Student March Break Travel Protection Tips
Does your son or daughter want to go on a March Break trip with their friends from school? Are you struggling to make an informed decision to allow them to go? TICO can help, don’t book before you look! Here are a few things you can look into in order to ensure you are making an informed decision about whether this would be a good opportunity and overall positive experience for your son or daughter.
Questions to ask the Travel Agency Booking the Trip
Start with the travel agency involved in arranging the student trip. Look on their website or attend the travel agency in person and ask questions.
- Does the travel agency specialize in student travel and have a good track record?
- Is the travel company properly registered in Ontario with TICO to ensure you have travel protection?
- Will the travel company have representatives travelling with the group and staying in destination to offer appropriate assistance and supervision during the duration of the trip?
- What will the ratio be between students versus representatives?
- What policies do the representatives follow to ensure they are checking that all students are accounted for each day?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A reputable company will be able to provide these answers and advise about their policies around safety issues, such as venturing off the resort property at night.
What Travel Services are Included in the Vacation Package?
Take the time to ask the representative of the travel company about what travel services are included in the package and who is supplying the services:
- What services or provisions are not included in the package.
Ensure you are satisfied with the services, including the standard of accommodation that is being offered. It is important that you and your son or daughter consider that different living standards and practices may exist outside Canada including but not limited to the provision of utilities, such as:
- Water & electricity
- Food, food preparation & water quality
You should also be aware of any local laws that could have any bearing on the trip, for example, at what age can someone legally consume alcohol in destination.
Read the Terms & Conditions
Most travel companies that specialize in student travel will have extensive terms and conditions for the travel services being purchased and may also include terms and conditions regarding student conduct and rules that must be followed when travelling. If your son or daughter is not yet 18 yrs old, you may be asked to provide consent for them to travel as well as acknowledge and agree to all the terms and conditions and rules of conduct on their behalf. The document will likely state that the travel company or its employees are not responsible for the student or their actions while travelling. Ensure you review and familiarize yourself with the contents of this document.
What Travel Protection will They Need While Travelling
If you do allow your son or daughter to travel, the importance of purchasing cancellation and medical insurance cant be stressed enough. Also, an adapter for his or her cell phone or tablet is very important to take along. Many countries have different size plugs and voltage and you always want to make sure you can charge these items to maintain contact. Encourage your son or daughter to stay in touch with family and friends back home, whether by e-mail, social networking or by phone. Encourage him or her to maintain a buddy system with their group of friends while travelling.
Making the Decision
After doing some research, speaking with a representative from the travel company and maybe some of the other parents involved, only you as a parent can determine whether the trip would be a suitable experience for your son or daughter. Travel is an adventure and with adventure comes all types of opportunities for growth and experience, good or bad, but it’s the memories that can last a lifetime.
Book with a TICO Registered Travel Agency
To verify if a travel agency or website is TICO registered, check our online directory.
Take the TICO Traveller Quiz to see what type of traveller you are.
Sign up to receive quarterly travel consumer protection email updates.
For more travel tips and information, visit the Smart Traveller Guide.
All travel agencies and websites located and operating in Ontario are regulated by TICO. Registered travel agencies and websites provide additional consumer protection for your travel investment that may not be available when booking with travel agencies and websites based in other countries or provinces. For more information about how TICO helps, click here.