Take Virtual On the Road!

by John Hale

Among family and friends, I have heard many lament the loss of annual traditions, once-in-a-lifetime celebrations and a bevy of rites of passage.

Having seniors in high school and college, we are feeling a certain heaviness knowing that we won’t be able to enjoy important rituals like football, homecoming, prom, and parent weekends, which are just a few affecting our family, to say nothing of a sweet 16  birthday on our horizon and Thanksgiving, and . . .  so on.

And yet, I have marveled at the ingenuity of so many who have found ways to create new and meaningful personal connections as well as preserve, to some extent, if not improve, these rites for which we so pine. I just learned of a large family who each will cook their own “pod” Thanksgiving dinner then gather, socially distanced in a hall, celebrate mass, and spread out in the room for dessert to watch family movies. Brilliant! Thanksgiving, maybe made better!

It has gotten our team at Corporate Travel to think of the ways in which we might be such a solution to some of that which virtually every American is longing.  Naturally, our thoughts initially pursued the virtual route, which has mercifully connected people, at least visually through the darkest days of lockdown. However, we realized that, fundamentally, we are not a technology company. We are about creating experiences through personal connections. Thinking, praying and meeting as a team for several weeks on Corporate Travel’s 55 year mission to enhance lives and promote culture, the team saw an amazing opportunity to pivot our business to be a solution to at least a few of these problems created by the pandemic.

 

It was striking to us that our mission, and corresponding mission statement, have actually never been more relevant as a roadmap for solutions. By God’s Grace, we have found a way to serve the needs of the day while opening up the world to those we serve!  And it is an antidote to the virtual solutions, of which people have fatigued.  As pioneers in educational and family travel more than 55 years ago, our creative team has reimagined education, family and faith travel.  And, like our family friends’ new and improved Thanksgiving plans, the Corporate Travel team started to see a way in which we could not only preserve, but also improve, on at least a few of these rites of passage, especially for kids and their families!

Thus was borne the Family Field Trip to provide families with the opportunity to still experience those important school trips like Washington DC.  This destination is particularly important because it is one of the very rites of passage of a middle school education that will otherwise be largely missed by two years of middle schoolers. Missing that trip compromises their overall appreciation and understanding of American history. The Family Field Trip not only provides this otherwise missed experience but does so in a way that includes the whole family, building a bond with parents and siblings through travel.  With hotels booked, guides scheduled and restaurant reservations made, Corporate Travel is making the educational school trip BETTER, EASIER and MORE AFFORDABLE, through the FAMILY FIELD TRIP!

We learned over the summer by organizing a number of very successful family weekends at resorts around the country that parents are traveling unabated and truly looking for a way to combat Zoom fatigue and to discover ways to take the classroom on the road. None of us want to miss these important educational traditions, which include school trips – all of which have or will be cancelled for the better part of two years. And we don’t want our children to miss this experience because it compromises their competitiveness for, among other things, college, and diminishes their understanding of the very history that they will hope to enjoy!

To launch the FAMILY FIELD TRIP, we have produced two, three and four night programs to Washington DC as well as a Catholic Highlights Pilgrimage Washington DC. I am so proud of the amazing programs that our team has created during what will be the best time to visit Washington DC. The trip is BETTER than a traditional school trip as it anticipates little traffic and no crowds! Our families can choose which other families they most want to experience the capital with or go it on their own! The experience is tailored for families and provides the opportunity for a private guide. The trip is EASIER than planning it on your own which takes hours and days of research. We have been organizing Washington DC for more than 55 years.  We know what to see and in what order. Our team does all the planning and work ahead of time. Our clients won’t have to even think about the trip until they start on the road with their fully developed itinerary that will also provide the flexibility to go at their own pace. And finally, it is significantly MORE AFFORDABLE than a traditional school tour. Our team has worked to offer the highest quality experience at less than half the cost!

If you are interested to have Corporate Travel help you capture at least a few of your children’s and your family’s most important experiences this year, join us on a FAMILY FIELD TRIP!

 

 

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