What should you look for in a tour operator?
To assist you in making an informed decision, we have listed the major factors that you should consider when comparing companies. Click on a topic and we’ll explain why it’s important – and how TSA Tours stacks up to the competition.
The travel industry has changed drastically since TSA Tours was founded in 1985, but for us, quality, accountability and seamless tour arrangements will always be the standard.
Here’s what some of our tour leaders had to say about our service:
Beth L., Fort Worth, Texas
Tim J., Southlake, Texas
Megan C., Pleasant Grove, Utah
Marie M., Houston, Texas
Anna K., Kirkwood, Mo.
Want to hear more? We are happy to provide references.
TSA Tours has been a financially solid company for nearly three decades. Our stability enables us to secure group bookings and lock in advantageous currency exchange rates months before you board your flight. What does this mean for you? We leverage our buying power and reputation to deliver the best value for your dollar.
Our completely custom tours put you in control of where you go, what you see and how you get there. We can even make arrangements with restaurants for travelers with dietary restrictions, or just plain picky eaters. If you need something, ask us and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
With custom tours, teachers and tour leaders have control over every aspect of their tour – and the tour price as a result. Here are some examples of the choices available:
- Full-time courier, part-time courier or self-led tour
- 3- or 4-star hotels or home stay
- Motor coach, plane or train; ferry or Eurostar; metro or tour bus
- Restaurant reservations or cash pay out
Truth in Pricing
When we publish a custom tour brochure, we clearly state what is included in the tour price and what number of participants it’s based on. Our tour package prices always include enrollment fees, round-trip airfare from your home airport, current airline taxes and a custom travel insurance package designed exclusively for TSA Tours. When a tour is designed with custom features, we clearly note any and all additional costs – whether it’s a double room supplement or an optional sightseeing tour – in normal size print.
Tips for your coach drivers, guides and restaurant staff are also figured in to the tour price. We know the appropriate amount to tip for each service in each country and we make sure it’s provided in the local currency. That’s one less worry so you can relax and enjoy the journey.
Airline Booking Control
TSA Tours has been fully licensed and bonded with the Airline Reporting Corp. and the International Airline Travel Agents Network since 1985. We can reserve seats up to 11 months in advance of the departure date.
As an accredited professional tour operator, we have direct online booking access via the airlines’ Global Distribution System. We issue our own tickets directly, without having to go through a third-party agency.
Why does this matter to you? Here is an example of a scenario in which our airline ticketing power can make or break your travel experience:
An emergency back home means you must fly back to the U.S. – now. It’s the middle of the night on a Saturday at TSA Tours’ offices, but you were given an emergency cell number to call. You reach a TSA Tours staff member and explain your situation. Instead of relying on a ticketing agency, which may not be open for business at this time, our air staff can access airline booking systems directly. We find a flight, get you a seat and issue your ticket – right then and there.
TSA Tours provides three layers of coverage for our clients.
First, we include liability coverage on all tour programs for the protection of tour organizers, participants, schools, districts and institutions with a policy backed by Lloyd’s of London. Certificates naming loss payees can be issued by request.
Second, each and every program includes a special customized, comprehensive insurance package for each traveler. This coverage has no deductibles. Please note that cash is not covered.
Summary of Coverage:
- Trip interruption up to the cost of the trip
- $750 trip delay
- $1,000 baggage and personal effects
- $100 baggage delay
- $50,000 evacuation/repatriation
- $25,000 medical expense
Third, we offer an optional pre-trip medical cancellation plan for all participants at an additional cost of 7 percent of the tour price. This coverage can help a tour participant recover their travel investment in the event that illness, injury or death of the participant or an immediate family member prevents them from traveling.
Price Guarantee Plan
That’s why TSA Tours rewards our customers with a price guarantee plan. It’s simple: you help us fund deposits for your trip by paying for your tour in full by the deadline, and we’ll guarantee that your price won’t go up due to increases in airfare, inflation or exchange rates. Deadlines for the guarantee are Nov. 1 for all spring groups and Jan. 15 for all summer groups. Spring groups are February through April and summer groups are May through September. See our Terms and Conditions for more details.
TSA Tours has partnered with Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa. to do just that. This fully accredited, brick-and-mortar university offers a select catalog of study abroad courses, as well as custom-tailored curriculum for college credit. Seton Hill also offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credit abroad through its College in High School program. The tuition costs are a fraction of normal college tuition rates. Contact us for more information.
TSA Tours offers the option to experience a home stay during all or part of your itinerary. Students are welcomed into the home of a pre-screened family with an eagerness to share their culture and way of life. Tour leaders and advisers stay in a nearby hotel and oversee group activities such as formal language classes and sightseeing excursions. This arrangement can save hundreds of dollars on hotel and meal costs, but the real advantage is full cultural and language immersion in a safe, supervised environment. Students can forge life-long friendships with their host families while benefitting from improved language fluency and cultural awareness.
Home stays require a minimum of three nights in one location and are available on certain itineraries in France, Spain, Germany, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Other locations may be available upon request.