Family Travel Archives - Starr Tours & Charters
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Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and… Roaming!

In school, we heard a lot about the three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. But according to Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, that old saying needs a modern reboot: “For my kids, I made roaming the fourth R. We live in a global society, and if you don’t see outside the neighborhood you grow up in, the world will pass you by. Traveling has opened my kids’ eyes; it’s made them more confident and inspired them to reach outside their normal environment to learn and obtain skills to bring them to the next level.”

Here are some reasons why a trip is exactly what students need to invigorate the learning environment:

Scientifically Proven Benefits
A recent study done by that same U.S. Travel Association took a survey of a large group of adults, some who had a class trip in their youth and some who never had. This pool had people from all incredibly diverse backgrounds and had explosive results. Regardless of race, gender or economic background, the students who had taken trips were more engaged in class, more likely to graduate with better grades, and more stimulated, both in and out of school. Class trips often act as a way for students to recharge their learning batteries: they remind them why they’re working so hard, and energize them for more learning ahead. Take a look at Starr’s lineup of school bus trip suggestions.

Learning with a Porpoise Purpose
Now more than ever class trips are needed. In a world filled with screens, it is more crucial than ever to connect the next generation with real-world examples. With many schools focusing on standardized testing, students need to be reminded of the larger purpose of what they’re learning. When in a long science class inside the classroom, it is easy to say that none of the information learned is useful. But suddenly, when the entire class is in an aquarium, science comes to life, invigorating a passion in students that textbooks just can’t capture. As great as reading a reprint may be, it cannot truly capture the joy of observing marine life, right in front of your very eyes.

The Power of Mentors
As children, who did we look up to? Rock stars, singers, maybe athletes? As great as those role models are, chances are they are people that students cannot see in real life and get advice from. Field trips give students an opportunity to see adult professionals in real life that aren’t their parents. Meeting a real person succeeding at their job inspires students and gives them a strong role model that isn’t on a screen. It can also help them make connections and plant the seeds to create a passion for a subject later in life.

Hands-on Experience
In the real world, there are no textbooks. If you’re having difficulty with a problem, there is no teacher you can ask. Real life activities like field trips offer students ways to observe as well as perform. Outside of the classroom, they are given the freedom to problem solve and explore on their own, at their own speed. By getting out of the classroom, students can encounter real-life issues, allowing them to finally use those skills they have been fine tuning at their desks.

With all of the benefits of field trips, it’s easy to see why it is essential for the student to have real-life experiences out of the classroom. Thanks to Starr, it is more wonderful than ever for parents and administrators to organize one of these terrific outings. With Starr, it is easy to be transported by bus; quickly, safely, and conveniently. With onboard comforts and amenities, students will have the time of their lives safely coasting to their destinations.

If you just want transportation on one of our fabulous coaches, Starr is here for you. But if you want to sit back and relax, let Starr take the wheel. We can plan and organize an entire trip for you, from food to transportation. Let us take care of everything, or just relax with the security of knowing that the transportation for your school group is taken care of. No matter what option you choose you can be guaranteed a safe ride. Starr holds its drivers to rigorous standards ensuring a safe and memorable journey.

If there’s one thing Starr values, it’s students. With seventy years of bus transportation experience, we’re rooting for your trip, whether you just need transportation or would like us to coordinate and plan the trip, Starr is at your side (and behind the wheel) of your education expedition. Talk to Starr today to tackle your next trip. We’re here to ensure your school trip is a resounding success.

Contact Starr and start planning your trip today!

The Season of Giving – How Travel Experiences Enrich Lives

Research shows that travel/experiential gifts create more lasting memories than material gifts. Take, for example, the last holiday season – can you remember every gift you received? Now, think about your last vacation, or a vacation you took in your 40s, or 30s – that’s easier, isn’t it? No matter how much time has passed, we recall fond and challenging memories more easily. Plus, the experience begins before the trip even departs. The planning and the anticipation of the upcoming adventure create joy before the trip begins and the memories from the vacation last a lifetime. So, why worry about the perfect fit, color, brand, style, etc. this year? Give the gift of travel!

Check out these four reasons why a travel gift card or vacation is the best gift your money can buy:

  • Travel lowers stress and enhances creativity. We’ve already covered how travel can lower stress, even for retirees, but did you know that travel enhances creativity as well? Immersing oneself in the different traditions and way of life of a group of people increases cognitive flexibility and the ability to adapt to changes. Trying new things, working through new challenges, meeting new people and getting away from daily routine change a person for the better. You’ll be giving the gift of happiness and health!
  • According to a Cornell University study, experiences make us happier than material goods do. It turns out, doing things rather than having things brings more lasting joy.
  • Experiential gifts and the memories they create last longer than the book that will be read in a month, the clothing that will be out of style next year, the object that will eventually break, and the electronic that will be obsolete by the next holiday season. Plus, they require less wrapping and the recipient doesn’t have to figure out where to put it!
  • You’re giving the gift of friendship. Spending a few days on a bus with a group of people is a surefire way to come home with a few new friends! We have many stories of solo travelers and couples teaming up with other passengers while on vacation and continuing the friendship after they return home. Many regularly meet for dinner or plan to take their next Starr vacation together. There’s also been quite a few matches made on a Starr motorcoach!

 

Don’t take our word for it, click here to see why Travel is the Secret to Happiness!  Then, head over to our website to purchase your gift cards! And don’t forget to bring your kids on your next vacation!

Starr gift cards for bus trips come in any denomination, and they never expire! Your loved one can choose from over a hundred destinations for a day trip, multi-day domestic or international vacation or an all-inclusive cruise! Browse our bus tours, then call or stop by our office to pick up a Starr gift card for everyone on your list!

Stay tuned next week for our Vacation Gift Giving Guide with suggestions for trips you can gift to that special someone!

The Magic of Radio City

The Magic of Radio City

One of my favorite childhood memories is watching the movie Annie when I was a little girl and delighting with wonder and fascination at the scene where Daddy Warbucks takes Annie to Radio City to watch the Rockettes perform. I stared at the beautiful dancers in the same way Annie did, with such wonder and fascination, as the Christmas carols played in the background. Although I am far from being a red-haired orphan living in the 1930s, the wonder of the Rockettes is a universal feeling, one that many have shared for decades.

 

There is nothing quite like the holiday magic of Radio City Music Hall, which opened in 1932. Over 300 million people have flocked to the theatre to escape to the world created between the velvet curtains. Despite being 80 years old, the theatre still creates that pure sense of joy and wonder for people of all ages, while staying true to its history and roots. This season, millions will take a step back in time and enjoy the Christmas Spectacular which has wowed audiences from around the world with sparkling costumes, twinkling lights, and of course, the high-kicking Rockettes.

 

The first Christmas Spectacular, which debuted in December of 1933, was only thirty minutes long, but today the show has bloomed into a 90-minute celebration of the holiday season straight off the pages of a storybook. However, to the delight of audiences everywhere, two iconic numbers done by the Rockettes have remained completely unchanged for decades. “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” give the same holiday joy to millions over, and over again while transporting them back to a similar, classic era.

 

Every April, hundreds of New York’s best dancers strap on their tap shoes to audition for a chance to dazzle audiences on one of the world’s most famous dance teams, the Rockettes, and continue this iconic piece of history. Over 3,000 women have performed as Rockettes, and even more hope of someday joining the kick line that so many dancers dream of being a part of. Those dances have become a part of history, and many want to continue that tradition.

 

This season, you can be part of history and experience the timeless beauty of the Christmas Spectacular. Take a relaxing motorcoach trip and gawk at New York City, glistening and shiny with the Christmas season. Then, take a step back in time to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas Spectacular like no one has seen it before. Watching from Orchestra Seats, you’ll be immersed in the sounds and sights of show. Finally enjoy some free time, and look at the cheery holiday energy in the City, maybe watch the skaters at Rockefeller Center, or just enjoy a bite to eat under that massive Christmas tree. This is an experience that is essential for the holiday season. Dazzle your eyes, maybe bring a little dancer with you, and book your trip now. Starr tours has 28 departures this year – but tickets are selling fast. Spend a day in the city with us and experience this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Not Your Parent’s Motorcoach

Bus travel has changed a lot in the past few years. Long gone are the days of cramped quarters, stuffy interiors, and endless hours with nothing to do. Modern motorcoaches now come with a host of amenities, unheard of several years ago, to make your ride smooth, easy, and comfortable. As we add new coaches to our fleet, we are making conscious decisions about what to change and improve upon to make your ride even better.

 

Here are modern improvements that we are currently adding across our fleet:

 

Wi-Fi Access:
Did you know? All of our motorcoaches now come with wifi so that you can leave home, but stay connected to family and friends. Share pictures and notes to social media, play a game, listen to music, read the news – the world is at your fingertips with your ipad or smartphone connected. We’re a mobile hotspot of connectivity!

Speaking of being connected, when you’re on the road (or at home) be sure to check out Starr’s Facebook page, Twitter account, or Pinterest boards and share your pictures and comments with us!

 

Onboard Entertainment:
Today’s buses now feature state-of-the-art entertainment systems with a PA System for important announcements and fascinating information to accompany your journey as well as DVD players and TV monitors to make the time pass a bit more quickly.

 

 

Comfortable Seating:
Long gone are the days of stiff backed, hard seats. As we add new coaches to our fleet, we consider ways to improve your ride all the way down to what type of upholstery works best. The seats in today’s motorcoaches are more ergonomic with foot rests, arm rests, and reclining options.

 

 

Power Outlets:
Stay connected, and stay charged! Our newer buses come with power outlets so that you never have to worry about losing battery power while on vacation.

 

 

 

Safety:
Starr stays on the cutting edge of all safety regulations, trainings, and practices to ensure that we are prepared for anything. Our drivers undergo rigorous training before being hired. We have some of the strictest regulations in the industry to ensure the well-being of our drivers and passengers, and we are constantly making improvements to stay on top. We take your safety very seriously, find out more here.

 

Clean buses and cleaner energy:
Our staff is committed to giving you a clean and comfortable ride all the way so that you can relax and enjoy your trip. And while you are relaxing, you can also rest assured that you are doing something great for the environment while you do something good for yourself! Did you know? A couple traveling by motorcoach while on vacation cuts their carbon footprint nearly in half, even when compared to driving a hybrid vehicle. Click here to check out all of the ways that motorcoach travel is greener!

 

So, the next time you are planning your family’s vacation, be sure to check out Starr’s lineup of fabulous tours! Great memories are made on motorcoaches and now they are better than ever!

The Importance of Traveling With Your Children

The Importance of Traveling With Your Children

One of the greatest gifts you can give your children and grandchildren is the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone and experience the myriad of adventures that await them beyond their hometown. Travel provides not only the opportunity to see new and exciting things, but offers many valuable life lessons and skills as well.

Here are just a few ways that traveling with your children will enrich their lives:

Taking your kids on a trip with you demonstrates their importance to you.  When you actively show that you want to spend your time with them by choosing to take them along with you, they begin to understand their own value as individuals. Children learn more through your actions than your words and demonstrating that you are willing to spend your most valuable resource – your time – with them conveys their importance far more than the habitual “I love you.”

Travel teaches kids about diversity. Simply traveling to another state gives children insight into how others’ lives differ from their own. They get exposed to different foods, different living situations, even different accents and people. Interaction with a diverse population of people over the course of their childhood helps them become more accepting and open minded adults.

Travel helps kids overcome their fears. Venturing out of your comfort zone and into a new place can be daunting to anyone. Imagine doing so as a child with endless wonder and imagination. Children are safely led to confront all sorts of new experiences while traveling from new foods to new places to sleep and everything in between. When they safely confront and conquer a new experience, their confidence grows and their willingness and capability to tackle new challenges increases.

Engaging them in the planning process is a fantastic learning experience. Problem solving skills, map reading, decision making, budgeting, and scheduling are just a few of the lessons your children can learn as you include them in your trip planning and these are all important life skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Including your children in the planning process helps them become engaged with the trip and the itinerary. They have a hand in the adventure and learn what is possible, how to make things happen, and then to embrace the outcome.

Traveling fosters independence. Allowing your children to be responsible for packing their own bag (with supervision) enables them to plan out what they need and what they don’t. Holding your children accountable for keeping track of their own belongings, making sure that their luggage isn’t too heavy for them to carry, and packing efficiently fosters critical decision making skills and living with the outcomes of your decisions. Helping them to plan ahead to save money to buy their own souvenirs and perhaps leaving one or two items behind to save room for those souvenirs also fosters these skills.

Traveling with your children builds communication. Getting away from the regular routine of school and extracurricular practices and into new and different experiences brings up a vast array of conversation points. Instead of asking about their day at school, you can actively engage them in a conversation about what they learned that day at the museum, or the aquarium, or the battlefield, etc. You can ask them how they felt to learn this, if it changed their minds about what they thought about life, how they will describe the experience to their friends when they get home, their favorite part of the day, the guide they met. The opportunities are endless and the value of having a deep and meaningful conversation about new discoveries is priceless.

 

Traveling with your children is an invaluable experience for them and for you! While traveling with little ones can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. Starr offers a Kids Sale every summer that makes traveling with your children and grandchildren even more affordable and we offer great bus trips with a mix of planned activity and opportunity to explore on your own. Call us, or check out our website for more information on all that we have to offer! We look forward to welcoming you and your children on our bus trips!

For tips on Preparing Tiny Travelers for Big Adventures, check out our blog post!