Skip to main content
All Posts By

Rich Abrams

high school class trip

Memorable High School Class Trips for Large or Small Group Travel

By Travel

When teachers are looking for a tour company to help them mount memorable high school class trips for large or small group travel, they come to Junior Tours.

From all over the USA, teachers turn to Junior for our long tenure in the student tour sector, our understanding of what teachers need and our personalized service and support.

We’re a boutique tour operator that treats you like part of the family.  Because we’re small and independent, we give you an individualized, highly-curated experience that’s driven by educator vision and which satisfies curricular imperatives.

Founded in 1967 by teacher Marty Abrams, we’re the source for teachers from all 50 states.

Our partnerships say it all

Junior Tours’ more than 50 years in the student tour sector has led us to cultivate partnerships with some of the most influential organizations in the field.

The Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) seeks to foster integrity as a professional value among student tour operators.  As members, Junior adheres to SYTA’s Purposes and Goals and Code of Ethics, having met this non-profit organization’s standards to become members.

But SYTA is just the beginning of Junior Tours is a trusted student tour operator.  Our partnerships with professional agencies in the sector are extensive.  Read more about them here.

Small is beautiful

Junior Tours isn’t part of a faceless corporation.  We’re not part of a big money machine.  We’re small and independent, so we can give you exactly what you want, without compromising.

You’ll find no hidden fees and no small print to beware of when you go with Junior.  You’ll also find a dedicated tour guide that doesn’t appear and then disappear, leaving you to your own devices.

Your group receives personalized, supportive attention with Junior.  Because we’re small, we give you what you want and what you need, with finely-customized itineraries and service.

Making it easy

At Junior Tours, we’re famous for making it easy for teachers, with a 4 step online process for planning and executing all your tour needs.

Every aspect of your trip is mapped out, so there’s no guesswork.  We make the process easy with tools for fundraising and preparing your students for the trip.  We’ve even got an app to remind participants about things they need to do before going.

With a host of destinations at your fingertips, Junior Tours is the teacher’s choice for memorable high school class trips for large or small group travel.

We’re the friendly alternative for teachers with a vision.  Founded by a teacher, we give educators what they need to give their students what they need.  That’s the kind of support all teachers could use more of.

Go with Junior Tours

For the very finest in educational tour support, with a family-owned and operated company that cares about your tour experience, go with Junior Tours.

We bring you tailored student travel support for groups of any size.  Junior plans and executes high school class trips which are memorable, educational and a cut above.

Contact us.

no cell phones sign

Establishing Tour Rules for Student Electronics

By Travel

Wherever you go, people are glued to their mobile devices. They almost seem hypnotized by them.  This is especially true for young people.

50% of US teens have their own mobile devices.  American mobile usage for those aged 18-29 is now at 100%, according to Pew Research.  That’s why student electronics require firm guidelines while you’re touring.

Establishing tour rules for student electronics is a top priority, requiring active education of your tour group from the moment you start discussing behavioral expectations for the tour.  Clarity is the foundation of all successful communication.  And clearly-delineated tour rules help students respect their surroundings by turning off their devices.

You could be Tough Teacher and collect and then, lock mobiles up at the beginning of each day’s activities, but that’s an authoritarian response which may breed resentment.  Give students the opportunity to be responsible about their electronics usage on tour and give them a life skill they’ll carry with them into maturity.

In black and white

Words are sometimes not remembered or remembered in a distorted way.  That’s why putting the rules about electronics in black and white is crucial.  Regardless of the age group, your words are put together to reach, this is a universal truth.  But young people are professionals at “misremembering”, so put your tour rules for student electronics in black and white.

A bullet-pointed list on one page will suffice.  Clear guidelines will be remembered, so make it crystal clear.  Connect your electronics rules to the itinerary.  This is a highly effective strategy which helps your students understand why the rules exist.

Site matters

Let’s pretend you’re taking your students to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.  While this sober attraction has had a ban on cell phones in place since 1993, they now have a mobile app which can be used by visitors.  This was introduced to the facility in 2014.

Letting your students know this while discussing your tour rules is a perfect opportunity to tell them their devices can used at the museum, but not for selfies, texting or idle chatter.

Tell your students that their mobiles are excellent portals for learning more about the places they’re experiencing, but that they’re not to be used for trivial purposes at historic sites – particularly sites as historically significant and sensitive as the Holocaust Museum.

Outlining clear tour rules for student electronics is so much better than policing usage on site.  Stating unequivocally what will and won’t be permitted gives your students a chance to display their maturity and their deference to something more important than their devices.

You’re letting them know that their electronics have a role to play in learning about what they’re seeing, but that this role has strong boundaries.

Junior Tours

Junior Tours has been taking students on stimulating educational tours for over 50 years.  We’re the boutique youth travel provider that doesn’t treat you and your students like numbers.  Personalized attention is what you get, when you go with Junior.

Ready to go?  Contact us for a sample itinerary and quotation.

Spyscape Museum New York

New York & Washington DC School Trip: New Attractions in 2018!

By Travel

Just when you thought New York & Washington, DC couldn’t get any more exciting, 2018 proves you wrong.

New attractions in these two cities make them even more outstanding proposals than they’ve ever been for a school trip.  Washington especially has an enticing new selection of experiences for your students.

If you’re planning a New York or Washington, DC school trip this year, you’ll want to make note of these new ways to engage your tour group.

Let’s see what’s new this year.

New York

New York pulse only gets stronger by the year.  This city is like a living organism unto itself.  Around every corner, there’s another surprise to delight educators and their students.

This year, that surprise is a big one, with the establishment of Spyscape.  Spyscape offers a multi-sensory, interactive experience, introducing your students to the fascinating world of international espionage and computer hacking.

As we’ll all be aware, these topics currently dominate the news cycle, with cyber attacks being a modern reality and spying an increasingly sophisticated enterprise, due to the technological change.

At Spyscape, students get a front row seat to all the shady dealings of this mysterious world.  While your students won’t know who Maxwell Smart is, they may even bump into his famous shoe phone in this attraction’s collection of seldom seen spying devices.

They’ll learn of the teen who burrowed through the CIA’S cyber defenses and the spycatcher who collared a traitor in the FBI.  They’ll also learn key tricks of the trade, like profiling, lie-detection and how to use their powers of observation.

Washington, DC

If you’re hitting DC with your students this year, you’ll be amazed by the new slate of experiences the city’s offering in 2018.  Here, we’ll round up a few of the best.

Arlington National Cemetery celebrates the 150th anniversary of what we now call Memorial Day this year and of course, that’s cause for celebration.  A visit to this resting place of heroes on May 28 promises an even more spectacular commemorative ceremony than those usually mounted each year.

While not everyone has an interest in the Bible, that’s a tremendous pity.  This collection of ancient books is a treasure, compiling some of the Ancient Near East’s most compelling literary accomplishments.

Celebrity Bibles are among the artifacts you’ll see here, but some of Protestant reformer Martin Luther’s early tracts are also on display, as well as first editions of the watershed King James Bible.

The 430,000 square foot facility is filled with interactive displays, video theatres and a fascinating walk through one of the world’s most widely-read and studied texts.

Junior Tours takes you there

At Junior Tours, we’ve been supporting teachers with extraordinary school trips for over 50 years.  Since 1967, we’ve been creating educational adventures that bring learning to life.

This year, New York and Washington, DC school trips promise to be better than ever, with exciting new attractions to fascinate your students.

Ready to go?  Contact us.  We’ll respond with a free sample itinerary and quotation.

student tour saving plan concept image

Tips for Big Savings on Student Airfare, Lodging and Everything in Between

By Travel

Traveling with your students doesn’t have to break the bank.  At Junior Tours, we know everyone’s price-sensitive these days, especially when it comes to travel.  But we know our way around the travel business and have some tips for big savings on student airfare, lodging and everything in between, to sweeten up the bottom line.

Read on to discover some key strategies to help you save.

When are you going?

You can save a bundle on airfare by choosing to travel during certain time periods and on certain days.  For example, flying after 8 pm, or between the hours of 5 am and 7 am will save you a lot of money.

Also choose days people usually don’t fly.  The least common days for air travel are Saturdays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Also choose times of the year people are less likely to fly to your destination.  Peak pricing can vary from location to location.  For instance, no one wants to visit the tropics in high summer, or Denmark in the middle of winter.  Find out what the peak visitor season is for your destination and get the best rates.

Uber it

Using this ride-sharing application can save your group money.  All drivers are vetted and if you avoid calling for rides during “surge pricing” times, it’s an even better deal.

But don’t stop at Uber.  Ride-sharing apps are popping up all over.  Investigate the options at your destination to find the one best suited to your group and be sure to check the reviews for reliability and reputability.  Everybody can’t be number one, but if you’re not using Uber, be sure to know who you and your students will be riding with.

Public transit

If you really want to save money and provide you students with an opportunity to see a side of daily life in your destination that locals see every day, try public transit.

Of course, it’s necessary to know about the quality of public transportation before you go, but if the system in question has a good reputation for being safe and efficient, this option puts an even smaller dent in your tour budget than Uber.

Accommodations

One of the most important aspects of a student tour is your accommodation provider.  You’ll need a safe, reputable, clean place for everyone to lay their heads.

That’s where Junior comes in.  If you’re taking your students on an overnight adventure, you’ll want access to the best room rates possible.  Because we’re a seasoned tour provider of more than 50 years’ standing, we get you the best deals for block room rates.  We also send you on your way with a dedicated tour support person who makes sure your charges are all tucked in comfortably for the night.

If you’re ready to go, we’re ready to support you with 50 years of student tour expertise.  Junior knows where to find the deals, so you stay within budget, while having the time of your lives. Contact us for a free sample itinerary and quote.

The Capitol, Washington DC

Great Sites to Consider in Washington, DC

By Travel

No city on earth is more redolent of history and political intrigue than Washington, DC.  A source of fascination, awe and sometimes trepidation for people all over the world, what really goes on inside the Beltway is known to only a privileged few (White House leaks aside).

Taking your students to Washington, DC requires intensive planning.  You want your students to experience this nexus of power and history in the most profound way possible. So, we’re offering this selection of great sites to consider in Washington, DC.

White House

An international symbol of the global power of the USA, the White House is the center of that power and the historical home of all US Presidents after the tenure of John Adams.

Touring the White House is a truly amazing experience, walking in the footsteps of giants like Dwight D. Eisenhower and Barack Obama.  Appointments can be booked through your Member of Congress.

The Capitol

If the White House doesn’t satisfy your students’ need to experience the American legacy of world leadership, a trip to the Capitol will certainly add to their experience.

This is where our laws are made by people elected to make them, from all over the nation.  Visit the Rotunda, Statutory Hall and the Old Supreme Court Chamber.  Bookings can be made via the Capitol Visitors online portal, or with your Congressional representative.

The Pentagon

The formidable military strength represented by this five-sided epicenter of strategic might is becoming more popular with visitors to Washington, DC, lately.

Students will marvel at the vastness of the most secretive building in the world, as they hear echoes of the hushed voices of the past and the conflicts they conducted.  A special reservation is needed to take the tour.

Washington Monument

Named after the first President of the USA, the Washington Monument soars over the Reflecting Pond, offering inspiring views of the city.

The tallest obelisk in the world, the monument is 555 feet tall, giving your students a thrilling experience and lessons in the work of the USA’s first political leader.

National Archives

Here’s where the Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the USA, is preserved.  Students will see the signatures of John Hancock and his contemporaries; signatures that established our national identity.

At the Archives, students will view historical displays not found anywhere else and which people travel from all over the globe to see.

MLK Jr. Memorial

Opened to the public in August 2011, this memorial remembers the hero who interrogated America’s soul.  It’s the culmination of two decades of fundraising and planning.

This is the ideal location for a lesson about Dr. King’s sacrifices and triumphs in pursuit of full status for Black Americans. Considering the work of this Civil Rights giant, your students will be inspired and perhaps find in themselves the makings of a leader.

Junior Tours

Junior Tours brings educators over 50 years’ experience in crafting extraordinary learning adventures for their students.

From Washington, DC, to New Orleans, LA and beyond, we create exceptional learning opportunities. Contact us.

historical site student tour

Exciting Educational Travel in the Best Historical Destinations

By Travel

History is one of the greatest of all humanity’s instructors.  In its annals, one finds the full depth and breadth of the human experience and lessons left by those who walked the earth before us. That’s why Junior Tours loves organizing exciting educational travel in the best historical destinations for your students.  We’ve worked with educators all over the United States, looking for personalized, professionally-crafted educational experiences to bring their students the thrill of discovery.

In this post, we’ll talk about some of our favorite historical destinations and what your curious students can learn there.

New Orleans, LA

The Crescent City is one of the most culturally unique and vibrant cities in the USA.  Its long history has created a cauldron of cultures as disparate as Irish, African, French and Spanish Creole and Cajun.

Discovering New Orleans is like peeling back the lawyers of an onion, beneath each layer is another legend, another culinary treat, another musical genius.  And all around, history calls in locations like the Laura Plantation, offering visitors an experience of the infamous institution of slavery, once the area’s economic driver.

On historic Bourbon Street, be wrapped in the sounds of New Orleans and its Jazz traditions.  Here you’ll find the Preservation Hall, where traditional New Orleans Jazz is still played before delighted audiences.

London, England

One of the most storied cities in the world, London, England is a bustling metropolis you could spend a lifetime exploring.

Westminster Abbey’s venerable precincts is where every monarch has been crowned since the Abbey’s construction, 800 years ago.  Here you’ll see the throne of Edward the Confessor, still used in the coronation ceremonies of ascending monarchs.

The parliament buildings and Big Ben are just a stone’s throw away, rising over the Thames in internationally-recognized majesty.

A visit to London wouldn’t be the same without a stop at the reconstructed Globe Theater, where the nation’s greatest man of letters once staged his brilliant plays.  Originally constructed in 1599, some of the Bard’s greatest masterpieces were penned for this venue.

Quebec City, Canada

One of the oldest cities in North America, Quebec City offers students both a walk through early Canadian history and an encounter with French-Canadian (Quebecois) culture.

Basse-ville offers a quasi-European experience in its narrow streets and ancient houses.  The Place Royale is ringed with 17th and 18th Century homes one might see in Brussels, Belgium or Paris, France.

The Plains of Abraham offer your students the opportunity to experience the battlefield on which the fate of North America was irrevocably changed.  Host to multiple skirmishes between the French and English, this is where the Conquest of 1759 transpired.

These exciting educational destinations are just the beginning of where Junior Tours can take your student group.  Once there, we offer finely-curated itineraries to support on-tour learnings with site and museum visits.

Founded by a teacher in 1967, Junior Tours is a boutique agency offering personalized attention for your group and a tour focused on your objectives as an educator.

Ready for a historical adventure?  Contact us.

graduation hats in the air

Celebrate Graduation with Sensational Senior Class Trips

By Travel

They’ve worked hard and now, the moment has come.  They’ve been dreaming of it and achieving great things along the way, since the moment they walked through the front doors of the high school you teach at. Graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a portal to the world beyond childhood.  This is the jumping off point to adulthood and a world of responsibility.

Why not celebrate graduation with sensational senior class trips?  When you go with Junior, you go with a professional student tour company with more than 50 years’ experience taking your students where they most desire to go.

The Junior edge

A Junior Tours educational experience can be anything from an overseas adventure, to on-site guided tours in a destination rich in educational interest.  Our tours are tailored to educator vision and personalized to your group, so you get the tour you want to share with your students, every time.

While you prepare your students for the experience they’re about to enjoy, we set you up with hotel accommodations with reputable vendors and organize meals your students will love.  We also organize transportation (air and ground).  We curate every detail of your trip, ensuring that curricular imperatives are met in an exciting way.

When you go with Junior, you go with a boutique operator that works with you on an individual basis.  We’ll even send you with a tour guide to ensure that your trip goes off without a hitch and that educators enjoy it as much as their students do.

With Junior Tours, you’ll know that you’re going with an operator that was founded by a teacher, so we know what teachers need to mount an excellent tour experience.

Itinerary planning

Educators come to us for our intimate knowledge of destinations.  Our professional planners know all our destinations inside out, giving educators expert input on sights to take in and learning opportunities.

Our people have the skinny on everything from museums to galleries to historical sites and special events.  We can finely curate every aspect of your educational tour to make it the best it can be.

It all starts with educator vision.  From there, Junior takes the wheel and helps you build a unique itinerary your students will never forget.  We specialize in educational tours for students, so we know how to make your vision come to life, with expertise that makes your tour one-of-a-kind.

Every step of the way, we consult with you to ensure our concept matches your vision.  We also work with you to stay within the tour’s budget, assisting you with online fundraising resources that ease the financial burden.

Leave the details to Junior

With Junior Tours, it’s fun to celebrate graduation with sensational senior class trips, because we handle all the details, from room assignments to packing ideas to security considerations.  We get you there, then we stick with you to smooth the journey and make it truly enjoyable – for teachers too!

Graduation demands a special celebration.  Make it truly sensational, with Junior Tours.

Contact us.

custom student tour concept image

Custom Educational Trips that Perfectly Fit Your Curriculum and Budget

By Travel

In 1967 retired school teacher, Marty Abrams, had a vision.  He wanted to create a resource for educators to ease the work of taking students on trips, tours and excursions. And Junior Tours was born.  Since then, we’ve been leading students and teachers on extraordinary educational adventures.  We create custom educational trips that perfectly fit your curriculum and budget.

Because we were founded by a teacher, we understand what teachers need.  We’re a supportive resource that makes it easy to take your students on trips that show them the world outside the classroom and a whole other side of learning – the fun side!

We’re different

Personal service is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, as large corporations absorb small, independent outfits like Junior Tours.  We’re committed to being a boutique student tour operator, because we know we can provide better service and affordability to students and teachers on the move.

When you call us, you’ll be warmly greeted by a human voice, not an automated system.  We won’t define your tour dates either, like some of the big tour companies do.  You select your dates, because you’re in charge.

And  Junior’s not about to put you on a bus with a bunch of people you don’t know.  Your tour group is independent and autonomous, so you know exactly who’s on board.  And while you’re out there, you’ll have the support of one of our expert guides.  They don’t jump on and off.  They stick with you for the duration of your tour.

We’re different, because we know that teachers, parents, chaperones and students value the personalized service we’ve been providing for over 50 years.

We’re helpful throughout the process

We know you’re going to be facing administration to approve your school trip, so Junior Tours provides credentials to prove to your administrative leaders that we’re a reputable, proven operator.  That’s just part of how our tour planning process starts.

Our online planning resources include everything you need to support your plans, with fundraising resources that even show you how to set up a tour website, so you can keep everyone in the loop and build excitement, while raising funds.

We know that fidelity to the school curriculum is of paramount concern, so we work with you to create an itinerary which answers that need, while helping you stay within your budget by providing resources to make your trip more affordable.

Junior Tours thinks of everything, because we understand the unique needs of education professionals.

The right fit

Junior Tours is committed to planning custom educational trips that perfectly fit your curriculum and budget.  Giving educators the right fit is why we’re still here, 50 years after Mary Abrams first founded this company, rooted in his unique vision as a professional teacher.

Small really is beautiful, when you’re planning a learning adventure with your students.  We know that you need what you’re taking your students out there to learn to stick, so we provide custom tour solutions that answer that need.

Ready to go?  Contact us!

students taking selfie in London

Selfie Etiquette While Traveling

By Travel

Everyone wants to take photographs of their vacations and excursions.  Since the invention of the camera, it’s been part of the fun. But with the rise of now-ubiquitous selfie, the game has changed.  There is really is a selfie etiquette.

Especially among young people, taking selfies is a way to capture moments with friends, a new hairdo, getting up in the morning, eating lunch, tying one’s shoelaces, etc.

You get what we’re saying.

Every moment, apparently, is a selfie moment.  The Facebook pages of the nation, in some quarters, are crowded with images of the person the page belongs to in various stages of “duck face” (lips pursed coquettishly, whether male or female).

So, it’s time for us to talk about selfie etiquette while traveling.  Being aware of the rules of the road will make our selfie habits less intrusive and perhaps breed better relationships with the people we find ourselves among.

Eyes on the prize.

A key strategy for educators when discussing with students the fine points about selfie etiquette while traveling is that the trip they’re going on is educational.

It’s not about bragging rights, or Instagram or Facebook likes.  It’s about learning.  Instilling this in your students is the cornerstone of getting them to put their devices away while you’re visiting sites they’re supposed to be taking something important away from.

You know.  Something more important than a photo of them pretending to comb the hair on a bust of George Washington.

Being aware of other people.

Especially in venues where people have paid to come and view antiquities, works of art, or displays, it’s crucial that your students understand that clowning it up in front of a Jackson Pollack, or a Civil War-era uniform is the highest level of unconscious buffoonery imaginable.

Many museums and historical sites are banning selfies, for this very reason.  It’s distracting, it’s rude and it detracts from the experience of other visitors.

Respect for history.

Being in the presence of history is exciting.  But when that history is one of tragedy, or sacrifice, or communal suffering, a selfie is about the most disrespectful thing anyone can do at the historical site in question.

In a pervasive technological culture, many may feel entitled to pretend that their right to photograph themselves in this way somehow trumps the decorum inspired by sites like the Ground Zero monument in New York City.

That will never be the case.

It’s a pity that teachers often need to play the “bad cop” on tours and trips with their students, but your students are there to learn.  You are the teacher and it’s on you to ensure that part of your students’ education enshrines values of respect, decorum and the dignity of the places they’re visiting.

Above all, respect for other people is part of the effort to contain the selfie phenomenon.

If that means quarantining student mobile devices, so be it.

Junior Tours.

Founded by a teacher in 1967, Junior Tours is committed to crafting tailored educational itineraries that put educator objectives first.

Ready to go?  Request a sample itinerary and quotation.

New York City street

Reasons Why New York City is Always a Good Idea

By Travel

There are plenty of reasons to love the Big Apple.  People who live in New York City may tell you differently when they’ve been navigating the renowned fickleness of the subway, or trying to get a taxi, or dealing with the fast pace of life.  But ask the same people if they’d ever want to live anywhere else.

No way.

New York City is a smorgasbord of cultures, world class entertainment, international business, fashion and the arts (among many other things).  Let’s review some of the lesser known reasons why New York City is always a good idea.

The people.

New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude, pushy and arrogant.  Some of them may well be, but the truth is that under every prickly exterior lies a soft center.  It’s in the very brashness of the city itself that you find the heart and soul of the people who live there.  They’re survivors and warriors, living in a challenging metropolis.

And New York City is living proof that diversity is beautiful.  Its ethnic neighborhoods, while having undergone key transformations, continue to bear testament to the power of the human spirit.  And that spirit is infused into every street corner, restaurant and corner coffee shop.

A visit to New York City is a visit to the unique micro-cultures with thrive in this city and gift resident and visitor alike with unique experiences that enrich and inform.

You can visit MOMA for free.

One of the greatest museums on earth, the Museum of Modern Art is a wonder, featuring unrivalled collections of contemporary art.

Since 2013, the UNIQLO apparel brand has partnered with MOMA, creating clothing which features selected works from the museum’s collection.  In return for the right to use this imagery, UNIQLO sponsors Free Friday admission to MOMA, between the hours of 4 pm and 8 pm.

With accessibility to art being one of the museum’s missions, this key partnership opens the doors of contemporary art to the city and the world.

Fancy a little cruise?

Exploring Brooklyn or Queen’s is easier when you hop aboard one of the East River ferries.  Not only is the ride inexpensive, it provides a unique view of the NYC skyline, seen from the water.

A single ride is only $4 and a day pass is $12, so you can spend your time exploring what the unique boroughs of New York City have to offer, see the skyscrapers from a different perspective and enjoy a little cruise on the East River, all at the same time!

Go with Junior Tours.

Junior Tours has been creating exceptional educational experiences for students since 1967.  Founded by a teacher, our goal is to create tailored itineraries reflecting educator goals, while optimizing the teaching opportunities of your student trip.

This post shares some of the lesser known reasons why New York City is always a good idea.  But we could share about a million more.

Ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple?  Contact us for a free sample itinerary and quote.