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CQ Photo Contest Extended
May 28 2013

CQ Photo Contest Extended!

We want to see all of your amazing photos from your Spring 2013 trips, so we've extended our deadline for our photo contest and encourage you to submit your best shots for a chance to win 500 Quest Points and to be featured on our Facebook page! 

Submit your photos here and look out for the best to be featured online!


Capture Your Quest! Culture Quest Introduces Photo Contest
February 28 2013

This month, Culture Quest is excited to introduce our new Quarterly Photo Contest!

We're inviting all group leaders to send us your group's best photos (maximum of 5 photos per entrant) from your latest Culture Quest tour. Share an image of something you discovered in your travels or a new vantage point on a familiar site. Or submit your favorite group shot in your favorite travel spot. We'll compile the photos and then let the public decide which is their favorite.

Once voting is open, you'll have one week to marshal all of your students, friends and relatives to vote for your photo. We'll send you a notice to remind you to get the vote out! The photos will all be uploaded to Facebook for voting, so getting the word out will be easy. At the close of voting, the photo with the most "Likes" will be the winner.

Wondering what it's worth? First, you'll have bragging rights — the winning photo will be featured as the banner photo on the Culture Quest Facebook page for the following quarter. And second, the group leader who submitted the photo will receive 500 QuestPoints in their account. (Don't forget — QuestPoints can be redeemed for either free airfare or a student travel scholarship. Let us know if you need an update on your current total or more information about the program.)

And don't worry about being excluded if you're not traveling this quarter — we'll be doing this again each quarter throughout the year.

Now for the details: Photos must be submitted via email to photos@cqtours.com by March 31, 2013 (subsequent deadlines: June 30, September 30, December 31). Please include a description of the photo, name of the photographer, name of the group and location. For complete rules, contest description and entry instructions, please click here.

Meet the Latest Addition to the CQ Team!
January 16 2013


Jean Harris: Travel Program Director
Favorite aspect of my job so far:
I've really enjoyed working with our clients to create the perfect trip for them. Being able to help someone to discover a place they've never been before, or to help them find something new in a city they've been to many times is exciting to me. I'm always looking for the new and different in my own life, so being able to help other people with new experiences is a bonus!  
Tools of the Trade:   
I like to pack a small travel candle and a book of matches, especially if I'm going on a long trip. It's a nice touch of home when I get back to my hotel room at night.  
Favorite Travel Story:
I should preface this by saying that I fall down. Fairly regularly and with little provocation.  When I was in Iceland a few years ago we decided to take a day to drive south to Skaftafell to view the magnificent glacier there before heading to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to check out the icebergs. The glacier was truly awesome from its base (we heeded the signs and didn't proceed "past this point without a guide") and after wandering around a bit taking pictures, we headed back to the car. And when we were safely away from ice, mud and rocky ground, I stepped off the edge of the smoothly paved walkway and sprained my ankle. That particular ankle has been sprained many times and so I knew that the only thing to do (out in the middle of nowhere) was to just continue on gingerly and take care of it later that night when we got back to the cabin.  So on to Jökulsárlón we went. By the time we got there, there was a large lump where my ankle used to be but... we were at Jökulsárlón, which was full of little icebergs headed out to the Atlantic. So I hobbled down to the edge of the water for a look.  The colors in the icebergs were intense - blue like pieces of sky, black volcano ash, pure, blinding white. And when they floated close to shore, you could see that they weren't solid chunks of ice - they actually looked like incredibly intricate puzzle pieces all locked together. That's when I saw it - an iceberg had beached itself and lost a handful of those puzzle pieces all locked together. So when I was done with my photos and trying to take it all in, I grabbed that handful of ice, headed back to the car, took off my hiking boot and iced down my ankle...with an iceberg.
Dream Destination:
My dream destination is always changing to whatever is next on the list... currently I'm a bit obsessed with Cambodia. From the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, the walled city of Angkor Thom and the temple and monastery of Ta Prohm to the Phnom Penh Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda, I'm fascinated by their historic sites.  As brutal as their more recent history is, I'd like to visit war museum and killing fields to try to understand those events. And there's no good way to segue from that, but, then there are the beaches. There's so much to Cambodia that I want to explore that I think I may need at least a month...


ACTFL 2012 Comes to the City of Brotherly Love
December 07 2012

This year we were excited to hear that the yearly ACTFL Conference was coming to our very own Convention Center here in Philadelphia!

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages is dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. ACTFL is an individual membership education, as well as government and industry. 

The conference, which spanned from Friday, November 16-Sunday, November 18, offered several sessions for attendees to choose from. The topics to ranged from Plagiarism and Academic Writing in a Second Language to Instruction in Cultural Competence. In order to reach out to the teachers attending the conference from all over the country, we set up our own Culture Quest Tours booth. We offered travel gifts with our "prize wheel" and a chance to discuss our customized travel options for teachers who often take their students on trips abroad. 

That evening, we gave a special treat to the interested attendees by inviting them to the nearby, Trestle Inn, where we hosted a cocktail hour to deepen our conversations of travel and potential client relationships.

Check out our photo below of Travel Program Director, Jean Harris and Group Operations Manager, Barbara Sykes at the Culture Quest Tours booth during the conference!



Important Travel Tips While Abroad
September 17 2012

Picked your destination? Booked your flight? Now prepare for all of the little things that come with it! Here are some travel tips that will help you to be a little more prepared for your trip. They may sound simple, but you’ll thank us later!

1. Sign your passport.  Make sure your passport is valid and signed with all emergency information filled in.

2. Leave copies of your itineraries, passport data page and contact information with friends and family in the states, in case of emergency.

3. Check your medical insurance. Contact with your provider to see if your policy applies over seas. If not, there is an option to get supplemental travelers’ insurance.

4. Research. Familiarize yourself with the laws and conditions of the country you are visiting.

5. Be aware. While in public places, don’t leave bags or luggage unattended, don’t accept packages from strangers and don’t keep excessive amounts of money on you.

6. Packing a carry-on. These days, it is necessary to pack lightly, since airlines are flying smaller planes with less space.

You should also contact TSA to see the most up-to-date information, but here are the basics: Remember that liquids need to be in a 3oz bottle, store your passport in here as well as extra clothing, medication and your itineraries and contract information, incase your luggage is lost.

Safe Travels!

Welcome to the Culture Quest Blog!
September 17 2012

Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Let us know and we’ll do the rest. That’s our motto here at Culture Quest.  We’re an educational travel company, who specializes in customized trips for high school, college and adult groups. This blog is a tool to help you with anything and everything dealing with travel.  Whether you want to learn more about your destination, decide what to pack or just tell us how excited you are, this is the place to do it!

Culture Quest is not just a tour, it’s a quest, which is why we want to customize your entire travel experience. Our new website offers several tools to do just that. Most importantly, check out our feature, “my trip” which will help you decide on specific details that will make your trip the most enjoyable for you. Simply, enter in your user name and password and follow the steps to completely customize your own trip.  This gives you the option to create a flexible itinerary that will allow you to see more of what you want to see.  Travel at your own pace and visit the specific locations that you want, while experiencing them on a more in-depth level and separate from other school groups. Our new website also offers specific links for teachers, students and parents, so everyone can get the information they need and feel comfortable before their travels.

We want your international travel to be an experience to remember, which is why we want to hear from you! Feel free to post questions or comments and definitely check us out on Facebook and Twitter for even more tips and travel info.  Welcome to Culture Quest!