Skip to main content
All Posts By

Rich Abrams

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.

Po' Bpy sandwich from New Orleans

A Quick Guide to New Orleans Food

By Uncategorized

A lot of people think of NOLA as a place almost entirely constructed of Mardi Gras beads and the feathers which sprout from the massive costumes of the city’s famed Mardi Gras Indians. But while Mardi Gras is a huge part of the New Orleans cultural experience, the culinary traditions of the city are one of its most vibrant attractions.

Born in the cauldron of one of the USA’s most fascinating and unique places, New Orleans food reflects centuries of cultural influences as diverse as Creole, Cajun, African-American, French, Spanish and even Irish.

In this post, we offer a quick guide to New Orleans food, in some of its most representative dishes.

Po’ Boy.

Now a staple of New Orleans’ culinary scene, this sandwich has a colorful story.  When the city’s streetcar workers went on strike in 1929, they sacrificed their paychecks to get better remuneration and working conditions.  Inventive locals banded together to feed them on the picket line and the Po’ Boy was born.

Filled with fried shrimp or meat and served on crusty baguette, be sure to ask that your Po’ Boy be “dressed”, with tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise and pickles (onions, too if you like them). Get yours at Johnny’s Po’ Boys, in the French Quarter.

Red Beans and Rice.

Some refer to New Orleans as the northernmost Caribbean city and this dish would seem to prove the point.  Flavored with the pork bones from Sunday dinner, this dish is traditionally eaten on Mondays.

Every family and restaurant prepares a different version of this hearty staple of NOLA cuisine and each and every one swears theirs is the only way to cook it.  Get to know a local and wangle an invitation for Monday dinner.

Boudin.

Boudin is a Cajun specialty that’s not to be missed.  This delicious sausage is different from any you’ve ever eaten.  Liberally stuffed with seasoned meat and “dirty” rice (another Cajun favorite), Boudin is a staple all over southern Louisiana.

We recommend that you seek out Boudin at one of the many festivals in New Orleans.  Festival stalls in the city tend to be brimming with great chefs creating classics like this insanely tasty sausage.

Gumbo.

Gumbo’s origins are rooted in Africa.  While those origins have taken on baggage over the centuries, the word itself is West African and means “okra” – frequently used in gumbo.

There are many varieties, but under the various rubrics, variations on the dish abound.  As with everything else in New Orleans, this fragrant dish draws on numerous cultural influences.  When you eat “filé gumbo”, you’re eating a Choctaw Native version, as the dish contains sassafras.  The roux used as a base for this stew hails from France, but NOLA’S version is distinct and worlds away from the original.

Eat it at Dooky Chase, in Uptown New Orleans.

Go with Junior Tours.

Junior Tours has been taking students on extraordinary educational adventures since 1967.

Has a quick guide to New Orleans food whet your appetite?  Contact us for a sample itinerary and quote.

young student in front of White House giving thumbs up

Ways to Make the Most of Your Junior Tours Trip

By Travel

You’ve got the approval of your Board.  Now, you’re busily planning your Junior Tours trip, with the aspiration of creating an excellent learning adventure for your students.

But with Junior, you’re never alone.  We stick with you from inception, through planning to on-the-ground tour support.  We make sure your students are having the experience of a lifetime and deriving maximum benefit.

Here are some key ways to make the most of your Junior Tours trip.

Work with us.

Whatever the focus of your trip, or your destination, Junior Tours is your window to the world.  We offer you finely-tailored itineraries which speak directly to educator objectives, while supporting learning with a sense of adventure and fun.

Because we’re not a corporation, or a subsidiary of corporation, we’re here to serve you with exceptional service that provides you with a framework.  We’re a family owned operation, staffed by student tour professionals with a thorough knowledge of all our destinations, their attractions and accommodations.

When you work with us, we provide all you need to make the most of your Junior Tours trip.

Your professional profile.

There’s a reason we’re the “go to” student tours company for teachers from all 50 states.  We strive to make educators look like the teaching pros they are, by delivering exceptional tour experiences for your students.

Teachers come back to us year after year, because they know that their professional profile is bolstered by successful, detailed tours like the ones we provide.  Teachers need all the support they can get and we know that, because we were founded by a teacher.

Use our resources.

One of the best ways to make the most of your Junior Tours trip is to take full advantage of all the online resources we offer to make your trip a resounding success.

Our resources page is where you’ll find everything you need to make your student trip a well-oiled, smoothly-realized success.  We lay out a plan for you, with step-by-step resources that guide you through the planning process, fundraising, assembling an itinerary and prepping students and chaperones.

With Junior Tours, we make student trips easier for educators, so they can enjoy doing what they do best – teaching.  Meanwhile, we ensure that your students are safe while you’re out there, with 24/7 on-tour support from our professional guides.

We’ve even got an app for sending your group reminders about crucial things to think about before leaving for their trip.  That means less stress for you and a trip that will bring your students and chaperones home, raving about the experience they’ve enjoyed with Junior Tours.

At Junior Tours, we’ve thought of virtually everything.  We’ve created a system which is coherent, thorough and easy to follow so that teachers are free to teach and enjoy the ride as much as their students.

Making student trips easy.

At Junior Tours, we’ve been making student trips easy since 1967.  We invite you to explore our website and then, to contact us for a sample itinerary and quotation.

Broadway Theatre street

Top Broadway Shows for Students in 2018 (so far)

By Travel

A trip to New York City isn’t complete without seeing a show on the Great White Way, where the lullaby of Broadway rings across the footlights to embrace delighted audiences.

2018 promises more of Broadway’s famed extravaganza of superior talent in music, dance and acting.  Here are our picks for top Broadway shows for students in 2018 (so far).  Feast your eyes on this dizzying array of spectacles to be enjoyed over the coming year, with your students in mind.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

At the top of our list is the 8th installment of the Harry Potter franchise to hit Broadway.  Now that Harry’s grown and has graduated from the famed Hogwarts, he’s working in the Ministry of Magic.

Married with three school age children, his magical past hasn’t just earned him a high-level position with the government.  It’s following him around.  His youngest, Albus, isn’t anxious to follow dad into the family vocation, but he may have to, as darkness rises around them both.

Mean Girls.

We all know at least one, so this Broadway adaptation of the popular Tina Fey film promises to entertain those of us who are sometimes the targets of girls like “the Plastics”.

Watch the Queen Bee get stung in the end, as a newcomer to the Illinois high school the story unfolds in locks horns with the meanest girls in town.  Rejoice, as nice triumphs over nasty.

The Prom.

This brand, new musical is making waves and that’s exactly what it’s about – disturbing the placid waters of a small town with small minds.

When Emma’s prom is cancelled because she wants to take her girlfriend as a date, all heck breaks loose.  News of the cancellation reaches a group of well-meaning celebrities who descend on the town, billowing clouds of justice.  Naturally, they make matters worse.  In the end, though, inclusion triumphs over ignorance, peace is restored and Emma gets her corsage.

King Kong.

From his days of clutching Fay Wray in his hairy paw while scaling the Empire State Building, this massive, wayward gorilla has been a cultural icon.

Now appearing on Broadway, the eye-popping new production features theatrical innovations as diverse as robotics, stagecraft and puppetry.  This sensitive reimagining of the epic tale so familiar to us recasts the role originally played by Fay Wray as the story’s heroine, as she strives to save a 20-story tall gorilla.

Hamilton.

The story of Alexander Hamilton concerns an ambitious man, determined to rise to the top of a burgeoning nation’s fledgling government.  And rise he did.

As the confidant and aide of the USA’s first President, George Washington, Hamilton went on to shape the foundation for the international fortunes of our nation.  This passionate retelling of his story gives shape and texture to history, while offering exceptional performances.

Junior Tours.

Founded by teacher Marty Abrams, Junior Tours has been taking students places since 1967.  Committed to offering your students exceptional educational experiences, we tailor your tour to educator objectives.  Contact us to find out more.

famous Cuban sandwich

Essential Lunch Spots for Your Class Trip to Florida

By Travel

When you’re headed to Florida, you’re headed to a world of food influenced by a wide cross-section of people.  Cuba isn’t the only Latin American community represented here, with 20% of the population of the state speaking Spanish.

And where you find Latin Americans, you’ll find great food.

Here, there’s also a large African-American population, as well as a growing Asian contingent.  What all this means is that Florida is increasingly regarded as a destination in which you’ll find a wide range of flavors and tempting scents to satisfy any palate.

Let’s look at some essential lunch spots for your class trip to Florida, focusing on popular student destinations, Orlando and Miami.

Orlando – a cornucopia.

Orlando shows its southern flair in Dexter’s Winter Park.  At this famed lunch spot, you’ll find a Louisiana influence in the crab cakes and the Hot Mess.  Despite its name, this mess is also delicious, featuring biscuits, fried chicken, eggs and gravy.  Most entrees here clock in at about $10, so it’s budget friendly, too.

Asian food fans are devotees of the noodle soup, Ramen.  But the ramen offerings at Domu are not the kind that come out of a package, or in a styrofoam cup.  Try the Richie Rich variety, swimming in a broth which has simmered for 18 hours.

Mexico meets the American love affair with food at Hunger Street Tacos.  This incredibly affordable eatery marries the national obsession of Mexico with fillings like seared brisket.  All the traditional favorites are here too, for the taco purists in your group.

Miami – red hot eats.

With all the Latin American influence, you know the food is there and it’s found in some of its most delicious forms at La Latina.  Imminently affordable, this divine little spot features arepera and the irresistable empanada de pabillon, stuffed with black beans, cheese and beef.  Fuel up here for a day of educational exploration.

With Cubans making up more than a third of the city’s population, a visit to Miami isn’t complete without trying the food of the mysterious island nation they hail from.

Nowhere will you find better examples of the culinary treats of Cuba than at Little Havana’s Exquisito.  Try the vaca frita with the island’s traditional root vegetable, malanga.  It comes served with a delicious sauce redolent of garlic (so the entire group will be compelled to try it).

Also in Little Havana is the most renowned and venerable Cuban dining establishment in town, Versailles.  Take your group to experience the Cuban sandwich in all its mouthwatering glory, from the lunchtime take out window.  Watch your students’ faces transfigured with joy, as they tuck into a Cubano of roast pork, sweet ham and Swiss Cheese on traditional Cuban bread.

These are our essential lunch spots for your class trip to Florida.  We strongly advise that your group pack its eating pants for this educational and cultural adventure.

Junior Tours.

For 50 years, Junior Tours has been taking students on unforgettable educational excursions.  Contact us for a quote and free sample itinerary.

moon over Washington, DC

Life-Changing Travel Moments for Your Students

By Travel

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

– Mary Anne Radmacher

There is no better time to start the lifelong project of seeing the world and all its wonders than in one’s youth.  The vastness of this planet and all its marvels demands an early love affair with travel and the gifts it offers the inquisitive, adventurous mind. Life-changing travel moments for your students are a click away, when you plan your student travel experiences with Junior Tours.

Mary Anne Radmacher was changed by the light of the moon, shining on the other side of the world.  Imagine the profoundly life-changing experiences in store for your students when you take them on an educational journey with the experts at Junior.

Wherever the moon shines on knowledge, Junior is there, with life-changing travel moments for your students.

Experience the wonder.

Since 1967, Junior Tours has been creating tailored educational experiences for students.  Teachers from all 50 states come to us when they want the best in personalized logistics, itinerary planning and closely-guided tours.

Our work supports your goals as a teacher, with fully customized tours that help you hit all the high points of your destination, while your students experience the wonder.

As the moon shines on the Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC, your students stand in the shadow of American power and history.  As it gleams on the monolithic skyscrapers of New York City, your students are guided through the teeming streets of one of the most iconic cities on earth.

With Junior Tours curating the adventure, your students will encounter moments that will live in their memories for years to come.

Affordable and accessible.

Because Junior Tours was founded by a teacher, we believe that every student should have the chance to learn in the great classroom of the world.  That’s why we make our tours affordable and accessible.

No hidden charges in the fine print, either.

We also provide teachers with extensive fundraising resources that make the adventure a collaborative one, before it even begins.  Students will work together to raise needed funds so that everyone can get on board.

From accessible scholarships, to helping you set up a tour-specific website, to our exceptionally effective scratch cards, you’ll have all the support you need right at your fingertips, with Junior leading the way.

Human-scale service.

Since we started out 50 years ago, we haven’t changed our formula.  We’re not a faceless corporate subsidiary, with an automated switchboard.  When you call Junior, you’ll be warmly greeted by a living human being.

At Junior Tours, we think things like that matter.  It’s how we can offer you highly customized support.  We’re a family-owned and operated business that interacts with our customers as colleagues and friends.

With Junior Tours, life-changing moments for your students are tailored, affordable, accessible and bear the human element that makes all the difference to the quality of your tour experience.

Contact us for a free quotation and itinerary.  May the moon shine on your students’ dreams.

hand holding fork and picking food on a nice plate

Food Festivals to Consider for Your Class Trip

By Travel

Growing young people are always hungry.  While some of them are a little picky about what they eat, it’s clear that when it comes to whatever foods they find “acceptable”, they can pack it in like nobody’s business. That’s why food festivals are an essential part of any class trip.  Young minds need ample fuel while they’re out their learning, so coordinating your class trip with one of the many fascinating food festivals our nation is home to makes perfect sense.

We’ve collected these food festivals to consider for your class trip.  With a little careful planning and a lot of educator input, these are opportunities for a whole new flavor of learning.

NYC Food and Wine Festival.

Like I said, young people can be pick eaters, but there’s something for every lover of culinary delights at this high-profile food festival in the Big Apple.

Curated by Food & Wine Magazine, here’s where you’ll find some of the food world’s most celebrated chefs.  With the current focus on eating local, fresh food, students will encounter an environmental aspect to the offerings here.

As part of a trip to New York City, what could be better than sampling some of most advanced offerings from noted stars of the kitchen in one of the world’s most storied gastronomic destinations?

MTL a la Table.

One of Canada’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities, Montreal is another food destination of note.  This year’s MTL a la Table festival, held in November, highlighted food produced in the province of Quebec.

While enjoying the city’s many attractions and the crisp fall air, you may also be experiencing the famed cranberries of la belle province, which is the world’s second largest producer of this delicious red berry.  And who knows, your students may also have a chance to eat one of Quebec’s most famous dishes:  tourtiere (a meat pie like no other you can imagine).

Chicago Food Truck Festival.

Is there anything more tantalizing than street food?  The food truck revolution has taken off all over North American and this Chicago-based festival brings you some of the genre’s superstars.  Experience one of the most vibrant cities in the USA, while nibbling your way through this festival of food on four wheels.

Eat everything from southern BBQ to steamed pork buns and organic hamburgers at this growing celebration of the food truck.  Fusing gourmet dining with on-the-move convenience, this festival will have special appeal for your students.

Trucks that food comes out of?  Awesome!

Junior Tours has been taking students on exceptional educational tours since 1967.  That’s 50 years of bringing students and teachers from all over the USA unforgettable learning experiences.

From the brass of the Big Apple, to the francophone flair of Montreal, to the city written of by Carl Sandburg so eloquently, we offer this selection of food festivals to consider for your next class trip as a little something to whet your appetite for adventure.

Ready to fuel your educational adventure with great food?  Contact us for a free quote and sample itinerary.