Educational travel blog
November 21, 2016
Lou Baskinger is a retired Spanish teacher who has traveled on over 20 tours with passports. He accompanied some of the passports staff at ACTFL16 to talk to fellow teachers about his experiences traveling with us.
Q: How long have you been with passports?
A: I’ve been on about 20-25 trips with passports over the last 15-20 years or so.
Q: Did you travel with any companies prior to passports? If yes, what made you switch? If no, what has made you stay?
A: I traveled with a competitor of yours for a couple of years. We always took large groups of students. One particular trip, we were traveling with a group of 68. The company changed the departure date, which would have resulted in the students missing a day of school. The principal was not happy but there wasn’t much we could do. The breaking point was that the company told me that we had too many people to fit on one coach bus. I said okay, we'll need two busses then, but I was told that wasn’t possible either. I spoke with a passports tour advisor and told her if you can meet this price we will travel with you instead. She met the price and we were offered an even better tour. That was about 20 years ago, we’ve traveled with passports ever since.
Q: With many other educational travel companies present at ATFL16, it doesn’t appear they have teachers who traveled with them representing their booth. Do you think that says something about the relationship that passports has with their group organizers?
A: I’ve became very close friends with the people at passports over the years. They develop relationships with their group organizers and I like to help them in any way that I can. I think me being here brings a sense of validity – being able to tell other teachers about the experiences I’ve had with [passports]. I’m also here to bring reassurance to those teachers who have never traveled before because I know it can be a little overwhelming.
Q: What kind of questions have you answered from a teacher's perspective today at ACTFL?
A: One of the questions I’ve been asked multiple times is how fast is the turnaround of questions asked and I tell them it’s almost immediately. If it’s a question about pricing it could take a day or two but like I said, the customer service you get traveling with passports is top-notch.
A lot of teachers also want to know about the food and hotels on tour. I tell them it’s quality all the way. We stay in city centers, we eat at local restaurants. If you’re in Spain you don’t want to be eating chicken fingers every night – you want tapas – and that’s what you’ll get with passports.
Q: What would you say to a teacher deciding which company to travel with why they should travel with passports?
A: With passports, you’re an individual. They don’t treat you like a number. They’re always willing to go above and beyond to tweak or make changes to your tour to ensure the best trip possible for you and your students.
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.
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