TRAVEL INFORMATION
Traveling to Outward Bound

Arrival Time and Location

Location: Duluth International Airport

VOBS staff will meet students in the baggage claim area. The Duluth airport is very small, so our staff will be easy to find.

Time: No later than 1:00 PM

*If you're arriving by car, and you can get there early, please try to arrive between 10:30 - 11:30 AM.  This will help us get you checked in and avoid a rush right at 1:00 PM. 

If you cannot find a flight that arrives in Duluth by 1:00 PM on your course start day you will need to arrive the night before and stay in Duluth. Please see the Pre & Post Course Accommodations Tab for information about hotels in Duluth. If you arrive the night before, you will still meet the group at the airport by 1:00 PM on your course start day.  

Please eat lunch and make any final phone calls before arriving at the airport. Expect to be at the airport until your whole group has arrived, at which time we will transport you an additional 2-3 hours to your course-start location.

If you experience delays or cancellations on arrival day, please contact our Travel Coordinator at: 651-728-1143 

With so many people traveling on the same day, we anticipate some hiccups. If your arrival is delayed, don’t worry too much. Contact our Travel Coordinator and we will do our best to coordinate an alternative plan with you.

Participants may travel to/from the course by personal vehicle or commercial transportation; however, personal vehicle travel is encouraged. We want those choosing to fly to be aware of our expectations surrounding commercial travel: 

  • It is important for you to note if a student tests positive for COVID19 on their course, someone must arrive at our basecamp to drive the student away. 
  • Due to the nature of COVID-19, we highly recommend against purchasing any non-refundable travel. Make sure you verify cancellation or change fees with the airline before you purchase your ticket. In the event that your course changes due to COVID-19 the Voyageur Outward Bound School is not responsible for any non-refundable travel. Please plan accordingly. 
  • In the event that the Duluth airport or another airport en route to your final destination shuts down or airlines shut down, students must have an alternative plan for accommodations and/or travel at that point in time. We will ask you to submit a complete backup plan prior to your course start. 

 When booking your flight, and while traveling, we expect you to do the following:

  • Minimize layovers and time of layovers
  • Verify that layover airports are requiring masks
  • Avoid eating and drinking in restaurants
  • Continue to physically distance
  • Wash and sanitize your hands often
  • Bring wipes to wipe down surfaces around your seat on the plane

If you are driving to your course start, check out this fun video our staff made about ways to stay safe on the way here: Traveling to Outward Bound

 CLOTHING/DRESS ON ARRIVAL DAY – Please arrive at the meeting place already dressed in your expedition clothes. Your boots or tennis shoes, wool socks, quick-dry pants, underwear, t-shirt and warmer long-sleeved layer (accessible) work best on the first day. Please see the provided packing list for further information about appropriate luggage, clothing, and layering principles.

 

Traveling Home

Students will be transported back to Duluth, Minnesota at the end of their course.  If you are picking up your student you can meet them at the Duluth International Airport between 11 AM and 12 PM.  

If you are choosing to book a flight home at the end of the course, please do not book any flights departing before 12:00 PM from the Duluth International Airport.

  • It is important for you to note if a student tests positive for COVID-19 on their course, someone must arrive at our basecamp to drive the student away. In cases where the student has driven themselves, if they are able they may self-transport away from the basecamp.
  • Outward Bound is unable to support any COVID-19 testing that may be required by an airline. We recommend you verify the procedures and policies surrounding this with airlines directly and also verify with your state health guidelines that a test is not required to re-enter the state. If a test is required, you will need to make arrangements for testing after the course is completed and will need to make a plan for accommodations in Duluth while you wait for results.
  • Due to the nature of COVID-19, we highly recommend against purchasing any non-refundable travel. In the event that your course changes due to COVID-19, the Voyageur Outward Bound School is not responsible for any non-refundable travel. Please plan accordingly.

 

Additional Information for Parents

UNACCOMPANIED MINORS

Unaccompanied Minor Service is often available and sometimes required when you purchase a plane ticket for a child traveling without an adult.  If your child is 14 or younger and traveling without an adult companion, you may be required to purchase this additional service.  If your child is 15 or older, most airlines will not require you to use this service, but you can sometimes still elect to purchase this additional service if you have any concerns about your child traveling alone.  Each airline has their own age restrictions and you will need to be in touch with them directly to determine if you are required to enroll your child in their Unaccompanied Minor Service. 

Unaccompanied Minor service does cost an additional fee.  Please be sure to complete payment for both your child's arrival and departure flights.  You will be required to provide the airline with additional information about the representative of our school who will pick the child up upon arrival.  Please contact your Outward Bound course advisor to receive this information.

Please note that if you have neither paid an additional fee nor been required to provide the airline with our representative information, then your child is not flying as an unaccompanied minor and an Outward Bound staff will meet them in the baggage claim area.

IMPORTANT: Parents, if you purchase the Unaccompanied Minor Service, please contact your course advisor to receive the required additional information about the OB representative picking up your teen. Your course advisor needs to know your teen is arriving as a registered unaccompanied minor with the airline.

Important Note for Arrival: Students flying as unaccompanied minors are required to have someone at the arrival airport to pick them up.  Because of this, students flying as unaccompanied minors cannot arrive the day prior to the course-start unless you have a family member or friend who is able to meet them and pick them up. Outward Bound staff will not be at the airport to receive students until the course-start date.

Important Notes for Departure: Parents/Guardians, you must check in your child for their return flight the night before their departure to return home.  You must pre-pay their baggage fee. This is very important. Please remember to check them in for their flight and pre-pay their baggage fee the day before they fly home. 

Also note, students flying as unaccompanied minors are not allowed by the airline to take the last departure flight of the day. Please ensure that your child is not on the last departure of the day or they will not be allowed to leave our company and board the plane.  

COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR STUDENT ON ARRIVAL DAY – It’s a good idea to send a phone with your student for use during travel days (don’t forget to include a charge cord). All electronics are stored in a secure location during the expedition and will be returned to your student on departure day.

Please remind your student to call/text you when they’ve arrived and met the Outward Bound representative. There will be time for this communication. If there are any problems or your student doesn’t arrive as scheduled, we will contact you right away. Otherwise, no news is good news! Your student’s course director will accompany their group to the start of their wilderness expedition and will contact you within 2-3 days to introduce themselves and share an update.

Important Information

MEALS AND MONEY ON ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE DAYS - Please bring a little cash for meals during your travel days.  Outward Bound will provide dinner on the first day, breakfast on the last day, and some snacks on both of these days.  There are minimal food options once you exit the security gate at the airport so plan to get something before you arrive or before you exit security. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout travel days!

MEDICATIONS – If you take a prescription medication, please ensure that you have enough to complete the entire course, and bring a back-up set if possible. If you use an inhaler or carry an Epi-pen, please bring 2 sets.

Remember to pack your medications and other important items (contacts, glasses, travel documents, money) in your carry-on luggage in case your checked bag is delayed or lost.

CLOTHING/DRESS ON ARRIVAL DAY – Please arrive at the meeting place already dressed in your expedition clothes. Your boots or tennis shoes, wool socks, quick-dry pants, underwear, t-shirt and warmer long-sleeved layer (accessible) work best on the first day. Please see the provided packing list for further information about appropriate luggage, clothing and layering principles.