All You Need to Know About Travel Club

We held an interview with Ms. Tully and Ms. Sheets to find out about Travel Club’s history and its upcoming trips.

Q: Can you tell me where Travel Club is going this year, and where you went most recently?

Meg Tully: Last spring, we went to Venice, the Alps, and Paris, and we took about 30 kids. This next year, we’re doing two trips; this is the first year we’ve started a New York trip over Spring Break, which is the trip with the Art History focus. And then, right after school gets out, we’re traveling to England, Ireland, Wales, and Paris.

Q: So where have you gone in the past two or three years?

MT: This will be our 5th year doing Travel Club; the first year was London, Paris, Florence, and Rome. That was with 14 students, three parents, myself and another teacher. The second year was Italy and Greece, and that was just me with seven students. That was our smallest trip. The year after that was the trip to Spain, France, and Italy, and that was our first big trip. We had Ms. Sheets and Mr. Schmidt, and that was a really fun fourteen-day trip. Now that we have so many interested students, we are already setting up another Italy-Greece for 2018!

Q: I think you just mentioned this, but how old is the club exactly?

MT: This is its 5th year. Back in the 90’s there was a Travel Program, but it died out and no restarted it for years until I waned to in 2012, so 2013 was the first trip. We’re looking forward to having it for many, many years.

Q: What do you usually do on trips?

MT: These trips are really good for seeing what I call the “Disneyland” sights of Europe, so the things that are the big tourist attractions. If we’re in Italy, we would go to the Vatican in Rome, the Vatican museums, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain. If we’re in Paris, it’s Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles.

Q: So it’s usually the most popular sites?

MT: We also sometimes do small stuff, like staying in smaller towns. We’ll have surprise, exciting things on tour, like an awesome night on a farm in Tuscany in 2015 with music, dancing and authentic Italian food.

Whitney Sheets: It’s a good blend, I think, of the big sight seeing stuff but also little lunches in little towns. It’s not 100% Rick Steve’s; it’s a little bit of both.

Q: What’s your favorite part about the club?

MT: I think seeing the kids experience travel and the sights. I remember walking into St. Peter’s Basilica and I turned around and took pictures of the students as they walked in, and their jaws hit the ground; they had tears streaming down their faces.

WS: I definitely echo what she’s saying; we wouldn’t be teachers if we didn’t want to instill enthusiasm in all of you, right? It’s so rewarding to see them so jazzed up about it.

Q: How can you join the club?

MT: We start recruiting for the Europe trip about two years out; New York recruitment starts about a year out. You sign up for the trip, and we have recruitment meetings that parents and students come to where we explain what the trip is like, and how much it costs and how you pay for it. We do a lot of fundraising with tax credits to try to make it more accessible to students, which I think has been pretty successful.

WS: And it’s all advertised at school, we have bulletin boards, we have posters up in classrooms and handouts and flyers, and teachers speak about it so kids have lots of ways to get involved and to know about what the trips are.

Q: How much do the trips usually cost?

WS: It depends on the trip; the New York trip is shorter, so it’s also less expensive, which gives us two options for student travel. The New York trip is about $2,700.

MT: The Europe trip also ranges; it’s been as low as $3,600, as high as $4,000. It depends on when you sign up, how long the trip is and what time of year it is. The Europe trips are going to be mostly be in the summer, because the New York trip is during Spring Break.

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