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Thread: Questions about a school DC trip

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Default Questions about a school DC trip

    My daughter is a junior in high school. Its a charter school, and smaller than a regular school. They are having a DC trip next year, but are planning it now. The price is 1981.00 for 4 days. some of the things they get are:

    Round Trip Airfare, Sightseeing transportation, Course Leader, hotel, Chaperones, All Meals, All admission fees, Evening activities, Accident/Health Insurance, Journals, 24 hour emergency support.

    My question is, there is a 'Scholarship' available for students that cannot afford the trip. It says 'Familes with an AGI (adjusted gross income) of 85,000 are invited to complete a confidential 10 min app to receive travel assistance funds.

    here's the link, has anyone ever heard of this?
    WorldStrides | Educational Student Travel
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    That seems VERY expensive for a 4 day school trip. Where are they travelling from? Is the school sponsoring any part of it? And finally, how did this travel company hook up with you daughter's school?

    Sorry, lots of questions and no answer to your question.
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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    oh sorry, from San Diego and no the school isnt sponsoring anything. And until i can attend the meeting, i dont know how the company got hooked up.
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    If that price covers all the various elements you say including coast to coast return air fares and insurance it's probably not excessive. It's worth checking out that company (make Google your friend) to see if they can offer assistance, even if it's some kind of pay by instalment plan?
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    It does seem a bit steep, as my niece's class did a similar trip from San Diego for about $2000/kid for 10 days. They went to DC, New York, and Boston. But maybe the school subsidized part of the fee.

    It is a lot of money to spend for such a short trip. Does your school plan to do any fundraising to help defray the costs? Our school did that for my daughter's DC trip. They gave us a worst-case scenario cost, then did some fundraisers and managed to knock a few hundred dollars off (we wound up paying about $600 for a 4-day trip, but there was no airfare involved since we are in Massachusetts).

    The trip was organized by Smithsonian tours and it was great.

    I think in these economic times that $1900 is a lot to ask of parents. It really bugs me that it might divide the kids into haves and have-nots. Definitely check into the scholarship thing.

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    Elite Member Laxmobster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    That seems VERY expensive for a 4 day school trip. Where are they travelling from?
    That does seem very expensive. My senior year we went on a school trip to Europe for 10 days over Spring Break, it only cost $2100 for everything (airfare, hotel, food, guides, tour buses, tickets to certain events, etc...). The only thing we had to pay for were our drinks (alcoholic, no drinking age in Europe!!! LOL) and gifts. Granted this was sponsored through ACIS, which may have been the reason for the low price.

    As for your question, I'd Google the company and see what's up!
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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    everyone i have talked to says that the price is pretty steep. I'm still checking into the company. Also, the meeting last night was cancelled, due to attendance being low, and is being rescheduled.

    its a small Charter school, and one thing the brochure says is they have to sell 15 trips to get that 'special price'. The rooms are all Quad rooms.
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    This thread has some mixed reviews on them:
    WorldStrides Student Travel Program (hotel, hotels, itinerary, price) - airfare, hotels, car rental... - City-Data Forum

    Sounds like 1) the school might get some financial benefit from using that company, and 2) watch out for hidden fees. Its also worth noting that most of the museums on their itenerary have free admission, and the average rate for a flight from the West Coast to DC (with some advance notice) is around $230. You might be able to put together a similar trip for you and your daughter for much cheaper.

    Just for comparison's sake, in high schoolI traveled to Europe for 2 weeks with EF Education Tours and it was a WONDERFUL experience. On their website, they have programs for 2 weeks in Europe for about the same price as your DC trip. EF really is a respected student travel company- I've known countless people who have done tours with them and its been a great experience and reasonably priced. Here's their website: Educational Travel, Student Travel | EF Educational Tours

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    thanks Cali... i told my daughter it'd be cheaper if we did it on our own. Might be fun!

    Thank you for the links
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    If the company is using "all admission fees" included! as a selling point for the DC trip, watch out for a scam, 99.9% of the museums are free entry.

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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    ^^ No problem! Also- this board has even more complaints about them, along the same lines:
    World Strides Complaints - Bad service

    I think it could be a lot of fun for you to put together a trip for the two of you. Your daughter may not be interested in seeing all the museums on the tour- they are all very important and interesting, but it seems to be heavily focused on military and war museums. So if you plan your own, she may get more out of it. Plus the museums make it really easy to have a self-guided visit.

    If you do your own trip, you MUST add in a trip to the International Spy Museum. I think its one of the coolest museums in DC- admission is a tad pricey but its such a fun, fascinating place to visit. There are many other amazing museums that aren't included on most tours- the Newseum, and the Hillwood Estate in particular. Also the Kreeger Museum , the National Portrait Gallery and the Textile Museum. And its always fun to wander around Georgetown and Dupont Circle- lots of neat galleries, shops and places to eat.

    Sorry if its overkill- what can I say, I love DC. I actually had my first DC visit in middle school with my mom and it was a great experience.

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lurkur View Post
    If the company is using "all admission fees" included! as a selling point for the DC trip, watch out for a scam, 99.9% of the museums are free entry.
    wow, it DOES say ALL ADMISSION FEES included.
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    I'm sure the folks at your school who put this together are well-intentioned people (well, probably). They should have comparison shopped or done some better leg-work.

    Waves to Cali--I flove the International Spy Museum. I tell everyone I know who's seeing DC to go there.

    I get to go to DC next month, I think.

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    czb
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    oooh, i've never been to the spy museum, i want to go there next time i'm in DC. my fave is the national air and space museum.

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