Cardinal Adventures Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the Lamar University Cardinal Adventures Travel Program?

Why travel on a Cardinal Adventures trip?

We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to! Traveling in Cardinal Style lets you relax and enjoy the destination instead of worrying about where to stay, what to visit, etc. And you have the added value of traveling with other Cardinal fans and alumni. Many of our past travelers say that getting to know other like-minded friends of Lamar University was one of the best parts of their trip.

The travel partners selected to work with Cardinal Adventures are dedicated to providing the best possible experiences for every traveler. All destinations include first-class accommodations, researched and vetted thoroughly by their well-traveled staff. Every attention to detail is assured. Local experts are utilized on every itinerary to be sure that participants are able to ask questions and experience the real life and culture of each destination.

It is also fair to say that many of the experiences and activities on Cardinal Adventures trips are not available to the general public, or are available only after extensive waiting periods and expense. Travel providers are selected who specialize in, and take all of the work out of, providing these extraordinary experiences for our travelers.

How do I make a reservation?

Follow the links provided with each individual trip listed on our website and contact the travel vendor listed to make a reservation or ask questions about the trip. You may also contact the Office of Alumni Affairs and speak to our Travel Programs Coordinator to answer any questions.

Do I have to be a Lamar University graduate to go on a trip? 

While the Lamar University connection is an important component of our program, Cardinal Adventure trips are open to all travel enthusiasts including alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and family members of Lamar University who want to take part in our exciting and educational travel opportunities.

How does Cardinal Adventures partner with tour operators?

These trips are created and managed by tour operators who specialize in group and alumni travel of the highest quality. Our travel partners handle the logistical aspects of the tour itineraries and take all registrations and payments. Cardinal Adventures works with our partners to select trips that meet the highest standards and coordinates with trip scholars to provide a unique educational experience for our travelers.

How are trips selected and when are they made available?

Destinations are selected by January of each year for the following years' travels. Trips and destinations are generally announced in the summer of the year before travel so that interested travelers can consider these dates in their planning. Every effort is made to select destinations of interest to our travelers based on surveys and feedback collected throughout the year, attempting to offer a wide variety of options in varied locales. Please let us know where you would like to travel! We value your input as a potential traveler with Cardinal Adventures. Simply send us an email with your suggestions, questions and ideas to

Where can I get more detailed information about a certain trip?

All upcoming trips are listed on our website along with links to obtain more detailed information. There are also specific brochures printed for every trip with detailed itineraries and information. They are generally mailed 6 to 9 months prior to the scheduled departures to those who have expressed an interest in traveling with Cardinal Adventures. (To be sure you are on our mailing list, send us an email at There is no need to wait for a brochure to reserve space on a tour. Some trips may book up even prior to their promotion, so communicate with us when you see a destination that is of interest to you. You may request more details on a trip at any time by contacting us or the travel vendor directly.

What is included and not included in the Cardinal Adventure trips?

Each trip brochure lists the specific items included. Generally speaking, all accommodations and the majority of meals are included, as well as most tips, baggage handling, and the services of the Travel Director and local experts. Most excursions and gratuities for those excursions are also included. Most trips allow for a couple of meals on your own at your discretion. Airfare to the gateway city is not often included, but can be arranged by our travel partner. Travel insurance, passport fees and other similar items are not included.

How quickly do trips fill up?

Some itineraries fill up quickly! Special savings are offered before brochures are printed and mailed, approximately 6 to 9 months in advance of each trip. The best way to be in the know is to send us an email anytime you see a destination scheduled that you would like to visit.

How many people generally travel on a Cardinal Adventures trip?

The number varies from 2 to 43, depending on the destination. Many trips have a maximum participation of 28. Most of our travel programs include groups from other colleges and universities.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation policies vary by destination and travel partner. In most cases, travel companies charge a nominal cancellation fee from the time of deposit to cover expenses incurred in processing a new reservation and making initial travel arrangements. Most of the time this cancellation fee can be applied to future travel occurring the same year or following year of the booked trip if a cancellation is requested. As the departure date draws near, the travel partner has made financial commitments to airlines, hotels and ground transportation vendors. Accordingly, cancellation fees then become more substantial. Travel insurance is highly recommended.

Can I book my own air travel?

You may book your own air travel, but we caution you to consider all of the options and benefits as well as challenges involved in doing so. The unexpected can and does often occur with this type of travel. In most cases, when you book on your own, your flight is non-refundable and you may forfeit the entire cost of the ticket should you need to change your itinerary. In those cases, our travel partners cannot intervene on your behalf. Our travel partners have strong alliances across the airline community. Time and time again, they have provided our travelers with exceptional customer care when the unexpected occurs. It is important to remember that if you book your own flights, you are responsible for making connections with the main group. Travel partners can even book your air travel for you if you wish to arrive a day or more early or later for extra time at your destination.

Is there an age requirement for the trips?

There is no age requirement for Cardinal Adventure trips, but most itineraries are designed with adults in mind. We will occasionally offer trips that are designed for families (such as the river cruise on the Rhine River offered in 2017). These trips will have special activities for children as well as Youth Travel Directors participating.

There is no maximum age for travelers. However, each destination should be closely reviewed for physical requirements such as walking, climbing or standing for long periods of time. All travelers must be in good mental and physical health, able to get on and off of motor coaches and keep up with the pace of the group. Anyone requiring special assistance should be accompanied by someone willing and able to provide this assistance.

How do I get on the mailing list/get notified of future travel destinations?

Email us or call us, we'd love to hear from you! We promise not to clutter your inbox with constant emails. We will send out an email announcing all trips for the coming year when announced, reminders about each trip as the dates for bookings with discounts approaches, and other emails regarding specific destinations you have expressed an interest in. We will also email you once a year requesting your input on future destinations.

Will my trip include a Lamar University faculty/staff host?

A minimum number of participants is required to secure the services of an LU host. We make every effort to send a host from LU on as many departures as possible but this cannot be guaranteed.

Should I purchase travel insurance?

We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for your protection. Our travel partners will mail you information regarding travel insurance options when you book your trip, or you may use another vendor of your choice. Most policies must be purchased before you pay in full for your trip. It is to your advantage to purchase travel insurance as soon as possible. Please refer to your policy's terms and conditions for details about the coverage it provides.

Are COVID-19 vaccines required on Cardinal Adventures trips?

Each of our trips is conducted with one of our carefully selected travel partners. All trip requirements, including vaccination requirements, are subject to each vendor's policies at the time of travel, in addition to any requirements imposed by the destination.

Are there any new COVID-19 restrictions or do I have to wear a mask?

The carefully selected travel partners utilized by Cardinal Adventures have been chosen for their experience and knowledge of worldwide travel, and will assist you in identifying and coordinating any requirements for your selected destination(s). The vendors may have requirements of their own, which will be listed on their websites and communicated to you prior to your trip. You may contact the travel partner individually with questions you have regarding any current restrictions or policies.

Who should I contact if I have questions about Cardinal Adventures trips?

Contact Laurie Ritchel, Travel Programs Coordinator, for more information or to answer any questions you may have about our travel program. 409-880-8922 office voicemail 409-790-4307 cell