Selwyn College

Lawrence Mikkelsen

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Defining Moments over the last five years, organising a number of trips to Los Angeles for the Selwyn College Media Studies department.

There are a range of providers in the educational tourism space, but I’d received a personal recommendation about Defining Moments from a colleague who had used them to run a number of History trips to Vietnam, and had been extremely happy with the service they’d received.

From the get-go, the staff at Defining Moments were highly responsive to my needs and enthusiastic to help me organise a trip, despite never having planned any Media Studies themed trips before. I had a very rough idea of some things I’d like for our group to do in Los Angeles, and Defining Moments were easily able to work these into an itinerary, and also suggest other a range of other activities for our tour group, creating a truly bespoke travel experience for our students, many of whom have described the resultant trips as “the trip of a lifetime” and “unforgettable”.

Throughout the planning process I found Defining Moments to be very helpful, giving me plenty of information and options at every stage of the process. They were able to keep trip costs to a reasonable level, whilst accommodating us in good hotels in locations that were walking distance to the “action”. Having the flexibility to use a range of transport options that included private coaches as well as public buses and the LA Metro gave us lots of opportunities to experience different aspects of Hollywood life while keeping costs for students down to a manageable level.

As trip leader and organiser, the planning maternal I was given before leaving was incredibly comprehensive, with highly detailed itineraries and contact numbers for each day. On the odd occasion when there were any problems, they responded quickly to my emails and phone calls, and were able to quickly sort issues from their end.

This year we were forced to cancel our April school holidays trip to Los Angeles due to the Covid 19 travel restrictions. Obviously, this was pretty heartbreaking for all of the students involved, many of whom had been working and saving hard for eighteen months in the lead up to the trip. However, we were impressed with how Defining Moments dealt with this. They were transparent about the risks once they became aware of how the pandemic might affect us, and were able to give the group a number of different options to work though. Thanks to their hard work securing refunds from a number of different providers students received approximately 80% of their payments back.

How we support School Teachers

Defining Moments understands the stresses and challenges involved in organising school tours groups.