Below are some questions commonly asked by educators.
If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us!
Click on a category below for related questions.
Educator Frequently Asked Questions
Tell me about being an Organizer.
Who is the Organizer?
What does the Organizer do?
- The Organizer works with us in deciding which program will be offered, the dates of the program, etc.
- The Organizer also appoints chaperones. These chaperones can be teachers, school staff, or parents. Each chaperone is typically responsibility for a certain number of students.
- Organizers promote the trip using suggestions and tools provided by American Christian Tours.
- While on location, the Organizer helps with decisions if and when they need to be made and, of course, aids in supervision and discipline.
What support does the Organizer receive from American Christian Tours?
- American Christian Tours manages the money. Our accounting department works directly with each family.
- American Christian Tours and its sister company use a client trust account administered by an independent firm of Certified Public Accountants for the protection of your money. Other student tour providers have trust accounts to be sure, but they are self-administered. In other words, the tour provider can access your money; American Christian Tours does not. All monies are held in a CPA administered trust fund, other than the deposit. Funds are only released for your program expenses when due. Any additional monies are released at the conclusion of your program. Your money is safely in the hands of the independent CPAs who pay the bills and only pay American Christian Tours after your trip is over.
- During the program, our Education Program Leaders (EPL) are with your group 24 hours a day from the time you arrive on location until you are on your way home. The EPL take cares of all arrangements, provides teaching throughout the program, and in general runs the trip.
- We provide through-the-night hall security guards who will watch over your group at the hotel(s).
Organizer Registration Costs
I am the group Organizer. Is there a way to have my registration costs reduced?
Yes! With enough paying participants, your registration can be complimentary. You may also be able to offer complimentary registration to chaperones as well. Our Reservations Department can assist you with this planning. Generally speaking,
- For east coast programs that travel by motorcoach, one complimentary participant is earned for every fifteen (15) paid participants.
- For west coast programs that travel by motorcoach, one complimentary participant is earned for every twenty (20) paid participants.
- For programs that travel by air, one complimentary participant is earned for every ten (10) paid participants.
Best Time To Book and Travel
When is the best time to “book” my Education Program?
Most groups book their programs a year in advance. The earlier the program is booked, the more time families have to make monthly payments.
When is the best time of year to travel?
The majority of schools schedule their programs during regular school time. April and May are the most popular months, along with the time around spring break, which changes year-to-year.
More schools at taking notice of the advantages of traveling during off-season times including January, February, and autumn. During these times there are shorter lines and fewer crowds. About ten percent of schools travel during summer break.
How is the itinerary designed?
Our Itinerary Specialists will develop an itinerary that reflects the best learning opportunities for the cities you choose to visit and the length of the overall program. They also take into consideration attractions and sites that will enhance learning objectives you may have for your group.
Who Leads the Program?
Who leads American Christian Tours education programs?
American Christian Tours has an exclusive staff of trained and licensed Education Program Leaders (EPL). They are selected based on their background, education, personality attributes, and experience with young people.
Are your Education Program Leaders screened?
Yes. All American Christian Tours Education Program Leaders go through background checks and are also licensed by the District of Columbia.
What about chaperones?
Many attractions and sites require students to be accompanied by a chaperone. A general guideline is to plan to have at least one adult chaperone for every ten students.
Our Education Programs are set up to have one complimentary participant for every
- Ten (10) paid participants, if traveling by air
- Fifteen (15) paid participants, if traveling by motorcoach to the East Coast
- Twenty (20) paid participants, if traveling by motorcoach to the West Coast
Organizers often offer these complimentary spots to chaperones.
How many participants are needed in order to be considered a group?
The travel industry requires at least ten people to be considered a group. Yet there is a significant cost – benefit to having a larger group. An ideal group size is at least 35 people.
For smaller groups there are two options:
- Consider joining one of our open tours (if available)
- Consider “matching” with another small group (if available)
Is there a maximum number of participants allowed?
No—there is no upper limit! We have worked with groups of over 450 participants and very routinely work with groups of 200+ participants. These groups are divided into motorcoach "teams" and each team has its own American Christian Tours Program Leader.
Who can we invite to join our education program?
That's up to you. Many schools focus on one particular grade, while others offer the program to the entire school. Some invite parents and other family or community members, while others limit the program to only students and teachers.
Is it a good idea to mix grade levels?
It is not unusual for schools to combine two grades. There are unique challenges with a greater grade span, yet it certainly can be done.
Does American Christian Tours provide behavior guidelines, dress codes, etc. for the education program?
Yes, the details are listed during the registration process and presented again on the first day of the program. In addition, any rule that would apply at the participant’s school is automatically included within the understood guidelines and rules of the tour.
Here are a few examples of what American Christian Tours includes in our list of guidelines:
- Possession of alcohol, non-prescribed drugs, or tobacco by students is prohibited
- No clothing showing, referring to, stating, or implying anything to do with alcohol, drugs, profanity, or sex is allowed
- No clothing referring to or picturing any musical group or individual is allowed
- Very baggy clothing or revealing clothing is not allowed
- Finally, any clothing thought objectionable by the trip Organizer or your American Christian Tours Education Program Leader will not be allowed
American Christian Tours and/or the Organizer of this tour reserves the right to send home any participant, at their expense, whose behavior interferes with the enjoyment or safety of the other participants or who violates stated guidelines or rules which are presented during the registration process.
What are some of the safety procedures used by American Christian Tours
American Christian Tours recognizes safety as our highest priority. The following are a few of the procedures we have in place:
- American Christian Tours uses established and vetted motorcoach vendors, hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
- We also follow all established federal guidelines outlined for motorcoach operators.
- Each participant is provided with a program badge and lanyard to wear throughout the tour. This badge is preprinted with the American Christian Tours 24-hour toll-free emergency hotline number that participants or first responders can use to contact our office in cases of emergency.
- Students are not allowed to be without adult supervision.
- At hotels, through-the-night hall monitor security is provided via bonded and licensed operators.
- Hotel orientation is given to review stairs location and evacuation procedures.
What type of transportation is used on an American Christian Tours Programs?
American Christian Tours uses newer model motorcoaches that meet all federal transportation guidelines. These deluxe motorcoaches are equipped with large windows, comfortable upholstered seating, a restroom, air conditioning, and a public address system. Most also include WIFI and electric outlets.
For groups using air transportation, our Travel Coordinator diligently shops for tickets that will take into account both the group’s budget and schedule.
What are the hotels like?
American Christian Tours uses several tiers of hotel properties. For groups choosing to stay in downtown locations, we use hotels such as Hyatt, Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn, etc.
For groups wishing to economize, we use nice suburban properties such as Hyatt Place, Holiday Inn Express, Country Inn and Suites, etc.
We choose properties that are in safe locations and are clean with up-to-date modeling.
How many participants are assigned to each hotel room?
Typically there are either two adults or four students in each room. Generally speaking, every room will have two large beds. Adult couples and single occupancy participants may have a single king-sized bed.
The Organizer determines room assignments.
Tell me about the meals that will be included.
Breakfasts are typically provided by the hotel.
Because lunches are usually at the participants expense (not included in the price of the program), they take place in areas that offers various options (food court, cafeteria, town square).
Dinners are hot meals that may be served as a buffet or a plated meal. There are always a variety of choices, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.
What if someone in my group has a serious food allergy?
While American Christian Tours takes a number of steps to accommodate food requirements and dietary restrictions, it is impossible for us to guarantee specific food availability or uniquely-prepared foods for those with special dietary needs.
For those children who have serious food allergies or complex food requirements, we encourage parents to include snacks and extra meal money to purchase specially-prepared foods. An adult participant will be expected to be able to accommodate for their own special dietary food requirements while on the program.
The Organizer should be informed of any special dietary needs and, if necessary, share information with American Christian Tours.
American Christian Tours will not be able to provide a list of eating establishments prior to program departure.
I have a student who is physically disabled, are they able to join the program?
Yes, American Christian Tours follows all ADA guidelines. For example, if a student requires a wheelchair lift on the motorcoach, we will arrange for that.
During the registration process, there is a place to indicate the need for a special service.
How are payments made?
Does American Christian Tours provide any pre-program education materials?
Absolutely. An American Christian Tours Explorer Workbook is provided for each student participant.
What if medical assistance is needed while we are on a American Christian Tours program?
In the event of an emergency, 911 is always be contacted. For non-emergency situations, we utilize other healthcare options, such as the following:
- Inn-House Doctor: We partner with Inn-House Doctor, a company that provides top-level medical care in the comfort and convenience of the home, workplace, or hotel room on a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week basis.
This service is utilized via an on-call number. A physician returns the call within 15 minutes to provide the necessary pre-assessment and service plan. A licensed physician from one of the finest local hospitals then provides high-level, on-site care, as needed, in the comfort of your own hotel room.
If this service is needed for a student who does not have a parent on the tour, Inn-House Doctor would contact the parent via telephone to receive parental consent, which is similar to how the situation would be addressed in a hospital.
Charges vary based on services performed; there is a minimum charge of $400. Inn-House Doctor only accepts credit card payment. They do provide the paperwork needed to submit to insurance companies. Again, for those students who do not have a parent on the tour, Inn-House Doctor will work with parents via telephone regarding these matters.
It is good to know that Inn-House Doctor will address any follow-up questions from primary physicians in order to maintain continuity of care for any patient who they see.
This service is available in the Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Boston areas.
- Minute Clinics: There are a number of CVS drugstores in Washington, DC, Virginia, and New Jersey that include Minute Clinics.
Late Add Ons
Can individuals register after the deadline?
If airline seats have already been ticketed/released, we likely will not be able to secure an additional airline ticket with the group, or the ticket price may be higher (possibly considerably higher) than what was secured for the group. Consequently, there would be an additional fee for the airline ticket, and more than likely, late registrants will not be able to fly with the group. Note: We do not allow a minor participant to fly unaccompanied, therefore, a single student must fly with the group.
Tickets for some venues may no longer be available (e.g. Broadway, museums, etc.). Tickets often sell out months prior, particularly during high-volume times of the year. If we cannot secure a ticket for an event with the group, the late registrant would not be able to attend the event/activity.
If hotel space has been released, it is likely that additional rooms will not be available. Our Reservations Team will work with you as the Organizer to determine the possibility of housing late registrants within the existing group space.
What is American Christian Tours' cancellation policy?
American Christian Tours has one of the most lenient cancellation policies in the industry!
As each participant registers for the trip, they pay a Registration Fee equal to ten percent of the student quad occupancy price. For programs including Broadway shows, the amount of the Broadway Ticket will be added to the Registration Fee. This Registration Fee is considered earned by American Christian Tours® upon receipt; the Registration Fee is non-refundable and non-transferable for any reason under any circumstance.
Participants cancelling more than eighty (80) days prior to trip departure will be charged the amount of the Registration Fee.
• Cancellations within sixty (60) Days prior to departure will be charged 35% of total Program cost
• Cancellations within forty (40) Days prior to departure will be charged 50% of total Program cost
• Cancellations within thirty (30) Days prior to departure will be charged 75% of total Program cost
• Cancellations within twenty (20) Days prior to departure will be charged 100% of total Program cost