The inside scoop on details that matter when searching for the right trip for your student…
This is a great tool that helps guide your research to evaluate student travel programs. I am a mother of three who travels extensively with our high school student clients and my own children to Latin America. As you are checking out student travel programs for your teen, be sure to vet each program using these pertinent questions. This will help you determine if the program meets industry standards as a travel provider and if it’s a good fit for you and your teen.
Get these 10 essential questions to evaluate student travel programs:
BEFORE YOU BEGIN RE-SEARCHING STUDENT TRAVEL…DO A LITTLE SOUL-SEARCHING!
- Determine your goals and objectives. What is your why? Why do you want (your student) to participate in an international student travel program? You might know where, when, how, what, but have you really thought about the why? The why is the most crucial part! Don’t forget about this one very important question. If you take time to really think about your why, your travel experience has the potential to be that much more meaningful and life changing. Here are some common why’s that we come across as travel providers:
- I want to gain more confidence in my Spanish communication skills
- I want to participant in service-learning projects in a foreign country
- I want to engage and interact with the locals to see what life is like outside of my everyday world
- I really want a beach vacation
- I want a challenge. I’m hoping to be stretched to experience personal growth, gain independence, and learn about the world
- My parents want me to travel
- Determine your budget. After you determine your why, you will have an idea of what you want your program to include. These inclusions may be: a formal language study element, volunteer work, adventure travel, etc. The more elements of a student travel program you want to include, the higher your budget range will need to be. Budgeting can sometimes feel like the chicken/egg argument (what comes first, your price or my budget?) but knowing what you are and aren’t willing to spend, even if it’s a range, will help you narrow your field of options from the get-go. You may not have a specific number in mind, and you need to price-shop to figure out what’s reasonable – that’s a good place to start too!
- Determine your time frame. What is the length of time that you can and want to travel? Trip length is similar to inclusions; the longer you want to travel, the more you’ll need to adjust your budget expectations. If you want more than an international tour and you’re looking for language growth, you need to schedule at least 2 weeks – 3 to 4 weeks is even better. Besides length, do you have specific dates that you’re available? Some programs will have rotating start dates, others (like ours) have specifically defined travel dates, and you need to adjust your schedule to fit.