Looking forward to the safe, healthy adventure of a lifetime…..

Grand Classroom has been safely getting kids outside for 20 years, and your health remains our top priority during Covid 19. We continue to monitor and update our Covid 19 Mitigation Plan for 2021 and 2022 travel and are excited to get back on the road with you!

 Enhanced Traveler Safety Measures: 

● Avoid travel if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 in the 2 weeks prior to travel 

● Wear a mask whenever indoors and outside when social distancing is not possible 

● Allow time in your tour schedule for frequent hand washing and sanitizing 

● If a participant gets sick on tour, we have contracted with a telemedicine service to ensure that student or adult participants are evaluated quickly and receive appropriate medical care if necessary 

● All participants on tour are encouraged to follow best practices to minimize the risks of falling ill including: frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, avoiding contact with anyone who is ill, and carrying hand sanitizer.

● Upon registration all participants will have the option to purchase Travel Refund Program Plus trip protection, which allows you to cancel up to 1 day before travel for ANY reason including Covid 19 (see Terms and Conditions for more details).

 

Enhanced Traveler Safety Measures:

● Travelers must fill out our online waiver regarding COVID-19
● Do not travel if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or if you have been
in contact with someone infected with COVID-19 in the 2 weeks prior to travel
● Wear a mask whenever indoors
● Wear a mask outside when social distancing is not possible
● Mask must be worn to cover nose and mouth 
● Allow time in your schedule for frequent hand washing and sanitizing
● Please bring your own supply of hand sanitizer and your own reusable cloth
mask
● Please allow for flexibility in your tour schedule - government/vendor
regulations and restrictions are fluid and we will continue to abide by them for
your safety; your Account Manager will update you on any necessary
changes to your itinerary prior to travel

Dr. Laura sat down with Robin, Kerianne, Billy and Eric from Grand Classroom to talk about air travel during Covid 19.
 
 
Q. What updates have there been regarding air travel in the last few weeks?
 
A. Both Harvard and the Department of Defense have released studies saying that the risk of getting Covid 19 on an airplane is virtually nonexistent. This is because of the mask mandate on airplanes and because the air filters on planes are able to clear 99.99% of airborne viruses from the air in the cabin every 5 minutes or so. While all travel has an element of risk, the risk of getting Covid 19 on an airplane is quite low according to these studies.
 
 
Q. Where have you traveled by plane since Covid? What airports did you use and what airlines did you fly?
 

We sat down with Grand Classroom's own Guide and Motorcoach Manager, Tim Krepp, to discuss safety protocols while on tour.

Here's a summary:

Tim was a tour guide for 15 years and is based in Washington, D.C. He's done tours all up and down the east coast - cities, outdoor adventure tours, camping tours, he's done it all.

How will a tour look and feel different than before? Are there things we'll miss out on that we wouldn't have before? 

-We're talking about the period before the vaccine or end of this, however it comes. We're talking about the time between now and then that is very fluid but one where we're working with social distancing and extensive cleaning, etc. We'll need mental, physical, and emotional flexibility during those times. 

We recently sat down with Micki Heineken from the Hampton Inn Alexandria Old Town Area South to discuss how her hotel and the industry in general are adapting cleaning and safety practices during the pandemic. 

Here's a summary:

Micki is the Director of Sales. They have 213 total guest rooms with lots of bus parking, lots of meeting space, open public space. They're located about 10 miles south of the National Mall of I-95

What's differences will guests notice now compared to before the pandemic started?

- When you walk in you'll see signage reminding guests of social distancing and facemarks. There are signs for elevator etiquette as well. We have sani-wipes at the front desk and hand sanitizer at various public spaces. Some of our breakfast area accommodations are spaced further than before. Hilton has a program called Clean Stay where housekeeping clean high-touch points first with disinfectants.  Then they clean the room and come back to the high-touch points and clean them with lysol and seal them with a sticker so you know they've been cleaned. Then they seal the room. So you'll see stickers on the door so you know no one else has been in the room. Sani-wipes will be in the guest room. We sanitize the remote and wrap a cloth around that and seal it so you know it hasn't been touched. 

We sat down with Shane Lauler from Starr Bus Charter and Tours to discuss how Starr and the motorcoach industry as a whole are ensuring your safety during these trying times. 

Here's a summary:

Shane is the Vice President of Sales and has 25 years experience at Starr, a 3rd generation business. Their home base is in New Jersey. A lot of their business is in the student market and they are very focused on safety. These times are challenging but they've enacted some protocols they really feel confident about and are excited to share. 

How are the coaches being cleaned and sanitized?

-First, we are electrostatically cleaning the coaches. It's not a new technology but it's new regarding its use for cleaning motor coaches. We go through the coach and spray using positive and negative ions that connect to every surface and it disinfects them and kills covid and other viruses. The drivers also have sanitizing kits that have wipes for high-touch surfaces that they do several times a day during the trip. We will have anti-bacterial lotion to use for everyone - one by the lavatory and one by the front entrance. Our drivers will wear masks and we ask our passengers to wear masks as well. The first row of the bus will be vacant to put distance between the driver and the group. The drivers have a plexiglass barrier behind them but the first row being empty gives extra distance.