Student Travel is Back

Over the last year, teachers, administrators, parents, and students have asked ‘When can we travel again? What will it look like?’ It’s been a challenge for them to stay up-to-date on student travel so here is an ‘inside scoop’ on what we’re hearing from educators, destinations, and attractions.  

SPOILER ALERT:  Student travel is back!

The fact of the matter is that teachers are traveling this year and/or planning travel for next.  As popular travel destinations continue to reopen, group leaders are seeing that their beloved class trips which impact so many students, is – hallelujah! –  once again possible. Curious where we have groups traveling to this Spring and Summer?  Check it out:

Washington, D.C.
New York City
Colonial Williamsburg
Yellowstone National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Zion National Park
Glacier National Park
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Asheville, North Carolina
Gatlinburg, Tennessee

As for 2022, we have already reserved dates for many of our teachers planning Spring, Summer or Fall tours.  On top of that, enrollments for 2022 have already begun despite programs being more than a year away.  In short, the demand for educational travel is here!

You may still have some questions before restarting your travel program but lack time to do the research.  We’re here for you.

What about our usual destinations?  Are vibrant itineraries even  possible for our students?   

In a word, yes!  All major American Heritage destinations, including Washington, D.C. and New York City, are reopening for travelers and group travel.  From the Empire State Observatory in New York to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., the vibrant itineraries group leaders expect are still available and are just as impactful.  The fact is, every year teachers have to make the difficult decisions about which sites they will experience and which sites will have to wait another year – do we try to experience more of the richness of Washington, D.C. or hit its highlights in order to experience other historic destinations like New York City?  With the reopenings of destinations, those wonderful choices will remain!  

And worth noting, this Spring, a few of our groups have elected to visit new destinations such as the remarkable city of Pittsburgh, PA.  Whatever your desired destination – whether the urban center or the great outdoors – we can accommodate your curriculum with first-rate destination and itinerary options.   

Here is what the Director of Education, Suzi Bloom, from  the iconic Rivers of Steel Carrie Blast Furnaces, a National Historic Landmark and popular student tour destination in Pittsburgh, PA, had to say: 

“The education staff and tour guides at Rivers of Steel are thrilled to once again welcome in-person student groups.  We look forward to hosting our first Global Travel Alliance group in a few weeks at the Carrie Blast Furnaces, a large outdoor field trip venue that showcases the site’s historical iron-making technology, its workers, and their culture.  We’re even more excited that Pittsburgh’s rich steel history has caught the attention of student groups from out West. While tours and activities with Rivers of Steel may be altered slightly to accommodate current best practices, the experiences are as impactful as ever!”

Comments like these are echoed from Boston to Williamsburg, VA, and beyond.  Desired destinations and attractions are not only open, but enthusiastically welcoming student groups again.  

What about safety?   

Are destinations appropriately prepared for student travel and can they deliver the experience for our students that we’ve all come to expect?  Vendors across the board are following best practices for enhanced health and safety protocols so that groups can experience these inspiring destinations. The vendors in your itinerary – from airports, to planes, to hotels, motorcoaches and activities – are ready for the return of students and that all-important tradition: the annual class trip. 

From the President and CEO – Karl Pietrzak – of one of the most prominent and popular historic destinations in the country, Destination Gettysburg:  

With warmer weather arriving, it’s a great time to plan a visit to Gettysburg!  Gettysburg is as safe and historic as ever and is a great option for a fun and educational experience.  Gettysburg is open and ready for student groups, and we’re excited to welcome Global Travel Alliance student groups soon! 

At Global Travel Alliance, safety is not a trend.  It’s an ethos for our company and always has been.  So much so that in February of 2020, after a months-long review and evaluation process, we were the first student tour company in the world to be a certified student tour operator by the independent body, Center for Student Travel Safety.  What does that mean?  It means our dedication to safety was in place prior to the pandemic.  It means that from start to finish, we take the safety of our teachers, students, parents, and staff seriously.  It means that every vendor we work with needs to pass muster.  And it’s a tangible example of our dedication to excellence in all that we do so that every student and teacher can enjoy these remarkable opportunities, because they know they have a partner they can trust.    

The gist: student travel is back! It may look slightly different this Spring, but our programs are as educational and enjoyable as ever. 

PS: If you’re interested in learning more about our programs, submit a commitment-free quote request and our team will be in touch!

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