By: Alyssa D’Alconzo, Ed.D. GED’04, GRD ’11
On a snowy day earlier this month,
so snowy it was hard to see the Button in front of Van Pelt,
the Penn Alumni Travel team cozied up inside Sweeten House
with cappuccinos and lattes to set our travel destination list for 2015. (Yes, 2015! We have begun booking for 2014 and the full schedule is available at http://www.alumni.upenn.edu/travel/trips.html)
With all of the fabulous places to visit in the world, how did we determine where we’ll send our Penn alumni travelers and faculty hosts?
First, we gathered data. Throughout the fall semester we met with vendors to learn what new and exciting tours they’re offering. We also spent time poring over the feedback and insights we received from previous trips and our annual travel survey. Emilie created every chart and graph imaginable to help us better understand where Penn alumni and friends want to visit, when, for how long, and how! For example, for 2015, we received a lot of interest in Italy and France, fall travel for 7-10 days, and land-based tours.
Next we consulted available offerings to put together an interest list that covered all parts of the world, differed in lengths of trips, and offered land-based, ocean cruise, and river cruise options. We also routinely consulted the maps that hang in our offices to trace potential itineraries.
And, of course, we thought about the expertise of our faculty hosts! Their full participation on tours, sharing lectures and expertise, is a big part of what makes Penn Alumni Travel trips so special.
After sleeping on our selections – and a bit more discussion – we think we’ve done it! We’ve created a destinations list sure to engage the most seasoned traveler, and we can’t wait to share it with you. To be one of the first to know when our 2015 schedule is released, join us on Facebook!