Student Travel Tips and Packing List for Group Leaders and Chaperones
When you’re a chaperone or group leader for a student travel trip like the ones organized by Son Tours, there’s a lot to keep track of and do for yourself and for the students. We want to help, so we have compiled a fantastic checklist for group leaders, chaperones, and students for various stages of the trip, including a packing list, tips for going along on student travel trips, and more.
What to Pack
□ Comfortable Walking Shoes
□ Toiletries (travel sizes are recommended)
□ Spending/Souvenir Money
□ Camera & Memory Cards
- Pack according to your destination and time of year; we recommend one clothing outfit per day.
- Check with your Group Leader concerning any specific packing requirements for your trip.
- Put your full name and address on all luggage and personal items using Son Tours luggage tags. (NOTE: Son Tours assumes no responsibility for lost items).
- Each person may bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag – remember to keep the weight manageable as you will be carrying those items from time to time.
- When sightseeing on tour, leave all backpacks on the bus and only take what you will need (such as money and cameras) in order to expedite entrance into various sites/museums.
- As you pack and prepare for your tour, we recommend you visit www.weather.com to check the weather for your destination so that you will have the appropriate clothing for your tour.
Air Travel Tips
- All travelers age 18 and over must have a photo ID (click here to see acceptable forms of ID).
- When flying, the Group Leader may want everyone to take carry-on luggage rather than checking luggage – make sure to follow the Group Leader’s desires.
- Individual luggage weight cannot exceed 50 lbs – any fees or charges incurred due to overweight luggage is the responsibility of the traveler. For air travelers, be prepared to pay the luggage fee at the airport.
- DO NOT LOCK YOUR LUGGAGE unless you have a TSA approved lock as your luggage is subject to search at any time.
- Keep in mind that security has increased at the airports as well as at many of the locations you will visit while on tour.
- FAA regulations limit passengers to one carry-on item and one personal item.
- Pocket knives, metal scissors, and metal nail files are not allowed in carry-on luggage and must be placed in checked bags – try to avoid taking any of these items with you. For a full list of permitted and prohibited items on flights, click here.
- Always put your name and address on the inside of your luggage and use the provided Son Tours luggage tags on your checked and carry-on luggage.
- Watch your bags and personal belongings at all times and NEVER leave your luggage unattended. If you must leave the area where you have placed it, even for a moment, take your luggage with you.
- Do not joke (and inform students not to joke) about having a bomb or firearm or discuss terrorism, weapons, explosives, or other threats while anywhere in the airport and especially while going through security checkpoints. The mere mention of words such as “gun,” “bomb,” “terrorist,” etc., may compel security personnel to detain and question you. They are trained to consider these comments as real threats.
- For detailed information on air travel security, visit www.faa.gov or www.tsa.gov.
While Traveling Check List
As you travel, there will be responsibilities at various stages of the trip that you must fulfill as Group Leader or Chaperone. Either way, make sure that these tasks are completed to ensure everyone’s safety and that the trip is as smooth as possible.
□ Check each luggage piece for a Son Tours tag (provided by Son Tours).
□ Remind students to carry cameras, small bags, etc. with them.
□ Assign two students to assist the bus driver in loading luggage.
□ Ensure that ALL travelers age 18 and over have a photo ID.
□ Take attendance.
□ Review procedures with the Son Tours representative:
□ Announce your rules on the bus as well as hotel curfew hours.
□ Have students report to you any existing room damage as they check in.
□ Supervise evening activities in the hotel – at least one chaperone must be present if students will be using the swimming pool.
□ Meet with the security guard to outline your expectations.
□ As necessary after student curfew, meet with the Son Tours escort to review the day and plan for the following day.
□ Check with hotel desk for any incidental charges that may have been incurred.
□ Check for Son Tours luggage tags before luggage is loaded on the coach.
Air Passengers Only
□ LUGGAGE: Most airlines now charge for luggage. Passengers must be prepared to pay the luggage fees at the time of check-in for outboard and return segments of the trip. The airlines do not allow for the prepayment of these fees. Passengers must be ready to pay any additional fees that will be levied for extra luggage, oversized bags, etc.
□ Review flight, departure time, and gate with your Son Tours representative or airline supervisor.
□ At arrival destination, walk students to baggage claim area as a group.
□ Assign two students to assist bus driver in loading luggage.
Download & Print This Checklist
If you’d like to download or print this checklist, you can find a PDF version here.