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Rich Abrams

High school students in New York City

2017 Top Educational Trips For High School Students

By Travel

Every year has its favored destinations for educational high school student trips.  Depending on the subject matter your trip is geared to and what you’re hoping to accomplish educationally speaking, the world is full of learning-rich locations which can serve every imaginable educational goal.

This year, we’ve collected the 2017 top educational trips for high school students, which are emerging as the year’s hottest and most promising destinations.

New York City.

How can the city that never sleeps ever get old?  The Big Apple is a banquet of learning for curious high school students, its busy streets encompassing subjects as diverse as fashion, history, business, political science and the arts.

The endless fascination of this iconic metropolis renders endless opportunities to enhance student learning with direct experiences of the subject matter.

From the story of the huddled masses who came to Ellis Island, to the excitement of the city’s thriving fashion industry, educators will encounter a ripe field for taking students into the heart of the action, rendering enhanced learning outcomes.

Chicago.

One of America’s great cities, Chicago has been an industrial century since its inception.  Today, it’s home to high finance on a grand scale, offering your students a window into the world of the number crunchers.

The architectural riches of Chicago and its famed Magnificent Mile are an unforgettable experience to fire youthful imaginations with the endless potential of human creativity, ingenuity and world class engineering expertise.

Chicago is also a city of museums, offering your students learning opportunities as diverse as the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute of Chicago.  Educators will be spoiled for choice in the city once called “the pulse of America”, encountering its robust, beating heart.

London, England.

One of the most vibrant cities of the Old World, London is home to an abundance of historical sites and ever-thriving financial and fashion sectors.  Famed for the beauty of its ancient monuments, students will thrill to world-renowned landmarks like London Bridge, the Tower of London and the reconstruction of the Globe Theater, famed for hosting the works of William Shakespeare while the great playwright still lived.

The grandeur of the Parliament and its iconic clock tower (affectionately known as “Big Ben”), are where the original House of Cards was set.  Political intrigue centuries old permeates the ancient walls here.

Nearby Westminster Abbey, the site of coronations and royal weddings for hundreds of years is a journey into the Gothic heart of Olde England.

These are Junior Tours’ 2017 top educational trips for high school students.  With a diversity of attractions for educators and students alike, these stand as our favorites, because of the learning diversity and excitement they offer.

Get there with Junior Tours.

Junior Tours has been opening the doors to a world of learning beyond the classroom for 50 years.  Since 1967, we’ve been taking students to fascinating places, creating rich learning experiences that stay with them for life.

If you’re ready to go, contact us for a free sample itinerary.

hands holding letters spelling tips

Top Tips For Getting Your Educational Tours Approved

By Travel

Even if you’re the new teacher on the block, you can get your educational tours approved with a little preparation before going into the administrative lion’s den.  With the right preparation, even those who are less than generous about educational tours will find it difficult to say “no” to your plan.

These are Junior Tours’ top tips for getting your educational tours approved.

Clarity and focus.

As an educator, it’s your job to present your educational tour concept to administrative decision-makers clearly, with laser focus as to the goals you have in mind.  There’s no administrator living who’s going to respond to vagueness where learning objectives are concerned.

Remember, they’re the guardians of the curriculum, so you need to overcome their objections.  Think of your presentation as a sales pitch.

Your “pitch” should include information about how your educational tour is going to satisfy goals for learning outcomes.  It should also be precise in its explanation about how it satisfies local standards for subject matter.

Itinerary and budget per student.

Your itinerary, precisely delineated and presented with an eye to convincing administrators of your tour’s value should be presented with administrative objectives in mind.  Every bullet point should knock off an item on your list of educator goals and administration’s list of required learning.

Presenting a budget for students which includes all necessary elements (food, accommodations, museum visits, transportation and contingencies) demonstrates your due diligence and there’s nothing administrators love more than that.

Don’t forget to include items like insurance and any information you have about security provided by your tour operator.  Explain your provider’s payment plan in detail and how you intend to raise funds to support the educational tour.

Don’t forget to include information about your tour operator and their track record.  This is important information that can compel a decision in your favor.

Presentation package.

Your presentation should be founded on a written document outlining all the points discussed above, with a detailed description of how the tour will satisfy both your goals as an educator and administration’s goals for area standards, as well as budget concerns.

Ensure that you print copies of your presentation for every administrator who will be present, plus a copy for yourself to work from during your presentation.  Be prepared for questions.  Anticipating the types of questions administrators are likely to ask will make you effective and confident.

Tell them you’re working with Junior Tours.

Junior Tours has been taking students on rich learning adventures for 50 years.  Since 1967, we’ve been opening the door to enhanced educational experiences, working with educators in all 50 states.  Founded by a teacher, we’re a personalized, boutique student travel resource that supports you with the best in educational tours.

Of our top tips for getting your educational tour approved, telling administration that you’re working with Junior Tours is the secret weapon every educator needs to gain that approval.  We’ve been taking students places for a half century.

Ready to go?  Contact us for a free sample itinerary.

students on a field trip looking satisfied

How Field Trips Boost Students’ Lifelong Success

By Travel

The impact of field trips on student learning and later life success can’t be underestimated.  Unfortunately, economic pressures and novelties like standardized testing have reduced the number of field trips included in yearly curriculums, all over the US.

Increasingly, school boards choose to cut budgets for field trips, believing them to be somehow extraneous.  But recent research shows the pivotal role they play in the educational development of young people.

Superior outcomes.

The US Travel Association recently conducted a detailed study of student outcomes, linked to regular field trips.  They discovered that taking the classroom out into the wider world was responsible for vastly superior educational outcomes for students.

59% of students enjoyed better grades.  Most compellingly, the rate of high school graduation was seen to rise significantly when students had the advantage of field trips – to an incredible 95%.

Students who were taken on field trips were seen to be more likely to attend college, at a rate of 63%.  Taking kids on field trips also results in their enjoying more robust financial health, later in life.

Overall, 89% of students who participated in the US Travel Association study reported that field trips provoked a greater curiosity about the world around them and served to keep them engaged in a classroom setting and in their lives outside school.

The 4 “Rs”.

The 3 “Rs” are said to be the pillars of the educational system.  While it’s true that arithmetic, reading and writing are crucial to future success in life, the 4th “R” (roaming) plays a crucial role in the developing minds of children.

Taking children outside the classroom and other familiar environments develops soft life skills like confidence.  Young people who are given the opportunity to explore new places, new faces and even diverse cultures, are gifted with educational input that’s priceless in their formation.

Vistas are broadened when learning is taken outside the classroom.  Early experiences of travel form young minds, preparing them for a life in which they’ll be thrown into unfamiliar situations and meet people of all cultural backgrounds.

Roaming gives young people the foundation to become well-rounded, successful adults.

Tangible learning.

The impact of shepherding children on a remote learning experience provides a perspective on classroom subject matter that’s 3D and immediate.  It’s tangible and that brings learning to life.  Words on a page can’t possibly hope to compare with the Real McCoy.

The difference between a history textbook and placing students in the middle of places where history transpired is exponential, in terms of value.  While the words in textbooks are instructive, they’re not immediate.  They can’t impart the same value as walking in the footsteps of those who made history.

Field Trips with Junior Tours.

Founded by a teacher, Junior Tours has been bringing learning to life for students since 1967.  For 50 years, we’ve been taking students places that instruct and inspire.

Open the door to quality learning, with Junior Tours.  Discover how field trips boost students’ lifelong success.  Contact us for a free sample itinerary.

Salem city sign at the entrance of the city

Consider Adding Salem to Your Next Trip to Boston

By Travel

A trip to Boston without a visit to Salem wouldn’t all that it could be.  With Salem only 25 brief miles away, it’s an easy day trip which yields incredible learning opportunities.

Educators needn’t be told about the rich history of this Massachusetts town.  Best known as the site of the infamous witch trials of 1692 and the setting for Arthur Miller’s famous play, the Crucible, Salem was also home to the privateers, who sailed the first ship from American shores to China, returning with the spice pepper.  Salem was, in fact, one of Puritan America’s most crucial seaports.

The power of fear.

image from Salem Witch MuseumOne of the most important lessons educators can share with students when visiting Salem is the power that fear has over the actions of a group.  The hostility towards suspected witches modelled in Salem grew from a small knot of communal ignorance, becoming an inferno of public trials and hangings.

Educators are given a unique opportunity to not only share this fascinating part of American history with their students, but to do it through the lens of social commentary.  As Miller’s Crucible details, the power of fear to ignite groups of people to act against their neighbors can never be underestimated.  The Salem witch trials remain one of the most poignant examples of this unfortunate effect.

Rich educational experiences await teachers who bring their students to this living historical monument and many of those experiences have a resonance which informs the current age.

House of the Seven Gables.

Salem’s place in the annals of American literature certainly doesn’t end with the Crucible.  The subject of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous work, the House of the Seven Gables, still stands today, ready for students to explore its famed precincts.

The house is now part of what’s been designated a National Historic Landmark District.  Visitors may also view Hawthorne’s birthplace.  While he lived in this home until he was 4, it was moved from its original location (several blocks away) to form an easily accessible complex of Hawthorne history.

An open-air museum.

Salem, with its proximity to Boston, presents an enticing prospect for educators keen to share American history with their students.  In combination with a visit to the extraordinary historical sites on offer in Boston, Salem, only 25 miles away, can enrich and illuminate the experience of visiting Boston.

On every corner in both these centers of American history and culture are examples of early American architecture and sites of historical interest that render them both open-air museums.  While continuing to thrive as modern cities, both Boston and Salem offer educators and their students the chance to experience the American story first hand.

Junior Tours has been creating exceptional student travel experiences since 1967.  For 50 years, we’ve worked with teachers and students from all 50 states, bringing them logistical excellence and keen destination knowledge.

Salem is just a stone’s throw from Boston, so combining the two destinations for a truly memorable student tour makes sense.  Contact Junior to make it happen.

subway train in NYC

Safety on Tour – The Subway Ride

By Travel

When you’re touring with students in a major city, public transit should be part of the experience.  While most educators don’t relish the thought of getting on a bus with their students, a subway is an even more daunting prospect.

You’re in the Big Apple with a large group of students.  Spirits are high.  Cats are being herded.  Anything’s possible.  As a teacher responsible for these kids while they’re away from home, you have support, but it doesn’t seem enough as the turnstile nears.

But safety on tour is a mindful process and one that can be managed with the right preparation.  Let’s talk about safety on tour – the subway ride and how you can pull it off without a hitch.

It’s not that scary.

Subways, wherever they are, are conveyances which move perfectly normal, hardworking people from point “A” to point “B”, every day of the week.  While we’ve all heard horror stories about the subway in New York and other major cities, it’s helpful to remember that these stories relate isolated incidents.

Taking the subway with a touring student group doesn’t have to be scary.  Preparing your students before you even leave on tour, though, is an imperative.  Set clear protocols and ensure that everyone understands them.  Divide your group into smaller sub-groups and assign a chaperone to each one.  This makes the effort much more manageable.

When entering a subway car, enter as a group. This won’t be possible at peak times of the day (morning/evening rush hours, trains headed to major events), so that’s not when you’re going to take the subway.

You’re going to ensure you’re taking the subway at times when the stations aren’t overly crowded.  This allows the group to file onto cars and file off in a more orderly fashion.  Instruct your groups to remain together, as much as possible and to always be aware of where their chaperones are.   Ensure they move away from the car and toward the nearest wall to meet with others in their groups.

Subway made easy.

Because we grew up in New York, the folks at Junior Tours know how to wrangle a group on the subway.  It’s second nature to us.  No matter where we are, we’re veterans of the subway wars who will guide you, ensuring that everyone who descends into the warrens of the subway system comes out the other side.

We make sure that everyone’s where they’re supposed to be, when they’re supposed to be there, because we’re not only subway vets, we’re student tour vets, too.

For 50 years, Junior Tours has been creating outstanding student educational experiences – including the occasional foray onto the subway.

Ready to climb aboard?  Then Junior’s ready to click through the turnstiles with you.  Since 1967, we’re been taking teachers and students places.  We’re old hands at herding cats.

In 2017, we’re celebrating our 50th Anniversary as a boutique student tour provider that delivers customized itineraries.  Contact us for a quotation and sample itinerary.  With Junior, the subway is a cinch.

group of young people on tour in Washington DC

Make History Come to Life With Junior’s Tailored Itineraries

By Uncategorized

At Junior Tours, we know that teachers are some of the most creative people in the world.  We were founded by a teacher in 1967.

Marty Abrams’ creativity led him to believe that teachers needed a resource like ours.  Our tour company creates exceptional educational travel experiences for students that make in-the-field learning fun, fruitful and unforgettable.

Educational tours that make history come to life mean you donning a tri-corn hat in the classroom is just the “teaser”.  When you go with Junior Tours, American history becomes a living thing, as your students explore the sites at which history was made.

It doesn’t get more live than that.

The American story.

There is no story more dramatic in the world’s history than that of the formation of the United States of America.  Forged from an Old World, the story of America is one told far and wide.  Hope, profound change and the indomitable will of a determined people is that story’s foundation.

From the Statue of Liberty’s embrace of the great, huddled masses yearning to live free, to the midnight ride of Paul Revere, our nation’s story is one of endless diversity and struggle.  Not always a pretty picture, the history of America is a living thing that must be experienced to be fully understood.

Educational tours provide your students with access to the broad sweep of the American story, placing their feet on well-trod paths that have led us, as a nation, to lead the world.

Expert knowledge.

For 50 years, Junior Tours has been sharing the American story with teachers and students from all 50 states of the union.  Over that time, we’ve developed key relationships with the highest quality accommodations vendors and transportation providers, wherever we go.

That means your tour group gets the best of everything.  Beyond that, our staff has wide-ranging knowledge of all our destinations which ensures that your group sees pivotal points of historical interest that put them in the heart of the action.

Your educational goals meet our logistical excellence and destination knowledge to make history come to life for your students.

A vision of excellence.

A half-century ago our founder had a vision of excellence.  The result is Junior Tours.  Family owned and operated, we bring educators a partnership which honors their educational vision for students, expanding on it with expert knowledge of all our destinations.

We bring you exceptional service, rooted in the personal touch.  That starts with our personalized itineraries.  At Junior, we’re not a faceless corporation.  We’re a boutique student travel company that offers premium travel experiences for students.

We make educators look as good as they are, by supporting their goals for students and making sure the tours we plan are superlative experiences, right up to the minute you touch down, safe at home.

Best of all, we’re affordable.  All we do is transparent, up front and tailored to help you meet your budget.  We even provide educators and students with fundraising supports.  Contact us to find out more.

image showing a hand putting a little suitcase in a piggy bank

Choosing the Best Tour for the Dollar (Value)

By Travel

As an educator, you want your young charges to have the best possible experience when you take them on tour.  You’re looking for educational experiences that change student perspective and animate your goals as an educator.

But value is always a consideration.  Choosing the best tour for the dollar is about weighing your objectives and the desires of your group against value.  That can mean some tweaks that find the balance between monetary value and educational value, because both are important.

You have a budget.  It’s tight.  But there are ways and means of stretching your tour dollar, while still getting the high quality you’re looking for.

High season.  High prices.

You’ve chosen a destination, with an itinerary in mind.  You know what you want your students to take away from the tour.  But have you considered the cost-savings inherent in taking your kids on tour when everyone else isn’t doing the same thing?

Anyone who travels knows that things cost more at certain times of the year.  Determining the high season for your destination is one of the most efficient ways you can cut costs.

For example, taking your class on tour to New Orleans, LA will cost more during festival season.  During the month of May, NOLA becomes much more expensive because of events like the Jazz Festival, which is the centerpiece of the city’s season of musical events.

Waiting until the major events have passed to book your tour provides you with a wider selection at a more attractive price.  This applies to both transportation and lodging and you’ll save an enormous amount of money.

Select an experienced tour operator.

Taking your kids on an adventure becomes so much easier when you book with an experienced tour operator.  Your tour operator is a valuable partner, smoothing the way to a seamlessly realized itinerary that covers all the important points you want to share with students.

What’s more attraction, museum and concert tickets become much more affordable when they’re obtained in blocks with a tour operator like Junior Tours.

Because we’ve been around since 1967, we’ve developed key relationships with vendors in destinations all over the USA and beyond.  That means you get more bang for your buck.  And that doesn’t just apply to attractions and points of interest you’ll be needing tickets for.

Junior Tours also has excellent relationships with transportation and accommodation vendors which allow us to get you the best possible deal.

Education tour pros since 1967.

Founded by teacher Marty Abrams, Junior Tours has been bringing students in all 50 states the best in educational tours since 1967.  This year, we’re celebrating 50 years in the business of taking students on tours that honor educator vision, while providing them with the kind of excitement young people crave.

Choosing the best tour for the dollar is easier when you call on the pros at Junior Tours to support your budgetary goals.  We’ll even set you up with fundraising resources to make your tour more affordable.  Contact us to find out more.

Washington DC

Getting the Most From Your 8th Grade Washington, DC Trip

By Uncategorized

Students in the 8th grade stand on the cusp of adolescence.  They’re curious and exploratory.  When they’re learning about the history of the USA and this nation’s governmental mechanisms, there’s no place they’d rather be than in Washington, DC.

This is the age at which watching what they’ve been reading about in the schoolroom come to life before their eyes is a magical experience.  What they’ve only imagined is suddenly laid out before them.

Getting the most from your 8th grade Washington, DC trip means getting inside your students’ heads.  As an educator, you do something like that every day.  But when you take your kids out into the field, you want to feature maximum impact for optimal experiential value.

Following are Junior Tours’ top Washington, DC attractions.

The Smithsonian Museums.

Smithsonian history museum in Washington DCThe diversity of experience available in the magisterial collections at the Smithsonian is tailor made for the curious minds of the 8th graders.  This is the world’s largest educational resource, research center and collection of museums.

With over 154 million unique artifacts on display, students need you to guide them to the areas of this massive complex that best meet your goals as an educator.  What better place could there be to instill in your students a love of preserving and examining the historical record?

With everything from African Art to Archie Bunker’s chair on display, the Smithsonian has something for everyone.

Library of Congress.

Just telling your students that this famous library houses 540 miles of shelves with 90 million unique items on them is bound to leave them speechless.  But just wait until they hear the library’s fascinating story, as they walk through it.

This is hallowed ground and one of the cradles of nascent American government.  Established in 1800 with reference books and maps imported from England, everything in the library was subsequently used by the British as kindling to burn down the Capitol, only 14 years after it opened as a congressional resource.

It was Thomas Jefferson himself who rebuilt the collection, selling his personal collection of books to make it happen.

Lincoln’s footsteps.

Lincoln statue in Washington DCShare the awe with your students, as they stand in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln, one of the USA’s greatest Presidents.  As they’re dwarfed by the sheer size of the 19-foot-tall statue, they’ll feel part of something greater than themselves as they read the words of the Gettysburg Address, inscribed there.

Lincoln Park and Lincoln’s Cottage are also here in Washington, DC, allowing your students the unforgettable experience of walking in the footsteps of one of America’s most beloved and celebrated leaders.

Let Junior take you there.

Getting the most from your 8th grade Washington, DC trip gets even easier when you’ve got Junior Tours leading the way.

Since 1967, we’ve been creating educationally rich travel experiences for students like yours.  As we celebrate our 50th year in the student tour sector, we’re proud to offer you logistical excellence and superior service that makes Washington, DC unforgettable.

Contact us for a sample itinerary and quote.

Washington DC

Inside The Beltway: Educational Travel Destinations In Washington, DC

By Uncategorized

There are no halls of power more potent than those of our nation’s capital – Washington, DC. From the Capitol building, where the laws of our nation have their genesis, to the White House, this is the global hub of the world’s political affairs.

Students with an interest in political life, law and history will all find a rich storehouse of the American Experience Inside the Beltway, following in the footsteps of giants like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

A towering shadow.

It might well be said that every modern President stands in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln.  His achievements are lavishly memorialized in Washington, DC.  From the massive memorial on which are engraved his iconic words at Gettysburg, to the Lincoln Cottage, where President Lincoln lived for most of the Civil War, Washington, DC is where students can experience Lincoln’s legacy firsthand.

Lincoln Park was created by freed slaves in memory of Abraham Lincoln, led by Charlotte Scott of Virginia.  The Ford Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth and the Peterson House, where he drew his final breath, are all here for students to experience.

In Washington, DC, the Lincoln legacy looms large, living and history-changing.

Civil Rights beacons.

Cedar Hill is where legendary civil rights leader Frederick Douglass presided over his life long struggle to bring freedom to the oppressed, excluded and downtrodden.  A leader in the late 19th Century in the movement to abolish slavery, Douglass’s tireless efforts and a life of selfless service can be experienced here.

Martin Luther King Jr. is internationally known as the beacon of the 1960s Civil Rights movement in America.  His memorial stands as a tribute to his resilience in the face of repeated attacks on he and his family and the 20 incarcerations he suffered due to his struggles.

Assassinated in Memphis, TN, he was never to see the promised land he sought to lead his people to.  He is remembered for his application of non-violent resistance to effect profound change.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the Capitol and SCOTUS.

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the address of the most famous and fascinating residence on the planet.  The White House has been home to US Presidents since the time of its first occupant, John Adams, in 1800.

The White House Visitors’ Center provides students with an overview of the architecture, furnishings and first families.  Students will also learn about White House protocol in its relationships with international leaders and the media.

Started in 1793, the US Capitol’s dome is a symbol of American legislative power.  It’s here that representatives from all over the United States convene to create our matrix of federal laws, balanced by the mediation of the Supreme Court, when challenged.

Visits to these institutional landmarks are an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the political and legislative life of their nation and to consider the complex interplay of power that determines how they’ll live.

Junior Tours invites your student group to experience Washington, DC’s grandeur with a tailored student trip.  Contact us for more.

happy students taking picture in Paris

We Raise the Bar On Student Travel and Keep the Cost Low

By Uncategorized

In 1967, former teacher Marty Abrams had a vision, so he created a student tour company to provide a new dimension in educational student travel experiences. Today, Marty’s vision is Junior Tours.  We raise the bar on student travel and keep the cost low, so all kinds of students can enjoy premium student travel which illuminates and inspires.

Educators from all over the USA return year after year to Junior Tours to give their students something special – fully customized tours that take them on educational adventures into the heart of America and beyond.

Proudly family-owned.

Junior Tours is proud to be a family-owned company.  Run by tour professionals, you’ll feel like part of the family from your first call, answered by a living, breathing person and not an automated system.

All our tours are private.  Your group won’t find you traveling with people you don’t know, as you might with some of the chain tour companies.  We know that’s important to your student travel group, so we offer you individualized attention and a fully customized experience.

You choose your dates.  Your itinerary is crafted from specific learning goals and the group’s interest.  At Junior we make education fun, ensuring that everyone gets a little of what they’re craving while you’re out on the road.

You’re never alone with Junior.

With Junior Tours, your group gets 24/7 attention from one of our professional Tour Guides.  They don’t just jump on and jump off.  They’re with you all the way, making sure you get the most from your trip and all the attractions and sites you’re visiting.

All our tour planners and guides have extensive knowledge of the destinations they accompany you to.  That means you get an insider’s eye view that’s detailed and insightful.

No fine print.

Junior Tours offers you a straightforward planning and costing process that doesn’t hide line items in the fine print.  We lay it all out for you in simple terms that gives you a forthright, transparent pricing overview.

We have a payment plan that’s realistic and modest, allowing students to pay in installments, as your fundraising machine ramps up in anticipation of your trip.

With affordable pricing that’s within everyone’s reach, Junior Tours also offers you a range of fundraising supports to ensure that everyone interested in coming on your trip can.  Our resources even show you how to set up a website for your trip to keep students in the loop.

The Junior Tours edge.

As a boutique student travel company, we bring your student trip the very best in personalized planning and on-tour support.  With Junior Tours, your students enjoy an unforgettable experience of your educational theme.

From the arts to history, to high finance and fashion, we offer itineraries that place your students at the heart of the chosen subject.  Inspiration abounds, as your students experience a taste of sectors in which they may one day find their life’s vocations.

Contact us to request a free quote and sample itinerary.