You know how to run your classroom—you handle lesson plans, homework assignments, projects, tests and grading. This is a place of comfort for teachers and educators. Organizing a student trip, however, is a departure from that zone. There are so many elements to consider: selecting the itinerary, booking flights and hotels, collecting student payment and information and working with students who want to travel on a different schedule than the rest of the group. Student travel is a rewarding experience, but planning a trip doesn’t have to be such a daunting task or a deterrent to traveling altogether.
Just as you are the specialists when it comes to education, travel agents and tour operators know the travel industry backwards and forwards. Leave the travel planning to an expert who can completely manage the situation, handle all the details and make recommendations based on your desires and their knowledge. On top of that, travel professionals can help you secure deals that you can’t access when booking online.
Gathering Your Group
You’ve decided to do a student group trip, and you’ve generated excitement around it. What do you do next? In order to get the benefits of a group, you’ll need to have at least 10 students in your group. Working with a group this size grants access to a reduced seat count without a penalty charge, flexible travel until 90 days ahead of the trip and paying refundable deposits to the airlines.
After you secure your group size, the next step is to find an agent that can work with you to determine your activities, hotel accommodations, flight itineraries and book all of your air travel.
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The Benefits of Booking with a Tour Expert
Tour companies and travel agents make planning a student group trip much easier. They work with you to learn what you’re looking for, what kinds of destinations and tours you want to take, and all the little details in between.
As mentioned, travel experts can help you manage all the specifics as far as booking the trip, flights and hotels. In addition, they can help manage payments from students, so you don’t have to deal with collecting for the trip. Thanks to agents’ knowledge and experience, you can feel good about giving them the reins on all these elements of the planning process. The convenience factor is a huge benefit, but there are other reasons to turn to a professional to help plan a student trip.
A tour operator or agency can negotiate directly with a travel provider, such as an airline or hotel chain. They can secure discounts for your student group, they have access to better rates than group leaders would have if they did it all themselves. Many airlines will provide discounts to student travelers, making the trip a little more affordable for everyone in the group.
You will be working with an agent dedicated to your trip, offering personalized service and there to questions as they come up. Plus, most agents have been on the tours themselves, and can offer suggestions or advice based on their own experience. It makes it a lot easier to plan a student group trip when you have a knowledgeable resource at your fingertips.
Another benefit is an automated payment system that can be run by the agency so you are not worrying about collecting money. StudentUniverse offers a unique payment page where students can log in on their own and make the reservation directly which eliminates the burden of collecting payments. Agencies can also provide reports to the group leader to let them know who has signed up for the trip and who still needs to register, or if any students are making exceptions to the itinerary (extending the trip to stay longer in destination, for example).
When it comes to a group trip, turn to an expert who can coordinate the itinerary, book flights and handle payments. When you don’t have to stress the details of getting there, you can truly enjoy the adventure. To learn more about working with a travel agency or tour operator, and taking the hassle out of planning group travel, visit StudentUniverse group travel at http://www.studentuniverse.com/travel-services or contact firstname.lastname@example.org