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Trip to USA - build your own?

Discussion in 'School trips' started by auciel, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. auciel

    auciel New commenter

    Hi all.

    Department are thinking about organising a Y12/13 trip to USA in 2018 for English Literature students.

    However, we don't want to go on any of the standard trips offered by most companies. Ideally, we'd want to visit Mississippi and Long Island, with Connecticut also a possibility.

    Can anyone recommend a school trip company that would let us 'build our own' trip this way? Alternatively, where would be a good starting point for DIY?

    Huge thanks in advance!
  2. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    The people I work with at Culture Trails are always willing to discuss teachers' needs and then work to get the programme just right.

    schools [at] culturetrails [dot] co [dot] uk

    And don't even think about DIY - you really do need ATOL licensing behind you in case of any problems with the trip, and somebody at this end who is available to solve any queries that might turn up.
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I always did DIY for the states. However I didn't do multi centre trips. Trailfinders are very good for finding flights. I always stayed in a hostel but as you have older kids hotels may be a better bet. Trailfinders may be useful in finding accommodation as well. They do not charge commission, they make their money from the airline/hotel. Once in big cities their public transport is very good and also cheap. Get in touch with Zurich for insurance. Their educational trip policies are unbeatable (50p per person per day for the USA). Don't forget you will need ESTAs for everyone ($14 pp I think) and check their passport expiry dates. I always did everyone's ESTA myself to make sure they were done. Check the nationalities of the students (and staff) as some countries may have problems getting into the USA and others may need a full visa which means a trip to London for an interview at the Embassy.

    You could also join this forum and contact teachers in the areas you want to visit

    pm me if there is anything I can assist you with.
  4. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    Given recent events, I'm not sure that even travelling to the USA with a tour operator is such a good idea.
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    If you have students who may not be allowed into the US, it might be better to consider an alternative trip. (There's presumably nothing to stop Trump suddenly adding to his list of nationalities he won't allow in.)
  6. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    I think a multi-centre trip like that would cost a fortune. I take it when you mention Missisippi and Connecticut you must be thinking about Mark Twain? His house is in Connecticut and oddly the actor Matthew Waterhouse (Adric from Doctor Who) works in the bit where you buy your ticket! Well he did a year or so ago when I was there!

    You could do a great tour of the South. New Orleans and Atlanta could be an idea? Atlanta has a lot in it for kids to do: Coca Cola, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN. Plus Gone with the wind, and Jimmy Carter's Presidential Library.

    You will find travel agents who will do the itinerary for you, but it might be as said earlier pretty expensive. Plus the pound isn't doing too good v the dollar.

    Good luck with your trip and I hope it works out.
  7. rosiebudd1

    rosiebudd1 New commenter

    I organise a USA trip on a 2 yearly basis. It is based on the West Coast usual road trip, but NST have been very flexible and over the last 3 trips I have altered the itinerary and hotels. I would recommend them as a company to work with. It is expensive, but I never have any trouble finding 40 students who want to go!
    Good luck
  8. toadman

    toadman Occasional commenter

    No easy task

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