The decorations are packed away and the holiday bills are arriving by bulk mail. Happy New Year! If you are an educator, you know exactly what the new year brings… a crush of responsibilities and deadlines! The school year is now moving in fast forward, and covering curriculum, completing extra-curricular activities and wading through the multitude of tasks on your desk can be incredibly overwhelming!
If you travel with students, it’s also time to wrap up (or begin!) plans for the all-important student trip. If you are a seasoned veteran of student travel, you know that deposits have already been taken and it is now time to collect remaining payments, confirm dates with transportation and accommodations providers and work on rooming lists.
If you are new to planning student travel or if the new year has caught you off guard, relax! There is an abundance of travel resources available to make the entire process easier. A great place to begin is Group Travel Odyssey (GTO), a FREE online resource for teachers planning group travel. GTO has hand-picked the very best domestic student destinations and gathered great, student-friendly attractions, hotels, restaurants, transportation and more within the destination. You simply click those in which you are interested and an email quote request for pricing is sent to the supplier. The supplier then communicates directly with you, providing the best discounts available for your group. It’s so easy and convenient when time is not an ally.
Another valuable resource is the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA), an organization that exists to promote and support the student and youth travel market. You’ll find tips for choosing great travel partners, planning, safety, and more on the SYTA website. It’s a comprehensive source for all things student travel.
Finally, you can always tap into online magazines like Teach & Travel or Student Travel Planning Guide. These publications highlight engaging student trips, tips and hacks for travel and safety protocol.
If the new year has taken you by surprise, you can breathe a bit easier when pulling together your student trip. These sites will help you streamline and save time and money. Unfortunately, though , you are on your own with those holiday bills!