Posted by Angela Green on 02/25/2010
Traveling with Passports Educational Tour Company in 2009 was one of the most rewarding educational experiences of my teaching career. I immediately started planning my second trip which will take place in 2011. My 2013 trip is already in the works.
I first spoke with Stacy Courville-Roy in March of 2007. She was an integral part in helping plan my trip to Europe for 2009. She was helpful and handled all my questions in a professional manner with quick responses. If ever I needed to speak with a different department within the company I received a call within hours of my initial contact. I am an anal planner; I like lists and I thrive on having control on every aspect of my students’ experience. This company provided me with a friendly atmosphere in which I felt able to serve my students and keep control. My students’ early enrollment gained them discounts and allowed me to study the itinerary. One student had an issue with her billing and was helped by a person, not an automated dialing system. Her mother was given the utmost respect when she needed to make a late payment and because there had been an issue with a postal error, Passports was more than willing to help them out. I have had the opportunity to meet several of the couriers. They are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. I have had friends who have traveled with other companies and were not given the personal attention that Passports gives its travelers. Many other companies have travel couriers that are off duty when the groups have “free time”. This is not the case with Passports. Our courier stayed with us the whole time. She only went on her own when forced and at night when sleeping. Last Christmas I went on Conference with the company and was very pleased to meet hundreds of people from all over the country who had been traveling with Passports for years. They had taken small groups and large groups. I like this experience because, as a teacher, I am able to keep these trips separate from the school. The Board of Education and the Administration are informed, but because the company provides the insurance and I am the group leader, the school is not liable and therefore takes a step back. I use the rules from the company and add my own stipulations. I have had amazing feedback. Passports supports the trip and the planning completely and provides whatever information is needed. The school is very supportive of travel as we have participated in GAPP in the past. I was a participant when I was a student here in the 90’s. We also have the oldest chapter of the FFA in New York and travel extensively through that. I am very fortunate to have that support. As a foreign language teacher I can use this opportunity to travel to teach outside the box for my exam and encourage our Global History students to also travel. We have such high testing standards we need every advantage. If Passports doesn’t have a tour that suits your needs you can talk to their itinerary people and plan what you want. They are willing to work with you. I have gotten to know my contact very well and feel more like an old friend with this company. They care about my kids and the experience. Each time I planned an activity for preparing my kids for the trip they asked about it so they could share it with their other travelers. They try to better their organization at all times and try to help make their trips the best out there. The flight information is very precise and the company makes sure that the whole group sits together in flight. The hotels were amazing and there was ample room for three people. Check in went smoothly at each stop. I was surprised at how little I needed to worry about the small things. Vivi, our courier, took care of the details for our departures and arrivals at each stop so I could take care of the students. Traveling with Passports really has been easy, fun and worthwhile. Some of my students had never been farther than the nearest shopping center and this was an experience that changed their lives. The company service was truly amazing. Emails are answered within hours and calls are pleasant. You become a member of their family, not just a name on a call list. I couldn’t be happier with the service I have received. I hope this helps. My district is approximately 500 students K-12 and we average about 30 students per trip. I take only 10-12 graders. I think that is pretty amazing.
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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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