How to Choose a Student Travel Company

Presently, high school and middle school teachers are constantly being solicited by student travel companies wanting to take their student group on a tour either within the United States or abroad. In each school system, there are many groups who like to travel including band, chorus, orchestra, dance, science, history, class trips and more. The rush of excitement one faces when planning a tour, though, can overshadow the more important question of “Which student travel company is reliable and safe to partner with?” At Kaleidoscope Adventures, we promise to exceed your expectations before, during and after your trip. We will plan everything from A to Z, thus giving you peace-of-mind. However, if you decide to research student travel companies, one should ask the following questions before making an informed decision:

Is the tour company a member of any association or organization that advocates excellence in student travel?
The student tour operator must be a member of an organization/association that is committed to integrity, honesty, value and service. Associations like the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), the American Bus Association (ABA), the National Tour Association (NTA) and Music Educators National Conference (MENC) are just a few associations that meet these requirements.

What kind of Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating does the company have?
This is where you can do your homework. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what kind of overall score the company has. Also, check all reviews and complaints. If there are a lot of complaints or negative reviews, one should probably steer clear of the company in question. On the flip side, if a company has an A+ rating with positive reviews, then this company might warrant a phone call. Moreover, you can check the search engines for reviews and/or complaints as well.

Is the student travel company a full-service company and do they customize trips?
There are many student tour operators who only sell “canned” trips. Steer clear of this type of operator! They want you to travel using their itinerary, in which they receive hefty incentives from their suppliers for booking a large amount of groups. Unfortunately, most of these companies do not pass these savings and incentives on to you. I suggest choosing a travel company that customizes your trip, your way. Choose a company that provides many options and will meet your curriculum and budgetary needs. Also, make sure the company will plan everything from A to Z providing you with a worry-free trip. This will give you peace-of-mind.

Does the company book reputable vendors?
Choose a company that books only late model motor coaches, books interior corridor hotels, provides security in the hotel, separates male and females on different hotel floors, arranges group dining in reputable restaurants, gives you the option of travel insurance and more. Choose a company that is honest, provides safe and reliable tours and offers specific guidelines on the itinerary, covering all aspects of the trip.

Does the company provide its own tour guide to accompany the group?
The tour guide should accompany the group from the beginning of the trip to the end to oversee all of the arrangements including transportation, accommodations, meals, acquiring attraction tickets and more. A qualified tour guide will help in making one’s trip run smoothly.

Does the tour guide know the destination?
For the protection of you and your group, you should choose a company that employs trained guides with certification from schools such as the International Tour Management Institute, a prestigious school specifically accredited for training tour guides. These trained guides not only know your travel destination, but are knowledgeable, experienced, friendly and efficient as well.

Overall, do your homework. Ask questions, read brochures, check out websites, call the competing student tour operator companies and find out what to expect from each. By asking the above-mentioned questions, one should be able to narrow down the choices to a few student travel companies. Ask for bids and choose a company that will best suit your travel needs, curriculum requirements and budget. Always make sure you select a safe and reliable company that will customize your trip, your way and provide you with excellent service.

The team at Kaleidoscope Adventures meets every one of the above-mentioned criteria. We work with many different types of groups including performance ensembles, history, science, sports and class trips. We also book reputable vendors in over 40 destinations. We are a Top 30 Walt Disney World Travel Planner, members of SYTA, ABA and MENC, have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and specialize in planning customized travel services for any student group. We even give you a knowledgeable tour director who helps you every step of the way during your trip.

Put your trust in us to meet all of your group travel needs. Why not give your group an exciting and educational experience with Kaleidoscope Adventures? Let us bring your classroom to life and create lasting memories for your group.

Student Cruises: It’s all about the Experience!

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Student cruises are a great way to give your group an unforgettable and worldly experience.  With such a diverse choice of exotic destinations, on-board activities, abundant excursions, live entertainment, superb dining and more, the fun never ends!  With student cruise durations lasting from just three days up to fourteen, there are many options from which to choose that will fit your budgetary needs.

Imagine taking your student group on a fun cruise to Nassau, Hawaii or even Alaska.  Imagine the educational possibilities in historical Ports of Call.  Imagine the performance opportunities if you are a band, chorus, orchestra or dance troupe.  For over 18 years, Kaleidoscope Adventures has organized student cruises for hundreds of schools.  We are experts in booking cruises for performance ensembles, history and science groups, and senior class trips.  We offer the best ports of embarkation around the country including Port Canaveral, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville, Mobile, Galveston, Long Beach and New Orleans.  We take you to exotic Ports of Call including:

  • Nassau
  • Freeport
  • Coco Cay
  • Key West
  • Cozumel
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Grand Cayman
  • Ocho Rios
  • Ensenada
  • Catalina
  • San Diego
  • Bermuda
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii

Your cruise adventure includes comfortable cabins, delicious food, fantastic entertainment, fun onboard activities, exciting excursions and excellent service. We even give you one free cruise for every 20 paid passengers!

The time has never been better to book a cruise for your student group.  At Kaleidoscope Adventures, we not only can plan a fun cruise for your group, but can also plan a cruise that meets your educational and/or performance objectives.  Why not give your group an unforgettable experience on a fun-filled student cruise?

Student Tours to Orlando: Are You Ready?

Student Travel to Orlando

Students…grab your sunscreen, summer clothes, bathing suit and sunglasses and get ready to go on a student tour Orlando style!  If you have already been to Orlando, reminisce with me for a minute.

The sun is shining brightly as you wake up to 80° temperatures. You sit up, yawn, stretch, and take the deepest breath you have ever taken as you inhale the aromas of the warm tropical breezes.  Then a thought rushes to your mind…You are excited to be out of the cold north and in paradise.  Are you with me so far?

You look outside of your hotel room and see a scene before your eyes that you thought only the rich and famous get to enjoy.  You see palm trees, seagulls flying everywhere, pools and water slides, exciting attractions and the finest theme parks.  You know that this day is going to be one of the best days of your life!

Students work hard all year at school and warrant a much-needed break.  The best way for students to travel is via a trip with a student group.  Student groups of all ages travel to many destinations throughout the country.  However, for many years Orlando has been and still is the number one student travel destination in North America.  Why?  With the best theme parks in the world, the most attractions in one destination, pristine beaches (close proximity) and beautiful, year-round weather, there’s no place on earth like Orlando.  Student tours to Orlando can experience over-the-top fun and adventure at any of Orlando’s theme parks and attractions.  Orlando is also host to the finest dinner shows and water parks in the world as well.  Orlando has so much to offer any type of student group traveling for fun.

Orlando offers fantastic performance opportunities for middle school, junior high and high school bands, choruses, orchestras, dance troupes and more.  From bowl games to parades, festivals to workshops and competitions to performance venues, Orlando has more to offer performance ensembles than anywhere else in the U.S.

Orlando is also one of the most popular educational travel destinations in America.  Disney’s Youth Education Series (YES) programs are the perfect balance of interactive learning that uses its theme parks as classrooms.

As one can see, the nation’s top vacation destination always offers something new and exciting, especially for student groups.

For over 18 years, Kaleidoscope Adventures has organized student tours to Orlando for thousands of schools.  We are experts in booking student trips for band, choral, orchestra and dance ensembles, history and science groups, class trips, sports tours, cruises and more.  We are a Top 30 Walt Disney World Travel Planner and specialize in planning complete travel services for any student group.  We plan everything from A to Z, thus giving you peace-of-mind.  We even give you a tour director who helps you every step of the way during your trip.

Put your trust in us to meet all of your student travel needs.  Why not give your group an exciting experience to Orlando?  Let us bring your classroom to life and create lasting memories for your student trip.

Student Group Cruises: Tips on How to Plan Your Cruise

student-cruise-infoPlanning a student group cruise can be a daunting task.  The team at Kaleidoscope Adventures can customize an unforgettable student cruise package that will have lasting memories for you and your group. Whether you have taken a student cruise or not, the following advice will keep all of your students and chaperones happy.  Tips for a successful student group cruise include the following:

Plan Early

Call a meeting of your boosters or parent organization at least a year in advance.  By planning early, you will get the lowest prices, best rooms and the best cruise ships.  The longer you wait, the higher the cost of the trip and the best rooms will be booked.  We can’t stress enough how important it is to plan ahead.

Choose your Ports of Call and Departure Destination

Choose your Ports of Call (destinations) before you choose a ship.  Do you want your group to travel to exotic Ports of Call in the Caribbean or Hawaii, or do you want to travel to the pristine wilderness of Alaska?  Once you have decided on your Ports of Call, make sure you agree on a departure city as well.  Many Ports of Call are visited by cruise ships that leave from different departure/embarkation cities.  For example, if you want to travel to the Bahamas, you have a choice of departure cities including Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Ft. Lauderdale or Miami.  Have your tour operator check airfare or motor coach fare to each destination to see what works best for you and your student group.

Choose Your Dates to Travel

Every destination has a peak season.  We recommend to book in the off-peak season or at the beginning or end of the peak season.  Why?  Because at the height of the peak season, ships as well as destinations, are extremely crowded.  Plus your group cruise rates will be much lower than during peak seasons.  Also, if you are a Performing Group (i.e.:  band, chorus, orchestra, dance ensemble, etc.), you can participate in a music or dance festival at sea.  Plus, you can oftentimes perform at various venues at your Ports of Call as well.  If you are an Educational Group seeking a historical or scientific learning experience, there are many Ports of Call that can accommodate your educational curriculum.  Lastly, there are cruises that cater to Senior Class Trips which provide fun and lasting memories for high school seniors.

Time to Book Your Cruise

After you have planned everything listed above with your boosters/parent organization and tour operator and you have arrived at an affordable price, it will be time to book your trip.  Your tour operator can book everything for your student group cruise including airfare or motor coach fare, any hotel stays, the cruise itself, performance/festival venues, on-shore excursions, Broadway shows, your group daily activities, group dinners and more.  After everything is booked, it will be up to you and your student group to raise the needed funds to pay for the trip.  Once this is accomplished, you will be ready to travel.  Happy Cruising!

About Kaleidoscope Adventures

For over 18 years, Kaleidoscope Adventures has organized student group cruises for thousands of schools.  We are experts in booking student cruises for band, choral and orchestra ensembles, history and science groups, class trips, sports tours, and more. We offer the best ports of embarkation around the country including Port Canaveral, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville, Mobile, Galveston, Long Beach and New Orleans. Your cruise will take you to exotic Ports of Call including:

•Nassau
•Freeport
•Coco Cay
•Key West
•Cozumel
•Playa del Carmen
•Grand Cayman
•Ocho Rios
•Ensenada
•Catalina
•San Diego
•Bermuda
•Alaska
•Hawaii

Your cruise adventure offers superb dining, excellent service, fantastic entertainment and lots of shipboard activities.  We plan everything from A to Z, thus giving you peace-of-mind.  We even have a dedicated fundraising company (Kaleidoscope Fundraising) that can help you raise the needed funds for your cruise.  Our simple fundraisers afford you the opportunity to make as much as 90% profit with little overhead.

Why not give your student group an unforgettable experience enjoying the sun and fun onboard a beautiful cruise ship?  Put your trust in us to meet all of your student travel needs.  Let us bring your classroom to life and create lasting memories for your student trip.