Travel in 3D: The Fam Trip

 One of the best opportunities available for teachers planning a student tour is the familiarization or “fam” trip. They’re usually designed to give the trip sponsor an idea of what the trip would be like, but they’re so much more.

Imagine you’re designing your dream house. You work closely with your architect and eventually have blueprints so you can daydream about the wonderful years you’ll have there. At your next meeting the architect pulls up a computer file and bam! Suddenly you’re in a 3D representation of your new home. You can walk virtually through your new house, getting an idea of the flow and space that wasn’t visible on the 2D blueprint. It feels more real, and you have a much better idea of what to expect from the final product.

The fam trip is helpful in much the same way. Planning with a tour consultant provides the hows and whens and wheres of a trip, but a fam trip puts it into 3D. Sponsors can check out the destination and get firsthand knowledge of the logistics specific to their group’s needs. This will put their minds at ease, which then helps set parents’ minds at ease.

Traveling a mini flow of the tour gives sponsors an idea of the level of quality the tour company provides; the hotels, meals, and activities are all similar to what the students would experience. For performance event trips (especially for opportunities like the Rose Parade or the Macy*s Parade), it’s necessary to experience the event scheduling ahead of time.

Getting to know the tour company is also a vital part of the fam trip. What will the company’s professionalism and expertise bring to the group’s experience? Is the company open to and excited about new ideas to plus (to use a Disney term) the educational aspect of the trip?

Familiarization with all aspects of the trip, increased confidence in the tour company, and educational opportunities to support classroom study.

All that plus a few days away.

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