Watching prom movies and you will see that the after-party festivities are filled with photos totally for the gram with music, friends you may never see again. How about if you see them for at least another 7 days longer with more intimate moments? Yes, you can have that meaningful experience to seal for what a wonderful 4 years of school has or has not been.
Traveling can do just that! You can share rooms with your closest friends, have nights of music and dancing to your favorite hits under the stars. However, planning for a trip does not come at the snap of a finger or a “Hey we are going to the Dominican Republic next month”. Preparation is the key to a successful end of year vacation. Sit back and let us provide you suggestions to successfully execute a trip:
Plan 7 to 10 months ahead
The earlier the better for your friends. We are dealing with high school students who may have a part time job and they are probably saving up for post-secondary, a car, or prom. Let us consider that their pockets are being pulled many ways. Secondly, their parents/guardians may be footing the bill for this trip,so it would be in the best interest of the student to make those financial decisions early on. I would suggest by the end of September or early October (before thanksgiving) you should get started!
Have a group leader (or two!)
This is the stressful part. Leading a group of students to your favorite destination is not easy at all. But it must be done. Securing flights, hotels and tour prices, allocating rooms to students and dealing with drama are part of the responsibilities of leadership. This can be time sensitive and requires a leader with patience. However, one thing is for sure is that it builds your skills in organizational leadership and I encourage you as a leader to put it on your resume or collect testimonials from students on all the work you put in. Your work should never go unnoticed as this is an unpaid volunteer assignment.
Work with a Travel Agent or Tour Operator
A good leader knows when to delegate responsibility. I would highly recommend hiring a professional or tour company that specializes in post-prom trips. There are many organizations out there that have the manpower to make your life easy with the logistics of travel. In fact, ask your guidance counselor or School Principal, I have found most companies at the beginning of the year do a bit of cold calling to each school advertising their services. Travel Agents or Tour Operators provide quotes, itineraries, and collect payments on your behalf. Virtual Nomads can also assist you and your group with your travel related needs. You are still the leader and it is important to ensure all communication is clear before, during and after the trip between the travel agent or tour operator and the students/ parents. Oftentimes, these companies provide discounts to large groups and have great connections in providing customized packages for your crew. So I would highly encourage taking advantage of additional assistance.
Host information nights and a Facebook group
Information is the key to execute a successful trip. The best way to increase information is to host an information night for teachers, parents and students to invite them into the planning process. Nothing feels better for parents to know what is going on with the safety of their children. Most travel agents and tour companies will come to your information night to answer any questions with branded materials. Secondly, create a Facebook group for all those interested in attending the trip. This would be a great platform to share articles, Q&A sessions and due dates for payments.
So wherever you would like to go, having the epic post prom travel is totally possible, it just requires planning. With these tools, I can guarantee that you are off to the right start. Believe me, planning a trip will give you the tools to plan future trips with friends and family.