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Tour Operators’ Student Travel Services Make Planning Trips a Cinch


As an educator, you undoubtedly have a long “to do” list and precious little time to accomplish your goals. After all, the school day and school year are only so long. The good news is there is a way to at least make planning your class trips much easier this year. It all starts with hiring a tour operator that specializes in student travel services.

At Peak Performance Tours, we specialize in planning affordable, customized student trips down to the very last detail. So it doesn’t matter whether your group needs a step-on guide that speaks two languages, dedicated hotel security or a 50 passenger kneeling motorcoach. Either way, we’ll put all of the important elements together for you.

Our student travel services begin with a sit-down between you and one of our professional tour coordinators. During the meeting, our tour coordinator will ascertain which services your student group needs. Afterward, he or she will come up with a group tour itinerary and payment plan for your approval. Should you need ideas on raising funds, he or she can offer suggestions on that as well.

On the day of the tour, your group will be assigned a tour escort. The tour escort will accompany you and your group throughout the trip. He or she will also handle such tasks as picking up the hotel key packets, calling in head counts and settling the final bill with restaurateurs. If you opt to book an overnight group tour, our student travel service professionals will also provide your students with emergency ID cards. The emergency ID cards contain all of the information that your students will need to get back in contact with you and the rest of the tour group.

Sounds like an extremely efficient and stress-free way to plan a class trip doesn’t it? For more information about our student travel service, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. We’d welcome the chance to help you eliminate one more thing from your “to do” list.Peak plans your student trip, so you can focus on your students


A senior class trip to remember.


Senior year in high school is a busy time for students and their families, with college applications, senior photos, invitations, and all the preparations for the big day: Graduation! At some point during all the chaos, we realize that at least one tradition allows us to escape for a few days of fun. A senior class trip can celebrate the end of our high school journey and be filled with memories that will last a lifetime. When you start throwing around words like fun, exciting, magical, and memorable, you can't help but think about a Disney Trip.

We tend to think of Disney as a family vacation, but Walt Disney World offers a lot of activities for teens. From Thrill Rides at all four parks to Disney Quest at Downtown Disney, the fun never ends. Imagine riding Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster or Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror with all your classmates. If you've ever wanted to feel like an astronaut, you can test your skills on Spaceship Earth. You can even grab a little culture from around the world at Epcot’s World Showcase, where all the cast members are actually from those countries. You feel like you are in Mexico, while dining on authentic Mexican food prepared by a chef from Mexico, and you are inside a large replica of a Mayan pyramid. You also have several other countries to visit and explore. One of my favorite countries is France, because I love French pastries and I love the large fountains, and the Eiffel Tower. The Great Britain Pavilion serves authentic fish and chips while listening to a Celtic rock band.

Disney Quest takes a video arcade to the extreme in true Disney-style and you can even design and virtually ride your very own roller coaster. Downtown Disney also offers a new state-of-the-art bowling alley, movie theater, popular themed restaurants, like Rain Forest Cafe and Planet Hollywood, and the acrobatic thrills of Cirque du Soleile .

When you've had enough of the Florida heat, Walt Disney World is also home to two large water parks. Typhoon Lagoon has a wave pool and you can even schedule surf lessons, for a fee, for up to 10 people. Blizzard Beach is themed to showcase a freak snowstorm leaving behind plunging water thrill rides from snow-capped mountains.

One important activity that you must not forget about is taking lots and lots of pictures. Don't worry if you forget your camera or just miss that great shot. Disney photographers are everywhere and you don't have to buy any of the photos until you return home and view them all. I love taking pictures, but don't always stop having fun to take them, so I miss a lot of good shots.

There are many other destinations to choose from, but experiencing a Disney trip as a student with your friends, rates the top of the list. Please contact us for more information and our affordable group rates. Our goal is to make your planning and booking stress-free. Let our experience in group trips give your students a trip they will never forget. Give Seniors a Disney Magic goodbye!


USA Student Travel: Destination Myrtle Beach & Murrells Inlet


One of our popular USA student travel destinations is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is home to a wide range of entertaining and educational sites that can easily be incorporated into a terrific, tailored tour. There are also great places located nearby in Murrells Inlet. Here’s a quick look at some of those neighboring attractions:

Huntington Beach State Park (Murrells Inlet)

Why not take the students to Huntington Beach State Park? It is widely recognized as one of the best places to engage in an array of nature activities. The kids can go bird watching, hiking, bicycling, swimming and boating. There are also opportunities for fishing, picnicking and geocaching.

Brookgreen Gardens (Murrells Inlet)

If you are looking for a place that offers more eco-adventures than that, try the Brookgreen Gardens. In addition to the beautiful flora, the site includes a zoo, sculpture garden, hiking trails, historic sites and pontoon boat rides. There are also onsite educational classes, lectures and demonstrations provided throughout the year.

Wacca Wache Marina (Murrells Inlet)

For another perspective on the area, you could take the kids to Wacca Wache Marina. While there, you’ll find guided, history-rich, pontoon boat tours and a waterfront restaurant. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner. Kid friendly menu options include chicken fingers, deli sandwiches, hamburgers, corn dogs and jumbo shrimp.

Marsh Walk (Murrells Inlet)

Other food options are located at the historic Marsh Walk. Situated right on the inlet, there are more than five different eateries to choose from. Most offer fresh seafood. However, there is also a place where the kids can enjoy a slice of pizza, BBQ ribs, salads and sodas.

To learn more about these USA student travel destinations and others, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. At Peak Performance Tours, we offer full package options that include contemporary security measures and onsite tour experts.Give your students an education filled trip to the beach


Disney Youth Education Series turning education into fun


Disney Youth Education Series programs uses the magic of Disney to make learning even more fun. Their educational programs offer up endless opportunities for students and their teachers. Guided in-park educational field studies with courses in Applied Science, Environmental Studies, Liberal Arts, and Leadership Development. These collection of studies are accredited, standards-based, and designed to reinforce their classroom lessons. Your students will embark on an interactive adventure they will never forget.

Some of the courses students can participate in include Backstage at La Nouba by Cirque Du Soleil where they learn how they put together their dazzling show, designing a Disney story where they develop storytelling skills and see how the Disney characters were created, and discovering marine live conservation at The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This is just a few of the courses offered to students in the Y.E.S program. They also have many leadership courses that investigate proven management strategies employed by the Walt Disney company to achieve stronger collaboration skills, increase confidence, and set a course for success.

Their Applied Science programs are designed to spark interest and ideas in young minds that Disney has tapped into for all of their innovative technology. Students will see how Disney uses magnetism, light, and sound to achieve their special affects.

This educational opportunity is offered year-round, seven days a week. It is available to elementary, middle, junior, and senior high school students. Disney also offers students discounted tickets and accommodations. You can contact us for more information and details about this amazing experience for your students.Engage students with some Disney Magic!


Planning Your Next Senior Class Trip


Senior year is a whirlwind time, a time of looking forward to future plans and savoring the last days with friends and teachers. One great memory that will last a lifetime is the senior class trip. Here are some ideas for making your school’s senior class trip a memorable one:

Gather the Facts. Before you can select a destination, you need to have a good idea about the number of students who will be going on the trip. Letters sent home to parents before the trip is planned should give you a good idea of how many students want to participate and also give parents and students the chance to voice their opinion about the destination and length of the trip. This also a good time to recruit parents who want to accompany the class on their trip.

Know Your Budget. You should expect each student’s family to pay a portion of the expenses, but there are several creative ways to raise additional funds that can be put toward the trip. School bake sales, raffles, and community donations are all ways to cut the total cost that each student must pay.

Decide Where to Go. Once you have all of the above facts, it is time to pick a destination that the students will enjoy and the budget can handle. A Disney resort is always a popular destination, as are beach themed trips. But don’t be constrained by those two ideas; you don’t have to pick a warm weather location to have a good time. Boston, Canada, and Philadelphia have dozens of attractions that are both fun and educational. And New York City can’t be beat as a destination with so many exciting sightseeing, entertainment, and dining options that you will never have the time to take advantage of them all.

Plan the Logistics. Next, you will need to make your travel and accommodation plans. How will you get where you’re going and where will you stay when you get there? You will find that there are a wide range of options for both travel and hotels. There are a host of student-friendly options in all price ranges and locations.

Make Your Final Arrangements. It’s now time to go back to students and parents and present the trip details and cost. Expect that you will have to make down payments to secure your travel and accommodation vendors. If you are headed for a theme park, museum, or any other venue that charges an admission price, call and make a reservation for your group ahead of time.

Pack Your Bags and Have Fun. In the end, it’s not so much the destination, events, or activities that make a senior class trip memorable, it’s the time spent with classmates and friends before they all go their separate ways. The new places, sights, and adventures (as well as the misadventures) will be remembered not so much for their novelty, but for the people you share them with.

Peak Performance Tours can help you at every stage of your senior class trip planning. Contact us to find out how we can customize a trip that's perfect for your school.Give your seniors memories that will last a lifetime with a Senior Class Trip!


Class Trip to Richmond, VA: 5 Historic Spots to Explore with Students


If you are a history teacher, Richmond, Virginia is one class trip destination that is definitely worth considering. The charming city offers students access to many Civil War sites that will undoubtedly add to their understanding of our nation’s history.

American Civil War Center (Tredegar Street)

The American Civil War Center is one that should be at the top of a history teacher’s list. It includes period reenactments, guided tours and student programs that put the kids at the heart of the action.

Museum of the Confederacy (E. Clay Street)

A visit to the American Civil War Center would also pair perfectly with a stop at the Museum of the Confederacy. Understandably, the exhibits spotlight General Lee and the Confederate Army. It opens daily and interactive student programs are available onsite.

Richmond National Battlefield Park (Multiple Locations)

Of course we can’t forget about the Richmond National Battlefield Park. It offers an entire day’s worth of class trip activities, starting with 13 historic sites. In addition, the students can partake of the park’s guided educational programs, visitor center exhibits, picnic areas, self-guided walking trails and a bookstore.

Hanover Tavern (Hanover Courthouse Road)

Students that find themselves famished may enjoy a quick stop at the Hanover Tavern too. It’s one of those class trip destinations that serve more than one purpose. The colonial era tavern played a role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars as well as early Virginia politics. As such, a series of tours are available that may be paired with a lunch stop. There’s also a 1950s theater, rental space and a restaurant onsite. The restaurant is traditionally open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

North Anna Battlefield Park (Verdon Road)

Lastly, the North Anna Battlefield Park would make a good class trip stop as well. This is especially the case if you want to let the kids stretch their legs and enjoy a bag or box lunch before getting back onto the bus. Located along the North Anna River, in nearby Dosewell, it contains a roughly 2 mile long walking trail, historical markers and earthworks from the Civil War era. Managed by Hanover County, it’s open year round, weather permitting and admission is free.

To learn more about these class trip suggestions and other student friendly locations in Richmond, please contact us at (800) 220-0165.Take students back to the Civil War in Richmond


Boston Class Trips: Best 4 Science Destinations for Students


This year, why not take your science students on a Boston class trip? Not only is the city historic and full of life, it’s also home to attractions that will get your students thinking.

Museum of Science

Take the Museum of Science for instance. It covers a vast array of scientific topics, including nanotechnology and green energy. Students can also explore those topics in a variety of ways. Those methods include on-hands activities, interactive displays, static exhibits, overnight programs and special events. If you do decide to take the kids to the Museum of Science, we’d suggest planning on spending the entire day. Refreshments are available onsite.

MIT Museum

The MIT Museum is another Boston class trip venue that we would recommend considering. Not surprisingly, its exhibits and student workshops focus heavily on technology. The museum also hosts and sponsors special science events throughout the year.

Cambridge Science Festival

One of those special events is the Cambridge Science Festival. It traditionally takes place each year in April. This year’s event is slated to run from the 18th through the 27th. Depending on the children’s ages and science skills, they may be able to participate in the event organizers’ programs and challenges. Among the programs on offer for 2014 are the Robot Zoo, Central Elements, Game Corner and the Curiosity Challenge.

Laser Quest

When you’re ready to let the kids blow off steam, you may want to take them to Laser Quest. It’s a laser tag facility with an educational element. The educational element involves lectures on topics like laser lights, optics, electromagnetic principals and the law of refractions. There’s also an area where the kids can enjoy a catered meal.

To learn more about these Boston class trip destinations and others, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. Our tour planners can assist educators and group leaders alike in planning customized trips for students of all ages.Let students blow off some steam at the exciting Laser Quest in Boston!


Philadelphia Class Trips: 4 Great Tour Stops for Aspiring Doctors


When it comes to studying anatomy and the medical sciences, there’s nothing like a Philadelphia class trip to liven things up a bit. The City of Brotherly Love is home to multiple, healthcare related stops that are sure to fire up the curiosity of aspiring doctors:

Mutter Museum

One “must see” stop for students is the Mutter Museum. Associated with The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, it contains the most interesting medical exhibits and a medicinal garden. Students can also participate in onsite, 45 minute long, medicine related programs on a wide variety of topics.

Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy

A stop at the Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy may also be in order. Its exhibits address the progression from natural healing methods to the use of man made medicines. There are also items on display connected to nursing and orthopedics. The museum is located on the University of the Sciences’ campus, which may prove to be of interest for college minded students as well.

Pennsylvania Hospital

Next on our list of “must see”, Philadelphia class trip stops is the Pennsylvania Hospital. It’s significant for three reasons. It is believed to be America’s first hospital, surgical amphitheatre and medical library.  While on site, students can view exhibits, take a guided tour and enjoy educational lectures in a lovely medicinal garden. The garden is unique in that it is specifically designed as a hands-on teaching space.

The Physick House

From there, we suggest visiting The Physick House. It once served as the home of Dr. P.S. Physick. Many people consider him to be the founder of American surgical techniques. He also had ties to the Philadelphia Hospital. The house features an onsite museum that students may find interesting. Part of the venue’s exhibits focus on what life was like for a physician in the 1800s. The other half highlights period surgical instruments and other tools of Physick’s profession.

To learn more about these Philadelphia class trip destinations and others, please contact us at Peak Performance Tours. Our class trip planning pros may be reached by calling (800) 220-0165.Budding doctors will love Philadelphia's Mutter Museum


Washington DC Class Trips: A Day Trip to Mount Vernon


During a Washington DC class trip a day trip to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, America’s first president and commanding general during the revolutionary war, is practically a must. The estate is about 16 miles outside of Washington D.C. in Northern Virginia.

Mount Vernon was the home of Washington and his wife Martha for four decades, It was a working plantation that now contains the mansion, more than a dozen other structures, Washington’s tomb, working four acre farm, a treading barn, a reconstructed slave cabin, and a blacksmith’s shop. About three miles down the road from the main mansion reside Washington’s distillery and gristmill. An introductory film can be seen at the Ford Orientation Center. The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education center contains over 500 artifacts from Washington’s era as well as an immersive theatrical experience.

Washington’s career as commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and subsequently as America’s first president is well known. Less well known is how he lived as a wealthy Virginia planter and entrepreneur. A visit to Mount Vernon provides a window into that 18th Century life, built as it was on human slavery.

There are group tours that have been specifically tailored for student groups. The admission for groups of students K through 12 includes the Mansion and Historic Area, the Ford Orientation Center, the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center and the Distillery & Gristmill site. There are also special programs available for student groups, discounted meal options, including a lunch with a reenactor in character from the time of Washington, a discounted river boat tour on the nearby Potomac River, and an expert guide trained in conducting student tours.

For more information contact usTake your students on a tour of the home of George Washington


Music Tours in North Carolina: Exploring America’s Musical Roots


There are many different places located across America that are rich in music history. North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains are one of them. If you plan on teaching your students about bluegrass and folk music, it’s really a “must visit” area. Because the mountainous region is so vast, there are quite a few music tour stops to think about adding to an itinerary:

Wilkesboro (Wilkes County)

Designated a Blue Ride National Heritage area, Wilkesboro is one spot to consider including in your next music tour. It is home to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, the Wilkes Heritage Museum, MerleFest and the Walker Center. The Walker Center features three areas that may be rented for private events. They are the Nan Van Every Auditorium, the Lakey Ballroom and the Doc & Merle Watson Theatre. The auditorium is perfect for student concerts.

Mars Hill (Madison County)

Another great place to take a student music group is Madison County. It’s the location of one of the oldest folk music festivals in America. The annual event is called the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of Appalachia Festival and it traditionally takes place at the town’s college campus. The campus also houses The Rural Life Museum, which contains exhibits about folk music.

Shelby (Cleveland County)

You might want to contemplate booking a music tour in Cleveland County too. There are two places there that may be of particular interest. The Earl Scruggs Center is one of them and the Don Gibson Theatre is the other. Both contain music exhibits and are available for private rental. The Earl Scruggs Center is the more modern of the two. It is scheduled to open in January 2014.

For more information about these great music tour stops in North Carolina and others, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. We’d love to help you and your students experience all that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer in the way of music heritage.Take your band to explore music's roots in North Carolina!

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