Plan Early

First detail is to secure the approval to travel with your school administrators. Be sure that your proposed travel date does not conflict with state testing, UIL, prom, etc. Administrators need to know the purpose of the trip, number of days out of school, safety measures in place and approximate cost.

Select a Travel Professional

For liability issues, your trip should not be in the hands of a parent or teacher. Planning a student trip takes time and expertise and it is important to identify a company with a proven track record and reliable references.

A strong recommendation is a company affiliated with organizations like SYTA (Student & Youth Travel Association or ABA (American Bus Association).

SYTA members are required to carry Professional Liability Insurance, provide a Consumer Protection Plan, and follow a strict Code of Ethics.

Develop a Timeline

Set up payment plan for students and make note of deadlines for trip deposits to tour company. Be sure to schedule booster club meetings and fundraising activities. Enlist the help of parents in raising money. Don’t wait till the last minute to get permission forms, bus and room lists, meal counts, and medical releases. Your travel company can help with needed forms and documents.

Create a Great Itinerary

Find an event that best suits the needs of your program. Your tour company is a great resource for competitions, festival locations and venues, and will create an itinerary that is educational, fun and safe.

Mandatory Meetings

Show your enthusiasm for team travel and the destination. Stress that the main objectives are safety and education and provide an overview of the itinerary. Ask parents and students for full support of the trip and have them both sign a letter of commitment. Let your policy be clearly stated at this point.

Chaperone Selection

Select chaperones carefully. Chaperones need to know their roles. Provide written expectations and detailed guidelines. Who pays for the chaperone’s travel expenses? Tour-rific can provide you with a very informational document on chaperones and frequently asked questions.

Behavior Expectations

Establish expectations for student behavior on tour; it is critical that students know the Do’s and Don’ts of group travel. What is acceptable at home may not be acceptable in the destination location. The consequences of improper behavior should be very clear.

Purchase Trip Insurance

Insurance covers a range of services from medical, trip cancellation, damages incurred, or lost musical instruments. Insurance is priced according to the cost of the trip and can be purchased individually or at a discount with 100% participation. Whether you choose to buy it for the entire group or not, you need to let parents know that it is available. Parents can purchase it online and the school does not need to be involved. Travel insurance can help to avoid a lot of problems should, for instance, an airline cancel your flight at the last minute or in the case of extreme weather delays.

Pre-Trip Meeting

About 4-6 weeks before your trip, give the parents a detailed itinerary and collect medical release forms, swimming permission forms, and insurance information. Introduce your chaperones and give parents an opportunity to ask questions. They will appreciate you as the director for offering their child such a great travel experience.


Team travel is an Investment in Memories!

If you have chosen to work with a tour operator, the hard part is done! Sit back and let them get to work on an exciting trip for you and your group. The job of the tour company is to stay within your budget, fine-tune the details, and to be your voice with the vendors (hotels, bus company, airline, restaurants, performance, etc.) If you want to assign a parent coordinator, that is fine, but to avoid confusion, assign only one spokesperson. Your tour professional will only speak with the director or your trip coordinator.

We aren’t selling a trip; we are providing an experience with lasting memories!