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Rich Abrams

Is There a Difference Between a Field Trip and an Educational Tour?

By Travel

There is nothing more exhilarating for most students than hearing the news of an upcoming school trip. It gives students a reason to get out of the classroom, and educators a way to teach and connect with their students on another level. But what kind of trip should you take your students on – a field trip or an educational tour – and is there a difference?

While it might just be an issue of semantics for some people, there is an important difference between field trips and educational tours, particularly those organized by Junior Tours.

Field trips are the typical school trips that most schools plan for their students, lasting anywhere from a few hours to 1-2 days while visiting certain learning sites.

Educational tours are professionally planned tours that have been finely crafted based on the needs of the entire group.

Essentially, an educational tour is an enhanced and upgraded version of the traditional field trip.

While the difference between a field trip and an educational tour may seem unimportant, there are many ways that a professional tour organizer such as Junior Tours can enhance the learning and overall experience of any trip, making it well worth the time and money of every student involved.

Educational Tour VS Field Trip: What’s the Difference?

We’ve all been on field trips, whether as students or educators, and we know the typical expectations that come with school trips. Typical school field trips include:

  • The local museum for sciences or arts
  • A visiting play or musical performance
  • A local university or research center, with an expert or professional

While children always enjoy getting out of the classroom and experiencing something new, it can be difficult to truly engage with the entire group at all times. In many cases, school field trips end up with most students goofing around, not listening to the tour guide, or getting in trouble in unique ways.

And it isn’t always fair to educators to expect them to plan and execute the perfect field trip, as these skills aren’t in their everyday job description. Teaching a classroom of students and implementing a successful field trip are worlds apart.

An educational tour is like a field trip, but handled professionally and every aspect made perfect. With an educational tour planned by professional organizers, schools and teachers can focus on their roles – teaching – while the organizers focus on everything else that children want from a school trip – exciting destinations, interesting guides, awesome activities, effective planning for every step of the trip, and so much more.

Many schools do not realize how much value a professional educational tour organizer can add to a school trip, turning it from just another trip to something that will act as a key part of every school year.

Here are just a few of the places you might visit during an educational tour with Junior Tours:

  • Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal
  • The Plains of Abraham in Quebec City
  • Concerts, performances, and music festivals in North America and Europe
  • Rockefeller Center in New York City
  • Niagara Falls
  • Improv Chicago
  • Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London

And so many more. Whether for the sciences, business, culture, or the arts, no two educational tours are exactly alike, as each trip is planned with your group’s needs and expectations in mind.

What Can You Expect from an Educational Tour?

How exactly does a Junior Tours educational tour differentiate from a typical school field trip and what can you expect from it? A tour planned by our veteran tour organizers shares the same objectives as typical field trips, but then we do so much more:

Field Trip Objectives Educational Tour Objectives
A learning experience outside the classroom setting A learning experience outside the classroom setting
An opportunity for students to observe and interact with their learning in the context of the real world An opportunity for students to observe and interact with their learning in the context of the real world
A potential one-on-one or group interaction with an expert or professional in their field of interest A potential one-on-one or group interaction with an expert or professional in their field of interest
An extended out-of-the-classroom activity that forces students to develop social learning skills
A full itinerary of sites and activities over several days that introduces children to a habit of 24/7 learning
A private trip for your group alone that ensures students will bond with their peers and teachers
A hyper-focused tour determined by your chosen subject matter to keep students excited and engaged for the entire trip
A school trip students can share with each other as a treasured memory for life

Educational tours offer the full experience for students and educators who are looking for something more than just the average community school trip. With our tour, groups can pick their journey based on their subject interest, with popular choices of:

  • Drama
  • Art
  • Music & Band
  • Foreign Language
  • Business
  • Fashion
  • African American
  • History

You can see that the difference between a field trip and an educational tour can be found at the most foundational level: the purpose for the trip, and the direction you build from there. With typical field trips, most schools will pick a local area of interest and try to explain a reason for how students can benefit from visiting it.

With professionally organized educational tours, the organizer and the school will discuss and pinpoint the desired learning experience, and then curate a trip around it to maximize what the students can learn. This means that we focus on enriching a student community with education-focused events, rather than building it the other way around.

How Students and Educators Benefit from Educational Tours Over Field Trips

Students – As a student or parent who might be interested in attending one of our educational tours, you might be looking to see how you or your child will most benefit from this journey. Here’s what you can expect as a student:

Out-of-Classroom Learning: Students will see how to truly learn in context, taking their learning out of the classroom and into the real world. They will see the purpose of what they are learning, and its impact on and how it works in the world.

Social Education Habits: Students will develop social education habits that they can carry with them beyond the classroom and their high school or university lives.

Maximum Engagement: Students will enjoy a trip that is curated to maximize their engagement, excitement, and learning, teaching that learning can be fun 24/7.

Educators and Schools: As an educator or school administrator, you might be interested in the tour but don’t know if our terms are worth the additional planning over a traditional field trip. Here are ways our planning and expertise can help you:

Your Choice of Involvement: A fully planned and organized trip. It is up to the school or educator to decide how much involvement they want with the planning and organizing of the trip; if they would like Junior Tours to handle every part of the itinerary, or if they want to be involved in crafting the perfect tour. We report to you and work on your terms.

As Easy as Possible: We make it as easy as possible to help get all your students and parents on board with the tour – we offer free promotional materials such as posters, flyers, and registration forms; professionally trained tour escorts to help hype up the tour 24 hours a day; complete planning of transportation, food, and first-rate hotel stays; and optional direct billing for your parents to pay directly online. And of course, no hidden costs are involved, with free scratch card fundraiser and scholarship suggestions if necessary.

Absolute Flexibility: We offer absolute flexibility with virtually every aspect of the trip. We only require a minimum group size of 20, while larger groups are gifted cheaper pricing. Trips don’t have to be approved by school boards or affiliated with any school, and travel dates can be picked at any time of the year. Whether this is your first time or tenth time organizing a trip for students, don’t sweat it: we can help you with everything.

The Educational Tour Experience with Junior Tours

Ready to start planning an educational tour to share to your group of students? You can start today – just fill in your information on our request form and we will send you over a free itemized price quote and itinerary within 72 hours. Our required information for now includes:

  • Potential destinations
  • Type of group
  • Mode of transportation
  • Number of days
  • Approximate travel date
  • Estimated group size
  • Goals for your trip
  • School or group name and address

Based in New Jersey, Junior Tours has been helping schools and student groups tour around the country and the wider world since 1967, and we pride ourselves on our history and tradition as a family-run business with an impeccable reputation. Students and teachers who travel with us are guaranteed to have an amazing time – just read our reviews.

Have a question, need some tips? Contact us through our site or call us at 1-800-631-2241 (for group leaders) or 1-800-237-4797 (for students and parents) and let us know how Junior Tours can help your school or community today!

five smiling students looking at earth globe

How Can Educational Tours Improve the Quality of Education?

By Travel

As an educator or school administrator, it is always your responsibility to be looking for new ways to improve and enrich the education of your students. With most students today having complete access to computers, phones, and the internet, finding new tools to improve the education quality your classes offer is vital towards keeping students interested and engaged. One of those tools is educational tours.

So how exactly do educational tours improve a student’s quality of education? Educational tours offer a variety of benefits that improve education quality, with subject-centered tours, instilling lifetime learning habits, helping students understand the importance of learning in context, developing their social education tools, and giving them a true perspective of the path they might want to take.

In this article, we will discuss the importance for educators and schools to look outside the classroom to create more fulfilling learning experiences, and why educational tours are essential towards holistic education.

Why Schools Need to Start Looking Outside the Classroom

Traditional education has taught us that the more time spent in the classroom, the more children can learn. Many supporters of classroom-intensive learning advocate for fewer extracurricular activities and more classroom hours hitting the books.

But recent studies have found that sticking to the classroom might not be as education and fulfilling as some teachers would tell you. Here are a few disadvantages backed by research to schools that prioritize classrooms and grades as the defining factor in a student’s education:

Grades Tied to Self-Esteem

A paper from the University of Michigan found that roughly 80% of students view their grades as a foundation of their self-worth. Researchers found that school grades were the most relevant indicator of predicting a student’s sense of self-worth or self-esteem.

Regardless of other factors, a student with lower grades would generally have lower self-esteem than their peers with higher grades. Children with lower self-esteem caused by grades were reported to have greater anxiety, distractions, and memory problems caused by the stress.

Increase of Cheating

It should come as no surprise that schools that put a greater emphasis on grades and tests generate more stress and anxiety in their students to score higher on every exam. While some might see this as a kind of tough love, there are lines that show we might be pushing students too far, to the point that they choose to cheat instead.

According to one study, it was found that 64% of high school students admitted to cheating on a test. And perhaps the most interesting finding is the way students rationalize their behavior – they still see themselves as honest people, and think of their behavior as an exception to the rule.

Another study found that students who are praised for their intelligence are more likely to cheat than others, with researchers speculating this is caused by the greater expectations on the smarter students.

Standardized Testing Isn’t Always Objective

There is more than just a correlation between minority or underprivileged students and low standardized test scores. The American standardized testing system is a decades-old system, with the standards set in a time that was much more culturally and racially subjective than today. Some attributes and understandings are simply privileged in these tests, with others denigrated.

Standardized tests do not truly assess a student’s general intelligence; they simply assess how much a student understands of the standards of the test’s creators. There is a reason why SAT scores have almost always been found to favor students from wealthy Caucasian families, with access to tutors and technology.

It is clear that much needs to be addressed with our general understanding of and reliance on testing, classroom-focused activities, and grades. While greater changes to our schooling system and the culture of schooling will take years to implement, there are ways schools and educators can start changing the way they educate students and getting outside the classroom today. One of those ways is with educational tours.

What Exactly are Educational Tours?

Educational Tours from Junior Tours are exceptional travel experiences tailored for the specific educational needs of any student group. They can help students understand the purpose of their learning, and see their education in the true context in which it is used.

With a fully customized, planned, and detailed itinerary, any school and their student group can turn the boring annual school field trips into an educational tour that students will remember for years.

What makes educational tours different from field trips? Field trips might be a lackadaisical bus ride to the museum, or maybe an overnight trip to a national park. But our tours are finely crafted to give students and their teachers and parents or chaperones a truly revelatory learning experience, with a tour guide assisting and guiding you every step of the way.

How Educational Tours Improve Education Quality

young student girl drawing a travel trip landmarkAs a school or teacher, your top priority should be helping students get the most out of their school-related activities. So how exactly do educational tours help to improve the quality of their education?

1) Subject-Centered Tours

The benefit of working with Junior Tours year after year is that you never have to look elsewhere for a different kind of trip. Junior Tours works overtime to provide any kind of trip you and your students might be looking for, making your desired subject the central theme of every educational tour.

At Junior Tours, we offer the following tours by subject:

  • Drama: New York, Chicago, Toronto
  • Art: New York, Chicago, Washington D.C.
  • Music & Band: Concert Performance Music Festival
  • Foreign Language: Montreal/Quebec, New Orleans, Chicago, New York
  • Business: New York, Chicago, Atlanta
  • Fashion: New York
  • African American: Atlanta, Washington D.C., New York
  • History: New York, Williamsburg, Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia

Every item on the itinerary works towards enriching the learning experience related to your group’s chosen subject. We understand how important it is to keep students engaged and interested, which is why we will work with you to make sure that the entire trip is as enlightening and relevant as you and your students want.

2) 24/7 Learning Experience

There is no greater commodity than time, and the more people involved, the more important every minute becomes. With dozens of students, teachers, and chaperones involved, it is crucial to make sure that every minute of a field trip is planned and executed as effectively as possible.

Our leadership at Junior Tours understands the stress and difficulty of managing a large group of students outside of campus (believe us – we’ve been there). With years of tours under our belts, we know exactly how to manage and move a group from one place to another, turning what could be a slow and tedious field trip into an efficient 24/7 learning experience for everyone involved.

Educational tours from Junior Tours come with professionally trained tour escorts that will lead, guide, and motivate your students and chaperones 24 hours a day. Trips like these can’t survive on their educational benefits alone – students need to see and follow the enthusiasm and energy of a seasoned pro tour guide, who is not only an expert in their chosen subject matter, but also an expert at getting the most out of every situation.

Rest assured – you can promise your parents that every hour their child spends away from home will be an hour well spent. Not only will we make sure that every waking hour is spent learning, but that your students will start to see that learning is a lifelong, 24/7 quality endeavor.

3) Learning in Context

As great as it can be to sit in a quiet classroom setting and lecture students for hours with a whiteboard and their textbooks, with zero distractions and opportunities to waste time, an academic experience that offers nothing else can be detrimental to a student’s overall growth.

The biggest problem with classroom learning is that it is all, simply put, by the book. It creates students who are “book smart”; students who understand the concept of what they are learning, but not always the purpose of it.

Perhaps now more than ever, it is crucial for students to understand the meaning of context. That certain social truths aren’t always as objective as they might seem on paper, and that understanding how learning can be differently interpreted from the true context of a situation is incredibly important for a quality understanding.

With some subjects, the facts and numbers aren’t nearly enough, because facts and numbers can’t illustrate the sobriety or severity of what the students are learning about. And this is something students need to learn before heading off to university.

Whether it’s understanding the true importance of a historical event by visiting sites and seeing the historical settings, or putting your students in the actual city or culture where fashion, business, drama, and art thrive to give them the full taste of what they are learning, learning in context for students who are growing up in the disconnected digital age has never been more relevant.

4) Social Education

The smartest people are not always the most well-rounded people. Some people are geniuses in school, but never truly show it or live up to their potential because they are lacking in other areas of their growth.

Perhaps they never truly learn how to work with others at school, or they lack the right motivation, or how to transpose their learning and understanding into situations that involve group dynamics. If a school produces countless students that are incredibly smart but lack the social tools to apply their education to helping their community or even themselves, is that school actually helping their students?

Educational tours help students learn outside of the traditional classroom setting, which for some smarter students, becomes a handicap over the years. By taking your students on a field trip where they are forced to move, interact, search, ask, and see for themselves, we help your students develop or improve the social tools they need to truly apply their education in an active way.

Produce students who are not only intelligent but socially capable of applying their intelligence towards helping themselves and those around them. In a world growing increasingly digital and alone, students have to be shown that there is more to learn beyond the screen and the classroom by interacting with each other and the world around them.

5) Real Perspective

There is no denying that our students are the future. And one of the best things a school can do for its students is helping to set them on the path they might want to take. With an educational tour, we can set the gears in motion that will help your students kickstart the rest of their lives. While some students may just see the trip as a fun educational activity, other students will see it as the first look into their dream careers (whether they know it or not).

Educational tours offer students the real, in-your-shoes perspective of what they might want to study or become. It’s a kind of personal growth that is impossible to experience in the classroom or online, something that you can’t read about or watch on a screen.

A student might believe all their life that they want to pursue theater or music or art, but it isn’t until they are standing in the place where their passion is actually performed that they can realize whether this dream is right for them. Whether it’s asking for tips from people in the careers they might want to pursue, or just seeing the setting for themselves, the experience can be eye-opening for students young and old.

It’s a revelatory feeling that can make or break a student’s dreams, filling them with motivation or making them question their choices, but ultimately they will be thankful for the experience.

Start Planning Your Educational Tour with Junior Tours Today

Junior Tours has been offering tours for over the last 50 years, and we pride ourselves on providing countless students with learning experiences they can carry with them for a lifetime.

We customize and personalize every trip with the love and care necessary to create something truly memorable, and with no hidden costs and affordable prices, we make sure every student can take part in our trips. Keeping your students excited and involved doesn’t always have to involve technology – with Junior Tours, we can give your students a quality trip they will never forget.

Contact us at 1-800-631-2241 or send us your information and request for a student tour quote today.

lighted billboards of the Broadway best show

New York City Tours, Designed for Drama Students

By Drama

Going on a student tour with a group of students encourages students to learn more, teaches them about things they might be interested in, and encourages them to pursue their dreams. Drama students may love a tour of New York City, the chance to view a Broadway show and the opportunity to learn more about the theaters of the Big Apple. Guided tours provide an abundance of activities designed to appeal to drama students who want to learn and see as much as possible.

Famous NYC Attractions

While the tour focuses on drama, there is plenty to see and do outside of theater-related activities. Students taking a guided student tour can see famous landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, 5th Avenue, the Empire State Building, and Times Square. They’ll tour through the city, stopping at many of the places they’ve always wanted to see and will have the experience of a lifetime while they’re in New York City.

Broadway Shows

Anyone interested in drama will love the chance to see a Broadway show. The show they can see depends on when the group takes the tour, but they’re going to love the chance to actually watch a Broadway show and see famous Broadway actors on stage. Depending on the tour chosen, it’s also possible to add a second Broadway show to the list of activities during the trip.

Meet a Broadway Professional

While seeing a Broadway show is exciting, drama students may be able to meet a Broadway professional. This gives them the chance to learn a lot more about what acting on Broadway is like as well as what they might expect if they’re interested in trying out for a Broadway show in the future. When this is included in the tour, it’s an unforgettable experience for all of the drama students.

Workshops for Drama Students

Some of the student tours include workshops as well as sightseeing and shows. During these workshops, the students get the chance to learn even more and to try their hand at some of the things they’ll learn. All of the students will have a fantastic time during the workshops and will return from the trip with a new appreciation for the arts as well as new skills they can put to use the next time they’re in a local play.

New York State Theater and Metropolitan Opera House

Drama-related sightseeing trips can be included as well to ensure the students get to visit the places they’re interested in. The New York State Theater and the Metropolitan Opera House are two stops the drama students won’t want to miss while they’re on a drama tour of New York City. Both of these places include a history of the arts in New York and abroad. The students will get the chance to see inside of the theaters and have the opportunity to learn more about the history of drama along with the history of these and other drama-related stops on the tour.

Student tours are an excellent way for students to be able to visit new places, learn more, and to divulge in their hobby. Drama students will enjoy a student tour of New York City designed with them in mind and will love visiting all of the places on the guided tour. Check out the drama-focused student tours in New York City today to learn more about the types of tours you can go on as well as what you might expect if you’re taking drama students on a guided tour to New York City. The students are going to thoroughly enjoy every part of the tour.

student group on skiing

Most Important Travel Trends for 2019

By Uncategorized

You’re already up to your ears, planning for the coming school year and the student trips you intend to enliven classroom learning with.

You’ve got big plans for tying student travel into the curriculum, but are you aware of the most important travel trends for 2019?  Read more in this post about what those are and how they can inform your student travel planning for the coming year.

Winter Wonderlands

Winter travel is more popular than ever in 2019, offering snow enthusiasts the best of the season of cold weather.

Winter sports strike a chord with many young people and the USA features great winter sporting destinations like Aspen.  But you may want to go further afield to the world-famous slopes of Whistler, Canada!

There are so many options for student travel in winter, from snowboarding to skiing, to enjoying a crackling fire in the mountain retreat of your choice.

Going Green

With the environment and sustainability taking center stage, it was only a matter of time before these social concerns asserted themselves in the travel industry.

And green travel is huge for the coming year.  Young people especially are concerned about the state of the world we live in and traveling green is just part of that.  Everywhere, hotels are asking that we re-use guest towels and turn out lights we’re not using.

But eco-tourism offers students additional educational opportunities, which come in the form of trips to nature reserves and national heritage sites which inspire and inform while they’re adventuring the green way.

The Roar of the Greasepaint

Drama teachers will be thrilled to learn that theater tourism is a vital trend in 2019.  Your drama students get an education that’s up close and personal when you take them to famed theatrical destinations like New York City’s Broadway.

But don’t forget Orlando, where Disney’s famed Y.E.S. Program offers students the opportunity to learn more about their thespian aspirations.  Professionally-led workshops beckon in this mecca of theme parks and student adventure.

Taste Bud Travel

Food lovers get a boost in 2019, with food tourism being one of the biggest trends of the year.

The loss of food travel icon Anthony Bourdain may well may have something to do with the uptick in interest in tours which highlight regional and ethnic cuisine.  This is an opportunity not just for those students who have culinary inclinations, but for those who seek to understand the connection between food and culture, as the great Bourdain did.

And with the US being the ethnically-diverse food wonderland it is, the possibilities are endless, from Little Havana in Miami, FL, to mining the ethnic neighborhoods of New York City for its culinary treasures.

Junior Tours

Since 1967, Junior Tours has been supporting hardworking teachers with extraordinary educational trips and tours that live in students’ memories and enliven their studies.

We believe that learning is an adventure and what’s more adventurous than taking learning out into the world?  Discovery, adventure and education create a symbiosis which translates into experiential learning that sticks.

Contact us.

woman teacher studying something on paper

A Teacher’s Guide to Student Travel

By Travel

Student travel is a huge topic for teachers and while we don’t pretend we can fit all the deets into one brief blog post, we do hope to illuminate a basic framework for planning that can benefit all teachers.

Whether you’re a newbie, a seasoned educator, student travel requires a steady hand and this post seeks to steady the hand on the controls.

A teacher’s guide to student travel may not be comprehensive, but it’s succinct and helps you plot a course in the right direction.

Finding the Right Destination

Walking into your classroom and announcing the destination you’ve chosen isn’t going to be popular with most of your students.  Rather, choose 3 destinations and then treat your students to a brief tour of each and its attractions.

This gives your students the opportunity to chime in and to dream along with you.  Encourage group discussion on this item.  You may even want to hold a simple essay contest, inviting students to reveal their favorite of the 3 destinations in 500 words or less!

Finding the right destination involves student buy-in, which generates enthusiasm and excitement.

Budget Matters

Once you’ve got your destination nailed, you’ll need to turn to the budget.  This must prepared before you even think about reaching out to administrators for approval.  They’ll need to know the bottom line.

Remember that the biggest line items in your budget are going to be transportation and accommodation.  Sewing these up first lets you see how much “play” there is for other items like site tickets and special outings.

Give Your Trip a “Shape”

Your trip needs to have a curricular objective to get it past those administrators we just mentioned.  But its shape can be determined to mesh with that and even, expand on it.

Depending on the class you’re taking, you’ll want to highlight an aspect of the curriculum that matches the interests of your students and is perhaps, a little off the beaten path.

Adding a little mystery that serves to illuminate what you’re teaching in new ways is a gift to your students.  You’re teaching them to move beyond the obvious and to personalize their learning with insight.

Itinerary, then Approval

Once you’ve got the previous 3 items in hand, you’ll need to write up an itinerary that’s faithful to curricular goals, but which highlights the effectiveness of the chosen destination for imparting the knowledge you need students to absorb.

Go well prepared, taking with you all the information you’ll be asked for about your tour provider, chaperones, guidelines for behavior and other necessary supports.

Remember that administrators are charged with ensuring that the goals of your educational district are satisfied in all you do.  Make their job easier by giving them all the information they’ll need to grant you the approval you’re seeking.

Junior Tours

Junior Tours has been making education exciting with student travel since 1967.  Founded by a teacher, we support educator goals with experiential travel that makes learning fun.

Ready to take your classroom into the world?  Contact us!

Universal Studios Theme Park in Orlando

The Hottest Spot for High School Senior Trips: Orlando

By Travel

With a nickname like “The City Beautiful”, Orlando has a lot to live up to.  And that’s why it’s the hottest spot for high school senior trips.  Orlando is a breathtakingly beautiful point on the US map and one which doesn’t disappoint when it comes to adventures, unique experiences and discovery.

Your high school pupils have worked hard to get where they are now.  They’ve done their homework.  They’ve excelled.  Now they’re ready to join the real world of careers and achievement.  What better way to celebrate than taking them to the hottest spot for high school senior trips:  Orlando.

Theme Parks for Days

When it’s time to celebrate, there’s nothing more exciting than a visit to one of Orlando’s many theme parks.

Both the Disney and Universal Studios have major franchises here, broken down into areas of interest to ensure that every student coming along gets their most cherished theme park experience checked off the list.

From EPCOT’s Geosphere to The Magic Kingdom’s thrilling rides, Disney takes you wherever you want to go, offering theme park experiences that run the gamut from Hollywood to wildlife and water.

Universal Studios rises to the adventure challenge with a journey through the world of film and television and some of the most incredible rides ever conceived.  Enjoy a singular experience with the Blue Man Group at Universal Orlando Resort and celebrate the union of technology, art and music with these internationally acclaimed performers.

Under the Spotlights

student performance group in Universal Studios, Orlando
Your performing arts students are treated to exceptional opportunities to perform here, with audiences who come from all over the world.

Across the selection of theme parks hosted by Disney, you’ll find manifestations of their renowned Disney Performing Arts OnStage program.  See your students shine, showing off their hard-earned chops in choirs, orchestras, marching bands and even dance performances.

All this and the chance to shine even more brightly by taking advantage of the selection of professionally-led workshops on offer.

And once they’ve learned something new, they can amaze themselves by competing against other student groups at Festival Disney.

Wet, Wild and Spacey

Take your high school seniors to where the going gets wet at the Wet n’ Wild theme park, which replicates ocean waves they can even surf on.  But if that doesn’t float their boat, your scientifically minded charges might find what they’re looking for at the famed Kennedy Space Center.

Students will learn the true story of how the USA forged new frontiers in the cosmos, launching astronauts into the mysteries of space.  They’ll see how satellites have changed the way we live and leave with a sense of pride in our nation’s answering the challenges of the universe.

Junior Tours

For over 50 years, Junior Tours has been treating students to unique educational experiences.  We bring destination knowledge and superior vendor selection to your high school senior trips, coupling educational opportunities with the thrill of adventure and the joy of discovery.

Ready to share Orlando with your students?  Contact us for a free sample itinerary and quote.

hand drawing a lightbulb and bags of money on a chalk board

5 Keys to Fundraising Success

By Travel

Junior Tours was founded in 1967 as a student travel resource.  We’re focused on teachers and the success of their students.

Fundraising is a big deal when it comes to creating opportunities for all students to enjoy student trips, regardless of economic circumstances.  But it’s a tough row to hoe when you’re not sure which way to turn to raise money.

Successful fundraising is a kind of an art form.  Convincing people of the value of what you’re raising money to support (in this case, student travel) is about communication, preparation and making all the right moves.

This post shares our 5 keys to fundraising success.  Follow them and watch that trip fund overflow!

1. Know What You Need

You can’t fundraise effectively without having drawn up a detailed budget.  Budgeting is one of the first steps toward organizing a student trip for this reason.  Important to note, also, is that it’s one of the mechanisms that wins you administrative approval.

Be sure to include items beyond transportation and lodging.  While those are your big-ticket items, you’re also going to need to feed your kids and pay for entrance to educational attractions that support your curricular goals.

2. Create Urgency

Setting clear goals to meet by certain dates is a great way to light a fire under your fundraisers (students and parents alike).

Draw up a thermometer to start your fundraising drive.  As you hit landmark goals, mark them on the thermometer, so everyone can see how well you’re doing.  Talk about the thermometer and how it’s going to take everyone’s best efforts to reach your financial goals.

Create urgency and watch the money flow in.

3. Fundraising Chair

We know that teachers are almost superhuman, but we also know that you need support.  In the case of effective fundraising, you’ll need someone to take charge of this aspect of the trip.

Choose an engaged parent with a reputation for getting things done.  It’s been proven repeatedly that putting a parent at the helm of fundraising gets results and a better response.

4. Get Together

Once a month, get your fundraisers together to talk about progress and kick around ideas.  This is a habit which builds communal accountability and provides the opportunity to share successes and fresh input.

At the same time, update your fundraisers about the status of the trip.  Let them know you’ve booked accommodation and share with them the attractions you’ve confirmed them for at their destination.  Building excitement raises funds!

5. Get Personal

Parents and students raising money need your encouragement, so make a point of meeting with individual members of your fundraising group to talk about how things are going.  Hearing concerns and sharing ideas reminds your fundraisers that they’re not working in a vacuum.

The leadership you provide your fundraisers plant the seeds of success and a well-financed student trip!

Junior Tours

For more than 50 years, Junior Tours has been supporting educators with superlative student tour planning and coordination.

Let the adventure begin!  Contact us for a free sample itinerary and quote.

students entering school bus

Basic Chaperoning – Making Parents Glad They Volunteered

By Travel

Because Junior Tours was founded by a teacher who wanted to create a student tour resource that made educators’ jobs a little easier, we know about chaperones.  We know who they tend to be and the assumptions made about what they’re there to do (from both teachers and chaperones).

This blog is about sharing some knowledge about chaperoning to ensure that you’re making parents glad they volunteered.  It’s too often the case that parents and teachers allow their assumptions about the roles in play guide their on-tour actions.

The problem with assumptions is that they’re rarely accurate.  Let’s look at some ways to make chaperoning more fun and less stressful.

The Most Obvious Person Isn’t Always the Right Person

Most teachers in today’s classroom work with special needs kids.  These students need a little extra support.  But it’s not always the case that the chaperone who’s the parent of a special needs child should be put in charge of this cohort of your students.

Keep in mind that “special needs mom” has needs of her own.  Automatically charging her with managing all your tour members who need extra support is not going to make her want to volunteer again.

Do the Groundwork

You know you need behavioral guidelines while you’re out touring.  That much is clear.  But being diligent about ensuring your students understand and internalize them is a process.  A handout with bullet points is soon forgotten.

Preparing your students to follow the guidelines you’ve set out is the kind of groundwork your parent chaperones are going to love you for.  Kids who respond to directions are going to be lot less work for them and lot less stressful to shepherd.

Try an interactive approach to the guidelines.  Bring them up frequently in class and ask students to respond to questions about what’s required of them while you’re on your trip.  Leave no room for doubt that the behavioral guidelines you’ve set out are to be followed to the letter.

Fresh Horses

All schools have their tried and true parent volunteers.  They’re the ones who show up for every fundraiser, school concert and PTA meeting.

But if you’re serious about student travel and ensuring that you have the right people in place to support your vision with quality chaperoning, then you’ll need to be in perpetual recruitment mode.

Your default is “charming”, so your approach isn’t the issue.  The issue is that parents get burned out.  Bringing new members to your chaperoning team is all about happy, experienced chaperones sharing with others how great volunteering on your trips is.

And that comes down to savvy chaperone management.  Basic chaperoning – making parents glad they volunteered – starts with what you do to understand the roles of the chaperones at your disposal.

Being there for chaperones by preparing your students adequately is a great start.  But ensuring that your chaperones aren’t overwhelmed, exhausted from out-of-control student behavior, or just done with volunteering, is smart teaching.

Junior Tours has been creating quality student travel experiences for over 50 years.  Contact us.

Garment Center NYC

What to Do on a Student Fashion Tour of New York City

By Travel

If you’re planning a fashion tour, your students will really enjoy New York City. NYC is a must for all the fashion freaks!

Among all the places, you should see the ones we are mentioning here. Get immersed in the magnificent world of fashion.

Garment Center Shops

The Garment Center is the focal point of New York fashion industry. Here in these few blocks, there is a variety of shops and stores.

It is the home to thousands of fashion businesses. Seeing so many different textiles and accessories can appear to be too much, but no – you will definitely find what fits you!

This is the place where you can see the famous designers at work, such as Calvin Klein… How about that?

Parsons School of Design

This is very famous private art and design college, the top one in the United States, founded in 1896. It’s offering students innovative ways of education to unleash their creativity and prepare them for the future.

It offers both undergraduate and graduate courses in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, curatorial studies, textiles, urban ecologies, and more. It’s known for its alumni — famous fashion designers and artists.

Who knows, maybe you will enroll in this fascinating university?

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

This is a public college in Manhattan, focused mostly on art and design.

FIT has a museum which is one of the rare ones specialized in fashion. Its permanent collection is around 50,000 fashion pieces dating back to 18th century.

It has the collection of textiles, clothes and accessories.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The popular “Met” is the third most visited museum in the world, and the biggest one in the United States. It has more than  7 million visitors per year.

Its permanent collection has more than two million art-pieces, consisting of the works from antiquity through modern art. It was opened in 1870 with the thought of bringing art to American people.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

This historic national landmark gives a peek into the lives of immigrants who lived at 97 & 103 Orchard Street decades ago (even back to 1860s).  It also offers tours with actors who portray residents and their customs. Get to know more about American history!

For more info about student tours to NYC, contact Junior Tours.

four happy seniors

2018/2019 Senior Class Trips | Custom Built Trip Just For You

By Travel

Ready to go for an adventure with your students? Two of your favorite destinations should definitely be Boston and Chicago!

Some sights are a must-see. Don’t miss them out! Why not join Junior Tours?

Boston

Boston has lots of historical sights and live performances. No wonder that it gets over 16 million visitors per year! This capital of Massachusetts is one of  the most influential cities in the United States.

The nickname of the city is “The Hub of the Universe.” Why is that so, you will be able to experience firsthand.

See Boston’s best such as the North End and Beacon Hill.

Among many things, you would surely want to see the oldest public park – Boston Common. This park has a lot of history behind it.

Faneuil Hall (the home of the free speech) and Bunker Hill Monument are the next ones to visit.

There is also a lot of museums among which are Museum of Fine Arts and Old South Meeting House Museum. That’s just a little bit of this extraordinary city.

We suggest you visit Boston from the end of May through the end of September, because the weather is at that time perfect!

Chicago

As the third largest city in the United States, Chicago has lots to offer. The city is very vibrant and has a soul.

Visit Magnificent Mile (one of the most popular shopping areas) and Financial Center. See Lake Michigan, one of five Great Lakes of North America. Get overwhelmed with Shedd Aquarium (among the top ones for over three decades) and Abbott Oceanarium.

Downtown Chicago has wide sidewalks, many cultural attractions and architectural riches. Visit the Loop, the second largest business district in the States.

See a range of museums: Field Museum of Natural History, Terra Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art…

Visit some amazing parks like Grant Park, Lincoln Park (including the oldest Zoo in the country), and Millenium Park.

Chicago has a lot of ethnic diversity, so when you visit some parts of the city, it seems you are in another country!

Junior Tours

Both cities are astounding, offering many other wonderful things above the ones mentioned. Your life will be enriched by visiting them, and you will be inspired!

It is important to choose the right trip-provider. Junior Tours will fulfill its duty and make your experience even more interesting!

For more info, call us at 1-800-631-2241 or complete an online form to get a free quote.