Special Information for Group Leaders

Band Director Information to Pack in the Fun without the Stress

There are hundreds of tour operators that offer student travel, but you don’t always get the experience you expect. Use the following band director information to help make an informed decision that will give you a positive, memorable and exciting tour for your group.

Reputation

Check to see how long the operator has been in business.

Many groups choose to travel with startups or companies that are new to the industry because they are the most inexpensive. Many of those companies go out of business before the actual trip, taking the group’s payments with them.

Even if the trip does happen, it is frequently filled with errors and mistakes that create a negative experience. A solid track record of experience is important. Check with national organizations like the Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) to see if the tour operator is a member in good standing. This organization is the national voice for student travel and membership requirements are strict.

Cost

You get what you pay for! When comparing costs from multiple operators, make sure that you are comparing equal trips.

There are many ways to hide costs and skew the trip quote, so you want to ask several questions before you book:

  • Are bus driver rooms and gratuities included?
  • Is the hotel quality the same on all proposals (you don’t want to end up in a “budget” hotel)?
  • Do you get a full-time guide with you throughout the tour, or are you just given an emergency number to call?
  • If you are flying, are all taxes and surcharges included? If you think you have a very low airfare, chances are these charges are NOT included.
  • Are meals included at restaurants, or are you given an “allowance” for meals?

When evaluating tours, you must be sure you are comparing similar proposals. The cheapest trip will generally not be the best experience.

Guides

Make sure that whichever company you’re evaluating uses knowledgeable, local guides.

The guide should be a local or at least a long-term resident, know the local language, have travel experience and have a background check done by the tour company. Guides can make or break your trip. They are going to explain everything and keep the tour on schedule. Always ask student travel companies about the guides when you consider a trip.

Safety

Make sure the company follows all the proper safety requirements and is accredited by the local government, the government where they are based and any other appropriate trade organizations.

Performances

If you are a performing group, check to make sure that the performances that are recommended are high-quality opportunities and not just a performance for no audience.

There are never any guarantees for large, enthusiastic audiences, but you will be able to tell if there is a potential for a good audience depending on when and where the performance is scheduled.

Testimonials

Ask for testimonials from other groups

A quality tour operator will provide you with multiple testimonials and contact information from other band directors who have taken the same trip you are considering. Call or email that person and ask about their experience. There is no better recommendation than from a colleague who has used the same tour operator. You can also check the tour operator website for video testimonials, or check reviews on third-party rating websites.

Questions Frequently Asked By Group Leaders

What's the benefit of using a travel planner?

Super Holiday Tours has the background, staff and the connections within the travel industry to deliver a high quality experience for your group. Our volume buying power will allow us to plan, organize and price your trip to your exact specifications. 

Category: Trip Planning

Is travel protection (insurance) included?

Super Holiday Tours has purchased the Student Protection plan on behalf of all participants (travelers) which helps protect you after departure. If interested in the optional Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption or Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage please contact Super Holiday Tours for rates and information. A copy of the plan document will be provided.

Category: Pricing

Isn't it cheaper for me to organize my own trip?

Many think that they will be saving money by organizing their own trips. Under normal circumstances, this is not the case. Super Holiday Tours has been in business over 40 years and receives prices that are only offered to us because of our long term relationships with vendors. Our annual volume also puts us in the top tier of pricing that groups direct cannot receive. 

Category: Pricing

I found a lower price for our hotel or airline online, I thought you had buying power?

We get this question often. All of the travel websites offer airline, train, hotel rooms and every other travel need. If you want one ticket, or one room, you can find it on Expedia, Kayak, or any other big travel website. However, when requesting 50 seats on an airline, 50 rooms at a hotel, or other large numbers for travel related services the prices will go up. Notice on Expedia that little box that says "2 at this price". When moving a group, these low prices do not apply.

Category: Pricing

Can I choose the hotel and restaurants that I want to use?

Group leaders can choose any elements of their trips that they want. We can arrange your itinerary with your specific choices, or we can recommend the best options for you and your group. We leave that choice up to you!

Category: Trip Planning

Can you organize all aspects of our trip?

SHT can organize everything from transportation, lodging, meals, attraction tickets and more. We are happy to plan and organize the entire trip, or just the elements you need the most help planning, the choice is yours.

Category: Trip Planning

How long will it take to get my proposal with pricing?

We will have a quote and proposal for you within 24 hours of receiving your request. Please keep in mind that we need some specific details about your trip, so please make sure you are available to talk with us to provide all of the information we need. 

Category: Trip Planning

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Information on Student Trips especially for Band Directors
We specialize in hassle-free student travel that allows for better band performances!

"All of your customer service and accommodations were wonderful!"

J. Gallagher, Band Director