A tour company’s rapport with student groups speaks to its top: student safety. Green Light Group Tours specializes in performance group travel for bands, choirs, orchestras, theater classes and dance teams. In addition, the company leads travel for those with less luggage, like 8th-grade class trips. Apryl Black of Green Light Group Tours suggests the following safety tips for all student travel leaders.
1. Head count
Any time the bus is loaded or the group enters a subway, it’s imperative to count heads and move the group together. A simple head count can be more efficient than calling roll or having students call out their assigned number. When enjoying free time, consider splitting the students into small groups with an assigned chaperone so they can explore more freely.
2. Hire a professional
A tour operator will use their years of experience to book a hotel in a safe neighborhood, a reliable bus company, a student-friendly show, and other activities and meals that are safe and group-appropriate. Ask to have a tour manager on the trip; this person will be there 24 hours per day, act as a knowledgeable friend and enhance the experience — ensuring the trip runs smoothly and as planned.
3. Stay rested
A well-rested traveler is a happy and healthy traveler. Allow the tour operator to book a nighttime hotel security guard who will monitor the hallways and make sure your students stay safe and in their rooms. This will also allow the adults on your trip to rest easy and be pleasant travelers come morning.
4. Collect health information
Hire a tour operator who collects medical information like allergies, and who purchases a traveler’s insurance policy on your behalf. They can submit all allergies to the restaurants on the itinerary, so students stay safe and well-fed. And, should anyone need medical attention during the trip, they have the paperwork to authorize medical care and the insurance policy that will help with medical expenses.
Also, encourage travelers to drink water. Dehydration is the No. 1 reason travelers become ill, yet it’s 100 percent preventable. Carry several cases of water underneath the bus.
Keep students in the know by making sure they all have a detailed itinerary. One idea is to put the information on a lanyard around their neck. Utilize a texting service like Remind or WhatsApp to confirm departure times, meeting points and to communicate with travelers who may have questions along the way.