Group overseas trips can be tricky to organise. Fundraising, visas, safe accommodation and transport all need to be considered and organised before you even set foot on a plane. That’s where expert help comes in handy.
Travel With Kidz travel consultant Michelle Thomas has organised several community dance group tours to Bali and on P&O cruise ships. She says most group trips start with an idea – to dance overseas and it’s her job to make that dream a reality.
“Normally they hold a meeting within the Dance Academy, I’m invited to let them know the logistics and the safety issues- obviously with children that’s a key point,” Michelle says.
Michelle ensures that all accommodation is safe and secure for large groups of children. Then she sources quotes on airfares, accommodation and transfers. But that’s not all. Michelle can also source dance locations and permits -something that’s crucial for any dance group wanting to perform overseas.
“Every country is different so we ensure they have permits with the government to allow them to perform at the hotel.”
In Bali, many groups want to add in trips to schools or orphanages to dance for underprivileged children. Michelle says this is a great experience for children and she can ensure the organisations chosen meet welfare standards.
“ Some of the kids have never traveled overseas. Visiting a different country, performing in an unknowing crowd, I think it builds their inner self and enthusiasm,” she says.
“It gives them a sense of pride by giving back and performing to underprivileged children, they actually get to see it with their own eyes what it’s like back in Australia compared to how the children are actually living.”
Dance groups that want to secure a coveted cruise ship spot will need to go through an application process. That’s something Michelle can help organise.
“I have to send them a letter of what the kids want to do, send them video clips of the kids dancing in the academy or at other concerts that they’ve done and it will have to go through the P&O board for them to approve,” Michelle says.
With Michelle handling the technical details and organisation, dance group leaders and students can spend more time on fundraising.
Michelle can also join trips to ensure on-ground organisation runs smoothly. If you’re interested in overseas group dance tours – contact Michelle through her Travel With Kidz page.