How to Decipher the Best Proposal for Your Student Tour

If you’ve been a student group travel leader for a while, you’ve likely received messages from other companies stating that they can offer you a comparable itinerary at a significant savings and/or get you better trip inclusions. How can you evaluate two proposals and itineraries that appear to be very similar? Keep reading! 

There are a lot of complexities behind the scenes of student group travel – that’s why we exist! But because we’re here to make things easy for you, we’re cutting it down to these 5 components:

  1. Minimum enrollment requirements
  2. Private trip with fully customized itinerary
  3. Guaranteed travel dates that you choose
  4. Guides – 24/7, high quality
  5. Inclusions: paid activities, meals, hotel location 

Choosing the right educational travel partner is more than just an itinerary at a great price. Savvy educators select a company (us!) that’s going to go above and beyond to deliver a 5-star experience from start to finish. You’ve likely experienced this on a personal level with your own vacation planning. Or even shopping. We all recognize the difference between going to a boutique with highly-trained, passionate staff versus a big box retailer without vested interest in your overall experience. But don’t worry! In student travel, a boutique experience doesn’t need to mean luxury pricing for students and families. 

Let’s dive in. As you review your proposal, ask yourself and your contact:

What’s my minimum enrollment number? Without reaching this number, your trip won’t be possible. Our Education Program Specialists work with group leaders to determine realistic minimum numbers to avoid disappointed students. High minimum enrollment numbers also mean more work for you as the group leader, and you’ve got enough on your plate already. 

Is this a private trip with a fully customized itinerary? With a private trip, you’re in full control. Our fully customized itineraries are crafted to complement your unique curriculum and interests. If you’re looking at a proposal from another company and it’s not a private trip, your group will be combined with others which eliminates flexibility 

→ AND Is there an enrollment number where I’ll be required to combine with another group? While all group tour companies have minimums (that’s part of how we access rates & availability to make these experiences affordable for families!), with Global Travel Alliance you’ll find that our minimums are designed to be low-pressure. So when evaluating a proposal, make sure you know if there’s a number that will land you in a combined trip without customization. 

Do I have guaranteed travel dates? Families are busy, and especially if your trip is occurring in the summer, they have travel plans of their own to schedule! Our guaranteed travel dates allow for everyone to plan accordingly as opposed to a range of dates. 

Does my guide offer 24/7 support? Does your proposal include step-on guides, full-time guides, or true 24/7 support? Global Travel Alliance guides are highly trained, invested in the success of your trip, and offer support 24/7. They even stay at the same hotel! This means you have consistency and 24/7 support. Not to mention they feel like friends by the end of the trip! 

→  What happens if I need assistance? Will it be easy to reach a rep? Or is the call center international?

What are our inclusions? Pay close attention to what’s included (or better yet – excluded) from the trip cost. You can easily cut costs by selecting a hotel further away, not including some meals, and cutting attraction admissions. But these initial “savings” actually cost you and your students! These cut corners result in longer drive times (meaning less touring time), students needing cash to pay for meals, and missing out on enhanced experiences. It just doesn’t add up in the end! 

Then there are of course the aspects that you can’t quantify: having a true partner and one dedicated point of contact to support you every step of the way. 

Have other questions or want to do a deeper dive into a proposal? Our education program specialist team would be happy to answer any questions and discuss your existing or new student group travel proposal. Let Global Travel Alliance and your expert guide handle the stress of travel so that you can enjoy this experience along with your students! 

If you found this helpful, share it with a fellow educator. 

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