Escape from reality for just one minute. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? We polled our InSite e-newsletter subscribers and answers were as diverse as the personalities in the teaching profession – internationally from Australia to Zimbabwe, domestically Alaska to Zion National Park, everyone has their own vision of a dream vacation spot.
What’s funny is how different your answer becomes if we added on the phrase “with your students”, right? The answer might just surprise you.
Unquestionably, the student travel market has changed. Maybe a decade ago student travel was regulated to a very, very long day trip to the state capital (on a big yellow) and the 8th grade graduation trip descended on Washington DC (again on a bus). Maybe the band would perform at a festival or New Year’s Day Parade every four years and of course the right-of-passage graduation trip to Florida or on a Bahamas cruise if you were lucky like my older sister. Contrast that today’s student group travel which literally and figuratively canvasses the globe.
So exactly where should you travel with your student group? There are hundreds of options to choose from, but a lot will be determined by your area of study, the age of your students and your budget.
Generally speaking, the latter two (age and budget) carry the biggest restrictions. Parents of younger kids just don’t want them traveling on extended overnight trips, much less overseas. So if your students are still in Elementary School or Junior High, best to leave the passports at home. And with budgets (sorry to bring up the B word) being so tight, even high-end communities are scrutinizing the dollars spent on school sponsored trips. Every dollar counts.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t visit some pretty awesome places with your students. Destinations across the United States are stepping up their game by creating and delivering unique student group travel experiences. And for teachers of older grades, the world is ready to be explored. So whether your sheepskin is in History or Science, your students are in grade school or getting ready to ship off to college, here’s a guide to student travel destination ideas, based on your area of study.
History Teachers can choose from historically significant destinations like Philadelphia, Colonial Williamsburg, Birmingham, Boston, Washington DC, San Antonio, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Diego, St. Augustine, Atlanta, Santa Fe or the Black Hills. Internationally, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain have all proven popular with student groups.
English Teachers like to trace authors like Hemingway in Key West, Alcott in Concord, Massachusetts , Falkner or Grisham in Mississippi. Internationally, England is a popular destination covering Jane Austin and JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame.
Spanish Teachers often head to Spain, Central America, South America or Mexico with some domestic exploration in cities like San Antonio, Miami, Los Angeles, St. Augustine or the California missions.
French Teachers don’t just have to go to France, though many love to! With beautiful Quebec, Canada close-by and more affordable, French students are able to experience culture and enhance their language.
Science Teachers are lucky with the myriad of science museums located across the country.
Drama Clubs descend on icons like New York, Chicago and Hollywood.
Band and choral groups love holiday parades, Disney, New York and Branson.