About & Faq

About Los Angeles Times Expeditions

At the Los Angeles Times, we have a passport into people’s lives and stories around the world.

Through our reporting, we work every day to provide you with a collection of these stories. Now, we’re bringing you along with us on a few of our adventures to bring you Los Angeles Times Expeditions – a new travel opportunity where “insight is always on the itinerary.”

We’ve teamed up with Academic Travel Abroad, a company with decades of experience in education-oriented travel, to create a series of small group travel packages with you in mind. We researched destinations and activities that hold the most interest to our readers and designed once-in-a-lifetime trips accompanied by Times journalists and experts ready to share their first-hand knowledge and behind-the-scenes access.

We hope that you’ll consider joining us.

Los Angeles Times journalists have a wealth of experience, traveling the world and telling some of the most compelling stories of our time. This travel program is another way for us to spread our journalism, connect with readers and share a deeper understanding of the world around us.

Our tours are selected to showcase The Times’ expertise in its hometown and around the world. Each itinerary is designed to give travelers rare opportunities to experience some of the most interesting subjects that The Times covers including world affairs, food, the arts and photography.

A portion of your tour price supports our award-winning journalism.

Our experts are chosen for their charisma, expertise and affability and are the key ingredient that turns a fine trip into an unforgettable experience. They provide context and insight and will complement and amplify the information you’ll hear from guides, guest speakers or other content providers.

Many of our destinations do not require vaccinations, although we recommend that routine vaccinations be up to date. For destinations where vaccinations are required, you will receive information from your Guest Services advisor with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It is recommended that vaccinations be administered four to six weeks before travel. More information about vaccinations can be found at the CDC website.

U.S. citizens can obtain a passport for the first time by applying in person at a passport acceptance facility. You will need to fill out the required forms, bring evidence of your citizenship, a government-issued ID and a passport photo. There is a fee of $110 for adults requesting a passport within the regular processing time (six to eight weeks).

Travelers who have already held a U.S. passport can apply by mail, provided the last passport can be submitted undamaged and was issued fewer than 15 years ago. For specific instructions about applying in person or by mail, visit the State Department’s site on How to Apply for a Passport.

If a visa is required for your expedition, your Guest Services advisor will send you specific instructions about how to apply. In most cases, you will have the choice of applying for a visa on your own or using the services of our partner, Pinnacle Travel Document Services. For some destinations such as Cuba, a visa is included in the trip price and will be obtained on your behalf. More information about visa requirements for specific destinations can be found on the State Department’s website.

In order to give our travelers maximum flexibility in choosing their preferences for air travel, airfare to the starting point of our expeditions is not included in our price. In this way, travelers are free to use frequent-flier upgrades, depart from their airport of choice or add pre- and post- trip extensions with no constraints.

Internal flights — group flights that take place during the course of a trip — are also charged separately from the expedition’s base price. Although internal flights are arranged by our expedition managers, and travelers are not required to purchase their own tickets, they are invoiced separately to allow for the possibility of price increases.

Yes, absolutely! If travelers wish to arrive early at the first hotel on the itinerary or stay on at the last hotel, our Guest Services advisors will be happy to facilitate the reservation of extra nights. Those nights will be added to your LA Times Expeditions invoice and will be subject to the same Terms and Conditions of the main trip.

Most of our trips can accommodate 25 people (maximum). Our photography trips are even smaller, with 16 maximum. We usually have about 15 travelers on each trip.

Yes! Tips to local guides, restaurant staff, bell staff and drivers are all included in the trip price. L.A. Times experts and tour managers, however, do not accept tips. The only time tips are not included is during free time and meals on your own.

As educational trips, LA Times Expeditions are designed to give our travelers special insight and understanding of the places we visit. The talks and commentary by our experts and local guides are what make our itineraries special, and this kind of curated experience cannot be obtained on your own. For this reason, our trips generally do not incorporate long periods of free time during the day, although nighttime and some meals will be at leisure.

It is difficult to generalize about our travelers, because people from all walks of life are attracted to what we have to offer! However, most people who take our trips are discerning travelers who are intellectually curious, respectful of different cultures and lifestyles, interested in making new connections and have a good sense of humor.

Yes, absolutely! There are always a good number of solo travelers on our expeditions, and they are welcomed with open arms. Group meals generally take place at medium to large tables, and our tour managers ensure that everyone is included in conversation. Because our trips are priced for two people sharing a room, there is a supplemental cost for those who choose not to share.

In general, casual attire is appropriate for our expeditions. We recommend that travelers plan their wardrobes around casual, practical and comfortable clothing. Broken-in, comfortable walking shoes are essential. Prior to departure, you will be provided with a detailed packing list appropriate for your specific destination.

Per-person cancellation fees are based on the date that we receive notification of cancellation. For cancellations received more than 120 days before to departure, 50% of the trip deposit will be retained. The full deposit amount will be retained for cancellations between 119 and 91 days before departure. Cancellations between 90 and 61 days will result in 50% forfeiture of the total trip price. There is no refund for cancellations within 60 days of departure.

We highly recommend that travelers purchase trip insurance to protect their investment. Unexpected cancellations happen more than anyone imagines, and insurance is the best way to guard against losses. We recommend using our partner insurance provider, Travel Insurance Services, which offers three different policies for travelers.

When you register for an LA Times Expedition, you will be asked to pay the initial deposit amount (usually $500 per person) to reserve your space. Then, four months before your departure, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance. Final payment is due 90 days before departure.