One of the highlights for students traveling on an educational tour is the chance to have a “sleepover” with friends away from home. Thrilling for them, but nerve-racking for some parents who may prefer to share a roof with their kids at all times.
Providing hotel guidelines will set expectations for students while reassuring parents who are sending their children on an overnight field trip.
These 12 guidelines are helpful to share in an informational packet for students and parents and to review with them in person during a meeting before you travel. Your student travel consultant also is a resource who can help you communicate about the safety measures in place for any educational tour.
12 HOTEL GUIDELINES
1. Keep volume low - Be considerate of your volume at all times. Running and talking in the hallways or other hotel areas can disturb others. In all places, keep your volume as low as possible.
2. Ask a chaperone, not the front desk - If a problem arises in the room or you need something like more towels or blankets, call your chaperone to make the request for you. Do not call the front desk yourself.
3. Don’t use the room phone - Use your cell phone to call home. The room phones should not be used to call anyone except your chaperone if necessary.
4. Room leader holds the key - Vote on a room leader who will keep the key. When leaving your room, check to see that lights are out, the door is locked, and that your room leader has a key. If you have two keys, give one to a second room leader.
5. Be neat - Put all trash in the can, dirty towls in the bath tub, keep your things organized, and respect all hotel property. If the room is a mess, housekeeping will not be able to clean the room. All rooms will be checked by an adult before departure. Students and families are responsible for any damage to hotel rooms or other property.
6. Respect your roommates – Do not touch your roommates’ things, eat their snacks, or use electronics in a way that is disrespectful to your roommates.
7. No visitors allowed - Only those staying in the room or a chaperone are allowed in hotel rooms. Just to be clear - boys are not allowed in girls’ rooms and girls are never allowed in boys’ rooms.
8. Lock the door- If someone knocks on the door, you should ask who it is before opening it. Do not open the door for anyone except for our chaperones. Call your chaperone if you do not know who is at your door.
9. Follow general fire procedures - Locate the closest fire exit to your room when you arrive. Note the path to take to get there and then out of the building.
10. Free channels only - The television in your hotel room has only local and/or cable TV channels. No “pay” channels are available.
11. Respect curfews - “In-room” time will be 15 minutes after arrival at the hotel. Do not leave your room after in-room time. A time for lights out will be announced when we get to the hotel each night. That also means all electronic devices are turned off.
12. Plan your morning routine - A time and location for breakfast will be announced the night before – listen carefully. There are typically four people in a room, so plan your needs, including a daily shower for each roommate, accordingly so you can be at breakfast on time.
In addition to these guidelines, experienced student travel companies like NationsClassroom provide the additional reassurance of hired security for all hotel floors each night. This added security allows chaperones to sleep well and it is reassuring to families to know that someone is keeping a watchful eye on the doors each night.
Clear expectations make things run more smoothly, so sharing these and other guidelines you may want to add to the list will be worth reviewing with your group.