What I wish I’d known – travel tips from directors
You know who has the best boots-on-the-ground insight into student travel? Directors, of course! Music educators who explore the world with their students understand what it takes to pull off a successful performance tour because they’ve lived it. (That’s why we’ll love to hire veteran educators!)
Today, we’ll share a few been there, done that experiences that will hopefully help you prepare for your upcoming performance tour OR inspire you to take that first trip.
Always have a tour guide
“One thing that I’ve learned over the years of doing this is that I definitely always want to have a tour guide when I get there. That’s something that made me come to Bob Rogers Travel in the first place. But the first time I took a group to New York City, I didn’t have a tour guide and we were kind of the blind leading the blind. I was a young director and we ended up eating at a restaurant that wasn’t the one that we were supposed to and then got stuck with the bill. I learned my lesson real quick”
– Dan Borns
Sounds like a no brainer, but we work with many clients who’ve attempted to explore a destination with no tour guide. Even if you’re an expert on the destination you’re visiting, it’s not easy to man the students and man the schedule, map and overall logistics of the day. Having a tour guide leading the way allows you as the director to enjoy the experience with your students, rather than wear too many hats at one time.
Plan ahead, WAY ahead
“Make sure you tell your parents where you’re going almost a year in advance, along with the approximate costs and fundraisers you’ve lined up and the itinerary. Do all of this at least 10-12 months in advance – planning ahead sets families at ease”
– Holly Pemberton
We’re great at what we do and if it’s absolutely necessary to pull off the impossible in a short amount of time, we’re on it. But that doesn’t mean that every hotel, experience, attraction or clinic will be available for every last minute trip. Planning ahead really does matter and gives you the best shot at an incredible itinerary.
Don’t go it alone
“BRT truly has your students’ best interests in mind and allows you as the director the space to focus on what you do best. I’m not the right person to book a plane for 50 students!”
– Bob Mecozzi
He’s right, booking plane tickets for 50 students shouldn’t be on your to do list – that’s why it’s on ours. Allowing us to handle the logistics of your performance tour gives you more time to get your students ready for the experience of a lifetime.
Ask for what you want
“Well, as far as planning a trip, don’t be afraid to ask for anything. There’s no stupid question. The more you travel, the better you get at it. Just communicate with your travel representative; they’ll make sure you get everything you want!”
– Zack Morton
He’s right. We love the questions – even the bucket list requests that might sound crazy. Bring us your wish list and we’ll do everything we can to make everything on it come true.
Find a way to include everyone
“You never want your trips to be for the affluent students only, but sometimes these destinations are expensive. Talk to other directors and your travel planners. We’ve gotten ideas over the years about how to involve companion travelers and community members that can go – their costs help lower the costs for the students, which gets more students involved.”
– Zack Morton
Where there’s a will, there’s a way – even when it comes to student travel. We’d love to help you with fundraising strategies, scholarship opportunities and ideas to make travel possible for everyone in your group.
Every single trip we plan is different and teaches us something new about the best ways to serve student performance groups. If you’re ready to hit the road your students, we’d love to take what we’ve learned in over 35 years of planning student travel and give you an incredible travel experience. Find out more about who we are, what we do and where we go by connecting with us today!
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