If you’ve ever been put in charge of planning travel for your group or organization, it can be tempting to do what has always been done and travel where your group has gone in years past. One major benefit of travel, however, is that it gets you out of your comfort zone and forces you to try new things!
Choosing that new destination is so difficult. Here are five things to consider while choosing your group travel destination!
Consider the Purpose of the Trip
This is one of the first decisions that you should make regarding your trip. Are you simply taking an educational tour? Is this a performance trip? What do you want your students to learn?
In New York, students have the opportunity to participate in workshops with world class performers and attend Broadway musicals.
In Orlando, choirs and instrumental groups will find many opportunities to showcase their talents, whether that be in a parade at Walt Disney World or a music festival at Universal Studios!
If you want a good mixture of entertainment, history, culture, and education, consider Chicago! The Windy City is an up-and-coming destination for student travel.
Consider your Budget
Cost should always be a consideration when it comes to travel planning. Do you have the ability to fundraise, or will most students have to pay their way entirely?
If cost is a major concern for you, think about a destination that is closer to home! If you’re in the Southeastern United States, for example, there are plenty of cities nearby that offer high-quality educational attractions that are just as beneficial as those that you would find in NYC or LA. Consider Atlanta or Charleston!
Atlanta has a wide variety of entertainment options such as the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, as well as historic sites from the civil rights movement. Charleston is a great place to learn about the state of South Carolina and its history.
Consider your Comfort Zone
As we said before, travel is meant to get you out of your comfort zone into situations that you are unfamiliar with. This builds character and changes your perspective. If you want to challenge your students and allow them to experience things that are unlike what they’d find at home, consider choosing a destination that does just this! If your group members primarily come from small towns, take them to a big city. If you live in a flat area, take your group to the mountains. Change up your scenery a bit!
Consider the Season
If you know what time of year you will be traveling in, this could greatly impact your decision.
Winter: The Western National Parks are beautiful in all seasons, but even more so covered in snow! You might also take advantage of the cold weather in southern cities that are usually pretty hot!
Spring: Washington DC comes alive in the spring with its cherry blossoms! New York City is also lovely this time of year as the color finally returns to the city.
Summer: Consider a coastal town in the summer for spectacular views of the ocean!
Fall: New England boasts the most beautiful foliage in the fall. Everyone has to see it at some point in their lifetime!
Consider your Travelers
While you as the group leader have the ultimate say in the matter, be sure to consult with your students and teachers to gather input about what they’d like to see on the trip. This will help guide your decision and allows everyone to have a part in planning what will hopefully be an awesome experience for everyone involved!