Traditionally schools planning educational tours would introduce their trip to their students in the fall, at the beginning of the school year. However, over the past decade more schools are offering their tour to their students a year out and more and more schools are moving their tour from spring to fall. This entry reviews the many benefits to planning a tour a year out.
1. Pricing-NationsClassroom offers an Early Bird discount to all participants that register before June 30, 2012. What this means is that participants will be able to secure our 2012 pricing for their 2013 trip.
2. Installment and EZ Pay Amounts- With a longer window to pay for the tour, parents are able to reduce their EZPAY and installment amount by as much as 50%.
3. Ability to Raise Funds- Those schools and parents that choose to participate in the NationsClassroom Early Bird Program give their child the summer months or summer break to work to pay for the trip. Traditionally parent’s have found the lesson of working for something important to be a great lesson for their child and the students place a higher value in their tour if they worked to help pay for it.
4. The Best Guides-We pride ourselves in providing the very best student guides in each destination we provide educational tours. Veteran educators that have led tours can attest to the fact that a Tour Guide that is knowledgeable, can relate to their students and effectively manage their daily tour are essential to a first class trip. More and more the best Tour Guides are being requested a year in advance.
5. Transportation-As can be expected, the opportunity to secure the best transportation available are best to be secured earlier rather than later. The transportation component can include flights, buses and the all important, friendly and knowledgeable bus drivers.
6. Lodging and Accommodations- Similarly, the very best student hotels get requested sooner and are filled by those groups that provide their dates and have strong registrations as far out as possible.
7. Attraction Availability-There are some attractions where it is nearly impossible to secure an appointment without a great deal of advance notice. These include the Washington Monument, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, United States Holocaust Memorial --Permanent Exhibit in Washington, DC just to name a few.
8. Attraction Timed Entry Appointments-In each destination that we provide educational tours we are finding that more and more attractions are offering Timed Entry opportunities. These are a great benefit from a tour planning and time maximization standpoint. As can be expected the times that are the most conducive to the best tour flow are secured sooner rather than later.
9. Restaurants, Cruises, Plays, Professional Sporting Events-Many schools choose to add something extra to their tour. This can include dinner at an upscale restaurant, a fun night on a Cruise, attending a play or a professional sporting event. As mentioned above availability is limited and the most preferred days and times are often no longer available by the time that those schools that wait to secure their dates for their trip.
10. Peace of Mind-As a Tour Director, the greatest benefit of being an Early Bird is the peace of mind derived from knowing that your trip is off to a great start and has a strong foundation. Ideally, you have maximized participation by putting your parents in the best possible position to pay for the trip; you have allowed the opportunity for those students that want to earn money for the trip have a longer block of time to do so. From a tour quality perspective you have hopefully secured your favorite Guide(s) and Bus Driver(s) and hotel while also allowing your NationsClassroom Student Travel Consultant to include all of your favorite attractions and inclusions at the ideal time to visit them.