For most band or choral directors and student travel organizers, life is very busy and thinking about a group trip a year or more in advance can feel completely overwhelming. However, it’s important to know that it is never too early to start planning. Working with a travel company can help to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible, while ensuring that the hotels, attractions and transportation arrangements you will need are secured early.
As soon as you’ve determined where you want to go, when you want to travel and how many travelers to account for, you are primed for planning and should begin making arrangements.
Why Plan in Advance?
Often times, venues will offer discounts for travelers who book early. Last minute flights or hotel reservations are usually more expensive, which may make the trip your students are dreaming of unattainable given budget constraints.
When booking in advance, you will typically have your choice of a wider variety of travel dates, transportation methods, attraction tickets, and more. The closer it gets to your travel date, the more likely it is that attractions will be at capacity, travel dates will be restricted and inconveniences will mount up.
Excitement and Anticipation
The earlier you book a trip, the longer you can anticipate the fun and excitement to come! In the event you’re booking a performance trip, knowing the exact date and time of your scheduled showcase or performance will allow you to schedule practices and rehearsals accordingly, leaving ample time to work through kinks. Plus, no one will want to miss out on the trip, so reminding students that they have a reason to work hard is a good excuse for planning early!
Time To Raise & Save Money
Giving students ample warning of an impending trip is not only helpful, but may be essential for many students to participate. Knowing that they need to pick up additional hours of babysitting time or cut a few extra lawns on Saturday is a great way to teach them responsibility, while allowing them sufficient time to earn the money needed to pay for the trip. For those looking to hold fundraisers to raise money for a trip, booking early is a smart choice. Raising money over an 8-month period is much easier than trying to hold three or four fundraisers in a 3-week time frame!
Save yourself, and all the students and parents involved, the stress of last-minute bookings. Booking far in advance gives you time to enjoy the planning process and put real thought into what activities you want to participate in, how you want to coordinate attractions and performances, what restaurants you may want to dine at, and what you need to prepare before leaving. When overwhelmed with tight deadlines, a trip can feel like more of a burden than a great opportunity to learn and engage with your students in a new environment!