The Benefits of European Educational Group TravelEmily Ward
As a educator, bringing your group to Europe on an educational tour is a life-changing experience for you and your group. To enlighten students with travel is the kind of opportunity some only dream of, but the reality of bringing your educational group to Europe is closer than you think. There are so many wonderful and elaborate museums and attractions that are ready to be filled by your students. And nothing can prepare, motivate and inspire your group to reach that next level like the thought of traveling in Europe!
When a student experiences new locations, new cultures and new people, with education being the main focus, the revelations and the eye-opening impact that develops is priceless. Students remember these sort of educational trips for the rest of their lives. As an educator, this is the rewarding part of what we do. The classroom is a great place to learn, but travel elevates education and develops individual growth. With globalization reshaping the way we exist on this planet, the more at ease your students become with different people and cultures, the better prepared they will be for their future.
Walking through a city like Vienna and following the footsteps of Ludwig van Beethoven in a location that celebrates his life with dozens of statues, monuments and museums is not only an exercise in education, but one in history, music, foreign language, art and much more. Students are not only visiting in a location that has impacted a time and society on an immense level, they are learning lessons that encompass their life and how they view the world. When Educational Destinations plans a trip, the goal and priority are that the trip must provide an educational experience for the students.
A great way to select your destination is to reach out to Educational Destinations or other educators for recommendations from those who have traveled to Europe before and inquire if there is an opportunity to do an educator tour. This will give you a first-hand experience into what to expect before your students invest in a trip to Europe. A European educational tour might be the only chance some students get to visit the continent so it helps to make the decision, confident that you are providing the best opportunity possible.
Prepare a time frame for your trip. Your chosen destination might be best visited on a specific date, but school calendars, student testing and other activities might eliminate that time period. A great student educational group travel company will offer suggestions on what has worked best for other schools, but keep in mind that every program is different. Typically, the sooner, the better applies when selecting travel dates. Planning 18 months ahead allows sufficient time for that all-important fund-raising.
Be sure to work with a travel company that is able to handle emergencies: a firm that has policies and practices in place to address these situations. Your company should have a 24-hour customer service number from which you can reach a live person in an emergency. Another important component is choosing a travel planner that is a member of the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA). SYTA has rigorous membership requirements and only allows select companies, well established and known for quality and stability, to become members. If you are dealing with a company that is not a SYTA member, please be cautious.
Having confidence in your travel provider to assemble a quality experience at the destination is a requirement. Many student group tour companies do not focus on this aspect of the trip, but at Educational Destinations, we understand that this is the entire reason the trip is taking place! Locking in this piece of the puzzle needs to be done with panache and proven experience.
Many student educational tour companies offer a standard trip itinerary and any changes to the plan quickly add large extra charges to the bottom line. When traveling with a group of any size, you need a company that can switch things up, offer custom itineraries and solve problems without decimating your budget. Educational Destinations is proud to offer an unmatched level of service and we are excited to take on trips that think outside of the box. Whereas some large companies choose not to work with smaller groups, Educational Destinations serves groups from 14 to infinity and beyond! The bottom line is, you are using your chosen travel company’s services for several reasons and a great company will do everything it can to make the trip fulfill your dream. It might be a bit much if you request the entire group ride elephants in Dublin, but given enough time to prepare, and the right budget, anything is possible.
Be aware of companies that sneak in additional or hidden tour costs or inclusions. Educational Destinations pledges no surprises or hidden costs. That may make us seem more expensive up front, but clients value the honesty. We believe it is the right thing to do. Always keep in mind that changing the numbers of travelers will affect the tour price. Be cognizant of schedules for final payments. Know exactly what the penalties are for travelers who withdraw from a trip. Ask if the travel company ever tries to combine your trip with that of another group. This can be a benefit to trip price when two small groups combine. However, it is an inconvenience and an accommodation that may change the quality of your trip experience.
Not all tour planners offer a full-time professional Tour Director, but when you are trying to focus on the education, you need someone to take care of all the travel details. Educational Destinations goes to great lengths to provide the most talented and qualified Tour Directors, those with extensive training and fun-loving personalities. It is also good to ask what portion of your trip will be tour directed. Educational Destinations trips include a Tour Director at departure from your school and back to your parking lot.
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Good luck in your planning. Feel free to use this link for a quick reference to qualities you should consider when searching for any travel company (a downloadable checklist is included).
Let’s get started on your next adventure by obtaining a quote from Educational Destinations.
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