The President’s Corner
by Ed Lattin
Traditionally, Student trips take place during the Spring months of the year. As the school year is coming to a close it seems like a natural time to take students on a trip and many of our clients do just that. A growing number of schools, however, have discovered that traveling with their students in the Fall has a number of advantages.
Standardized testing scheduled during the Spring can make it difficult to plan a Spring student trip for some schools. Principals may be reluctant to let students go anywhere before the testing and obviously there would be no travel during testing and testing make up dates. So teachers often find they have very limited dates to schedule a student trip during this time of year. Trips scheduled during the Fall, however, offer a wide variety of date options for educators, as they do not have to be planned around standardized testing dates.
Generally, destinations that are visited during the Fall are not nearly as crowed as during the Spring months. Many teachers who have switched from Spring to Fall trips tell us that the lack of crowds greatly enhance the quality of their tour. It is also not unusual to enjoy cost savings by traveling during the fall instead of the busy Spring season. Competition for motorcoaches, hotel rooms and other travel components drive prices higher during the Spring than the less busy fall months.
Every year we have seen an increasing number of schools traveling during the fall for the above reasons. For those teachers scheduling multi-day tours (Washington, D.C. for example) this might seem like a daunting task, since this type of tour is more costly than a one or two day tour and there would be a short period of time from the beginning of the school year to collect the monies due. Teachers who have successfully made the switch to a Fall date have solved that dilemma by introducing the trip during the last semester of the previous school year. For example an eighth grade trip to Washington DC scheduled for December, would be publicized when those students were in the last semester of their seventh grade. In that way Parents have ample notification and time to budget for the DC trip the following December.
To my knowledge every school that has changed from a Spring to a Fall date has been extremely happy with their choice. Smaller crowds and not having to deal with standardized restrictions just makes for a better quality tour (and in a number of cases pricing is also better during the Fall). So if a Fall date is something you might want to consider, give us a call or email. A growing number of school are doing just that!