Travel Notes

First Time Travel: What You Need to Know

We love walking alongside directors who are traveling with their students for the very first time. The excitement of planning that first trip never gets old for our team! First-time travelers have so many questions and we’re here with answers. If you’re new to travel OR just new to BRT, this post is for you!   

When it comes to the planning phase of performance travel, we have a few suggestions that save time, money and stress:

Choose a destination that’s sure to generate excitement

First-time travelers should choose a destination that creates instant excitement, so students can’t wait to sign up. But remember: “Exciting” is not the same as “extravagant” or “far-flung.” Your ideal destination may be closer than you think! Students will look forward not just to where you’re going, but what you’ll do once you get there.

If you need some inspiration, our Top Five destinations are a great place to start. But we’ve also taken school groups to all 50 states and 25 countries. Every group is different – that’s why our team will work closely with you to find the perfect destination for your group’s unique needs, goals and travel dreams.  

Keep it simple

On your first trip, you may be tempted to pack in as many activities as possible. But we’ve found that it’s best to keep things simple.

Focus on experiencing the top attractions and performance opportunities. Your students will love them, and you’ll breathe easier. (Trust us!) Our expert planners will craft an itinerary for you that strikes the perfect balance. 

Give yourself plenty of planning time

The standard rule of thumb is to allow at least 12 months of planning time from kick-off to the trip date. But for first-time travelers, we recommend 15 months – if your group wants to travel next May, it’s best to get the ball rolling no later than this February.

There are many moving parts when it comes to a successful trip. And while we take as many of those off your plate as we possibly can, things like administrative approval, parent meetings and fundraising take time.  The more time you allow yourself, the more seamless the process will feel.

Assemble your support team

Doing everything on your own while juggling your other responsibilities as an educator is overwhelming for a veteran, let alone a first-time director.

While your travel planner is there to handle all the details and logistics of the planning process, having trusted parents, students and chaperones in your corner is a gamechanger. By collaborating with them on decisions and delegating tasks, you can focus more on the music and worry less about logistics.

Understand your options for payments and fundraising

Some of the most common questions we get from first-time travelers are about paying for the trip itself. We believe that paying for travel should never feel overwhelming, so we built our simple payment system from the ground up to make managing and tracking payments easy for you. 

When it comes to fundraising, we’ve worked closely with groups of every shape and size and are ready to share the tips and strategies that make travel accessible to every student.

Take advantage of our lessons learned

With over 8,000 trips planned, we can anticipate the challenges that arise on tour. We’ve navigated every scenario you can think of in our forty years of working with students – you’ll find the most common mistakes and pitfalls here.If you’re dreaming of an amazing performance travel experience for your students, we’d love to dream with you. To learn more about the possibilities for your program, reach out today – we’re excited to answer your questions and help you get started!

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