Overnight Trips- Terms and Tricks to Know

Photo by Joao Marcelo Martins

Planning an overnight trip can be daunting. Luckily, we have a team of experts happy to help ensure your planning process is as seamless as possible. Whether you’re considering your first overnight trip, or you are a seasoned veteran, we’ve compiled a helpful list of terms and tricks you should know: 

RFP or RFQ: This is where it all starts- a RFP (Request for Proposal) or RFQ (Request for Quote) is how you can submit your details and ideas for a trip to get the planning process started. Your request should include contact information, destination, trip dates, activities, and a rough estimate of participants.  If you have a budget in mind, please include this as well! 

Package: Your package is everything that the Forum team is handling for you- this includes your festival and any theme parks, shows, attractions, or dining experiences that you have asked us to arrange. Unless otherwise specified, your transportation costs are usually not included in this number and will be noted as a separate quote.  

Peak Season: This refers to the busiest times of the season. There are several factors that can play into the peak season- spring breaks, local conferences or events at your destination, and more can play into what is considered “Peak.”   

Tour Escort: Some groups do choose to include a tour escort in their package- this is an expert on the ground who can help guide your group from location to location, helping to check in at your attractions, share tips and tricks, and make sure your trip runs smoothly. 

Your Trip Assistant: We provide this automated texting service for all our overnight trips (unless you choose to opt out). Like a tour escort, this service will remind you of upcoming activities with addresses, entry time, bus loading times, and any other helpful information you may need to know beforehand. This service is completely complimentary for our overnight clients and is a great way to stay on track throughout your travels!  

Bus Hour Regulations: When planning your trip, we may refer to bus hour limitations which affect how far it is safe to travel within a day based on government regulations . In accordance to these laws, “No motor carrier of passengers shall permit or require any passenger-carrying CMV driver to drive more than 10 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty, or for any period after having been on duty 15 hours following 8 consecutive hours off duty.” If you are ever unsure that your trip may violate these regulations, be sure to share your itinerary with your transportation provider or let us arrange your transportation so that we may communicate directly with bus providers to ensure a safe trip!  

Attrition: Some activities or hotels charge an attrition penalty if a group utilizes a smaller portion of services than originally contracted. We understand changes occur in student travel and will accommodate changes to your package to the best of our ability. When we provide pricing, it is based on current availability, fees & taxes based on the total number of participants (students, chaperones, & educators).  If that number changes, we may re-price your package to adjust prorated costs, etc. Please note that if the package is re-priced due to attrition, it will likely increase the per person price by just a few dollars. 

Rooming List: Your rooming list is the assignment of each traveling participant to a room. The rooming assignments are a vital way to confirm the number of participants on your trip and where they will be for an added level of security and accountability.  

CSTP: CSTP or Certified Student Travel Professional is a recognition that “provides credibility amongst student travel professionals and their clients.” We are proud to have several members of our staff honored with this recognition or working towards it to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality of service and stay up to date on travel trends and restrictions to ensure your trip is as smooth as possible.  

Complimentary: Whenever you see complimentary noted on your proposal, this means that the indicated experience comes at no cost to you! Your Trip Assistant (our automated texting service) is a great example. We are also pleased to continue to offer a complimentary director’s package, which will always include a recording of your group’s performance, single occupancy room and breakfast, and admission to all activities for the director. 

These are just a few of the most common terms that you may see when planning your trip, but please know that our staff is always here and happy to help with questions that you may have! We are here to make your planning process as easy as possible, and we hope you’re ready to get started with a quote today!

Traveling Green

10 Ideas for Sustainable Student Travel

As we wait for a green light to student travel, let’s consider the impact our travel has on our students, the destination, and the planet. Our teens live in a world where reducing their footprint on our planet is incredibly critical.    To promote sustainable travel, meet your students’ ideas with your own tips.  Together, you can incorporate these ideas into the fun of planning your next trip.

Go lightly! 

Ask students to assemble a packing list that includes only the essentials.  By packing light, you avoid burning resources with heavy baggage.

Explore public transportation

Feel adventurous?  If your group is small enough, you can do it!  Trust that your entire group can fit on one bus, subway, or train, but chat up a Plan B if your group gets split.  Until the next bus or subway comes along, a couple of chaperones can stay with students. Then you can all meet up at the next stop.  Is public transpo the answer for the entire trip? Maybe not, but in many destinations, it’s an easier way to get around.

Walk On!

If your hotel is near your sites, walking saves money, is healthy, and makes the planet greener.  Before you go, decide whether your group can handle short walking trips. Talk to your travel planner about the proximity of sites to your hotel.


That is, bring your own water bottles. Clearly, buying disposable beverage bottles is a problem for a green-loving group. Ponder other ways to reduce plastic use.

  • Bring reusable bags for shopping and laundry.
  • Sidestep one-use straws when eating out.
  • Avoid plastic utensils, if possible. 
  • Leave recyclable trash in the proper container. 

Note: Plastic takes between 100 and 400 years to break down in a landfill. 

RIP Hotel Toiletries

Once considered a luxury, these cute little bottles often go half-used before being tossed and ultimately living in a landfillBring soap and shampoo in reusable bottles.  To avoid plastic waste, bring your own.  Many hotel brands are cutting these items to reduce their clutter footprint. 

Tip:  If you must use the hotel toiletries, take the balance to finish off the shampoo and to re-use the container for your next trip.

Power Down

Turn off lights, TV, and electronics to conserve energy.  Close the drapes to keep out the heat or insulate from the cold.

Go paperless. 

Technology, (with which your students are quite familiar), is an obvious starting place.  Encourage electronic notetaking.  When corresponding with parents, use email or text message – far more effective than the bottom of the backpack notice. 

Re-use towels and bedding! 

Most hotels encourage this – hang the Do Not Disturb sign on your hotel door or use the folded sign the hotel provides.  For just a few nights, this is a no-brainer and minimizes water and energy used to launder towels and sheets. Easy, but key way to promote sustainable travel.

Enlist your travel planner! 

At Forum Festivals, we can suggest many green travel ideas.  We’re happy to inquire about the hotel’s recycling policies.  We can book local eateries that are walkable from the hotel.  As we design your itinerary, we’ll explore transportation options that can save you money AND save the planet.  

Enjoy the green journey! 

Students will likely be one step ahead of you, but when you incorporate sustainable travel in your planning as a challenge as well as a fun, educational experience, it will add to the journey.  We’d love to help!

Bon voyages!