Blog

Final Refunds

Final refund information for trips cancelled due to COVID-19 was provided to all group leaders between June 18 and June 29, 2020.  Should you have any questions regarding your refund, please reach out to your group leader directly. Keep in mind, all refunds from CCIS are issued to the group, not individual travelers.

If you purchased travel protection from Travel Insured International and have questions about the status of your claim, please contact the Claims Department at Travel Insured International, 800-243-3174.

We are anxiously awaiting the day when we will once again be able to share the world and enrich the lives of students through travel!

Waiting for a refund?

In March, like so many of our colleagues in the tourism, travel and hospitality industries, we experienced mass cancellations for trips scheduled this spring and summer. For more than two months, our team has been working diligently with our vendors to recover refunds for our clients.

SYTA, the Student & Youth Travel Association published this article on May 27, 2020 to help explain some of the challenges associated with obtaining refunds.

We look forward to a time when we are once again helping to plan memorable trips for our clients. Until then, be safe and be well!

National Travel and Tourism Week

During National Travel and Tourism Week, we thank our clients for their continued support.

Check out this video posted by the Student Youth and Travel Association

It’s not only the trip…

It’s a beautiful day to travel. As your group reaches its destination, you can feel the excitement and energy. Maybe your group been working for months – raising money, practicing and honing skills – all in preparation for this trip.

The last couple of months have been disappointing, to say the least as many attractions are now closed to groups.

Like you, we have spent months, and sometimes, up to a year putting together the perfect trip for your group.

Recently, SYTA (Student & Youth Travel Association) published an infographic that gives a timeline for planning a group trip. Right now, it only shows part of the story as we are now working with our vendors on behalf of our clients to cancel arrangements and recoup any possible refunds.

We know that travel will return. When it does, we will be here for you to continue to plan the perfect trip for your group – just as we have done for more than 27 years.

We’re all in this together

This is an excellent article that was recently published in SBO Magazine and is an outstanding example of what we are all experiencing. Many of you may know Tom Merrill from his work for many years with Festivals of Music.

Read the article

Coronavirus Information

(Posted on March 2, 2020) The safety of our clients has and continues to be our highest priority, and with that in mind, we are monitoring the Coronavirus situation, as it relates to the Travel Industry.

At this time, there are no travel restrictions within the United States, and we take our guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Based on the information to date, all of our trips are scheduled to operate. If anything changes, we will obviously contact our customers immediately.

To help prevent the spread of viruses, the CDC recommends:

  • Staying home if you are sick or have a fever
  • Coughing into a tissue and throwing it away
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains 60% – 95% alcohol
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

For additional information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit www.cdc.gov or www.who.int

Thinking of Traveling with Your Group? Tell no one!

No, really, tell no one – at least not before you run the basic idea of a trip by your Administration. There is no absolutely no reason to start getting anyone excited about a trip if you don’t have the support of your Administration. 

As you begin to discuss the possibility of traveling with your group, be certain that you inquire about the number of days you will be permitted out of school and important dates on the school calendar (Prom, state mandated testing, end of the grading period or semester, exams, etc.). At this time, you must also be prepared to discuss some of the educational benefits of student group travel and what you hope to accomplish through the trip.

Once you have administrative approval to proceed with further exploration of the trip idea, go to your student’s parents and/or booster group. These are the people who will ultimately be footing the bill or helping to raise funds, so make certain they are committed to supporting the trip financially.

With the support of your Administration and parent group behind you, you can now begin considering destinations. Do some homework on a couple of destinations that are of interest to you and appropriate for your students; speak to your colleagues who travel; contact a student group travel professional and discuss several options you are considering with them; and then as the Director, a.k.a. benevolent dictator, make a decision.

One of the easiest ways to sabotage a trip is to open the destination decision to a vote, Ultimately, someone will be unhappy and the trip may not be supported to the fullest extent possible. Remember, you can never make everyone happy, so make a decision and live with it. Only now, with your destination decision made and the blessings of your Administration and parent/booster group in hand, do you announce the trip to the students!

I hope you will find this helpful as you begin making plans for your group’s next trip!

For assistance in planning your next trip, contact us at info@ccistravel.com.

Discovering Your Destination

Some factors to consider when selecting your destination include:

  • budget
  • travel time & distance
  • specific opportunities either in or en route to your destination city (performances, clinics, festivals, workshops, etc.)
  • weather / time of year.

BUDGET – It is important that you have a good knowledge of the financial situation of your school community. For example, if your school is primarily in a blue collar neighborhood and a trip will be a financial stretch for many of your families, plan accordingly. The trips should provide an opportunity for all to travel and one should be careful not to make it an elitist affair, where only students from the ‘better off’ families can participate.

Three or four days in New York City would be great, but as one of the most expensive domestic destinations, your students could receive a similar “big-city” experience by traveling to someplace less expensive such as Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, or Washington, to name a few. They may not be the “Big Apple,” but they may come at a more affordable cost.

TRAVEL TIME – If Boston is 9 hours away by bus, and you can only go for a three day weekend, do you really want to spend two of your three days on the road? Probably not, so it is better to select a destination that is more conveniently located.

TIME OF YEAR – Winter weather can bring havoc to your plans, so if you have snow and school is canceled the first day of your trip, chances are, your administration will not let you depart. It may be best to schedule your trip when the weather will be more favorable. Regardless, be sure to ask your travel professional about their weather policy and how they handle a severe weather situation when it occurs.

Another example would be if you really want to go to America’s #1 amusement park for roller coasters, Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio. If that’s the case, you’ll need to be able to travel in May or later, for the park does not typically open until the 2nd weekend in May.

These are just some examples of the many items that must be considered as you begin selecting your destination.