Q&A: Weekend Student Adventures

What kind of tours do Weekend Student Adventures (WSA) specialize in?

WSA specializes in tours designed for international students and young budget backpackers in Europe. Students studying abroad in Europe use their free time on weekends to travel throughout the continent, so we designed a tour company specifically (but not exclusively) for them as a safe, convenient, and cost effective way to do so. We provide guided weekend tours to top European destinations such as Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam! We also provide fall, spring, and summer break tours that last between 7-10 days, along with our festival trips like Easter in Rome, or St. Paddy’s day in Dublin. Our trips are designed from the ground up to appeal to millennial travellers, and this is made evident through the types of guides, activities, and accommodation options we provide to our travellers.

 

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What kind of training do WSA guides have?

We handpick our tour guides specifically to connect with millennial budget backpackers and students. Each of our guides are professionally licensed with a great amount of guiding experience and credibility under their belt. We make sure to choose real local guides who live in the places that we travel to, so that they can provide our travellers with a more authentic experience. Each of our guides have a unique characteristic that makes them special. For example, our Rome guide is an art historian, our Paris guide owns his own featured touring company and our Amsterdam guide owns his own comedy club.

What are some of the reasons why someone would want to book a tour with WSA?

Someone who books a WSA tour is guaranteed to receive an enriching cultural experience, rather than just your typical sightseeing trip. We hand-pick REAL local guides who actually live in our destinations. This ensures that all of our tour attendees will be learning from someone who truly knows all of the hidden spots that most tourists wouldn’t otherwise know about. The entire structure of our tour, from the family restaurants we use, to our local guides, to the activities conducted, are based around cultural immersion. We handpick our accommodation so that our tour goers have all the needed amenities, cleanliness, facilities, and social hangouts that one would expect from a top-rated tour company. As far as our prices go, everything is offered up front. Many tour companies offer a cheap “starting” price, and then tack on the extras as the tour takes place. Everything we included in the initial tour price with complete transparency. We ensure small group sizes to guarantee a more personal experience for our tour members.

 

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What is the average group size of a WSA tour?

The average group size one can expect on a WSA tour ranges between 10-30 people. Tour sizes can increase on special occasions such as St. Patrick’s Day, or Easter in Rome. But for the most part, we prefer to keep the tour size under 30 to ensure the group members receive a more personalized experience.

What are some of the coolest things that travellers can do when on a WSA tour?

Each destination offers its own unique experiences that sets itself apart from other tour companies. In Budapest, we take our tour members for a caving expedition deep beneath the hills of Buda, then afterwards direct them to the massive Széchenyi thermal baths, which during the evenings transitions into a raging spa party. On our Krakow weekend, our travellers experience full day trips to Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, as well as Schindler’s factory, a remarkably emotional experience. For our Easter weekend in Rome, tour members enjoy a front row audience to the Pope at the Vatican on Easter morning. Oh…And you can’t forget about sky diving above the Swiss Alps. We really do have something for every traveller! 

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How did the company start and what is the story behind WSA?

Andy Steves, the son of the famous travel Guru Rick Steves, grew up traveling with his father throughout his entire childhood and adolescence. In fact, by the time he was 20 years old, he had already been to Europe a WHOPPING 20 times. Through his father, he learned all of the tips and tricks of proper travel mindset and logistics, as well as a great deal about European culture. After studying abroad in Rome for a semester while in college, Andy decided to start up his own travel business that while similar to his fathers, was specifically for students and budget backpackers. He entered his business idea into the 2010 Notre Dame McCloskey Entrepreneurship Business competition, and took home the grand prize of $15,000 dollars! Later that year using the prize money, Andy started WSA, and began running Fall tours. Five years later, WSA now works with over 40+ student organizations across Europe and the United States, providing tours for thousands of students every year.

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