Online Trip Payments
We are proud to offer this option as a tool to assist the group leader with their collections and monitoring of who is traveling and keeping up with their payments. We do recommend, however, that all group leaders opting to choose online payments know both the benefits and challenges that they are very likely to experience.
- Group leaders are given ‘Trip Coordinator’ status allowing them to:
- View the roster of registered travelers & easily ‘drag and drop’ the room list and submit it when due.
- Avoid having to collect and process a majority of the trip payments
- Message travelers from the online site
- Parents are more involved in the trip process by registering their children and can log in at any time to view their balance.
- Payment reminders are sent directly to the person that registered the traveler.
- Payments can be made any time of day and night and may be made with credit cards, debit cards, and ACH (check).
- The Group Leader must get all parents to register their children.
- The Group Leader must still collect the initial deposit from all travelers.
- Although GTC can email the parents about payments, if they do not respond or reply to us, we still need the Group Leader or their representative to contact them.
- Since we contract with the ‘group’ it is also the group that is responsible for any shortfall of unpaid individual travelers.
- When we propose and contract with a group, the price is based on the number of anticipated paid travelers. If from the time of deposit until the final payment, the number of travelers drops, the remaining traveler’s package price will increase.
Suggestions when opting for Online Payments
Assign a Trip Coordinator
Having been band parents ourselves, we are well aware that the ‘Boosters’ are normally comprised of a very small group of very active parents and then a vast majority that only comes out for performances. This is typical, but of the active parents, there are likely a few that ‘take it to the next level’ and get more involved than the rest.
When setting up our online trip portal, we have the ability to assign ‘trip coordinators’ that have greater access to view the trip registrations, and roster and view payments made. Typically the band, choir or orchestra director takes on this role, but if the director has a very active booster member and limited time to focus on the details of the trip, we recommend getting a parent ‘trip assistant’ involved in the trip planning process. This parent could be extremely helpful as a communicator between you and the traveler’s parents and may have the time to invest in making sure the rostered travelers are saying aware of the payments and due dates. They could also help to coordinate the room, bus and dining lists that may need to be submitted to us.
Communication – GTC Zoom Trip Meetings
Even with phone apps that can reach all parents at the same time, it still seems the biggest challenge a director faces is communicating with parents. We have also found that most parents do not attend meetings in person however they are more willing to attend online meetings. It is, for this reason, we highly recommend allowing GTC to set up Zoom meetings at regular intervals throughout the planning process. Once you or your trip assistant set a date, we will create the meeting invitation for you to share with the travelers and their parents so that they can ask us trip-related questions.
Be Realistic When Estimating the Group Size
When we originally send you a trip proposal, the package pricing is based on the anticipated number of travelers. If the number drop, it is likely the per-person package price will increase for the remaining travelers. It is for this reason that we recommend estimating a lower number of trip participants early before we propose the trip price.
Let’s Talk About Options
We are always glad to spend as much or as little time as is needed to discuss the online payment system and what it can do to enhance the trip planning process.