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Tips for a successful Student Travel

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Many new trip sponsors take on the responsibility of planning a student excursion without the benefit of a “mentor” or any previous experience. Although the eventual travel experience can be highly successful there are many obstacles that could just as easily result in a negative experience. That doesn’t have to be the case if you take into account the following tried and true guidelines.

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Tips for a successful Student Travel

  1. 1. Tips for a successful Student Travel
  2. 2. Many new trip sponsors take on the responsibility of planning a student excursion without the benefit of a “mentor” or any previous experience. Although the eventual travel experience can be highly successful there are many obstacles that could just as easily result in a negative experience. That doesn’t have to be the case if you take into account the following tried and true guidelines. During my years as a middle school trip sponsor we took an annual grade level trip to Washington, DC. Initially, I was hesitant to make the trip because Washington, DC can be a huge travel challenge. The capital area is a densely populated region with a heavy traffic volume. In addition, there is little or no parking near the popular museums, monuments and memorials. I learned, however, that with careful pre-planning you can all but eliminate these issues and ensure that your group will have the experience of a lifetime. One of the most critical, and frequently overlooked, aspects of trip planning is making sure a knowledgeable “destination specialist” accompanies the group. A destination specialist isn’t just an expert on navigating about the area, but someone who can also assist a motor coach driver and make recommendations to the trip sponsor to reduce the time between stops and create smooth transitions between venues. This same individual will call ahead to confirm reservations, work with the trip sponsor to adjust the itinerary during the trip, and facilitate the arrival and departure of the group from hotels, attractions and meals. The best destination specialists are individuals employed by student tour providers. They are frequently referred to as tour directors or trip escorts and either reside in the destination or specialize in escorting trips to that region. I also recommend that you select adult chaperons for the trip that are either staff members or parent volunteers with experience in working with the age group of the student travelers. These individuals will
  3. 3. be supervising students while they are away from home and must be effective authority figures. Their ability to handle minor discipline problems, ensure that students are in the right place at the appointed time, and conduct nightly room checks will help assure that the trip is a success. Once this group has been determined I suggest scheduling a “Chaperon Training Session”. An excellent time to hold the meeting is a day or two prior to departure. Getting all of the adults together at the same time will allow you to review the rules for the students as well as those for the adults. Stress that the trip is an extension of the classroom and that each chaperon has the same responsibilities as a teacher. You should also stress being on time for activities, staying with their student group at all times, and being a good role model. During this meeting it would be a good idea to review the final itinerary, emphasizing the learning experiences and providing tips for a memorable experience. While reviewing the schedule, review the chaperon responsibilities at key points such as check-in, on the motor coach, in the hotel, and at meals and attractions. More Travel Tips on Vacation-now.com

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