Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Easter vacation youth group travel

Easter vacation can be the perfect time for youth groups to enjoy a Christian travel experience. The trips can range from volunteer mission trips to simple getaways. I have planned several trips for youth groups. My main lesson has been to forget the 'one-size-fits-all approach' when planning an Easter vacation trip.

When planning any Christian travel experience it's important to carefully evaluate the needs and wants of your group.  A few things to keep in mind are:

Budget
Youth groups usually operate on shoestring budgets. Estimate the amount that the average youth group member can realistically contribute. Let that total inform the type of Christian travel that you plan. Speak with  the church finance committee about funding potential scholarships.

Youth group size
The number of people who go on the trip will impact the cost. The adage 'bigger is better' doesn't always apply to an Easter vacation. Although youth groups of 15 or more are eligible for discounted theme park and attraction tickets, the savings may be offset by higher costs.Additonal costs to the Christian travel experience can be incurred via van rental and hotel pricing.

Each hotel allows a maximum number of guests per room type. A same sex group of six people on Easter vacation may be able to share a single suite. Adding one more person can force the group to rent two rooms thus increasing costs for each person.

Type of activity
Choose something that everyone can enjoy over Easter vacation. The beach and theme parks are popular for youth groups.  Hikes and overnight camping trips are popular but can require additional overnight chaperones.

A word about youth groups considering mission trips for Easter vacation
Extra work goes into planning this type of Christian travel. Missions trips are usually popular for youth groups but can be challenging to plan for Easter vacation. Also, the lessons learned on the trip may not have time to sink in before school resumes. 

Parents
Youth groups and their parents sometimes have their own group activities planned over Easter vacation. Get input from your core group of parents before introducing the idea of Christian travel to your youth group. Find out if they are willing to help over Easter vacation and in what capacity. If your most committed parents are unable to help, then it's possible that others won't be able to either.

Spiritual development
Any trips over Easter vacation with youth groups should involve some type of spiritual development. This is what separates Christian travel from a regular getaway. Recruit parents and youth group members to lead devotions or serve in other spiritual development disciplines.

Christian travel can be formative in the spiritual development of teenagers. Do you have any Easter vacation tips for youth groups? The comments section is available below. Be sure to share your ideas here.