Spring Break Guide:
Smarts for Parents Booking Student Trips
Spring break is just around the bend, meaning that both parents and children are gearing up for an annual dose of fun, festivities and frivolous vacationing.
When sending children and classmates off for a week alone in lieu of spring break or graduation, parents need to do a little homework to make sure they make the right choices to ensure students' safety and enjoyment, while keeping their own minds at ease.
"A spring break or end-of-year trip is a purchase that all parents should research thoroughly. It's not like buying a car where you can line up the stats of each vehicle next to one another. You're trusting a service provider to take care of your child while providing them with an extraordinary experience," said Joe Bush, vice-president of GradCity.com, the leading student travel company for high-schoolers.
Below, Bush offers the following seven tips parents should consider when purchasing a trip.
Make sure that the travel company has a proven history of offering trips geared to high school students. High school student travel is a niche market. It's best to purchase packages from a company that specializes in the industry.
Look for accreditations from well-known travel and business associations such as the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and National Tour Association (NTA), both of which have an established code of ethics.
Check to see if parents are welcome on the trips or during the planning process. Knowing that parents are welcome indicates that the company has nothing to hide and that the events and activities offered will be fun and safe.
Ask for customer testimonials - what are parents, administrators and teens saying about these trips?
Make sure that the company has a positive history with the destination and that they have a strong ongoing relationship with the city and country.
Ensure that medical coverage is offered with the package you select.
Confirm that the company provides 24 hour on-site staff during your child's stay including on excursions, at the hotel and during meals. If your child is staying in a country where language is a barrier, ask the travel company if English assistance is readily available.