The less rigid your group travel plans, the easier the planning and coordination process will be. Instead of having a definitive weekend in mind, decide that you want to travel in May and adjust travel dates accordingly. Many band and choral directors come to American Tours and Travel knowing that they want to take their group on a performance trip in the Spring of 2012, but leave the destination and exact dates open for recommendations. There are numerous benefits associated with a flexible travel schedule, including:
Potential for Lower Rates
Maintaining a flexible itinerary and arrival and departure schedule ensures that you will be able to secure the lowest rates available. Traveling on Memorial Day weekend is much more costly than flying the weekend before or after. Being open to these changes will increase the affordability of your trip, allowing more room in the budget for the fun stuff, like meals and attractions.
Even the best laid plans can require a little finessing to make things work. Knowing that things aren’t set in stone and that you may have to ‘go with the flow’ to keep your travelers happy will reduce the stress involved in planning and executing a major student travel trip. Be prepared but open to the natural evolution that is often a necessary component in getting large groups of people to work together toward a common goal.
At the end of the day, it won’t matter to your students if a plane takes off at 7am or 11pm. They are just happy to be competing, performing, enjoying time with friends and maybe getting a day or two away out of class! A flexible schedule can often mean the difference between running through Disney World in less than 3 hours because you’ve got a bus to catch and spending a leisurely day at Universal Studios–riding the Hulk 3 or 4 times and capping off the day with chilled Butterbeers from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Which one do you think your students would prefer?