Boosting Bookings

How to Create Student Group Travel Packages and Increase Bookings

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December 10, 2021

How to Create Student Group Travel Packages and Increase Bookings

As the threat of the global pandemic diminishes, it is no surprise that people are looking to make up for all the trips they missed. The travel sector has already seen a considerable boost in 2021 and the trend is only going to improve in the coming months.

Student group tours provide a great opportunity for businesses to strengthen their reputation and increase revenue. Whether it is a recreational trip for college students or an educational trip for high schoolers, customers know that booking with an experienced student travel company can make all the difference. Here's how to create the perfect travel package that appeals to all kinds of student groups.

Creating a complete package

If you are new to creating group travel packages, you'll need to understand how to combine products and services to create a single sale. One of the most fundamental aspects of this integration is partnering with the right companies. Some businesses you should consider working with are:

  • Other tourism companies - accommodations, attractions, or day-tours
  • Transport services - airline operators, local buses
  • Food and beverage outlets - restaurants with local specialities
  • Educational organisations - museums, galleries
  • Clubs and groups – sporting events, hobby workshops

Use online resources or your own personal network to find business partners. You'll need to make sure that the partner company offers the same level of service and has similar business principles and values as you.

Types of student group tours

There are four major types of student group tours:

1. Performance - Typically for school performance groups that perform at large public venues. These may include dance, chorus, or orchestra performances. Tours most often provide ample recreational and free time in addition to their scheduled show.

2. Sports - For school or college sports teams that travel to different tournaments around the country. These tours could be organized by the institution or independently by the students.

3. Educational - For students of all ages on a multi-day learning trip outside their hometown. Destinations are usually places of academic interest with lots of museums and/or historical sites.

4. Recreational - These are the most common types of student group tours. They are taken purely for the purpose of enjoyment and generally feature "fun" destinations like New York City, a seaside resort, or Disney World.

Designing the right travel package

With so much variation in the types, ages, and preferences of student groups, it can be challenging to create an appealing travel package. Here are the essential factors to keep in mind while designing a student group travel package:

- Select destinations that appeal to different student groups

The first step to designing a profitable student travel package is choosing the right destinations. You can offer different themes of educational and recreational tours that cater to a wide variety of groups. For example, a trip to NASA will be full of learning opportunities for high school students, and a visit to Hawaii can be the perfect escape during college summer break. Choose destinations that offer unique youth-friendly attractions and experiences.

- Finalize the logistics early on

Getting the basic logistics out of the way will help you improve operational efficiency. Learn the expected number of students in the group, range of available dates, and budget estimations for the trip. If you plan on incorporating specific activities and events, make sure that any permits or approvals are taken care of. If possible, you should also dive into details like special dietary needs and room assignments.

- Balance activities with free time in your itinerary

The preferred pace of the tour can be different for each group. If it is not possible to provide personalized options, balancing activities with free time is a great strategy. Incorporating some leisure time into your trip will give students the freedom to explore the space on their own. This is especially important if the group consists of college students who might not be looking for a very structured trip.

- Include both must-see places and lesser-known sites

To make your package stand out from the rest, create a balance of must-see sites and unique, little-known places. This will give the students plenty of one-of-a-kind experiences to take home. Try to integrate popular tourist attractions as well as uncommon places that show off the unique local charm. This will set your package apart from all other mainstream options.

- Plan a meeting with parents/teachers/chaperones to understand their concerns

This is one of the most sensible decisions you can make while planning a student group travel packages. No matter what the purpose of the trip, take the time to learn about all the concerns of the parents/teachers/chaperones. This step is particularly important if the group has a number of minors or younger students. If you are new to student travel planning, these meetings will also help you identify any arrangements you may have missed.

- Make allowances for special needs

When you are designing a comprehensive travel package, take into account any special needs or disabilities the students may have. You might need to adapt or skip some activities depending on the personal requirements of some students. This attention to detail proves that your business really does take care of all aspects of the trip.

- Offer a variety of additional opportunities

Consider offering customized itineraries that allow groups to add or skip specific activities based on their schedule and interests. You could create a directory of all activities the group can engage in, and let them pick their choices in advance. This way, a single destination can be home to lots of different kinds of tours for different groups. This flexible model gives groups the freedom to 'choose your own adventure!' and boosts booking rates.

- Utilize social media to promote your package

Lastly, remember to market your package in a way that captures students' attention. Take full advantage of social media to promote your travel package to specific target audiences. You can also use advanced data analytics to understand what the students are looking for in a tour package. This gives you the direct feedback and first-hand information you need to refine your plan.

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