San Diego, CA, January 04, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Educational travel with students is the focus of the newest addition to the Teachers.Net Gazette. Global Travel Guru, Josette Bonafino will respond to teachers’ questions about arranging safe, interesting and economical excursions with students. http://teachers.net/gazette/JAN09/bonafino
Bonofino will apply experience gained since 1993 when she founded Culture Quest Tours educational tour company.
In her debut column, Bonafino helps teachers escorting students to Bavaria and Spain, with tips for decreasing the cost of the trip without sacrificing its educational integrity, warning, “One of the most common methods tour companies use to keep costs down is combining your school group with others.
“Though this works sometimes,” Bonafino says, “it can lead to unforeseen problems. Diverging travel priorities, variation in learning levels or simple personality conflicts often cause contention. Don’t let tour companies persuade you into it; there are more creative ways to keep the price reasonable.”
She encourages teachers to pass up expensive tour guides and apply their expertise, filling in with local tour guides. “Fire the tour director!”
“If you speak the language, and have decent where-with-all, you’ll do just fine. Hire specialized local guides in each of the places you visit.
“Organize your trip from one central hub, taking day trips via mass transportation. For instance, base your trip in Munich and take the train or bus on day trips to Oberammergau or to Fuessen to see King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle. This saves you money on the coach and driver and allows your students to experience the country more like the locals.”
When asked how to make sure her group’s trip to Spain provides ample Spanish immersion experiences, Bonafino offers inside information.
“It’s true that most popular cities in Spain are flush with American travelers, but it’s a big world; there’s no reason for everyone to visit the same destinations.” She offers as a solution several specific areas where the language experience won’t be diluted by hordes of tourists.
“A Spanish city that generally gets passed over is Almería. This Mediterranean port has as much history as some of its other famous Andalucian neighbors but with better weather and a great deal less tourists. Use Almería as your base; visit Roquetas del Mar, a fishing village with much Old World charm, and Adra, a former Roman colony located inland in Europe’s only desert!”
Bonafino recommends lodging outside the usual establishments frequented by tourists.
“When visiting La Sagrada Família in Barcelona, stay in a hotel on the northern edge of the city away from American frequented hotels.”
An avid traveler herself, she and her husband own homes in Iceland and Montserrat.
Teachers may submit travel questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Teachers.Net Gazette debuted in March 2000 and is the pre-eminent online source of articles and information written by and for educators. The current issue and all back issues are available at http://teachers.net/gazette/.