Selling Trips to Parents and Students

You have a great idea for a trip. You just KNOW the kids are going to flock to sign up for this epic adventure which will seamlessly tie together your curriculum and probably put you in the running for teacher of the year. You confidently post the sign-up sheet and wait for the signatures to pour in. Three days later, you are still waiting for that first lucky student to put pen to paper. What’s going on?!?

Expert Teacher

As a teacher, you have unique skills and talents. You affect change and influence lives in a way that most people cannot. You juggle students, parents, administration and community while handling mountains of paperwork and instruction. You recognize teachable moments when they pop up (thus the reason for your trip!) and neatly incorporate them into your instruction. That said, selling trips to parents and students is probably not in your wheelhouse.

Expert Salesperson?

Being an expert teacher does not necessarily qualify you as an expert in student travel promotion. Regardless of the inherent awesomeness of your trip, it can be a challenge to convince students and parents to sign up. You have to generate a little buzz, create a great marketing campaign, address parent concerns and manage the financial aspects of the experience. In short, it requires a LOT of work!

Tools to Make it Happen

Trips are successful and well-attended when you plan with the right tools. Kaleidoscope Adventures will get your trip on track with helpful resources developed by our in-house marketing team. Our marketing kit includes:

• Engaging video created for parents and students to help build excitement for the trip
• Relevant and clearly-presented information about your chosen destination
• Value of travel as part of a well-rounded education
• Inspiring student testimonials about how travel impacts lives
• Fundraising options and ideas to help your trip succeed

We know you have a lot of time and energy invested in planning this incredible opportunity for students. However, you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone! Filling those participant slots is a lot easier with a little help from the experts. Trust Kaleidoscope to take the lead on your adventure and motivate students to sign up for your once-in-a-lifetime teachable moment!

A Handy Guide To Use When Packing for A Student Trip

In a world in which “glamping” is an accepted form of outdoor recreation, it’s no surprise that we tend to overpack. We want to be sure we have all the necessary creature comforts in the event of an apocalypse. However, when packing for a student trip, we need to be a bit more discerning. Chances are good that space is limited so we need to make the most of what we bring. Below is a handy guide to use when packing for a student trip…

EVERY TRAVELER SHOULD PACK

• Enough clothes for each day of the trip (including undies and an extra pair of socks!)
• Gloves, hat, scarf (depending on weather)
• Swimsuit / flip flops
• Sunscreen / sunglasses / baseball cap or visor
• Insect repellent (preferably wipes)
• Layers (hoodies in case it gets cold, joggers, etc.)
• School shirt or trip shirt to identify as part of the group
• Nightwear that is appropriate for room sharing
• Appropriate and comfortable shoes for walking
• Closed-toe shoes for traveling
• Toiletries including travel soap, shampoo (check with the group leader regarding hair dryers, curling irons, etc.)
• Extra pair of lenses /glasses
• Prescriptions in original packaging and a list of prescribed medications for the group leader (check with the group leader on specific protocol)
• Phone / phone charger
• Travel poncho
• Limited cash / debit card (remember, most fees are included in the cost of the trip)

BUS TRAVELERS SHOULD ALSO PACK

• A bag for the bus that includes anything you want to have handy but don’t necessarily need once off the bus (change of clothes, snacks*, drink, headphones, make up, lip balm, sunscreen, hoodie). This bag typically stays on the motor coach while students jump off and on
• Small backpack or cross body bag to keep with you while touring. Keep cash, phone, and other essentials in this one

AIR TRAVELERS SHOULD ALSO PACK

• Photo ID / Passport (check with the group leader)
• Snacks* for the plane
• Dramamine (again, check with the group leader)
• Backpack with a change of clothes in the event a bag is lost
• Carry-on liquids, aerosols, creams and gels using the 3-1-1 rule (3.4 oz bottle or less; 1quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger)
• Unlocked luggage for easier TSA accessibility
• Bags that are discreetly labeled with identifying information

Remember, when packing for a student trip, excess is not an option. Keep it simple and smart and you’ll be prepared for a successful adventure!

*Check with your group leader regarding any specific food allergies

Great Travel Apps for Student Groups

We live in a world dominated by apps and easy access. We use apps to find our way around, order food, shop, entertain ourselves, organize schedules, etc. They make our lives easier and so much more convenient. Travel is no exception. There are lots of great travel apps for student groups that can help make planning and executing your student trip simple and fun! Here are a few great options…

Remind

Remind lets you communicate faster with real time messaging for the group. You can schedule reminders or provide updates to the itinerary as needed.

Groupme

Groupme is an app that works on every device and functions like a private chat room for your group. It’s free group messaging for quick updates and alerts – perfect for traveling student groups.

Cluster

Cluster is a simple, user-friendly app that can create group text threads with photos, videos or all-important messages. Members are by invitation only, keeping your communication private.

 

Group Travel Videos™

Group Travel Videos™ is one of our favorite student travel resources. They have an app that allows you to upload and share photos while you travel! These photos will be used to create a masterpiece of memories as a hard copy digital video AND a streaming digital version that can be stored on whatever media you choose. You can even provide your own performance music or live video clips to be added at no charge!

Group Travel Videos™ has also added a geo-mapping and messaging feature to their app as well. It allows the teacher to view where the class is while on tour and can message a single traveler or the entire group. It’s really an outstanding communication tool for the travelers and a huge reassurance for nervous parents.

Traveling with students is a lot easier if you make the most of the helpful resources and tools available. These are just a few great options that can save you time, energy and (possibly) your sanity!

Have a Safe Trip!

Every time my husband travels (which is A LOT), I say these four little words as he heads out the door.  I would imagine most people say them.  After all, we want our loved ones to return home better for the experience of traveling, not worse.  When students travel, a safe trip is priority number one.  That’s why it is so important to choose a travel partner with a great safety record and plan.

Your trusted travel provider, Kaleidoscope Adventures, makes student safety the most important consideration of each trip.  The expert team at Kaleidoscope has more than 25 years of experience in the student travel industry.  During that time, they’ve learned a few things to help make the experience as safe as possible.  When you travel with KA, you can expect

  • ONLY vendors that have been carefully vetted
  • On-site inspections of hotels
  • Professional on-site tour directors
  • Interior corridors (no balconies) – a must for student groups
  • Overnight security as an option for all trips
  • Motorcoach companies with outstanding safety records and up-to-date equipment
  • An emergency phone line staffed by Kaleidoscope team members 24/7 during the trip
  • Luggage tag and travel lanyard for each participant
  • Certificate of insurance upon request

These are just a few of the safeguards in place during a Kaleidoscope Adventures trip.   We know the unexpected can happen at any time.  However, a little pre-planning and commonsense can go a long way in reassuring nervous parents and making the experience better for everyone.  Rigorous and comprehensive safety measures are just one more way Kaleidoscope Adventures does travel beyond expectations!

Historical Student Trip to Birmingham, AL

The civil rights movement was a volatile and influential time in our nation’s history.  We study it in our schools, watch movies portraying its leaders and feel its impact on today’s society.  How much more powerful would it be to experience it first hand?  Planning an historical student trip to Birmingham, Alabama is a compelling way to connect the past and the present.

Birmingham Civil Rights District

This historical city in the deep south hearkens back to a time of civil unrest and great change in the United States.  The Birmingham Civil Rights District is an area of downtown where several significant events took place in the 1950s and 60s.  It’s an easily walkable route (especially for student groups).  Highlights include Kelly Ingram Park, 16th Street Baptist Church, Fourth Avenue Business District, A.G. Gaston Gardens (formerly the A.G. Gaston Motel), Carver Theater and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

The struggles and triumphs of the civil rights movement are captured beautifully at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  BCRI is dedicated to educating new generations by exploring a common past and preserving our civil and human rights history.  BCRI is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and offers group pricing.

Historic Bethel Baptist Church

Just a few minutes’ drive from downtown is Historic Bethel Baptist Church.  The church played a crucial part in the 1961 Freedom Ride, providing refuge for wounded or stranded riders under the guidance of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth.

Alabama Penny Savings Bank Building

Founded by William Reuben Pettiford in 1890, the Alabama Penny Savings Bank was the first black-owned bank in the state and the 2nd largest black-owned bank in the country.  Its was instrumental in helping African Americans achieve home ownership and in the development of Birmingham businesses and churches.

Other Attractions of Interest

If you’re willing to go a little further, the Civil Rights Memorial Center, Rosa Parks Museum and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site are just a bus ride away.  Stops at these attractions will certainly round out your civil rights movement itinerary and thrill students.

We are living in an era that is truly reminiscent of another time in our nation’s history when the social climate was enduring growing pains.   Planning a trip to historically rich Birmingham is a wonderful way to connect our past, present and future- and remember the lessons learned there!

Trust the Experts

As you plan your historical trip to Birmingham, count on the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to help.  Kaleidoscope Adventures will help you customize an historical travel experience your students won’t soon forget. Call the KA team of experts at 407-345-4899 for travel beyond expectations!

Inspiring STEM Student Travel

STEM continues to dominate education, and student-friendly destinations are taking notice. Innovative partnerships and curricula are emerging in unexpected places. As you begin to plan your STEM student travel, consider one of these exceptional cities…

Cleveland

Cleveland has a long-standing reputation as a great student destination. It’s also making its mark in the STEM fields as well. The Cleveland Clinic welcomes students interested in the fields of health and science. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offers classes focused on the fine arts, mathematics, science and technology. The Great Lakes Science Center offers a ton of programs fueled by STEM learning. The Greater Cleveland Aquarium also hosts a ton of workshops and classes designed with the aquatic sciences in mind. Cleveland is a hotbed of great attractions and STEM activities!

Chicago

Chicago has some truly inspiring STEM programs. Loyola University has partnered with iD Tech to offer students aged 7-17 a chance to code, design video games, create with Roblox, engineer robots and more. Students stay in dorms and experience the college lifestyle as part of a summer experience. The Museum of Science and Industry is packed with opportunities year-round to learn science, technology, engineering and math. Chicago is also a literal study in engineering.  It’s home to the modern skyscraper and innovative designs that have shaped American architecture. It’s an amazing city for STEM-related experiences.

Houston

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including its STEM adventures! Check out the NASA Johnson Space Center for an in-depth look at America’s space flight program. The center hosts programs geared for students of all ages and interests, with a special emphasis on STEM. The Houston Museum of Natural Science features engaging exhibits and workshops with a direct emphasis on the sciences. The museum also hosts programs like STEM/Nova Overnight and Student STEM Ambassador for more in-depth experiences. Students with an interest in the health sciences can check out the DeBakey High School for Health Professions.  Started in 1972 in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine, It’s one of the strongest college prep schools in Texas. Student groups interested in the science and health professions can request a visit.

STEM Travel Beyond Expectations

STEM-based student travel is limited only by your imagination. There are so many opportunities to be creative- don’t settle for a pre-planned cookie cutter trip! Kaleidoscope Adventures will help you customize a STEM experience your students won’t soon forget. Call the KA team of experts at 407-345-4899 for travel beyond expectations!

To Infinity and … Space Camp!

Most of us have dreamed of being an astronaut at one point or another in our lives. I used to imagine what it would be like to float gracefully in outer space while looking down on the earth. Now my fantasy just involves being weightless. I digress.  Interest in space exploration continues to explode as part of the STEM movement. There are tons of incredible opportunities for making space science a part of educational travel. Check out these space camp opportunities…

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Titusville, FL

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers education focused learning specializing in STEM at its best. Through exciting and educational adventures, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex invites students to experience field trips, private educational programs, Overnight Adventures, Camp KSC, and so much more. Located on Florida’s Space Coast, the possibilities for fun and excitement are truly out of this world!

U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama offers a world of scientific wonder and space exploration. Space Camp® is designed for campers aged 9-11.  It highlights real world applications for science, technology, engineering and math. Explorers aged 12- 14 will experience firsthand the future of space travel.  They’ll solve challenges associated with a mission at Space Academy®. Advanced Space Academy® is for students aged 15-18 who want to explore college and career prep through an immersive STEM experience. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center hosts intensive aviation, robotics and cyber camps as well. One you hang up your space suit for the day, check out all that Huntsville has to offer!

Virginia Space Flight Academy in Wallops Island, VA

The Virginia Space Flight Academy offers six, week-long residential summer camps in 2019 for students aged 11-15. Laser focused on rocketry and robotics, these camps will challenge, excite and engage young minds using CAD design, 3D printers and Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits. Field trips are part of the fun as well.  They include stops at the nearby NASA Wallops Flight Facility, the NOAA weather facility and the Navy’s Surface Combat System Center. It’s an immersive experience for young men and women interested in STEM.

Space camps are a great way to encourage an interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They are also a fantastic opportunity to travel with an emphasis on education. Kaleidoscope Adventures, your trusted travel partner, is a leader in the STEM travel movement. Contact the experts at Kaleidoscope at 407-345-4899 to help you plan a unique, curriculum-based experience. The possibilities are infinite… and beyond!

The Stage is Set for OrlandoFest

Hours of practice. Countless rehearsals. Early mornings and late nights. The performing arts demand dedication. Anyone who has ever been a part of marching band, orchestra, choir, or dance program knows the work is tough but the reward is great. Most will jump at the chance to highlight or hone these hard-earned skills through competition, workshops, or performance venues.  Fortunately, there’s an exceptional Music Festival and Performance Experience that checks all the boxes – OrlandoFest!

OrlandoFest

OrlandoFest is a premier, education-based music experience taking place Fridays and Saturdays March through early June in Orlando, FL. Performers of all ages can participate in either Music Festivals or Workshops designed to reinforce concepts being taught in the classroom or studio. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities, each program includes admission to Universal Orlando Resort™.  It’s a great way to reward the efforts of your devoted students.

Festivals

Competitive and non-competitive bands, choirs, orchestras and dance groups will perform before nationally renowned adjudicators in with digitally recorded and written comments. The OrlandoFest Awards Ceremony takes place at Universal Orlando Resort™ and includes a custom gift for each participant. OrlandoFest also includes admission to world-famous Universal Orlando Resort™! Click here to find out more about Festival options and inclusions.

Workshops

Bands, choirs and orchestras are invited to participate in OrlandoFest Workshops.  This musical instruction is designed specifically to develop ensemble performance skills, enhance individual musicianship skills, and provide a fun learning experience. Each two-hour Workshop focuses on a choice of topics (typically 3-4) that best meet the needs of the group. Expert clinicians will teach new and innovative techniques to a minimum of 25 participants. Best of all, admission to Universal Orlando Resort™ is included with the Workshops as well! Click here to find out more about Workshop options and inclusions.

Regardless of which option you choose, OrlandoFest is an extraordinary experience for young performers seeking to strengthen or showcase their talents. An exclusive partnership with Universal Orlando Resort™ makes it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Kaleidoscope Adventures: Educating Students Through Travel

Kaleidoscope Adventures is a premier OrlandoFest partner and will handle your performance trip with ease. Call 407-345-4899 to find out more about this surprisingly unique performance opportunity!

Choose A Reliable Tour Operator with Professional Memberships

Your expectations are high when traveling with students. You expect an outstanding safety record, personal attention and quality transportation and accommodations.  You demand expert trip consultants and great, student-friendly attractions. That’s why it’s so important to choose a reliable tour operator with a stellar reputation and track record of success.

Look for a company that is a member in good standing with professional organizations like the Student Youth Travel Association and American Bus Association. These organizations exist to provide guidelines and safeguards for best practices in the travel industry.

Why ABA Matters To You

As January winds down, the American Bus Association (ABA) is gearing up for its annual conference. Marketplace 2019 will take place January 25-29 in Louisville, KY. As a professional member for more than 25 years, Kaleidoscope Adventures will have a strong presence at the show. If you aren’t quite sure why this should matter to you, consider the following:

• Regulations for student travel are constantly changing.  ABA is up-to-date with the latest policies that affect your trip

• The conference hosts outstanding education tracks focused on current industry trends and standards. Highlights include social media, travel safety and the latest travel innovations

• Tour operators attending ABA have a direct connection with vendors.  They have access to the newest and best student travel products (attractions, shows, technology, travel protection, etc.)

Professional Memberships Help to Ensure High Standards

Active membership with the American Bus Association and other professional organizations helps to ensure a higher standard of service. Kaleidoscope Adventures understands the role these organizations play in providing the best possible experience for travelers. The KA team will be in Louisville this week, soaking up the latest information and best practices to provide travel BEYOND your expectations. When you plan a trip with Kaleidoscope, be assured that it will be unrivaled in quality and excellence!

Travel Beyond Expectations with Kaleidoscope Adventures

It’s not easy to travel with students. Parent questions will pop up the night before the trip. Suzie will get the stomach flu. Johnny’s reed will break 15 minutes before the performance and he won’t have a spare. He will, however, have a nifty new light-up necklace on which he spent all his souvenir money! No, it’s not easy to travel with students UNLESS Kaleidoscope Adventures is your preferred trip partner. Kaleidoscope truly is travel beyond expectations!

Success Is In the Details

When you travel with Kaleidoscope Adventures, you are more than just another trip. From the first call with your tour consultant to the final good-bye from your tour director, you’ll understand how committed the KA team is to your personal service. Success is in the details, and we’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy!

Kaleidoscope Goes Above and Beyond

Our clients have shared some of the ways Kaleidoscope has gone above and beyond, providing those special touches that keep them coming back year after year. We think you’ll agree that there aren’t many companies who would

• Customize a trip with your needs in mind (no cookie cutters)
• Respond to your phone calls and emails quickly and with concise answers. Oh, and (gasp) a live person will answer the phone- we know your time is too precious to wade through an automated system!
• Answer parent questions professionally and comprehensively
• Staff an emergency line 24/7 with KA personnel knowledgeable about your trip (not an outsider)
• Check each individual hotel room and organize hotel keys before your group arrives
• Write names on student tickets to eliminate confusion at the park entrance
• Provide an expert tour director for your trip whose primary job is keeping you happy (we’ve even gone on a flip-flop replacement run!)

Travel Beyond Expectations is Our Promise

Kaleidoscope Adventures has 25+ years as a leader in the student travel industry for a reason. Our clients return year after year for the individual service and exclusive travel experiences they just can’t find with other companies. Travel beyond expectations is our promise to you and the standard to which other companies aspire. Call Kaleidoscope at 407-345-4899 to chat about your trip- with a real person!

“Kaleidoscope Adventures takes a personal interest in each and every trip and their staff works tirelessly to make sure it’s a great experience for my students. They go above and beyond with even the smallest details. We have loved every trip we’ve taken with KA and can’t wait until the next one!” –Elaine, Band Director, PA