Overall rating of their tour experience: 5 out of 5
Level to which their tour objectives were met: 5 out of 5
“This was undoubtedly our best trip to the USA in terms of the organisation, the coach and the accommodation. Even Rayburn can’t claim credit for the scenery, but the smooth running of the trip enabled us to enjoy it to the full! A brilliant experience from start to finish”
We spoke to one of the party leaders, Andy Smith, who gave us an insight into the highlights of the school’s most recent visit to the USA…
“The geography department has visited this area of the USA four times before. The trips have been variations on a theme but have always included the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Due to popular demand from two new members of staff in the department and the students we set about organising the tour based on previous experiences. We liaised closely with Rayburn Tours who successfully added the organisation to our ideas and requirements.
Highlights? What to pick when there were so many! The staff were fairly unanimous in their choice of the best day and that was the visit to Bryce Canyon. I have visited it 3 times before but there was something about it that day that made it more spectacular than I can ever remember – I was not sure if it was the weather, the light or the patches of snow. We had almost the whole day to visit viewpoints and complete a couple of trails and really felt that it had been a quite magical day. I am sure that the students would pick the two days in Las Vegas as a highlight. We were able to explore the many attractions that the city has to offer including the Stratosphere rides, the New York New York roller coaster, the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Bellagio fountains and the evening outdoor shows and still found time to satisfy the demand for shopping.
All that and I still haven’t mentioned the awesome Grand Canyon, the memorable journey by boat from Glen Dam through Red Canyon, the vertigo inducing views from Horseshoe Overlook and the brilliant colours of the rock formations and spring vegetation in Zion. All were undoubtedly highlights to some!
On our return we have had lots of incredibly positive feedback from students and parents saying how much they had enjoyed the experience. All were enthused by the magnificence of the scenery and the many experiences of Vegas. Past trips have certainly given students the impetus to carry on with Geography and take the subject to A level and beyond. Time will tell if this year’s group are similarly galvanised. Simply put – it was a fantastic experience that they never will forget.
Educational value aside, the whole trip is an experience. They see life in a different part of the world, they experience the hotels and the food and they probably appreciate the size of the country much more. Most importantly to them it is time away with their friends and the shared experiences last long into the future.”