This is Important
Knowing and understanding a traveler’s special accommodations is a critical step in making their trip a success. Whether the need is to prevent something that triggers a mild allergy, or a severe physical disability, Musicians Abroad wants to effectively provide the traveler quality care and travel arrangements. If you or a loved one have a special accommodation and will be traveling with Musicians Abroad, we have you covered. When a group is focused on its performance, it is easy to overlook issues with accessibility, facilities and other factors. We want to ensure all members of the group are able to participate and enjoy the trip. Performance travel with special accommodation members requires extra consideration at every stage of planning and execution.
It is important to travel with a tour provider that will make your special accommodation travelers a priority. In planning a trip, remember that everyone in the group deserves to participate in all activities.
Musicians Abroad processes special accommodations individually. Our travelers deserve this level of personal service. Musicians Abroad special accommodation travelers are assigned a dedicated Operations Coordinator who will address requests, need by need.
Here are some questions and answers that will help your special accommodation traveler during their next trip:
For physical limitations, please share everything that might help us plan. For instance, if walking all day for several days is going to be a struggle, let us know. While the group is on foot, we may be able to arrange a location for them to take a break. If they utilize a wheelchair, we want to be sure your foldable wheelchair will fit in the motor coach luggage bay. We may be able to reserve a handicap-accessible motor coach when given enough notice.
Key Tip – Select and brief your traveler’s wheelchair companion and have them practice together before trip departure.
For travelers with cognitive disabilities, some amusement parks offer a rider switch program which allows one person to experience a ride while another person waits with the traveler who does not. The two helpers then swap places to allow the second traveler to ride without waiting in line. Also, some parks offer a guide that addresses each attraction's specific triggers including flashing lights, loud noises, surprise elements, etc.
Key Tip – Request cognitive disability information from amusement parks and other attractions early in trip planning.
If there is a food allergy, it's important for travelers to tell us the specific foods they must avoid as well as the alternative foods they can eat. For instance, if one has nut allergies, list the specifics: My student is allergic to almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and cashews, but not allergic to peanuts and pine nuts. If your traveler is a vegetarian, let us know if they may eat dairy products, eggs, honey and gelatin. Be as specific as possible. Once we're informed, we will contact our dining vendors to gather meal options. We do our best to accommodate dining accommodations.
For those who have food restrictions based on faith traditions, we will arrange appropriate meals.
Key Tip – Let us know what you CAN eat, in addition to the foods that you cannot eat.
Check the Dietary Restrictions or Special Needs box when you fill-in your online tour registration. This is the best way to let us know that your traveler has a specific concern. When the trip is moved from the Travel Designer stage to your Operations Agent, they will send an introductory e-mail to each person who checked the Dietary Restrictions or Special Needs box. Reply to the Agent with detailed information by the requested due date.
Key Tip – Be open. Be specific.
Your Operations Agent contacts vendors with specific requests. Once arrangements are finalized, Special Accommodations details are given to your Musicians Abroad Tour Director, who re-confirms them and travels with your group throughout the tour. Receiving Special Accommodations details early allows us to plan the most appropriate course of action.
Key Tip – Share information as soon as you receive your Special Accommodations email. It takes time to gather options and determine a plan of action.
Share the Special Accommodations of your traveler with music directors, educators and chaperones. The latter are the traveler’s main contact person. Also, the special accommodations traveler should be coached to be their own advocate, especially in situations when a contact person is not present. Music Travel Tour Directors manage pre-planned arrangements, answer questions and handle adjustments. Maintaining open communication and working together to share information with all parties is essential for a smooth trip.
Key Tip – Share your student’s Special Accommodation with the Director and Staff Member.
Be patient – Someone with special accommodations may move more slowly than other travelers. The journey is sometimes more interesting than the destination. You may see something amazing that you would have missed otherwise, and everyone still will participate in all the activities and events.
Be flexible – When the unexpected happens, a meal is delayed or a ride is stopped to load a disabled traveler, take a moment, take a breath and look around. This is a great opportunity to think about details you want to remember about the trip.
Be kind – You will have a unique experience however, the same experience might be challenging for someone else. Can you help? Trips are more fun when you get to know the other travelers in your group better and share memorable adventures.
Musicians Abroad Goals
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