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What’s Your Plan B?

Mar 27, 2019

When leading students on travel at home or internationally, a well-developed plan for the adventure is required. What’s often overlooked is having plan B if plan A doesn’t work out.

That backup plan addresses what to do when things go wrong. Converse with your travel organizer before your trip. You should know what support to expect and each organization’s responsibility. While it’s impossible to plan for every scenario, it’s critical to understand how you’ll work with your tour organizer if the unexpected arises.

Michael Bowers, Safety Consultant, Center for Student Travel Safety, recently completed an online safety course that educates travelers on best practices in preparing for international travel. Read on for his insight.

The extremely detailed and informative Travel HEROES could be completed by students and their families prior to departing, to help them become informed and prepared. It’s offered by Depart Smart, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preparing people to travel abroad safely.

Depart Smart founder Sheryl Hill and her husband, Allen, know too well that tragedies can strike during travel. Their oldest son, Tyler, a vibrant, athletic, leader and role model, died a preventable death on a trip to Japan in 2007. He was barely 16. Since then, the Hills have turned unimaginable grief into a mission to improve travel and tourism safety for all students, around the world. Sheryl passionately believes every person should possess super skills to get help and home safely.

I’ve known Sheryl for more than 10 years. We share many common goals, including continuous improvement in the education and preparedness offered to travelers. And we hope to help prevent unwanted and negative events. Equally important is educating travelers and their families on being ready in the event something happens.

The engaging, entertaining, educational Travel HEROES online course is a guide for developing a personal travel plan. It comprises six 10-to-15-minute teaching modules, with mini-games, testimonials and an end-of-chapter assessment. As learners complete each chapter, they progressively compile a plan to guide them through steps they should take for safer international travels and earn a Travel HEROES completion certificate.

While I consider myself a travel veteran, having traveled all over the world, I learned important information from this course and was reminded of many more safety practices I knew but grew complacent about. I was so impressed with the skills and information this innovative travel safety tool provides, that I joined the Depart Smart board of directors.

Please consider educating your student travel families about this educational opportunity and adding it to your future trips.

Visit to learn more about Depart Smart and the Travel HEROES safety course.

Written by Amy L Charles, Editorial Director for Teach & Travel.

This article originally appeared in Teach & Travel.