepared for this trip, we'd like to discuss this Travel Authorization in case it is required summer 2022. See Travel Authorization here. **This form cannot/will not be filled out until a week prior to departure.
Tuition INCLUDING Airfare
For all campers flying with us, we will be filling out their Travel Authorizations for Jamaica. We will collect and travel with all authorizations to ensure safe and easy travel. Families in our airfair package do not need to worry about filling this authorization out.
Tuition EXCLUDING airfare
Campers who are not a part of our group travel plans will need to fill out and submit their own Travel Authorization. It is a simple process and yields a quick result! All the necessary information relating to our villa/contact will be provded to you to aid you in filling out the form.
Getting to Animal Camp Jamaica
Please read here for all the possible ways campers will be joining us for Animal Camp Jamaica.
My camper is attending Cub Creek before ACJ...
At the end of their Cub Creek session, they will stay with us at camp Saturday and then we will drive them to St. Louis for Orientation on Sunday! We handle all travel plans, meals, and will get them checked into the hotel in St. Louis. Additionally, there are no fees associated with this 🙂 If you prefer, you are able to pick up your camper to take them home/re-pack/etc. You can bring them back to Cub Creek Saturday night, or drive them to Orientation yourself on Sunday.
I'm driving my camper to St. Louis on Sunday...
You will meet us at the designated hotel during the designated check-in time. You should plan to greet/speak with the trip leaders and settle your camper into their hotel room. Once you have done those things, you will be saying your goodbyes.
My camper is flying into St. Louis on Sunday...
Our chaperones are traveling from Cub Creek to St. Louis on Sunday afternoon and will be picking up any campers flying into the airport for Animal Camp Jamaica. It is our preference that campers who are flying in arrive to St. Louis between 2 pm and 3 pm- this is before check-in and reduces their wait-time. Campers may fly in earlier, but should know that they will be waiting at the ariport until we pick them up. Campers can also fly in later, but may miss portions of Orientation. There is no fee for pick up from the St. Louis airport on Sunday/Orientation day.
My camper is flying to Jamaica on Monday...
Your camper will meet up with the group on Monday! Depending on their travel plans, they may meet us in a lay-over location or at the villa in Jamaica. Whenever that is, we will catch them up with greeting the group and get them comfortable with us.
Returning from Animal Camp Jamaica
Please read here for all the possible ways campers will be leaving us from Animal Camp Jamaica.
My camper is attending Cub Creek after ACJ...
At the end of their ACJ session, they will travel with the trip leaders to camp Friday night. They stay with us at camp on Saturday be ready for their camp session. We handle all travel plans, meals, and will get them settled into camp. Again, there are no fees associated with this. If you are local and want to pick up your camper from St. Louis on Friday night, you are welcome to do that. You can bring them to Cub Creek for their session start date.
I'm driving my camper home from St. Louis on Friday...
You will be meeting us at the baggage claim in Terminal 1 at the time our plane is scheduled to land. Once you have your camper and bags, you are welcome to leave!
My camper is flying out of St. Louis ...
Campers can fly out of St. Louis on Friday night if there are flights available. Our team will help get them to their appropriate gate if it's an airline other than Southwest. If your camper is flying Southwest, you cannot book a flight within an hour and a half from our group's landing time. Southwest is a separate terminal and requires travel to the other terminal, check in, and security. If you need, you can fly your camper out on Saturday from St. Louis. In this option, your camper will return to Cub Creek Friday night with our team, and then be brought back up to St. Louis on Saturday by Cub Creek's transportation team. Transportation to Cub Creek is at no fee, but transportation to the airport on Saturday has associated fees. Please see Cub Creek's "Outgoing-Leaving Camp-Saturday" fee chart here.
My camper is flying from Jamaica on Friday...
If your camper is flying on their own on Friday, they will be in touch with you along their trip. We wish them safe travels. When they get to you, please send our main office an email to let us kow they have arrived safely!
Frequently Asked Questions
If after reading this page you have more questions, check out this section! Find below some of the commonly asked questions from families who are both registered and thinking about registering.
Why Should We Select Airfare Through You?
On the basic level- it's less work for you and simple for the campers! All fees are included and all planning is out of your hands! Even for experienced campers who have traveled a lot, having all the work managed by our team helps to create less pressure on their trip experience. When we book all the campers on our flights, we believe this helps parents be more in-the-know while not having to handle every detail. We keep families up-dated on our private Facebook group along every bit of the trip. For the campers, we have noticed that customs and immigration can be stressful. Our experienced staff are able to help them through that and can give step-by-step instructions to help prepare them.
There are times when our flights don't go as planned- flight change, cancellation, late take off, missed flight, etc. In these cases, when we have all the campers flying with us, we are able to manage rebooking and rescheduling with our team in America so that we can make sure our group is covered and ready. If by some chance a lay over is cancelled and rebooked for a different day, we handle all hotel/overnight arrangements for campers. It is for this reason that we *prefer* that all campers fly with us, besides the amenities, it is peace of mind.
Why can't chaperones help my camper if we don't book airfare through you?
If something unplanned happens, those who have paid for round-trip airfare have paid for the help and assistance of our chaperones during air travel. They must assist and help the campers who are in our group first. We also cannot predict the scenarios for campers not with us: they could be in a different city or terminal; they could be arriving later than planned; we could be delayed; they could be stuck in immigration/customs etc. It is for that reason that we can't guarantee that we will be able to help. If we are able, we will, but families buying their own airfare should understand and assume that in the case their plans change, they are responsible.
Can my camper meet you at the layover location?
Sure! If you are able to meet us at a layover location that is great! Shuttle fees still apply if you are not booking our roundtrip airefare package and your camper will be expected to get through immigration/customs on their own. But once we meet up with your camper, our chaperone will merge them with our group for head count.
Where do I input all my camper's travel plans?
Travel plans are recorded in Campwise. There, you will be letting us know all the steps of your travel plans including how you plan to meet us for Orientation and how you plan to get your camper home at the end of the trip.
Why can't we join the shuttle service if we are not on your incoming flight?
If you're not on our incoming flight, there is no guarantee that you will be exiting the airport at the same time as us. Your camper's flight may be delayed, or they may get held up in customs/immigration. On the other hand, we could be held up or our flight could have been delayed. In either of these cases, we don't want any campers to have to be waiting alone or for our chaperones to try to be tracking down campers who are not in our flight. Their priority is getting the chaperoned campers to the villa on our shuttle on time.
What is not included in airfare?
We will not cover the costs for a second checked bag or for any checked over-weight luggage. For those traveling with us, baggage fees are included for one-checked, 50lb bag.
Where do I find information on Orientation?
Read the specifics of Orientation on the Trip Itinerary page . Because we may change locations or information from year to year, we would like to keep information in one location.
What happens if a flight gets cancelled/delayed/changed?
There are multiple possible scenarios, but we will try everything we can to re-book a flight that matches our original plan. If we need, our team will organize getting a hotel or make plans for an overnight somewhere. In all cases, we will communicate with individual families to make sure they are aware and comfortable with our plans.
Do I stay at the hotel, too, for Orientation?
No. Orientation is for campers and trip leaders only. You are welcome to stay at the hotel if you need! But we are not expecting you to join us for Orientation.
When will you be booking airfare?
We begin to book and reserve our seats for flights in February. Depending on registration trends and available openings, this time frame is flexible. All families will be given our flight information when we have booked flights. This information will be sent via email and be posted to our private Facebook group. Then, families who want to book flights on their own can coordiate with our flights.
How will we be notified if travel plans change?
All updates (changes or not) are given through Facebook on our private page. If the case that we have major changes we will call and send emails to all families. When we need to give out information quickly, we will send a bunk email and then try to make calls to all the families to make sure they know of the changes. In these cases, we would like your help! If you are able to get the information from the email or your camper please do!
How does COVID impact our travel plans?
In 2021, all travelers had to test negative for COVID-19 , 72 hours from their flight departure time. We tested all campers who attended Cub Creek prior to Animal Camp Jamaica, but all other families are required to get their campers tested on their own. Jamaica required all people, even those vaccinated, to test negative. Tests had to be performed before the flight back as well; That is scheduled and arranged by us at our villa. Click here to read more about our COVID policies.