European tour for a student group

Old Nov 20th, 2016, 06:42 PM
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European tour for a student group

Hi,
I'm trying to plan a European tour for a student group. I've found a lot of conflicting information about the different companies. Does anyone have first hand experience with student travel groups? I'm looking at EF and Explorica. Feed back would be very helpful. Thanks.
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 07:20 PM
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My high school daughter's class used a different agency.
What you need to come to terms with is that the reviews are not necessarily conflicting. It is a Rashomon experience. All experiencse are accurate on their own way. You are unlikely to get yes/no recommendations.

You are dealing with not so transparent agencies along with additional uncertainties and variables. It depends the tour leader (is it you?), the local guides, the competency of the logistical support happened to be assigned to your group (such as scheduling visiting a museum on a closed day.) Sometimes everything aligned and they gave glowing report. Sometimes they got hit with series of foul ups but the reviewers didn't care one way or another and also gave glowing reports, etc.

If the group is mostly interested in socializing, unless they get hit with series of mishaps handled badly, people would come home satisfied. They might use low budget group tour only accommodations serving sub-par quality meals. But if the participants can't tell the difference between those kind of sub-par quality meals and local cuisine served well at the similar price point, they would probably report that the meals were "tasty".
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 07:21 PM
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This is an old thread, but it still has some useful information

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...el-company.cfm

There are lots of student companies. EF and Explorica used to be the lowest of the budget companies. I used to do student trips, but my experience is too long ago to be current on each company. I would certainly give a good look at some of the other student companies and take time to make the decision. Look at recent posts about recent trips.

The itinerary is as important as the company. You don't want your students sitting on a bus, traveling long distances, most of the time. You want a trip with most of the time spent actually sightseeing.

Once you have chosen a preferred company, post some of the itineraries you are thinking about and people here can give good advice about that.

There are several more recent threads on Fodors about student travel. Try using the search box.
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 07:57 PM
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Suggest you read the trip reports here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/profile/teachercanada/

They will give you an idea of what it is like to organize and lead groups, and some of the problems you may encounter.
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for the reply.
You are right there are many factors that go into a good trip. I will be the group leader for the trip. I haven't traveled in Europe for many years, but I should be able to prepare pretty well for it. I'll just have to choose a company and go for it!
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 05:51 PM
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How old are these students?

If they are college age there is no way I would torture them with a tour. Instead aim them towards resources so they can do the planning themselves - time for them to do some growing up.

If they are still younger teens - I would look into thee companies very carefully, since a lot of parents seem very dissatisfied with the conditions based on the cost. In that case go through everything with a fine tooth comb to make sure they don;t spend the whole time sitting on a bus.
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