If you’ve never traveled with your students or you’ve always planned your own trips, choosing a travel company to work with can feel both exciting and daunting. How do you know what to look for? What questions should you ask? How do you choose?
Whether you are considering Bob Rogers Travel or another company, we want your group to have the best possible experience. So, as you explore the options, we want to equip you with some factors to consider and a few key questions to ask.
Experience matters more than any other factor in this post because experience makes all the difference when last-minute challenges arise (and on tour, they always do). Questions you should be asking:
- How long has the company been in business?
- Where have they traveled with students?
- How experienced are the planners behind the scenes and the tour operators on the ground?
- What kind of relationships do they have with hotels, restaurants, bus companies and attractions?
Every travel company should be able to provide references that you can contact to get a better sense of the client experience. When you reach out to a fellow director to ask about his or her experience, use these questions as a guide:
- Tell me about your trip – where did you go, what did your students experience?
- What was your experience throughout the planning stages?
- Did you feel like your group was a priority?
- How was the experience on tour? Were there any surprises? How did the company handle them?
The company you choose should have a relationship with SYTA – the Student and Youth Travel Association. This organization serves our industry by establishing quality and safety standards for travel providers. Additionally, your ideal travel company must absolutely carry insurance to protect its’ customers and their investments.
Does the company have a “performance pedigree?” This is an important question, as ideally you want your students to experience life-changing performance opportunities that stay with them for life. A few questions to consider:
How many performance-based trips have you planned?
What kind of performance opportunities can you offer?
Do you have veteran music educators on staff?
Does the company offer a set of pre-determined trip options or customize each experience for that particular student group? Your group is unique and deserves a trip that’s customized for your specific goals, needs and dreams. Pay attention to how long the company spends trying to get to know you, asking good questions about your program, your students and your goals.
Doing your due diligence by asking great questions, diving deep into each company’s experience, opportunities and references and understanding your own program’s unique goals will give you the confidence to choose a great travel partner. And that confidence lays the foundation for an incredible travel experience for you and your students. If we can answer any questions or share our own references, experience and fully customizable trip options, please contact us today.