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Tourism Boards Are Your Ticket to Free Travel

Posted July 7th, 2021 by Noreen Kompanik & filed under Travel Writing.

One of the top reasons to become a travel writer is perks such as hosted travel.

Best way to make your articles worth more.

Thanks to my relationships with tourism board representatives, I have been invited on numerous press trips over my 6.5 years as a travel writer. This includes travel within the continental U.S. as well as to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Europe. These invitations were both group and individual trips hosted by the destination. Most were all-inclusive and covered airfare.

How does the process work? Put simply, tourism boards receive funds to promote their destination. One of the best promoters of that destination just happens to be you, the travel writer. With social media and our stories, we are a very effective method of marketing for the destination—and they know it!

As I’ve learned throughout the years, the value of connecting with tourism boards and their representatives goes far beyond a destination—it opens the door to a whole host of other benefits.

Press Trips

The holy grail for the travel writer is landing the all-inclusive press trip. These are personal invitations by the tourism board to visit the destination “on the house.” These can be on an individual basis or as part of a group. The tourism board wants to attract visitors to their locale, and the travel writer is a big part of the promotion by being the “boots on the ground” and writing and sharing the experience. It’s a win-win!

Story Ideas

Early on in my travel writing, I discovered a secret benefit of working with tourism boards. I asked to be on the mailing list of my local San Diego tourism board. These mailings include all the latest information about San Diego—new hotels, restaurants, and upcoming events. The information provides a wealth of new story ideas. I also reach out to other destinations I’m interested in visiting and enjoy the same benefit.

Invitations to Local Events

After joining the email list, reps for individual venues have reached out to me with invitations to local events. Among the many offerings were a luxury five-star hotel opening celebration, a cocktail reception at a high-end oceanside restaurant, a sunset sail aboard a catamaran, and San Diego lunches, dinners, and receptions by visiting tourism boards.

Friendships Forged

Another top benefit of working with tourism boards is the lasting relationships with the reps. Many reps accompany the writer on some or all aspects of the press trip. Spending three or four days together allows us to get to know one another. In many cases, we’ve become good friends. This is valuable for future trip invites, or in the case of one of my reps who accompanied our small media group to the Riviera Maya, a personal invitation to the Turks and Caicos.

Read Post  Are Travel Wallets Worth It?

It’s not unusual for reps to change jobs or destinations. When this happens, the relationship carries over to new destinations and opportunities.

Professional Referrals

The tourism board rep community is tight knit. They know one another and will gladly provide referrals to other destination reps if they enjoyed working with you and like your product.

This is the gift that keeps on giving!If you deliver what you promise in a story and act professional and considerate on your trip, then your reputation will grow. Your name will go to the top of the list for future opportunities.

This has happened to me on more occasions than I can count. For example, I was invited on a coastal California press trip and after that hosted event, I was contacted by two other California beach town reps asking me to visit their destinations in exchange for my stories. Those trips were equally amazing.

Most of us became travel writers because of our love of travel. Imagine traveling even more because tourism boards want to lure us to their destinations. Mastering this process is like finding a treasure map.

An unknown author once said, “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” Working together with tourism board reps can help fulfill that dream. Not just once, but time and time again.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

Hero Image

There’s nothing like a travel classroom theme to help inspire curiosity, foster an explorer’s mindset, and give your kids a little global perspective—even if many of your students aren’t yet travelers themselves. (Emphasis on the yet.)

1. Use your classroom door to let students know they’re taking an adventure.

SOURCE: https://savedyouaspot.com

You can show students your travel theme first thing with artful door décor. The Now Boarding message will let students know they are taking an adventure when they enter your classroom.

2. Make map art.

SOURCE: https://designertrapped.com

An old map can get new life as travel-themed art. Add inspiring words or one of these cool quotes curated from EF Tours about travel, using die-cut letters or permanent markers.

3. Call your homework assignment boards road maps.

SOURCE: https://juliefaulknersblog.com

On your designated whiteboard, chalkboard, or bulletin board areas that show the week’s assignments, a Weekly Roadmap sign cleverly continues your travel theme.

4. Put up an interactive postcard display.

SOURCE: Pinterest

Postcards from your own travels can do double duty as art and provide teaching moments about international destinations. Invite your students to bring in their own family postcards to add to the display.

5. Use vintage luggage for book displays.

SOURCE: https://tumblr.libraryjournal.com

Old luggage from your parents, grandparents, or a thrift store makes for clever and cute storage for paperbacks. It’s a travel-themed take on the book bin and allows titles to be easily seen by students.

6. Frame geography-themed board games.

SOURCE: Pinterest

History and social studies teachers are known for sharing their love of Risk! and other world affairs-themed board games with their students. If you have old games that are missing pieces, or pick them up cheaply at thrift stores, display the boards’ cool artwork of the seven continents on your walls. By the way, our friends at EF Educational Tours lead groups of teachers and students to destinations on six out of seven of these continents (someday, Antarctica!) as well as many different types of tours for various areas of study .

7. Drive home travel with a road trip themed display table.

SOURCE: https://tvahlsing.wordpress.com

Grab some black paper and all the books you can find about road trips, domestic travel and transportation. Add an iconic green and white road sign, and your students will be transported during their library or classroom visits.

8. Give travel books an aspirational display.

SOURCE: http://thebeak.edublogs.org

Another awesome book display idea. This one places books about travel or set in far off lands front and center for reading ideas, easy borrowing and decoration, too. Be sure to subscribe (for free!) to the EF Journal and feature in your travel section.

9. Brand your lost and found area the baggage claim.

SOURCE: http://www.joyinthejourneyteaching.com

All it takes is simple signage and suitcase clip art printed on labels to brand your coat closet or bag hook area baggage claim.

10. Turn a bulletin board into a flight information display “screen.”

SOURCE: http://www.bungalow327.com

This is a super idea for that random bulletin board you never know how to fill. Transform it into a flight- or train-information screen with black paper and white or green lettering. Feature cities you’re covering in your curriculum. Your creativity is sure to bump you to first class in the classroom-theme department.

11. Adopt a favorite country as your overall theme …

SOURCE: Pinterest

Rather that focusing on general travel, or international or domestic locations, why not choose a particular country? We love this Spanish teacher’s homage to Mexico!

12. … or a particular historic period.

Art teacher Cassie Stephens adopts a different destination classroom theme each year. For her ancient Egypt theme, she sponge-stamped dollar store straw mats and painted her windows. During the year she incorporated ancient Egyptian techniques and history into her students’ art lessons.

13. Jazz up a neutral palette with colorful flags.

SOURCE: https://schoolgirlstyle.com

If in years past you stuck to a neutral theme, such as black and white or beige and brown, just add colorful international or U.S. state flags for some pops of color.

Read Post  How to Take Action: Turning Ideas into Action

14. Study world flags and then invite students to design their own flags.

SOURCE: http://www.mystoryismyflag.com/

You can also offer a lesson on the flags of different countries by inviting students to research flag designs. After they learn about what the colors and symbols represent, invite them to create their own flags that symbolize their own lives and origins. Then all you have to do is display the students’ work. Don’t you love it when assignments become classroom art?

15. Add an international skyline display to a frame for a “window” into another land.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

SOURCE: http://www.bungalow327.com

A large picture frame or unused window can reveal a skyline to another land. Crafty teacher Gennai Henning of Bungalow 327 asked her art teacher colleague to draw the Paris skyline so her students would feel like they were really there. Wow! You could also create a group project with your students to recreate or create a skyline, or you could hang a panoramic photograph poster.

16. Use a map to showcase the settings of books your students will read in the coming year.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

SOURCE: http://schoollibrarydisplays.blogspot.com

This school library decoration links the books on display to their international settings. A map, yarn, and color copies of book covers come together to provide beautiful reading inspiration. Another piece of inspiring reading material is the free EF Tours Journal. Every issue includes inspiration for your classroom, interviews, and unique perspectives on travel. The journal is a celebration of globally minded educators.

17. Add a world map rug.

SOURCE: Amazon.com

If it’s time for you to order a new classroom rug, search for a world map design. You can also pick up a world map welcome map, so that when students cross your classroom threshold they subtly enter a new world of learning.

18. Repurpose thrift store clocks for a time zone display.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

SOURCE: https://twitter.com/bitelyb8

Make your classroom feel like a cosmopolitan hotel and teach your students about time zones with a display of multiple clocks. Set each clock to a different local time in the world or within your country and label the time zones.

19. Add an oversized wall map to an empty wall.

SOURCE: https://twitter.com/bitelyb8

Oversized sticky murals make wall art and map displays a cinch and offer lots of possibilities for travel learning and dreams.

20. Inspire your students with examples of global good.

SOURCE: Pinterest

Add images of historical or current global activists to a bulletin board map display. You will inspire your own students to become good global citizens and make the world a better place.

EF Tours is committed to helping teachers easily organize travel that helps them challenge their students’ assumptions, spark connections, and inspire curiosity. Interested in a leading a tour? Get started today.

Want to learn more about incorporating travel learning into your classroom? Check out the EF Tours Travel Channel here on WeAreTeachers.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

Jessica McFadden is a writer, blogger and parent living in the Washington, DC suburbs. A daughter of a teacher and a member of a family of teachers, she is happily at home interviewing teachers, principals and education specialists.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

Hero Image

There’s nothing like a travel classroom theme to help inspire curiosity, foster an explorer’s mindset, and give your kids a little global perspective—even if many of your students aren’t yet travelers themselves. (Emphasis on the yet.)

1. Use your classroom door to let students know they’re taking an adventure.

SOURCE: https://savedyouaspot.com

You can show students your travel theme first thing with artful door décor. The Now Boarding message will let students know they are taking an adventure when they enter your classroom.

2. Make map art.

SOURCE: https://designertrapped.com

An old map can get new life as travel-themed art. Add inspiring words or one of these cool quotes curated from EF Tours about travel, using die-cut letters or permanent markers.

3. Call your homework assignment boards road maps.

SOURCE: https://juliefaulknersblog.com

On your designated whiteboard, chalkboard, or bulletin board areas that show the week’s assignments, a Weekly Roadmap sign cleverly continues your travel theme.

4. Put up an interactive postcard display.

SOURCE: Pinterest

Postcards from your own travels can do double duty as art and provide teaching moments about international destinations. Invite your students to bring in their own family postcards to add to the display.

5. Use vintage luggage for book displays.

SOURCE: https://tumblr.libraryjournal.com

Old luggage from your parents, grandparents, or a thrift store makes for clever and cute storage for paperbacks. It’s a travel-themed take on the book bin and allows titles to be easily seen by students.

6. Frame geography-themed board games.

SOURCE: Pinterest

History and social studies teachers are known for sharing their love of Risk! and other world affairs-themed board games with their students. If you have old games that are missing pieces, or pick them up cheaply at thrift stores, display the boards’ cool artwork of the seven continents on your walls. By the way, our friends at EF Educational Tours lead groups of teachers and students to destinations on six out of seven of these continents (someday, Antarctica!) as well as many different types of tours for various areas of study .

Read Post  Is it Safe to Travel to FLORIDA Right Now? (November Update)

7. Drive home travel with a road trip themed display table.

SOURCE: https://tvahlsing.wordpress.com

Grab some black paper and all the books you can find about road trips, domestic travel and transportation. Add an iconic green and white road sign, and your students will be transported during their library or classroom visits.

8. Give travel books an aspirational display.

SOURCE: http://thebeak.edublogs.org

Another awesome book display idea. This one places books about travel or set in far off lands front and center for reading ideas, easy borrowing and decoration, too. Be sure to subscribe (for free!) to the EF Journal and feature in your travel section.

9. Brand your lost and found area the baggage claim.

SOURCE: http://www.joyinthejourneyteaching.com

All it takes is simple signage and suitcase clip art printed on labels to brand your coat closet or bag hook area baggage claim.

10. Turn a bulletin board into a flight information display “screen.”

SOURCE: http://www.bungalow327.com

This is a super idea for that random bulletin board you never know how to fill. Transform it into a flight- or train-information screen with black paper and white or green lettering. Feature cities you’re covering in your curriculum. Your creativity is sure to bump you to first class in the classroom-theme department.

11. Adopt a favorite country as your overall theme …

SOURCE: Pinterest

Rather that focusing on general travel, or international or domestic locations, why not choose a particular country? We love this Spanish teacher’s homage to Mexico!

12. … or a particular historic period.

Art teacher Cassie Stephens adopts a different destination classroom theme each year. For her ancient Egypt theme, she sponge-stamped dollar store straw mats and painted her windows. During the year she incorporated ancient Egyptian techniques and history into her students’ art lessons.

13. Jazz up a neutral palette with colorful flags.

SOURCE: https://schoolgirlstyle.com

If in years past you stuck to a neutral theme, such as black and white or beige and brown, just add colorful international or U.S. state flags for some pops of color.

14. Study world flags and then invite students to design their own flags.

SOURCE: http://www.mystoryismyflag.com/

You can also offer a lesson on the flags of different countries by inviting students to research flag designs. After they learn about what the colors and symbols represent, invite them to create their own flags that symbolize their own lives and origins. Then all you have to do is display the students’ work. Don’t you love it when assignments become classroom art?

15. Add an international skyline display to a frame for a “window” into another land.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

SOURCE: http://www.bungalow327.com

A large picture frame or unused window can reveal a skyline to another land. Crafty teacher Gennai Henning of Bungalow 327 asked her art teacher colleague to draw the Paris skyline so her students would feel like they were really there. Wow! You could also create a group project with your students to recreate or create a skyline, or you could hang a panoramic photograph poster.

16. Use a map to showcase the settings of books your students will read in the coming year.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

SOURCE: http://schoollibrarydisplays.blogspot.com

This school library decoration links the books on display to their international settings. A map, yarn, and color copies of book covers come together to provide beautiful reading inspiration. Another piece of inspiring reading material is the free EF Tours Journal. Every issue includes inspiration for your classroom, interviews, and unique perspectives on travel. The journal is a celebration of globally minded educators.

17. Add a world map rug.

SOURCE: Amazon.com

If it’s time for you to order a new classroom rug, search for a world map design. You can also pick up a world map welcome map, so that when students cross your classroom threshold they subtly enter a new world of learning.

18. Repurpose thrift store clocks for a time zone display.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

SOURCE: https://twitter.com/bitelyb8

Make your classroom feel like a cosmopolitan hotel and teach your students about time zones with a display of multiple clocks. Set each clock to a different local time in the world or within your country and label the time zones.

19. Add an oversized wall map to an empty wall.

SOURCE: https://twitter.com/bitelyb8

Oversized sticky murals make wall art and map displays a cinch and offer lots of possibilities for travel learning and dreams.

20. Inspire your students with examples of global good.

SOURCE: Pinterest

Add images of historical or current global activists to a bulletin board map display. You will inspire your own students to become good global citizens and make the world a better place.

EF Tours is committed to helping teachers easily organize travel that helps them challenge their students’ assumptions, spark connections, and inspire curiosity. Interested in a leading a tour? Get started today.

Want to learn more about incorporating travel learning into your classroom? Check out the EF Tours Travel Channel here on WeAreTeachers.

20 Travel Classroom Theme Ideas

Jessica McFadden is a writer, blogger and parent living in the Washington, DC suburbs. A daughter of a teacher and a member of a family of teachers, she is happily at home interviewing teachers, principals and education specialists.

Source https://greatescapepublishing.com/travel-writing/tourism-boards-are-your-ticket-to-free-travel/

Source https://www.weareteachers.com/classroom-travel-theme-ideas/

Source https://www.weareteachers.com/classroom-travel-theme-ideas/

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