Frequently Asked Questions

Student Travel - Educational Travel

Leader FAQ’s

What makes this program unique or different from its competitors?

In addition to industry-leading Travel Safety standards, all-inclusive pricing, the most highly-trained Leaders & Travel Managers available anywhere and an impressive minimum 6-to-1 Leader-to-student ratio, Quo’s founders are rooted in education as well as travel. We have a proven track record of building innovative travel programs that literally change students’ lives and enhance their Cultural Intelligence. We create Global Citizens who are better prepared to apply what they have learned to their education and who better understand their place in today’s world. Our approach to cultural immersion and experiential learning in the global classroom is uniquely Quo, and the curriculum we have spent decades perfecting is a key element in adding value to your educational travel investment. Our website goes into greater detail about Quo Student Travel’s points of differentiation. Check out www.quostudenttravel.com and if you have further questions, please give us a call at (360) 453-7639 or email us at info@quotrvl.com.

How will you ensure students’ and teachers’ safety on program?

Please rest 100% assured that we will have a highly trained team of seasoned safety experts in place to handle every need throughout the travel season, 24/7. In addition to having created the behind-the-scenes safety programs that literally define the standard for health and safety protocols in the student travel industry today, our team’s leadership boasts twenty-plus years’ boots-on-the-ground experience in actually traveling students safely. Quo’s safety protocols innovate the design and implementation of health and safety standards, meeting or exceeding those observed throughout the rest of the student travel industry. If you have specific concerns or questions, please let us know. We are happy to help.

Is ‘Travel Protection’ insurance coverage provided?

We’ve got you covered. Every student and Leader is automatically covered by our GroupAdvantage Basic Plan from Trip Mate and MH Ross. This provides basic travel, medical and emergency coverage at no additional cost. We also offer an affordable “Plus Plan” that includes enhanced travel, medical and emergency coverage for a special Leader price of $39. This optimized coverage provides the ideal peace of mind for your upcoming international travel adventure.

When will we know about travel dates?

Travel dates for each itinerary will be offered in a range of two week intervals. For example, June 1st – June 14th, June 15th – June 30th, etc. You will be able to select whichever 2 week period best suits your schedule. Then, if you need to connect with another Leader to round-out your travel group, you can utilize our Leader Marketplace on Facebook (ask us for an invitation to your Marketplace), where you’ll be able to search for other Leaders traveling the same itinerary, and potentially the same date range. Thanks to the miracle of Facebook messaging, you can instantly connect and see if you’re a good match. Once you’ve identified like-minded Leaders and agree to travel together, just notify us. We’ll match you in our system and monitor how recruitment progresses. As soon as you and your fellow leader(s) have a viable travel number, (between 24-30 participants including leaders) we will assign a specific travel date within the two week window. We are constantly working with our overseas partners to estimate, set and revise travel dates as circumstances progress. Discuss your travel date restrictions with us. Dates will be published on this website and the Leader Facebook Page.

What does the program cost cover?

Unlike other student travel companies, Quo Student Travel programs are fully inclusive. To us, all-inclusive means no surprise costs, and most participants could travel with little-to-no cash. The only reason to bring extra money is for purchasing souvenirs. Every program provides 3 meals per day once in country, all tips and porterage, and all entrance fees for all activities outlined in the program. There are no add-on options at extra cost – all activities are included in the program price. Meals on international flights are of course provided by the airlines. Note: Because air carriers in the US no longer provide included meal service for domestic flights, students who must travel on a domestic connecting flight will need to provide their own meals/snacks for domestic flights and airport layovers, as these are not included in the cost of the program. Basic travel and medical insurance is also provided for every student and Leader. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) Insurance featuring enhanced medical, travel delay and trip interruption coverage is available for families at a very reasonable extra cost.

Will there be guides on program?

Yes. In addition to our maximum 6-to-1 ratio of highly qualified Leaders to students, our programs will have two kinds of guides. A minimum of one guide will be with the group throughout each day of the program. Your Travel Manager will be with you at all times from start to finish. Their responsibility will be managing the logistics of the program, leaving Leaders free to teach. Where it enhances the program and where speciality expertise adds unique value, highly trained City Guides (“Blue Badge” guides or their equivalent) will join your group temporarily.

Will there be home stays?

Yes, on some programs. Some programs will offer home stays where it enhances program content and where program duration allows for the extra days required to conduct effective home stays. Some other programs will offer different opportunities for cultural immersion and interaction with locals. If your program will feature a home stay, this will be identified in your final day-by-day itinerary. When a home stay is not possible, we will feature home dinners, community visits, school visits and other cultural immersion activities designed to encourage interaction and relationship-building with locals.

Will students share beds?

No, students will not share beds. The majority of accommodations will afford students the opportunity to share a room with another student from their group, sleeping in separate bedding. In cases where there are an odd number of students of same gender, we may find it necessary to book a triple. Very occasionally, experiencing a particularly unique aspect of the program may require use of “quad share” accommodations. For example, Tangalooma Island in Australia is one of the most extraordinary aspects of our South Pacific programs, but it is not possible to provide two-per-room accommodations here. Bottom line, we only use “quad-share” if there are no other options. (We think the opportunity to hand-feed wild dolphins in the ocean is worth a quad share for a couple of nights!)

Who is responsible for all logistical and meals arrangements on program?

We use tried-and-true overseas partner companies to help build and deliver the programs in each country. These seasoned professional teams will train and prepare the Travel Manager (TM) who will be with your group for the entire program. Your TM is with you to take care of your day-to-day logistics.

What can be done about accommodating my special dietary needs?

At Quo, we are no strangers to special food requirements. Many of us have complicated food allergies and sensitivities. Our travels have taught us the reality of menus, food preparation, awareness and vigilance when exploring the world.

Typically, meals for groups are prepared en masse and all-at-once so that they can be served quickly and the group can be on their way to the next activity. Internationally, most restaurants that cater to groups are simply unable to prepare individual meals in a timely fashion, if at all. Sometimes it’s possible, but often it is not.

This means that it’s necessary for people with acute food sensitivities to be prepared and travel with food bars, supplements, meal replacements, etc. that will tide them over when restaurants cannot accommodate.

It will be 100% the individual’s responsibility to monitor and manage what they consume, with the full knowledge that kitchens are not trained or educated on this kind of accommodation like they are in the U.S.

In the past, we have had some success accommodating vegetarians, because this style of eating has become common enough that nearly every restaurant has at least one vegetarian option.

We have not had this same luck with gluten-free and allergen-free meals. This is a relatively new idea in most parts of the world. Europe is better than many other places simply because they host far more American tourists and are more familiar with our food sensitivities. However, not even Europe is reliably able to accommodate.

This is why gluten-free and food allergy “deviations” are not something we can guarantee. We are committed to making restaurants AWARE of the need on an individual basis, and we will notify our overseas partners as soon as we receive this information from our Leaders, but WE CAN NOT GUARANTEE that restaurants will be able to accommodate these requests. Many of the kitchens simply do not have the awareness or capability to keep sensitivity- and allergen-free ingredients ready for individual requests.

The most important thing you can do is to notify Quo HQ in explicit detail of the specific nature of your food issues.

Food and Cultural Intelligence go hand in hand. We want everyone to have a positive and healthy experience with food as they travel abroad, and we will do everything possible to make this happen. Please understand, however, that we cannot guarantee restaurants’ ability to accommodate these requests.

Does Quo have any guidelines regarding students with physical challenges?

If you are aware of a student with physical challenges who will join your program, please bring this to our attention. Working in conjunction with each leader, we will decide together if it is necessary to have a medical aide travel with the program. If deemed necessary, medical aides must be arranged by the family. We will provide special pricing for the family to help offset some of the cost for this additional traveler.

How does a leader know if a program is too physically challenging?

If you have concerns about the physical challenges of the program, please call us to discuss. We are happy to talk through the day by day itinerary with you and explain the requirements of each activity. We are here to support you and address any concerns you might have, so you can make informed choices that meet your needs.

Will there be specific attire and lanyards for students and leaders?

We believe that making students and Leaders both easily-identifiable and “coordinated” is valuable for safety reasons as well as team cohesiveness. For Leaders, this typically means matching Polo shirts, and for students this typically means comfortable, coordinated t-shirts. Everyone will wear Quo lanyards with name tags and emergency information. Stay tuned for specifics regarding what this attire will be.

Will traveling adults have to be CPR certified?

We have found that most teachers already have CPR training as well as first aid training. However, at this time we will be strongly encouraging, but not requiring, certification. Understandably, many adult Guests will not have this training or certification.

Will background checks be performed on traveling adults?

Yes, all traveling adults will undergo a background check once they register for the program.

Will there be leader training to ensure consistency?

We absolutely value the consistency created by coordinated, nation-wide leader training. The Leader Toolkit offer a wide array of materials to ensure each Leader’s awareness and expertise on critical matters of safety and operations. We constantly seek Leader input on this process as we improve our training materials and protocols. Please discuss your ideas with your Director of Leader Relations.

Do chaperones need to be teachers? Have a college degree, etc.?

Chaperones do not have to be teachers. Here’s the formula: for every 6 students you recruit, you will receive a free travel spot. Recruit 6 students and you travel free, recruit 12 and it’s you + 1 free spot, 18 and it’s you + 2 spots, and so on. You can choose who these companions will be, but most Leaders select other educators to help them lead and chaperone their travel group. Chaperone selection is at your discretion. These adults can be anyone you choose. Remember, this is your trip so you can decide to travel with whomever you want. However, every adult traveling with a Quo Student Travel program must pass a background screening.

Will there be orientation meetings? Will there be any Quo-specific materials for those?

Team Quo has played a key role in the development of the concept of Orientation Meetings. We designed the curriculum that made them so successful and we believe deeply in the value they contribute to successful student travel outcomes. We feel they are extremely useful and an exceptionally good idea. However, at this time we will not require them, as we understand that for some groups they simply may not be possible to accomplish due to student, family and Leader commitments, etc. It has been our experience, though, that travel groups who do not follow a schedule of regular communications and sequential Orientation Meetings are less cohesive, have sub-par program results and often experience significantly higher than normal withdrawal rates. We provide very specific and detailed Orientation Meeting Guidelines, but leave final decisions regarding implementation up to the individual Leaders. Please see the Leader Toolkit for Orientation Meeting Guidelines and many other useful resources.

Will there be ‘Information Meetings?’

As a general rule, Quo Student Travel will not hold information meetings. However, because many veteran leaders are interested in developing their own meetings in accordance with their local traditions, there is a “Leader Information Meeting Kit” available in the Group Leader Toolkit.

Will there be materials such as invitations, magazines, posters offered to teachers?

Yes. Well-designed and practical collateral materials support each Leader’s recruitment efforts. The Group Leader Toolkit offers a wide range of collateral materials such as posters, itinerary flyers, “Safety” and “Who is Quo” flyers, itinerary-specific Invitation Flyers, Letters to Administration and Families, and various Forms are offered as printable .pdf documents. You’ll also find a “Student Recruitment Strategies” powerpoint presentation there. Additional collateral materials are being developed at all times.

Because of the waning effectiveness of direct-mail efforts, large-scale mailed invitations and magazines are not part of our promotion plans. Please speak with your Director of Leader Relations to discuss the most effective strategies for holding one-on-one and group meetings.

Can a parent pay to travel with their child?

This is entirely up to you as a Leader. We want you to be 100% comfortable with your traveling companions. If you are happy allowing parents to travel in your travel group, we are happy to take them. If not, they will not be allowed. Be advised, there will be an adult travel supplement (amount varies by itinerary, please enquire with us). Adult travel supplements are standard throughout the travel industry, as many costs for adult travelers are higher.

Jr. High, High School, College: what ages are allowed to travel?

We travel students from Age 11 through college, as well as some parents. Students are considered a “student” until they are past college. Most Travel Groups are reserved for Jr. High only or High School only, but the mix of ages is 100% at Leader discretion. If a Leader is comfortable with a known college student or some parents joining their travel group, we allow these configurations. However, each student and guest must agree to the rules that you have devised and set forth for your program. In our experience, the general concern with college students is that they are of drinking age in most of the countries you will visit. Naturally, we will be happy to discuss your concerns, ideas and any rules you may wish to set, as our experience may provide some useful insights, and we are always here to help.

Will different age groups be combined together? Is a 7-12 grade group possible?

The best way to answer this is to explain how we will form travel groups, and to advise you that the final decision is at your discretion.

Option 1: For those Leaders who do not have a complete travel group (approximately 30 students), we offer the “Quo Leader Marketplace” on Facebook. (Your Director of Leader Relations can provide an invitation to participate.) On the Marketplace you will be able to participate in a matching process with other teachers. For example, if you plan to travel the London, Paris and Rome itinerary, you can search for leaders with the same intentions, get to know one another. If it’s a good personality & philosophical fit, you can join forces. As long as your combined group totals 30 or more, we should not need to add anyone else to your travel group. As a combined travel group you can decide to travel any age group you like, including 7-12th grade. You can actually choose to travel parents or friends, too, if you like. We are leaving those decisions up to you, and this is an important topic to clarify with any potential leaders with whom you may partner.

Option 2: Let us help you find a match with similar goals and intentions. We will make every effort to identify an ideal leader(s) traveling with a similar age group. However, be advised that, in some cases it may become necessary to match you with someone whose travelers are not a perfect match in age to your group. When it comes to forming travel groups, practical (pricing) considerations require us to travel groups at around 30 travelers.

Does Quo partner with People to People International (PTPI)?

We have been deeply influenced by the “Eisenhower Mission” made famous by People to People International (PTPI). After all, that mission is what brought together our entire community of like-minded professionals in the first place. We continue to be guided and influenced by what we learned from the fundamental tenants of that mission and the experiences it provided. Our program quality and philosophy will certainly reflect that inspiration. However, at this time we are not partnered with PTPI.

How does CUSTOM Program Pricing affect Leader Benefits and Discounts?

CUSTOM programs automatically include special pricing, therefore they do not qualify for Early Enrollment Discounts, nor do they qualify for Leader Awards. However, if you wish to discuss including these features in your CUSTOM Program, please call us at 877.472.3301. These options can be included in your program price, which will increase accordingly.

The Quo FAQs page is an evolving document. If you don’t see your question listed here, please reach out to us. If you feel an answer is not thorough, clear or accurate, please let us know. Thank you!

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