This is the summation of everything taken into account up to this point. Your administration needs to approve your trip, parents need to be willing to finance the trip, and you need students to want to go on the trip. Knowing the following will save you time later on! Your educational goals and objectives start with the end in mind!
Dates of Travel
Your Dates of Travel and how that fits into the overall school calendar. Need to avoid:
- Testing dates: AP, State Testing, etc. including dates leading up to and makeup dates following. Schools are increasingly hesitant to have students out of the building at these times.
- Event conflicts: Prom, Graduation, Homecoming, etc.
- Activity conflicts: sports, drama, etc.
- Other travel events: foreign language trips, drill team competitions, etc.
- How many days are you allowed to be out of school?
It is likely impossible to avoid every conflict, especially in a small school where students are involved in multiple activities. The goal is to minimize the odds of a schedule conflict.
Check your travel dates (or possible dates) against your school calendar BEFORE CONTACTING YOUR TRAVEL COMPANY to begin planning. This will save you considerable time and effort in the long run.
Your Reality Checklist of tangible items that will determine the reach of your plans.
- How much can we realistically generate in funds to support the tour?
- What are the "non-negotiable" items that are critical to meeting your educational goals?
- How far from home are we permitted to travel?
- Are we allowed to travel to International destinations? Does that include Canada or cruise ports of call?
- Do we want to go to a repeat destination or experience something new?
Travel Mode Parameters
- Are we permitted to travel by air? What particular challenges are involved with air travel?
- Which is most cost effective AND time efficient?
- Cost is always related to group size. If fewer participate is the tour still cost effective?
- If fewer participate, are there enough in the ensemble to achieve the objectives?
Ultimately, your destination options and eventual selection will reflect your goals and objectives, dates of travel and the reality checklist.