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American Student Tours®
Top 10 Consumer Tips for Selecting a Tour Operator
The National Tour Association urges travelers to use this top 10 list of travel tips when making travel plans:
- Verify that the tour company or travel agency is a member of a professional association such as the Student and Youth Travel Association, the National Tour Association, the American Bus Association, the American Society of Travel Agents, the International Air Transport Association or the International Association of Travel Agents Network.
- American Student Tours is a longtime member in good standing with the National Tour Association, the American Bus Association and the American Society of Travel Agents. We are active members of the only professional student travel association in the tourism industry, the Student and Youth Travel Association. We are also an accredited travel agency by the International Air Transport Association and the International Association of Travel Agents Network which provides the only worldwide accreditation for travel agencies and sets its members apart with high ethical standards and financial stability necessary in the group tour market.
- Verify that the tour company has errors and omissions, professional liability insurance coverage. Professional tour companies should have this coverage.
- American Student Tours has a $1,000,000.00 errors and omissions and professional liability insurance policy in place so that you can travel with us secure in knowing that you are covered in case of the unexpected.
- Don't be taken in by an attractive Web site. An eye-catching Web site does not ensure the reliability or integrity of the company.
- American Student Tours gets the majority of its clients by referral. Our website is only an extension of the services that we offer to our trip participants. Always do your research before selecting a travel company.
- Carefully read the company's cancellation and refund policies.
- American Student Tours provides clear cancellation and refund policies on all of our registration forms and is presented prior to making a payment.
- Use a credit card to purchase tickets whenever possible, and if cash must be used, always get a receipt, that way you have a paper trail. Beware of companies sending a courier for a check, requesting direct bank deposits or a certified check. Prior to payment, you should ask for all the details on any trip in writing and review them carefully.
- American Student Tours does accept credit cards including VISA, MasterCard and American Express. We encourage all trip participant to at least make their initial deposit by credit card. American Student Tours will never use couriers or direct deposit for payment. All details of a trip are presented prior to making a payment.
- Ask the company for client references. Attempt to get a reference on a client or group with whom you are familiar.
- American Student Tours would be happy to supply client references upon request. References are never coached on what to say or paid for their candid evaluation of AST.
- Avoid high-pressure sales with a limited time to evaluate the offer.
- American Student Tours does not use hig-pressure tactics to sell trips. Our record of happy customers speaks for itself. The vast majority of our business is through referrals.
- Decline offers requiring a property sales presentation.
- American Student Tours does not sell property or use any gimmics to get business. We use straight forward business practices to gain and retain our clients. That means providing our clients with the trip they want and delivering on each and every item expected.
- Request specific hotel and airline names, addresses and phone numbers; broad terms such as "all major hotels" and "all major airlines" are warning flags. Insist on a local phone number if given an 800, 877 or 866 number, this will establish that the tour company or travel agency has a central office from which it operates.
- American Student Tours does use "all major hotels" and "all major airlines", although we will provide exact names, addresses and phone numbers for specific hotels, bus companies and other suppliers that we use upon request so that you may verify our credibility.
- If you receive a vacation certificate in the mail, take it to a local NTA tour operator who can evaluate it.
- American Student Tours will never send a vacation certificate to you in the mail or sell your contact information to outside businesses. Since we are a NTA member, we would be happy to evaluate any certificate for you.
Tips for Travelers Before and During a Tour
The American Society of Travel Agents urges student travelers to use this list of travel tips when planning and taking a tour:
Before You Go
- Before you go, learn as much as you can about the cities you're visiting, especially laws including those concerning drinking age, drugs and curfews. You are not immune to local laws just because you're a visitor, and you can be arrested.
- Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. It's hard to enjoy the sights when you can't see them.
- Pack a simple first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic cream and pain relievers. It's a good thing to have "just in case." And tell your trip leaders about any medications you're taking.
- Give your parents the phone and fax number of your hotel, the cell phone numbers of the chaperones and a full itinerary of your trip. If anything changes during the trip, e-mail your parents immediately with the new info.
- Pack all valuables, medications, travel documents and identification in your carry-on bag. Occasionally checked luggage gets lost at airports, so you want to have your important items on you.
While You're There
- Do not carry all your cash at once, especially if all you need is enough to buy lunch and a few sodas. And keep your wallet in a zippered pocket, preferably inside your jacket. If you need to get cash, only use authorized vendors like banks.
- Don't be flashy. Wear an old, inexpensive watch and leave the bling at home. You don't want to be a walking target for thieves. If you bring a fancy digital camera or an MP3 player, don't flaunt them.
- When you check in at your hotel, grab a card from the counter with the hotel's name, address and phone number on it. Keep this card on you at all times.
- Look both ways before crossing the streets. Yes, you've heard that a billion times, but you'll be surprised how easy it is to step into oncoming traffic.
- Travel with a buddy at all times and never wander off alone from the group.
- Be respectful around, and ask permission before taking photographs of, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and other religious sites. Also, ask permission before taking photographs of government buildings and military installations. In some locations you can be detained for taking a picture of the wrong building.
- Talk to your trip leader or to a travel agent about types of food or beverages to avoid, and don't buy food from street vendors.
Monday - Friday 9:00am-5:00pm
Please send questions and comments to either our Customer Service Department or our Sales Department
call us toll-free at: (877)801-6398
Experience The Difference With American Student Tours
"Well Done Is Better Than Well Said" - Benjamin Franklin
American Student Tours
Address: Login for Directions and Map
Phone: (877) 801-6398
Fax: (480) 393-5099
Serving the Student Tour Market Since 1989
Travel Agency Accreditation:
Washington D.C. Guides Association
Registered Seller of Travel UBI# 602 059 780 000
California Residents CST # 2093359-40