Broadway Musicals in New York City that Appeal to Student Travel Groups

Student groups traveling to New York City this fall or upcoming spring will want to be booked for a fun and entertaining evening on Broadway. I have scheduled many different types of tours (art tour, educational travel, history, music festival) to New York City. I will make some recommendations for Broadway Shows that are appropriate for high school age groups. These shows are popular choices among student travel groups, and are sure to please and captivate all.

Wicked
Instead of Dorothy and her dog, the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good witch are featured in this Broadway rendition of a rewrite of The Wizard of Oz. Gregory Maguire wrote the novel Wicked, which tells the tale of Oz from a different perspective – that of the witches — not Dorothy and Toto. Even the Wizard of Oz is a bit offbeat and differs from the way he is depicted in the movie. Students love this drama, which includes some special effects that are sure to dazzle.

Lion King
Centered around the story of Simba, a young lion prince, this Disney classic will enthrall student audiences. The story is one of youth, loss, reckoning with the past and destiny. Simba flees his homeland after the murder of his father by Scar, his uncle. On the road he meets funny, loving companions who start him on a new path in life. Then he is called back to African Pride Lands to assume his role as king, and challenge the evil uncle who took his father’s life. The Lion King score has a powerful African style drumbeat as well a popular tune composed by Elton John and Tim Rice, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Students will want to book early for this popular show, which is usually sold out well in advance.

Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is a story and a soundtrack known across the world. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s highly acclaimed inspirational music weaves the love story together. The Phantom is based on the actual story of a man who lived beneath the Paris Opera House when it was first built. The fictional storyline centers on an obsessed and secretive composer who is in love with Christina, a new opera star. The musical is filled with acts of love and betrayal. The stage set-up for The Phantom of the Opera allows for surprise entrances and solos for the Phantom, who also ‘haunts’ the opera house in surprising ways. This Broadway classic is sure to delight student audiences.

Mama Mia
Featuring the music of Abba, this Broadway show is an upbeat performance that will put students in that 70s mood. Dancing in the aisles is not unusual for this event, which encourages singing along too. Mama Mia is energetic and an excellent choice for high school student travel groups. It’s not recommended for younger groups since the plot hinges on the discovery of the real father of Sophie, and involves a closer look at her mother’s past and Sophie’s true paternity. Mama Mia is a wonderful choice for high school students traveling to New York City.

Shrek the Musical
Shrek is a fairytale adventure of a fantasy creature and his friends, Donkey and Princess Fiona, and his nemesis, Lord Farquaad. Shrek was a feared monster that lived in an isolated swamp. Then one day a fairytale group of people emerged into the woods after being evicted from their homes, and spoke of their anger towards Lord Farquaad. Shrek agreed to help them get their homes back and he agreed to the rescue of Princess Fiona eventually, too. The beast falls for the beauty in this Broadway musical. Shrek is always a surefire winning choice for students, who love the costuming and setting as well as the story.

This short list of Broadway musicals is not intended to be comprehensive. But, it will serve a high school group travel coordinator well as a choice of Broadway musicals students tend to prefer.

Any student travel group headed to New York City next spring needs to book now in order to obtain seating at a Broadway musical on desired travel dates. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote.

Educational Tours: Tips for Packing Light on Student Trips

These days, when student travel groups set out for any destination by air, it is both practical and economical to travel light. Many airlines have begun applying new lower minimum weight requirements that average 75 pounds per bag for transported baggage. If bags exceed this limit, additional fees may apply.

The trick for many student travel groups is to pack light when planning the initial trip and when making a return, avoid carrying an excessive amount of souvenirs. If heavier souvenirs are purchased, then the student or chaperone may want to consider shipping items instead of bringing these items on board the return flight.

The practice of carrying one bag only works especially well on 3-5 day student trips. Some airlines are even beginning to add extra charges for the first bag and additional bags; some only charge for extra luggage.

Encourage students to limit their possessions to one piece of luggage for the trip and a carry-on item such as a backpack, handbag, or laptop bag for items they may need easier access to on board.

Following are several other packing tips I would like to share with those taking student trips this year and next.

Select a good piece of luggage: Do NOT select a suitcase that’s overly large. Instead, opt for something medium sized that has wheels and a handle for easy transfer. A lightweight bag would be canvas or nylon. Leather bags are going to be heavy. If the class trip is three days or less, students may be able to get by with just a carry on bag and a bag to stow under the seat. Check with airlines for regulation sizes for carry on baggage to eliminate a potential luggage charge.

Tag Luggage: In the event that a piece of luggage could be lost, place a name and an address inside each checked-in and carry on bag. Make sure to carry at least one change of clothes and a toothbrush in the carry on bag.

Make lists: A packing list is always helpful. It can help the student traveler to focus on what is needed, instead of adding extra items that will not be used. Make sure only necessary items make it to the list.

Select Clothing Appropriate for Climate: When packing, be aware of the climate or potential weather conditions at the destination. Pack essential clothing (and coats) accordingly. Wear bulkier items such as coats on the plane, to save space and weight in luggage. Roll underwear and place inside shoes to save space.

Limit shoes to two pair:
One pair of shoes is worn on the plane. Pack another pairs of shoes and that’s all. Make sure both pairs of shoes are comfortable walking shoes.

Pack Trial Size Body Care Items: Try to shop ahead and obtain trial size toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, shampoo and hair care items. This saves space in baggage and makes bags lighter. Put all liquids in zip lock bags and take an extra zip lock bag for a wet bathing suit or towel.

Prescription Drugs: Prescription drugs, especially diabetes medications with syringes, should be in pharmacy prescription bottles.

Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: Make sure to bring protective eyeglass cases, as well as spray and cloth for care. Bring just enough disposable contacts (with maybe one extra) for short trips to save space, or smaller amounts of contact lens cleaner to save space and weight in baggage.

These packing tips are designed for the student traveler who may be new to the idea of traveling afar. Yet these advance planning ideas for trips are essential for saving money and making transfer of baggage easier.

In the interest of economy, security, and ease of travel remember to go light on class trips. For information on booking class trips email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote via the online form.

Finding Money for Class Trips: Tips for Fundraising from an Educational Travel Professional

Just because budgets are tight in business, government, and school districts it is no reason to cancel a class trip. Instead of cutting trips out altogether, many school groups are enacting creative ways to raise funds so that students can still take educational trips to places like Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Chicago. A student trip is a fun and educational way to learn about history, art, culture, science, and more.

The nice thing about fundraising for student trips is that contributors need only make $5, $10, or $20 contributions to make a difference. The best fundraising occurs when the whole community gets involved.

Fundraising efforts can include several different methods executed throughout the school year. There are some tried and true methods of raising funds for class trips and there are some new ideas making their way into the mainstream that have proven to be effective as well.

I will offer a brief overview of effective fundraising techniques for student trips that students, teachers and parents have shared with me over the years.

Chocolate Candy Bars: Seeing a child or parent with a box of candy bars is a sign that a fundraiser of some sort is taking place. In the workplace, or even at school, people are willing to satisfy that sweet tooth or chocolate craving in order to help school children by purchasing candy to fund a class trip. Buying a candy bar is easy and relatively inexpensive. The person purchasing the candy feels better about buying the candy from someone they know — instead of heading to the vending machine or leaving the office to visit a store. There are many vendors available who will sell candy in bulk at wholesale prices so students can sell them for retail value and reap the profits for their class trip.

Citrus Fruit Sales: Another way to make money for class trips is to sell oranges and grapefruits. The idea is to purchase the citrus fruits in bulk during the harvest season in areas where fruit crops are abundant. Students take orders from family, friends, and neighbors and collect the money. When the time arrives, boxes of fresh fruits are delivered to the purchaser, along with a thank you from the school group.

Selling Roses and Carnations on Valentine’s Day: Student group leaders and administrators simply locate a flower wholesaler in their town and arrange to purchase roses and/or carnations in bulk for a decent price. Then individual students either take orders ahead of time and distribute the flowers on the holiday or volunteers set up a table at a school, dance, or other public event and sell them on Valentine’s Day.

FREE Car Wash: The car wash-a-thon can be a labor intensive but fun day for school children that want to raise money for their trip. Just identify and reserve a public location with easy access to water spigots such as a church or bank parking lot on a main thoroughfare. Have students advertise with signs visible to drivers. The charge is often $5-8 for each car wash. Some groups even offer FREE car washes and make more money. Offer a FREE car wash and then ask for donations. Often the donations will exceed the $5-8 mark and make the fundraiser more profitable. Try this fundraiser as a FREE car wash with voluntary donations and see what happens.

Sell Scratch Off Cards: This new popular way to raise money for student trips is a great idea. Student trip organizers purchase scratch off cards similar to lottery cards but much different. The school name and logo can even be placed on a lot of cards for an extra charge as a way of identifying the fundraiser. The purchaser is not gambling, they are merely donating money towards the class trip. The student gives the card to a donor, and he or she scratches one, two, or three of the hidden numbers and donates the amount indicated on the card to the fundraising campaign. Scratch off cards are worth up to $100 per card and are quite profitable. The recipient of the card receives discounted coupons for area businesses as a thank you for participation in the fundraising campaign.

CD or DVD Fundraisers: This type of fundraiser can occur one of two different ways. The first is to partner with a CD or DVD catalogue company that offers A-list Hollywood movies and/or music CDs with the work of popular artists. Students sell these titles and are given a portion of the profits for each sale. The second way is to actually record a high school band, ensemble or orchestra on CD and sell this product to the community. Other choices include recording school group events or recitals, homecoming or prom videos, or the actual school trip as a way to retain memories of the event and selling these professionally produced audios or videos at a profitable rate.

With so many excellent fundraising strategies available, there is no reason to cut back on class trips. Just make sure to start fundraising efforts early in the school year. For maximum funds, try two or three different methods throughout the school year. Your group will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome! Community members love to help school children on their way to an educational trip. School children will be most enthusiastic about the fundraiser when it works. Whether the class is headed to Orlando, Florida or Washington D.C. the school group will be even more solidified if the children work together to raise funds beforehand.

For more information, simply Request a Quote via the online form, or email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.