Each of Son Tours’ educational travel excursions for middle or high school students is unique, flexible, and customized towards each group’s curriculum. However, there are similar tour travel expectations we meet on each and every trip to ensure 100% client satisfaction, whether you are traveling across the state, the country, or even across the ocean. To help, we’ve compiled a list of common questions (and answers!) regarding what our clients should expect on our tours.
Son Tours is a full-service educational tour operating company that strives to meet and exceed your tour expectations from the moment you call us for a quote and sample itinerary. That means that we assist with all of the nitty-gritty details involved with planning and operating an educational tour. We may begin with crafting a unique trip that meets your budget, time, and curricular needs, but that’s certainly not where our partnership and help ends. We take care of pre- and post-tour needs as well, including handling parent invoices and billing, hosting informational parent Q&A sessions at your school, booking accommodations and transportation, and so much more. Plus, one of our experienced representatives will travel with your group 24/7 to handle any situation that might arise.
Never! When you book with Son Tours, your group will never travel alone. While we do recommend sending one parent/teacher chaperone on the trip for every eight students, we will also assign you a Son Tours experienced representative to ensure that your experience meets both your and our expectations. This person will serve as a convenient point-of-contact from the moment the tour begins to the moment you arrive back home. That means that when you are flying into your city of choice, we’ll meet you when you arrive, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. You will be introduced to your Son Tours representative and your local, expert tour guide from the moment you arrive/land – and we will escort you to each location from then on.
Each itinerary is different and includes different meal variations; however, most breakfasts and dinners (with the exception of arrival/departure days) are included, while lunches are often not. For this reason, we generally recommend that each student brings about $10 per lunch and $15 for each dinner that is not included. If we arrange for your group to have breakfast at the hotel, a cafeteria, or a food court, we will give you the time and location of when and where the breakfast will take place. Please encourage all students to eat each meal.
We include a paid gratuity for each of our guides and bus drivers on our tour. However, we do suggest conducting a collection or a tip to present to each individual your group is satisfied with, which will be given to that person on the last day of your tour. Son Tours’ general guideline for tips is $1 per person, per day.
While we leave the choice primarily up to the parents, we generally recommend that each student bring $75-$100 for spending money that they can use during shopping trips or when buying souvenirs. Please note that this may vary for international educational tours, as the exchange rate for various types of currency will differ.
Son Tours strives to go above and beyond for our customers. For this reason, our services extend to assisting with the entire process of obtaining, securing and working with your hotel accommodations, which are always deluxe, comfortable, and of the highest-quality.
We essentially take care of the entire process, from checking the rooms beforehand to ensure that they meet the cleanliness standards of each hotel to ensuring that there are no adjoining rooms for opposite genders. While each hotel does have its own security, we go above and beyond and place our private security on every floor of the hotel your students are staying at, ensuring that we are prepared for any situation that might arise.
Additionally, your Son Tours representative will handle any questions you might have about the hotel – this includes handling reservations, handing out room keys – even giving you Wi-Fi passwords! This ensures that you won’t have to call the front desk anytime you have a question – you’ll only have to reach out to your representative, who will also be staying at the same hotel for easy access.
Depending on the group leader and the itinerary you choose, your students will have some time allotted to relax or utilize as they see fit. This time might include activities such as shopping, relaxing in their hotel rooms, or swimming in the hotel pool. We strongly recommend that students have an adult chaperone with them at all times, no matter what the activity may be.
Furthermore, schools may also use this time to give students worksheets or other items for students to complete, enabling you to enhance your curriculum while on tour. Please let us know what you’d like students to work on beforehand so we can fit these activities into your customized tour itinerary.
Son Tours prides itself on flexibility and customization – meaning if it can be changed, we’ll change it – whether you give us the request the night before or the day of the change. We will have a Son Tours representative and an experienced local guide with you at all times, so they will be able to accommodate most last minute changes with ease whenever possible.
Your group leader will set a curfew for your students based on your itinerary, and it will typically be between 10:30 PM and 11:00 PM. However, there are exceptions – such as dinner cruises or Broadway plays – that may cause these curfews to be extended.
We treat our tour participants like responsible young adults. For this reason, we allow students to bring cell phones on our tours, enabling them to reach their parents at any time. However, we do ask that students respect their chaperones, tour guides, and group leaders and do not use these cell phones anytime that is not appropriate (e.g. while on a guided tour or in the middle of a play). For those embarking on international tours, only students with international phone plans or satellite phones will be able to call their parents directly. In these situations, we will equip your group leader with a phone that can take and make international calls, enabling parents to reach their children at any time, day or night.
Son Tours places an extremely high value on maintaining student travel safety. If your student experiences an emergency, your Son Tours representative – who is highly trained in emergency preparedness – will alert the parent(s) of the child and will work with on-site security personnel to assess the situation at hand and determine if it should escalate to the next level. From minor situations to major natural disasters, we’ve got you covered.
Our tour travel expectations are designed to cover unexpected accidents and illnesses that may occur while your group is under our care. For this reason, all of our overnight packages include insurance that covers the following items:
This also covers any medical expenses that reasonably cause a trip to be cancelled or interrupted. For more information about your tour insurance, meal planning, or any other questions about tour expectations, or if you are ready to receive a customized quote for your upcoming tour, contact us.