Planning a trip for your musical ensemble requires meticulous preparation. While the excitement of performing on the road is undeniable, the logistical hurdles can feel daunting. This guide aims to simplify the process by outlining the key administrative and travel considerations. This checklist provides a starting point, of course as no two groups’ needs are alike.

Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Permission: Secure approval from school administration and include the trip on the calendar. This builds support and ensures student absences are excused.
  • Forms & Paperwork: Complete necessary travel forms, including field trip requests, out-of-state travel forms, and transportation paperwork. Collect emergency contact information, insurance forms, and indemnity forms from all participants.
  • Financial Account: Establish a separate account for travel funds to streamline budgeting and accounting. Consider working with your school bookkeeper or booster club treasurer.
  • Fundraisers: If fundraising is necessary, obtain permission and choose a proven strategy.
  • Chaperones:┬áRecruit adults to supervise students. A good ratio is one adult per six students but check school policy. Assign student/chaperone groups in advance.
  • Housing List: Provide a list of all participants to the hotel in advance, ensuring proper room assignments. Never house students with adults who are not their parents or guardians.
  • Contest Registration: Complete the application process for any competitions, including submitting a program, photo, and possibly a recording.
  • Traveler List: Submit a final list of participants to school administration, faculty, and staff one week before departure. Inform the school nurse of any medical concerns.
  • Meetings: Conduct two meetings: one to introduce the trip, present costs and payment plans, and answer questions; and another one week prior to departure to review packing, rules, and itinerary. If using a travel agency like us, then we are happy to participate in these meetings.

Travel Considerations:

  • Transportation:
    • Air: Aim for nonstop flights when possible. Large layovers may be needed for reorganizing groups. Be prepared for separate flights for large groups.
    • Bus: Secure reliable bus service for airport transfers, sightseeing, and other excursions. Provide the company with a complete itinerary before departure.
  • Performances:
    • Familiarize yourself with the performance logistics, including meeting points, timeframes, program flow, and departure procedures.
  • Entertainment & Dining:
    • Pre-book tickets for attractions and amusement parks.
    • Choose dining options that can accommodate large groups and diverse dietary needs. Consider food courts, buffets, and continental breakfasts.
    • Budget adequate time for travel and enjoying each venue.
    • Hiring a tour guide can enhance the experience.
  • Lodging:
    • Prioritize location and quality of the accommodation. Consider proximity to the venue and safety of the surrounding area.
    • Choose a comfortable, accommodating, clean, and affordable option.

Seeing the checklist above, we hope to not overwhelm you and, honestly this is why we do what we do, we want to lighten the workload for you so you can focus on your ensemble while we do all the leg work on the logistics and planning of travel, performance, locations, and times.

By following these steps and remaining organized, you can transform your ensemble’s travel experience from daunting to delightful. Remember, thorough preparation is key to ensuring a successful and memorable journey for your students and yourself.