You want to take your students on educational tour overseas, but how to convince parents this is a great opportunity for their child?
The first step to get the parents on board is to hold a meeting.
Start early. Have meetings with students and parents early, and often. Keep interest and enthusiasm for your trip front and center.
Display posters of your trip in your classroom and around the school. Include the date, time and location of when the next meeting will be held.
Send out invitations to the meeting. Email is best. You can even use your group page on Passports to send the email, and reminders about the meeting. Ask students, colleagues or parents to bring refreshments. Or, hold your meeting at a local restaurant. Have a pizza party. Get creative, and make this a fun activity, instead of a chore.
Branch out – ask other teachers in your department, or other departments to join your group. They can go as co-counselors on your trip. This is a great way to grow the group.
Your Passports Tour Advisor will provide you with a custom online presentation, complete with tour map, itinerary, cost breakdown, enrollment steps, payment methods and more. You can use this when emailing participants, obtaining school board approval, getting colleagues involved, and as your main presentation for your parent meetings. Our presentations are colorful and informative, complete with exciting pictures of the sights you’ll see on tour to keep your students enthused.
Have printed Passports itineraries and Enrollment Guides sent to you well in advance of the meeting. Make sure your Tour Advisor supplies you with enough for everyone invited, plus 10 or 15 extras. Assign an enthusiastic student to distribute itineraries and Enrollment Guides to every parent as they come through the door. Studies show that use of print media is more successful than digital distribution of trip enrollment materials. Think, “it’s easy to press ‘delete’.” It feels just a little bit more guilt-producing to throw paper into the trash.
Get us on the horn! Your Tour Advisor, and customer service colleagues are available for Skype or telephone meetings. In-person meetings can be arranged in certain circumstances. We are happy to help you answer the tough questions about pricing, safety, security and the educational components of the tour.
There’s no time like the present. Encourage parents to sign up during the meeting using the paper application inside their Enrollment Guide, and a deposit check. You can collect the checks and mail them to Passports. Parents preferring to sign up using a credit card, or our EZ-Pay program should go home and sign up online as soon as possible following the meeting while enthusiasm and excitement are still high. Better yet – bring your laptop to the meeting for those ready to sign up on the spot. Procrastinating could mean missing out on important discounts and deadlines, as well as delaying payments, which could result in higher monthly payments. Don’t delay, sign up now!
One week after the meeting, send out a reminder email. Continue to ask the students, in person, if they have signed up on the trip. Encourage families who are on the fence to give you a call to discuss any possible worries. They can give us a call, too!
Two weeks after the meeting, start planning a second, follow-up recruitment meeting. Don’t be afraid to ask students to bring a friend. Will you allow parents and siblings, or other relatives, to join the group? If your administration allows it, why not invite family members to join in? The more, the merrier, and your group will grow and grow.
Once the core of your group is enrolled in the trip, it’s time to continue having informational meetings once every two months or so. Remember to use Passports’ group email feature to send email updates to your group whenever you’d like. A fun thing to do is to “count down” how many days until departure, and share tidbits about the destination, what kind of weather to expect, and more!
passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.