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Teach & Travel has Fresh Ideas for Student Travel

Youre back. The class trip is over. You can breathe a sigh of relief since all went well and everyone had a fabulous time. You dont have to think about fundraisers and permission slips again until the fall except that youve already started thinking about it! You always plan your student travel to the same destination- parents expect it, administration expects it and students expect it. Heck, you inherited the trip from the teacher in your position before you! Wouldnt it be great to shake things up a bit? There are so many incredible, student-friendly destinations. Maybe its time to test the waters and try something different. Teach & Travel magazine is the perfect springboard when youre ready to dive in!

Top Student Destinations

While youre relaxing poolside this summer (ha- like teachers ever get to do THAT), take a minute to check out the most recent issue of Teach & Travel. Teach & Travel is the official publication of the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) and packed with valuable information for anyone planning student travel. The May 2018 issue highlights the top ten U.S., North American and international destinations for students. If youre ready to change things up, this is an excellent resource with which to begin.

Planning Tips and Ideas

Teach & Travel is a quintessential powerhouse of student travel ideas, statistics and solutions for your most challenging travel dilemmas. It provides great new intel on the places you think you already know and offers excellent alternatives when you want to try something new. Published five times a year, Teach & Travel always provides you with the most current travel industry updates, fresh ideas and important planning tips.

Student Youth Travel Association

As the primary publication of SYTA, Teach & Travel reaches 40,000 educators and SYTA member tour operators annually, ensuring its position as “Educators’ #1 Source for Everything Student Travel.” The digital copy is free to access online and makes for great poolside reading! Put Teach & Travel on your required summer reading list and youll be refreshed, inspired and ready for a new adventure in the coming school year!

Chicago Shakes Up The Usual Student Trip Itinerary

Years ago, as a freshly minted professional working for a non-profit, I was asked to attend a conference in Chicago. My colleagues were jetting off to fabulous locations like Cancun, L.A. or Scottsdale for their conventions, so I was a bit disappointed that my destination was Chicago. In the middle of January. Ugh.

Fast forward a couple of decades and Chicago remains one of my very favorite cities ever! Ive been back many times (and in every season), as Chicago is a chameleon of adventure. If youre ready to shake up the usual student trip itinerary, consider Chicago- recently named one of the Student Youth Travel Associations Top Ten Student Destinations in the U.S.

From the moment you hop off the El, Chicagos vibrant energy draws you in to explore all her nooks and crannies. Start on the shoreline of Lake Michigan at Navy Pier, a 50-acre playground packed with fun. Get a birds eye view of the lake and the city as you soar 200 feet in the air on the Centennial Wheel. Then splash down with an incredible tour of the lake or the Chicago River on a cruise departing from the pier.

Once the group is back on land, continue exploring at Millennium Park, boasting a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art (all free!) and a fresh spin on the town square. So much fun! Stroll down Chicagos renowned Magnificent Mile for some upscale retail therapy or a slice of that famous deep-dish pizza.
Thrill-seekers will rejoice with a visit to the Skydeck Chicago in Willis Tower. Theyll step outside the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at a height of 1,353 feet and onto the Ledges glass boxes, which extend 4.3 feet out from the Skydeck. Oh my. As more of a low-altitude girl, I prefer to enjoy this attraction from street-level!

The Museum of Science and Industry is another extraordinary attraction unique to Chicago. Open since 1933, MSI is one of the largest science museums in the world and dedicated to bringing science to life for children of all ages.

When the kids are ready to get their fun on, a Blue Man Group show is a must. Wide eyes, blue bodies, paint and percussion are at the core of this unique performance. The silent humor is infectious, the drumming loud and the toilet paper abundant; a perfect recipe for entertaining teenagers.

The Great Escape Room Chicago is another awesome way to spend an hour as your group works together to solve puzzles and scavenge for items necessary to escape the room. You can choose the level of difficulty and the experience, ensuring that all have an amazing time. Once successfully liberated, its just a few steps to a Chicago staple, Stans Donuts and Coffee. Yum!

Whether its January, December, or any month in between, Chicago is a phenomenal destination for students. My nave twenty-something self just didnt recognize the distinct style and flair of Chicago prior to that first visit. The slightly older and much wiser version knows a good thing when she visits – and so will your student group!

Kaleidoscope Adventures: Educating Students Through Travel

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Chicago trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

Philadelphia Is A Top Trending Student Destination

The 2018 Super Bowl was an epic battle between two cities claiming the title of Cradle of Liberty. Since my beloved Steelers werent in the running, I was thrilled that the Philadelphia Eagles brought home the championship. As a history geek, I was even more thrilled to listen to the revolutionary commentary flying back and forth in the weeks prior to the big game. Both Philadelphia and Boston are ideal destinations for students looking to raise their history games, but this Pennsylvania girl is going to focus on the home team! Philadelphia is a top trending student destination for a reason. Historically significant and brilliantly modern, there are endless attractions and activities for students to appreciate.

Take a self-guided stroll through the home of the symbol of American independence (the Liberty Bell), followed by a guided tour of Independence Hall. Visit the National Constitution Center or Congress Hall and stand where the foundation of America was laid. Tour Franklin Court (the site of Benjamin Franklins home) or the Franklin Institute for a glimpse of scientific genius.

The Museum of the American Revolution is a new and exciting treasure in a city packed with historically significant venues. Opened in April of 2017, this museum is dedicated to telling the indelible story of the American Revolution. Of particular note is the centerpiece of the museums extensive collection, George Washingtons original headquarters tent. Truly awe-inspiring!

If a quirkier itinerary peaks your students interests, be sure to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site for a glimpse of Al Capones cell- a luxurious home away from home. Edgar Allen Poe had a Philly address- and you can visit the Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site in the Spring Garden Neighborhood. Call ahead for this one; hours are limited. If the slightly macabre is more your students thing, be sure to include a visit to the Mtter Museum on the itinerary. Located in Center City, this museum boasts a collection of medical oddities and implements guaranteed to make you glad you live in the 21st century. Yikes!

Finally, no trip to Philadelphia is complete without a run (cue the music!) up the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art made famous in the movie Rocky. After celebrating your physical prowess with a cheesy (and unintelligible) shout, make your way to South Philly for a taste of the cheesy rivalry between two Philadelphia staples- Genos or Pats!

Philadelphia is an historical hot spot and a uniquely exciting destination for students. Whether youre planning a quick trip or an extended stay, your students wont be disappointed by the breadth and depth of all there is to do. Score one for the home team!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Philadelphia trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

Atlanta is one of the Top Student Destinations

Its time to plan the all-important class trip. Youve already conquered the capital and taken a bite out of the Big Apple; now youre looking for something fresh, fun and fabulous. Recently named one of the top student destinations in the U.S. by the Student Youth Travel Association, Atlanta is an exceptional city for students.

HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

Atlanta is known as the birthplace of the civil rights movement for a reason. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is a four-block treasure trove of historical significance. Visit the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. lived, worked, worshiped and is buried. There is no fee associated with the site and a U.S. park ranger will guide your tour.

Harriet Tubman African American Museum

The Harriet Tubman African American Museum features a permanent exhibit of vintage photographs, historical documents and works of art from the Tubmans collection and is widely considered one of the Souths most important cultural institutions.

Centennial Olympic Park

The Centennial Olympic Park is a 21-acre public park in downtown Atlanta and was the home of the 1996 Olympic Summer Games. Concerts, events and attractions are the centerpieces of the countrys largest downtown park developed in the last 25 years. Your students may not have been alive for the games, but theyll appreciate the legacy left behind!

AWESOME ATTRACTIONS

World of Coca-Cola

One of the coolest attractions in Atlanta is the World of Coca-Cola a museum highlighting the history of one of Americas favorite beverages. Students can tour, explore and taste samples from around the world. The famous Coca-Cola Polar Bear will be on hand for photos as well!

Atlanta Movie Tours, Inc.

The kids will geek out on their favorite shows and movies as Atlanta Movie Tours, Inc. brings them all to life. Pick a tour and get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the best productions to come out of Atlanta!

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Park is a spectacular 3,200 acres of natural beauty and fun! Your students can Ride the Ducks, or take a high speed Swiss cable car ride for incredible views of the Atlanta skyline. A ropes course, dinosaur exhibit, farmyard, scenic railroad and even an historical homes tour can be part of your adventures (depending on the season).

Georgia Aquarium

You cant go wrong with a visit to the nations largest aquarium. Georgia Aquariums 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water house the largest single aquarium habitat in the world and more aquatic life than any other aquarium in North America- incredible!

CNN Studio Tours

Take a 50-minute guided tour of the worlds first 24 hour all news network. Students will love the behind-the-scenes look at how broadcasts are produced and sent to viewers around the world. Ted Turner was definitely on to something!

PHENOMENAL FOOD

Hard Rock Caf

Hard Rock Caf is a master at knowing what kids like, from colossal, mouthwatering burgers to the sights and sounds of rock and roll! Hard Rock Caf Atlanta caters to groups of 15 or more and can offer a dedicated menu- including those legendary burgers, golden, breaded chicken tenders, gooey mac and cheese, smoky pulled pork or a classic Caesar salad. The portions are monstrous (perfect for teens) and each meal is topped off with a warm and fully-loaded chocolate chip cookie. If you prefer alternative choices, theyll work with you to design a menu that will perfectly satisfy the needs of your student group.

Pittypats Porch

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Pittypats is a charming choice for the best in southern comfort food. If the group is looking for a taste of authentic southern cooking and hospitality, reserve a spot at Pittypats.

When youre ready for a change to the usual class trip itinerary, Atlanta is a superb option. Its a destination packed with unique, historical and student group-friendly attractions you and your students will love!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your Atlanta trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

 

Group Travel Planning- Safety When Traveling with Students


When my oldest child left for his first week of sleep-away camp, I worried. I worried that he wouldnt eat well, that he would get a sunburn or be sick, or that he wouldnt change his underwear (turns out that I had good reason to worry about that!) As parents, we worry incessantly when our children are out of our protective reach. As you plan your group travel, its a strong possibility that you will be traveling with students- many of whom will be on their own for the first time ever!

Safety When Traveling with Students
Its a bit daunting to realize you are now responsible for the health and well-being of a group of poor decision-makers- I mean, students- once you leave the relative safety of home or school. In an age of cell phones and instant communication, parents often know when something goes wrong before you might! A solid safety plan and open communication are the keys to a successful student trip. We cant guarantee that nothing bad will happen as you travel after all, Mother Nature doesnt always care that we have plans, buses occasionally break down, students get sick, and so on. The good news is that excellent safety resources are available to help inform you as you create a safety plan for student travel.

The Student Youth Travel Association is a superb place to start. This organization is committed to providing student and youth travelers with safe, rich and rewarding travel experiences. A Safety Resource Guide and Safety Tips Brochure are available to download at no charge and offer some thoughtful suggestions for student group travel planners.

As you are preparing your safety plan, you may want to consider including the following suggestions
Communication
? Think about using a communication app like Remind to reach students without using personal numbers
As You Travel
? Cover any emergency evacuation procedures if traveling by motorcoach or airplane
? Encourage a teacher or chaperone to remain close to TSA in the event that a student requires personal screening during air travel
At the Hotel
? Distribute room keys to students in a private area away from the general public
? Decide where chaperones should be stationed throughout the property as students move about
? Clearly identify the areas of the property where students are permitted as well as expectations of behavior
? Provide clear instructions for security guards or nighttime chaperones (i.e. dont ask students to open doors, etc.)
? Determine nightly room check procedures and communicate clearly with chaperones
? Provide emergency evacuation procedures to the group and establish a safe meeting place 300 feet from the building
? Emphasize the importance of communicating any illness, dizziness or bleeding to a chaperone (look out for your roommates!)
At the Venue
? Register your group at first aid upon arrival at amusement parks or other large venues
? Be sure to have a weather emergency plan available for outdoor attractions
? Steer clear of large exiting crowds (i.e.- stay seated until the bulk of a crowd clears out and exit the venue together)
? Ensure that students and chaperones know meeting locations and times
To reiterate, these are SUGGESTIONS for establishing a student safety protocol. It would be wise to check with your district for any additional policies that may already exist.

Creating a clear safety plan and method of communication will go a long way in helping to alleviate that all-encompassing anxiety associated with student travel. Parents will breathe easier knowing theres a strategy for dealing with the unknown and students will clearly understand the safety procedures. The only thing to left to worry about is that smelly laundry when they return!