Answering Parent Questions: International Trips
Parents seem to have the same questions. First they are worried what will happen in the event of an accident, then they are worried about their money, and finally how their child will behave when they are not around. If you don't know, then simply answer that you will check with the tour provider and send out an email with the information when you receive it.
Here are some tips to get you through the five main concerns of parents. Try and go over these questions before they even ask them as they will certainly be impressed you were prepared with this info.
1.) Medical Treatment - Parents want to know what kind of medical facilities are located at each destination. Usually you can ask the tour provider to send you a list of the different private and public medical facilities in each location.
2.) Access & Evacuation - After they know what facilities exist it is also good to know the distance from each. Again, most tour providers can give you the distance to each hospital or clinic from each destination.
3.) Refunds - You will need to know the cancellation policy and trip insurance options available. Parents will want to know if their child backs out will they have a chance to get a refund. While you want to offer protection you also want them to feel some commitment. We never advise a 100% refund plan. Even if it is just a $100 non-refundable deposit, that is usually enough to keep parents committed.
4.) Behavior Guidelines - Every parent wants to know if their child will be supervised. Be clear on types of hotels you are staying at which tour companies should provide, if night guards are on staff, number of chaperones, and strict rules and consequences if anyone misbehaves.
5.) Company History - Build some good leverage with the company. Make sure the parents know that you are not alone on this and the company has many years of experience. It often helps if you know another school in the area that has traveled with the company and had a positive experience.
We all know the most enjoyable part of the trip is not the parent meetings but try and use them as a rallying moment to build confidence and remember to try and answer as many questions as you can before they ask them.