How to Select an Educational Travel Company

There are many criteria that can be imposed on a student travel company to evaluate effectiveness. I will outline the characteristics that I feel are most important to a quality student travel experience, no matter what the destination.

Experience in Educational Student Tours
Educational group travel is a special field. It is unlike other niches in the travel industry for many reasons. Students must be chaperoned, supervised, kept on schedule, and provided fun and entertaining things to do that are age appropriate. Educational Travel Consultants have 24 years of experience in booking student tours. We understand parent’s concerns. We know how to create itineraries that are in sync with educator’s objectives. Most importantly, ETC associates understand that the educational experiences students receive on visits to Washington D.C., Orlando, Florida, New York City and other destinations must be balanced with social opportunities and chances to dine, shop, and visit interesting sites.

A Background in Education
An excellent student travel company will have owners or members of the management team who have spent some years in the field of education. This is an excellent professional foundation for creating an exciting student travel experience. If key players in the student travel company have spent years in education, they will not only understand the teacher’s and parent’s perspectives of student travel, but will also know how to appeal to students while developing and executing student tours. I started out in the field of teaching and moved into educational travel, because I enjoy student travel so much more.

Security for Students While Traveling
For many parents, the thought of letting a child go away on a school field trip is a bit disconcerting. There are many things parents have to fear in the age of terrorism and child abductions. The unforeseen, such as accidents, travel delays, and miscommunications are possibilities as well. A qualified student travel company with excellent customer service will have liability insurance for unforeseen events, good communications about travel delays and other challenges, and be available to answer questions.

Keeping students secure is a challenge in some urban areas. Educational Travel Consultants selects safe suburban hotels for accommodations. The hotels selected have indoor hallways. An experienced educational travel company will make certain that children are supervised around the clock. In the evenings, after meals, Educational Travel Consultants provides private security for its groups.

In conclusion, an educational travel company should have an extensive background in student travel, some background in education, excellent communication and customer relations, and security procedures in place for student safety. Feel free to contact us at info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

Educational Tours of Washington D.C.: Please Book Early!

There are many reasons to plan ahead with student travel groups headed for Washington D.C. One of the main reasons is that educational tours to the White House and The Capital are now planned well in advance.

In the days before 911, student groups waited in special lines upon arrival at the Capital building in Washington D.C. Since 911 and the War with Iraq, an educational tour to the Capital must be scheduled in advance through a local Congressman or Congresswoman. If the field trip to Washington D.C. is scheduled well in advance, chances are good that planning for the educational tour will go smoothly. If the request to visit the Capital is made at the last minute, the likelihood of scheduling the visit is remote.

Because so many student travel groups feel that a visit to the Capital is mandatory for a well- rounded experience of Washington D.C. I always emphasize that groups should plan early.

VIP Tours of the White House
Visits to the White House must also be scheduled in advance. Upon arrival to the White House, it is still mandatory that educational tour groups stand in the public line to wait for their tour.

A member of Educational Tour Consultants professional staff will schedule a special VIP tour with enough advance notice from the student tour group. The White House VIP tour saves time. Students do not have to wait in line at 7:00 a.m. the day of the tour in hopes of procuring an admission ticket for later in the day. Also this educational tour is usually led by a Secret Service Agent or another trained tour guide.

Ideally, student groups traveling to the Washington D.C. area in 2008 should be booking field trips now. With several months notice tours of the Capital and the White House can be scheduled. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information.

Why would anybody want to travel to Washington, DC

Why would any school group (performing or social studies) want to go to Washington, DC this school year? Fuel prices are at record highs, meaning for the 2nd year in a row there is going to be a steep increase in trip prices. The fallout of high fuel prices (since transportation costs, affect other areas of the travel industry), like the cost to transport meats and vegetables to restaurants and paper products and work uniforms to hotels. Then there is the safety issue. Israel is at war with terrorist groups in Lebanon. Other terrorist groups are threatening the United States. We had the 9/11 disaster in 2001 and the war with Iraq in 2003. We had many schools cancel their trips or show absolutely no interest in traveling to Washington, DC or for any US city for that matter. Hey, I am just playing devil’s advocate. Actually, in spite of these real things happening, the early phone calls and e-mails from teachers show a very brisk travel season ahead. Go figure. A few years ago, any change in world affairs, would scare schools off. Not any more. Maybe we are getting “thicker skins” and are adjusting to this new way of life, that the United States and its people are no longer insulated from the rest of the happenings of the world.