Answering Your Questions
How do I get started as a TSA Tour leader?
- Design and Submit Tour Plan for Pricing
If you know where you’d like to travel, you may proceed through our online Create a Tour process. You can start from scratch and design a custom tour, customize one of our sample itineraries, or opt for a sample itinerary that already fits your needs. Once you tell us a bit about yourself and how best to contact you, we’ll get to work on pricing your tour. We don’t publish standard prices because each tour is completely custom, based on actual airfare from your departure city and actual costs of the features you want to include.
- Free Custom Proposal
We will contact you to introduce ourselves and email you a full proposal detailing the itinerary, included features and prices for different group sizes. Groups are usually at least ten travelers and up – the sky is the limit!
- Free Custom Brochures
Once you’ve read over your proposal, we’ll either make changes at your request or continue on with the custom brochure process. We design and compose custom brochures for every client, based on their proposal and their group audience. Do you want to highlight art and architecture? We’ll make sure to emphasize it in the tour description. Are you leading a group of AP English students? We’ll mention all the famous literary figures from the regions you’ll explore. We’ll email you a draft of the brochure for approval. If you like what you see, we’ll print as many as you need and ship them to you, free of charge, along with application cards and a Tour Leader Handbook.
How do I recruit participants for my tour?
Many teachers take advantage of the captive audience in their classrooms. With your school’s approval, distribute your brochures and set an enrollment deadline. We offer early booking discounts that give potential travelers even more incentive to commit to being a part of your group.
Teens and young adults are highly social creatures. Let them do some of the networking for you. Many students will be motivated to join your tour if their friends are going, too. Be persistent; take advantage of community events, school organizations, word of mouth advertising and social media.
Whether you’re leading a student or adult tour, you decide who travels with you. You may be as inclusive or as choosy as you wish. The most important issue to keep in mind is the number of participants on which your tour price is based.
Contact us if you are having trouble recruiting participants and we’ll help you with creative marketing strategies. If your group still doesn’t materialize, we may be able to combine your group with another, if desired.
Do I need to hold meetings for my students and their parents?
We recommend that all tour leaders hold at least two meetings prior to travel. The first meeting serves as an opportunity to hand out brochures and application cards and generate buzz about your tour. Teaming up with other teachers or friends (who can also earn free trips as advisers) will make promoting your tour even easier. An evening or weekend meeting can include those who do not attend your school, but who may be interested in traveling with you.
Once your group has formed, you may hold a second pre-trip meeting to discuss the details of the tour, and answer questions such as “What should I pack?” and “How much spending money should I bring?” Let us know if you need any assistance in preparing for the types of questions parents and travelers often ask. Our FAQs for Parents and Students are a helpful resource.
What do I do with applications and deposit checks?
Many students need as much time as possible to pay for their trip. Early enrollment gives students and their families time to finance the trip and spread out their payments. Send us any applications and deposits as soon as you receive them. You can also ask your students and parents mail them to us directly, or they may register online. That way we can begin the registration process, hold seats on your flights and produce billing statements for your participants.
You will not be responsible for any accounting or billing procedures. But we will send you a monthly statement showing who is on track with payments and who might need a friendly reminder.
A student needs to cancel, what do I tell them?
If a registered participant must cancel, please encourage them or their parents to contact us as soon as possible. Cancellation notice must be received by our office in writing, either by email, fax or standard mail. Refunds are based on the amount of advanced notice we are given. Once we make deposits with airlines, hotels and other partners abroad, it can be difficult to make changes and receive refunds. Time is of the essence, so please have them contact us immediately and to refer to the Term and Conditions for refund policies. The Terms and Conditions are also found on the back of your custom brochure.
How do I register as a tour leader or adviser?
Those participating as tour leaders or advisers must fill out an application form, whether it’s your first tour with us or your twentieth. It’s important that we have your current contact details and passport information for airline ticketing.
Tour Director & Adviser Application
When will I know my flight schedule, hotel names and final day-to-day itinerary?
We’ll send you a Day-to-Day itinerary about four to five months prior to departure. This is a calendar format schedule of all daily activities that we are arranging for you. We’re not just sending you this document to dictate how your tour will run – we actually want your approval! When you have looked over your Day-to-Day schedule, please reply with the green light, or tell us what you want to rearrange and we’ll do our best to grant your wishes.
We book your airfare up to 11 months in advance, so we can tell you your flight information at any time. However, airlines have been known to adjust their schedules frequently over the course of a year. Unless a major change occurs, we will hold off on sending your final flight details until closer to departure in order to avoid confusion.
When we send you your Tour Manual about a week prior to departure, we’ll include a detailed hotel list and flight schedule. We also mail each participant two copies of the flight schedule and hotel list – one for parents to keep and one for participants to take with them – about one month prior to departure. The hotel list includes addresses and phone numbers of all hotels. This information is available to any participant or parent upon request prior to receipt of the printed material.
How can I set up my tour so that students can receive college credit?
We have worked with Seton Hill University to offer our Tour Leaders the ability to do this. There are three simple steps to get your tour with teaching set up:
1. Create your syllabus & appoint a liaison as a main contact between your high school and Seton Hill University. (See their contact information below.)
2. Submit your syllabus and teachers’ resumes to: Marlane Busch at busch(at)setonhill.edu for approval.
3. Once approved, the fees for the students/parents are only $220 per student per course offered. (Be sure to confirm all information with Seton Hill)
You may request documents to explain Seton Hill’s procedures in depth from us or from Seton Hill directly. In the packet there are sample syllabi. Here is their contact information:
Dr. Terrance DePasquale, Associate Provost of Graduate and External Programs
Seton Hill University
Marlane Busch (busch(at)setonhill.edu)