The Value of Group Travel

Have you ever really considered the unique value of group travel?  For teachers, parents and students, class trips are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities with oft overlooked and unknown value.  Consider just these 4 extraordinary benefits: 

  1. Custom travel, by experts.  Travel experts planning every detail of your trip to a location of cultural and historical significance is, well, valuable.  Just think of what’s done for you:  your transportation for the entire trip?  Check.  Lodging?  Check.  Itinerary and activities?  Check and check.  Every detail from start to finish?!  You guessed it.  Check!  The traveler needs only spend a few minutes to enroll, pack for the trip, then follow directions to enjoy.  That’s it!  

But what about the cost, you ask?  A bargain, in fact.  Planning and delivering tours of places with historical and cultural significance is costly in time, effort and money.  So to have someone do it for you is valuable.  And travel experts crafting a custom tour timed for quality and quantity?  Even more so.       

  1. Itinerary.  If you’ve ever experienced student group travel, you know how much is accomplished in just a few days.  Take your average Washington, D.C. trip:  From sunup to sunset, the group experiences fun, interesting, significant, historic and unique sites and activities, making the most of every minute.  The sheer volume of sites experienced is impressive, something unlikely to be done if you aren’t part of that group trip setting.  Trips of this particular breed help students and travelers seize the day, allowing people to cross off of their list numerous ‘bucket list’ places.  Common refrains with typical family and friend trips are “I wish we had time for that” or “we’ll have to come back for this.”  But on these student tours, the amount you experience not only helps you sleep soundly at night, there is a sense of satisfaction that you are getting more than your money’s worth.  That can be a challenge without someone else setting the itinerary.  Again, valuable.  And to add to that value, imagine how many days it would take an average family to experience what can be accomplished on a student group tour in 4-5 days!
  1. Trip Delivery.  The glue that holds all of this together – and the person that can add immeasurable value to the tour – is the guide.  A well planned tour has a tour guide managing everything from your transportation to the timing of meals to that cell phone that got left at the museum.  They are a guide, concierge, majordomo and historical interpreter, all in one.  Not only do they handle the logistics behind the scenes, they expertly navigate the streets and metros, the information about what you’re seeing, why it’s there, and even the history of what is not immediately evident to the eye.  Wikipedia can’t do all that.  

And the transportation?  There is nothing quite like having a motorcoach drop off and pick-up right where you need to be, without worrying about parking.  Or using the right metro at the right time to get to the right stop.   All valuable and all part of the expertly guided group tour experience.  

  1. Social benefits.  It’s an under-appreciated and often under-recognized aspect of student group travel – group travel has immense potential for social benefits for students.  Our experience teaches us that school trips help students make new friends, especially new students to a school.  That consistent student interaction over several days at unique sites and activities in an unfamiliar environment can often foster new bonds and relationships, which otherwise may not have formed. 

Those who are away from home for the first time benefit, too. Put simply, they learn responsibility.  They may not have someone telling them to eat vegetables, go to sleep at a decent hour, brush teeth, ahem – bathe!, etc, so it gives them a chance to make decisions.  That independence gives experience, and experience teaches good judgment.  

Then there is the teacher and the group of students.  A student group trip can often bond teachers more to their students and vice versa.  Getting out of the familiar classroom and into a new setting can help people to see others in a new light, often giving more empathy and appreciation.  Simply experiencing education and fun together in a new environment has wonderful lasting benefits.

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