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Paperwork FAQs

How do I upload multiple documents?

Our system only allows you to upload 1 document in each submission. If you are unable to combine your documents together, we are happy to do it for you! Please email them to

My insurance only allows me to get a physical past your February 1 due date, what do I do about the Medical Form?

Please let us know that your med form will be delayed by emailing, in the meantime, please upload a filled out copy minus a doctor’s signature for our review, and as soon as you have a physician’s signature you can email us the completed form.

Why do the trip-specific waivers stay marked as incomplete after I have submitted them?

For those trip-specific waivers, we process all paperwork by hand, so it might take a little bit for that green checkmark to appear on your end! We will email you if any issues arise with these waivers.

On the Transportation Module it asks for the “Arrival Airport” and “Departure Airport” and my child is flying through multiple airports, which is the correct one to input?

Please enter in the information for the final destination. For example, if you are flying into Charles de Gaulle as your final destination, please enter in the final flight’s travel details. At the end of the trip if you are flying out of Charles de Gaulle, please enter in that flight information. This helps our leaders to organize their schedules on travel day.

Travel FAQs

My child is under 15 and when I am booking my child’s flights, they require I give a name and contact information. What should I do?

Your child will have to be booked as an unaccompanied minor if they are under 15. When booking, please purchase this service and provide your contact details. Moondance will send you the designated leader unaccompanied minor contact details closer to the trip, and you will be able to call the airline and update it.

Why do you want us to fly on the group flight?

At Moondance, we believe that the experience begins the day travel does! We want students to be able to grow in their travel experiences together. Purchasing the group flight not only creates a smoother travel day, but also ensures that the students are together if there are any travel delays.

Our family is unable to book on the group flight, what should we do?

We know there are extenuating circumstances (cost, location, timing, etc.) in which families are unable to book on the group flight. In these cases, please directly reach out to with the flight path you would like to pursue BEFORE booking. Each alternate route must be individually approved by HQ.

You are also taking on the personal responsibility that, in the event of a cancellation or delay, your child will potentially be on their own in a layover city and their late arrival could disrupt the entire trip.

Is airfare included in the cost of the trip?

Airfare to and from your Moondance program is not included in the cost of your trip due to the diversity of locations our students travel from. However, internal flights on Belize + Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador + Galapagos, Hawaiian Islands, Kenya + Zanzibar, Sardinia, South Africa, Spain + Morocco, and Thailand are covered in your tuition.

Does my child need to fly as an unaccompanied minor if they are under 14?

This depends on the airline you are flying. Each airline has its own policies on flying as an unaccompanied minor, and depending on which airline your child is flying, policies will differ. We suggest contacting your airline directly for up to date policies before you fly. Moondance will provide you with the leader’s contact information to function as the Unaccompanied Minor contact for the airline. Keep in mind, that almost all airlines do not allow unaccompanied minors to travel on the last flight of the day.

Can Moondance put me in touch with others who are flying from the same city?

We are happy to share flight details of other families on your trip from your hometown so you can book the same flight!

Enrollment FAQs

When is full payment due?

Full payment is due on February 1st, 2023.

What additional forms do I need to fill out?

At the time of enrollment you will only be required to fill out the enrollment request and sign the terms and conditions. We highly encourage you to begin filling out the additional forms including the passport form, medical form, health insurance form, and COVID vaccine card upload. These forms are not required to submit an enrollment request, but are required to travel with us.

I looked at your website, but how do I find out more information about your trips?

A great resource to check out to help you gain a better understanding of our trips is to visit our Youtube Page to watch the incredible experiences from previous summers. You can also spend some time reading our Trip Guides which are located at the bottom of every trip page, as well as reading previous summer’s Trip Updates! Our team at Moondance HQ is always happy to help you decide on what trip may be the best fit for you as well!

When do you stop accepting applications?

After May 1st we are unable to accept any applications for session 1 trips or for any international trips. For session 2 and 3 we will still accept applications for domestic trips pending full payment and reception of all paperwork and teacher references.

I’ve applied for a domestic trip after May 1, now what happens?

We will be at our annual Staff Training from May 15 – June 1 and will have limited opportunities to discuss enrollment. If you apply during this time frame, we will reach out to let you know if a spot is available, but will not actively enroll students until all paperwork is completed.

Full trip cost is due at time of enrollment and ALL paperwork (including outfitter waivers, medical forms, teacher references, and Plans of Action) are required to be actively enrolled.

What grade range should I look for?

We enroll students based on the current grade they are in for the Fall 2022 – Spring 2023 school year. For example, if you are in 8th grade for the 2022-2023 school year, you should look at trips listed for 8th graders.

Can I come with a friend?

Creating a community is perhaps the highlight for many on their Moondance trip. One of the greatest elements of a Moondance trip is meeting new people and being yourself in an entirely new group. We encourage you to partake in that valuable experience, and we love what happens when a group of strangers come together to form a team. That being said, sometimes participants come with a friend. In order to keep our focus on group dynamics, our policy is that no more than two friends can be in the same group together. We also limit our groups to allow no more than two students from the same school and three from the same hometown to travel in a group.

What if my first choice trip is "limited"?

If you see limited on our website this will mean a trip is full for a gender, hometown, or school. If the trip you apply for is full for any of those three reasons we will discuss other options with you.

Can you accommodate food allergies/dietary restrictions?

We will work our best with you and your family to find the correct trip for you based on your restrictions. Not all trips can accommodate all food allergy/ dietary restrictions so please call us if you have any questions!

Student FAQs

Where are the Moondance students from?

Though Moondance has students come from around the world, we have a strong US following! We’ve had people hailing from 34 states and 6 foreign countries last summer alone. We love to connect people from such vast distances in search of experience and adventure.

What if I have no previous backpacking or camping experience?

You don’t necessarily need prior experience to go on a Moondance trip as we will teach you everything you need to know and be comfortable in a new setting. The challenge level of different trips varies, and we’re here to help you choose the trip that’s right for you. The only requirements for a successful Moondance adventure are positive attitudes, good physical condition, and the willingness to collaborate as a member of a small group.

Where do we sleep at night?

On our domestic trips you will set up single gender, three-person Mountain Hardwear tents every night on most trips; however, we will encourage you to take the opportunity to sleep beneath the stars. On our international trips, you will stay in local hostels, lodges, inns, mountain chalets/ refugios, and sometimes in tents outside.

How big are the Moondance group sizes?

Moondance groups typically consist of 10 to 13 participants, with two to three leaders.

What happens if my first choice trip is full?

Our trips fill on a rolling basis. If your first choice is full, we will enroll you in your second or third choice options listed in your application. Once a trip is full we will generate a waitlist. Our Admissions team will call as we process your application to discuss secondary trip options, should your first choice be unavailable. If you would like to be placed on a waitlist please fill out the online application and we will give you a call to discuss wait list options.

Can I bring my cell phone?

One of the greatest parts of a Moondance trip is unplugging from the doldrums of your device. We encourage you to leave them behind if you can, but cell phones are permitted in transit in case of travel complications. Once you arrive on your trip, you will turn your cell phones into your leaders, who will hold them until the final day of your trip when they are returned to you in the airport. Phones detract from the experience we cultivate on a Moondance trip, and we strongly believe in the positive effects of digital detox. Moondance will not be responsible for lost, damaged or stolen electronic devices.

How much is the deposit?

The trip deposit is $1000 which is due at the time of application. This deposit will be applied to the total program cost (Balance due February 1st) and can be paid by Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. We only charge the deposit if we are enrolling you in the trip of your choice.

Does Moondance offer financial assistance?

On a case by case basis Moondance offers Financial Assistance to families. If you are interested in learning more about our Financial Assistance options, contact our admissions department,

What kind of identification do I need to travel?

TSA does not require minors traveling domestically to fly with identification, however, if you are on an international program you will need to fly with a passport valid through SIX months after you return home. Certain programs will require further documentation such as, Visas or entry documents. You will be notified if your trip needs a Visa or other documentation after enrollment. If you have any questions about TSA requirements you can visit their website, here. If you have questions about obtaining a passport, please contact our office, or 800.832.5229 and we can assist you!

Can I find out who the other participants on my trip are before it begins?

We believe that the excitement and value in arriving with an open mind and a blank slate about your group members adds an irreplaceable component to our programs. Therefore, we don’t disclose student information in advance. We ask that you don’t call the office asking for this information.

Will students that live outside the US be able to sign up for a Moondance trip?

Yes, we always have a handful of families that live outside of the US on our trips. We recommend that you understand your country’s travel recommendations as well as the areas we travel before finalizing your trip enrollment.

Will I need special immunizations for my trip?

Moondance suggests families follow guidelines set by the CDC for vaccinations and immunizations. Depending on your trip, it is possible that you will need special immunizations. This can change from year to year, and we operate under the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control. For specific trips, we ask that you discuss immunizations and any pre-existing conditions with your family doctor or local travel clinic. Moondance will provide a detailed map of where the group will be traveling for you to take with you to the travel clinic. Please visit for more information.

How does Moondance select and train its leaders?

Moondance leadership positions are coveted as amazing leadership opportunities for dynamic, young college graduates. We receive a large number of applicants every year, with many returning leaders. After a rigorous selection process, we select only the top 25% of the potential leaders who apply. Those who are accepted through our written application and interview process are then required to attain a medical certification (either Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder) and attend an 11 day staff training . During this training our leaders immerse themselves in their trips, their students, and the policies and procedures of Moondance. Staff training is a chance for us to get to know each and every leader deeply, and make sure they are the best fit for their trips, and our mission.

Summer FAQs

How do I get in contact with my child if they don’t have their phone on the trip?

In the event that there are circumstances that require a parent to communicate with their child the Moondance HQ office will facilitate getting them in touch.

On my packing list it says I need to pack in a carry on bag, do I actually need to, or can I check a bag?

We require all of our international trekking trip participants to carry on as checking a bag opens up the potential for lost luggage. As many of our trips immediately begin their trekking section, if a bag is lost it can be days or weeks before it is returned to a child. This can be incredibly disruptive to a trip, and can be destabilizing for a child in a new environment. Please be mindful of this in your packing and ensure that their bag is able to be carried on.

How much do I need from the packing list?

Over 28 years of running trips, we have refined our packing lists to ensure that students have everything they need and not excess! We encourage you to speak to your child’s leader during our Meet the Leader phone calls if you have specific questions.

Why do you require passports to be valid 6 months from the return date of the trip?

This is actually not a Moondance requirement, but rather an international travel requirement based on each country. If your passport is not valid for 6 months past the day you are returning to the US there is a potential that you will be turned away at the airport. Please double check your passport, and if it needs to be renewed immediately begin the process of renewal.