How to Plan a Student Tour

Mary Camp

1. CALL US to begin planning!
Our Trip Planners are specialists with years of experience arranging student groups into Latin America and on worldwide cruises. We work with groups of students of all ages, whether adult educational groups or university or high school students. Whether you know exactly what you want or havenít even begun to imagine whatís possible, give us a call. A quick phone call is usually the best way to get started as we can help you brainstorm and let you know what factors you will want to consider for each destination. Here are some of the questions that we will ask you to start thinking about (donít worry if you donít have all the answers- thatís why weíre here!)

- Approximately how many students/ chaperones do you think you might have?
- Do you have set travel dates or a range of dates available?
- What sort of budget do you have in mind?
- How long would you like to be away?
- What educational components do you want to incorporate (biology, geology, anthropology, ecology, foreign language, etc)?
- Are you interested in arranging seminars, lectures, or conferences with specialists in your area of study?
- Do you have specific destinations or activities in mind?

After our first conversation, we can begin sending you some sample itineraries and tour cost summaries to get you started with ideas! We customize each itinerary according to the needs of your particular group.

2. PROMOTE your program to students!
Once you have an itinerary that works for your group, we can help you promote the program. Here are just a few of the free promotional options that we can provide:
- Design a web-page specifically for your group that you can e-mail to others
- Send catalogs or sample itineraries to interested students
- Provide journals, references, and testimonials to students and staff so that you can know what to expect on your tour by talking to past travelers and reading about their experiences.

3. FINALIZING your tour!
This is the easy part! Once your group is ready to go, we can handle all of the details for you. We can collect deposits via check or credit card and take registration information over the phone. Participants can also register on-line or via post if preferred. We can bill individuals and families directly if desired so that you donít need to worry about managing payments. We can also get your group airfare and travel insurance quotes as needed.
Then we will send a customized departure packet to each individual and family with a finalized itinerary, detailed packing lists, maps, travel insurance information, health and vaccination recommendations, weather details, etc. Just let us know how you would like us to help. Weíre here to provide as much (or as little) support as you need!

Here is what we can offer your group:

1. Flexibility
Because we know the areas where we travel really well, we can also customize an itinerary to suit your specific travel needs. We can arrange most tours on the dates of your choice and customize the itinerary to fit your interests. If you have a place that you would like to visit that is not listed on one of our itineraries, just let us know. Chances are our expert local offices can help you coordinate this as well!

2. Experience
We donít try to be all things to all travelers. At Adventure Life, we know Central and South America and small-ship expedition cruises really well. Weíve lived, worked and traveled extensively in these areas so we can help you develop the very best itinerary for your school group based on our own firsthand experiences.

3. Expert Local Guides
We use only the very best expert local guides. Our guides are all fluent English speakers with years of guiding and customer service experience. Not only do they do their areas really well (most have advanced degrees) but they have also encountered many of the potential traveler questions and issues before. What this means for your student group is that you will always have someone to turn to for last minute emergencies or unique travel requests. This is essential for a student group with diverse interests and needs.

4. Educational Connections
Through our network of local staff and guides, we can arrange lectures, seminars, and conferences. Meet top researchers, professionals, and teachers that can add to your group's experience. We can assist in meeting your group's accreditation and academic requirements.

5. Value
Weíve arranged travel services for thousands of travelers and recognize the limited budget that many students have available for travel. With this in mind, we aim to provide the very best value tours anywhere! Let us know your budget and we will do our best to customize an itinerary that fits this vision without compromising safety or quality.

6. Responsible Travel
Travel is an incredible learning opportunity for students of every age. Part of this experience is learning about how to travel responsibly and give back to the communities that share their lives with us. Adventure Life believes it is critical that local people be made active partners in developing a local tourism industry. We have done our best to try and give back to the places and people that have inspired our company.

7. Support Services
We provide all travelers with a comprehensive departure packet including detailed packing lists, health recommendations, frequently asked questions, and much more. Travelers also receive a full list of emergency contact information and a 24 hour emergency line, both here and in your destination country. Our staff has traveled extensively and is ready to help you answer any unusual questions or handle any last minute issues that arise for your group.

8. Volunteer Opportunities
In addition to educational travel experiences, we can arrange volunteer programs in many of the places where we travel that allow students the opportunity to directly give back. Whether you are looking for a one-day service project to add to your student tour or a full two week volunteer adventure, let us know your interests and we will do our best to suggest a service component to your travel if desired.

9. Discounted Rates
We provide special rates for our student travel groups with discounts ranging from 5-40% off standard tour rates. We can also subsidize costs for chaperones and teachers if desired. Contact us for a custom quote based on your destination and group size!

10. References from Past Travelers
We recognize that it helps to gather as much information as possible when you are planning your student trip. With this in mind, we keep an up-to-date database of past travelers who are willing to be contacted with questions about planning your adventure. We also have dozens of journals created by past travelers with photos and unbiased (we donít edit these in the slightest!) reviews of their experiences posted on our web-site. If you are looking for information on a particular destination, just let us know and we can suggest a journal or provide current references to help you learn more!

11. A Few ExtrasÖ
We admit weíre a group of perfectionists. At Adventure Life, we try to provide all the extra little touches that make your student trip unforgettable. Just a few examples include
- Subsidized group leader spaces
- Certificate of Liability insurance
- Direct billing (so that you donít have to gather the payments if you donít want to!)
- On-line journals and mapping so that students can share their experiences
- Donations to local community projects
- Luggage tags to help minimize the chance of lost bags
- Group travel insurance rates
- Customized web-site to help you promote your student tour
- Spaces held with no deposit for up to 4 months!
- And much, much more!!! Contact us for specific requests. Weíve arranged visits to a local school, birthday cakes on the Inca trail, handmade photo albums, etc. Let us know how we can help make your student trip even better!