09 July 2015

Your group is set!

Your group is set!

Once your group is set (meaning you will not be accepting any other travelers for the tour), you should meet with your student travelers and maybe send an email to your adult travelers.

Student Travelers

There are a few details to work out with your student travelers, like who they'll room with and who will be in their small groups.  I am a bit of a control freak and so I never allow students to roam around during free time on their own. They are always with a chaperone in a small group.  I try to have no more than 8-10 people per group. As for the rooming, it is hard to know in advance how the rooms will be broken up in a hotel.  Some can accommodate four in a room, some three and some students will be really lucky to have a double.  This is all up to the discretion of the hotel and of course, the number of students you have.  What I can do to ensure they have the best time is to allow them to choose who they'll be spending the majority of their time with. Here's what I do:

- I call a meeting after school for all student participants.
- I have students fill out a request form that tells me their rooming preferences for rooms of 4,3, and 2 (just to be safe) and for larger groups and chaperone choice.

Based on their input, I will sit down and try to give them what they want.  I always let them know that depending on the group size (I have taken up to 87 people on one tour), they might not get everything they want but I will be sure to do my best.  I will then create groups for chaperones and then a rooming chart for boys and girls with all rooming scenarios (quads, triples and doubles) to be as best prepared.  Sometimes, you will have to break up rooms because the hotel might not have all quads or all triples. This is where you have to be creative and just go with your gut as to how to separate.  Remind students that they will only be in rooms to sleep because you are on tour to see as much as you can and rooming is just a few hours of sleep and getting ready for the day.

For myself, I create multiple spreadsheets- one with the rooming and chaperone groups, one with an alphabetical list of travelers and their passport information (date of issue, number and date of expiration) and one with emergency contact information.

Adult Travelers

The adults are usually roomed in doubles unless they request a single room.  There is always an up charge for a single room, so make sure they know about that.  If they choose to room with their child, the child will normally pay the adult rate (check with your travel agency).  I would just send an email to them asking what their preference is for rooming (single, with child or another adult).  Once they let you know, you can make arrangements for them as well.  As far as the chaperoned groups go, I include the parents in a chaperoned group with their children but always let them know that they can of course go off with their child only on their own and meet us back at the designated time/place. 

Once you have all the student/adult requests, you should then make your spreadsheets and prepare for a pre-departure meeting!

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