London Trip Announcements

11/28/2022

View our almost-final drafts of the NARRATIVE Itinerary and OUTLINE itinerary. Please familiarize yourselves with the schedule ahead of time!

View an interactive map of suggested sites to visit during free time. Compare the dates/locations of the itinerary with the map and think of some things to do!

Start familiarizing yourself with “The Tube” — London’s Underground Railway system. We will be using this mode of transportation extensively. There are maps, guides, and tips/tricks for travel.

Download the “TFL Go App” or use Google/Apple Maps to see travel routes to/from your destination. Try plugging in a few addresses from the itinerary, like our Hotel to the Ritz Charles (which we will do our first day)

Students: Access your trip handbook here

11/13/2022

Packing ‘Parties’ – Two dates

  • Saturday, December 10 @10am: students pack concert wear & uniforms
  • Wednesday, December 14 @ 6pm: students pack instruments and final items

All London Travelers – Mandatory meeting Monday, 11/14, 7:00pm – Band room

  • All travelers must attend, or at least each student and a parent/guardian. Itinerary, Chaperone groups, flight/hotel assignments, roommates, “next steps” will be discussed.

Chaperones: Final SMSD MVP Certification Tuesday 11/15, 9am @ SME

  • Location TBA (likely Library or Office Conference Room)
  • This is REQUIRED by the district to be a chaperone.

Students traveling to London – Information Needed

  • Shirts and Jackets. Please indicate if you have the items (Yes) or you DO NOT HAVE the items (No). If you do not have the items, please indicate your size.
  • Information needed for our Equipment Manifest. If you plan on bringing an instrument you personally own, please fill out the google form to the best of your ability. We have this information for school-owned instruments.
  • Please fill out the form here

11/6/2022

All London Travelers – Mandatory meeting Monday, 11/14, 7:00pm – Band room

  • All travelers must attend, or at least each student and a parent/guardian. Itinerary, Chaperone groups, flight/hotel assignments, roommates, “next steps” will be discussed.

Chaperones: Final SMSD MVP Certification Tuesday 11/15, 9am @ SME

  • Location TBA (likely Library or Office Conference Room)
  • This is REQUIRED by the district to be a chaperone.

Students traveling to London – Information Needed

  • Shirts and Jackets. Please indicate if you have the items (Yes) or you DO NOT HAVE the items (No). If you do not have the items, please indicate your size.
  • Information needed for our Equipment Manifest. If you plan on bringing an instrument you personally own, please fill out the google form to the best of your ability. We have this information for school-owned instruments.
  • Please fill out the form here

10/16/2022

Final payments are now past due. Please see below for the payment amounts owed:

  • Land + Air Package = $3620 – $1800 (payments 1-4) = $1820
  • Land Only Packages = $2420 – $1800 = $620
  • Single Room requests = add $660

Donations

We have a few band students that could use our collective help getting to the financial finish line in making it to London. If you are interested in gifting anonymously, please write an additional check for anywhere from $20-$250 with ‘for Student X” in the memo line, made out to the SME Band Trip Fund and send it to the SME main office as you would with a payment. We will distribute appropriately.

Other updates

We have been doing a LOT of work behind the scenes — putting together rooming lists, passenger manifests, parade & concert planning, and raising funds.

Next item for students & parents: we will be sending out a form for you to fill out that you will need to include the following information about your instrument: Brand, model, dimensions of instrument case, country of origin, etc. for our equipment manifest. You’ll see this form coming out this week (we will take care of school-owned instruments)

8/14/2022

  1. With the feedback received at the meeting, we decided to update our luggage procedure. With families and chaperones, it may be impossible for all of us to travel with only carry-on-luggage, even with the extra storage with our equipment/uniform consignment allows. Please consider this: 
  • Carry on essentials (medications, change of clothes, etc) 
  • Students pack uniforms, large instruments and concert wear in the cargo consignment. Pack light, try to limit to carry on or one checked bag. If bags are delayed or lost, follow procedures that you would on any other trip. I’ll speak with the company about assisting us in this process.
  1. PDF slides from the meeting: https://www.smelancerbands.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Participant-Trip-Update.pdf
  1. Video from Zoom call: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rv6Aw7nhfNmLH1_4aoCPqCw8te4zfPY_/view?usp=sharing
  1. Links to forms needed
    1. Contract (if not completed in May): https://forms.gle/wjV77k7BESQXbTWr9
    2. Passenger Manifest https://forms.gle/j7WgKahq7cXpFeqt9
    3. Roommate Request https://forms.gle/UV96gSjHQPaAX8qe8
  1. Panera Fundraiser: Moved to Wednesday, 8/17.

8/9/2022

Meeting: Tuesday Aug 9th at 7 pm in the Band room

Friday August 12 Forms due with the next payment ($800)

Passports

  • By now you should have your passports in hand as it is time to register with the travel company for airfare and hotel rooms.  I notice that about 18 of you do not yet have passports numbers filled out in your contracts form.  I’m getting worried for you!  Passport numbers are required this month!  Please note that failing to get a passport in time is not an insurance reason listed on the trip insurance policy.  Trip funds are currently non-refundable – so please take care of passports as a number one priority!

3/20/2022

  • Please make all checks payable to “SME Band Trip Fund” & send to SME Main Office
  • Have you completed your traveler contract – one per traveler? You may have already registered with us, but this is the super-official-information we will use for the airlines and hotels. If you don’t know your passport # yet, write “TBD” in the form.
  • Trip Payment #3 (Due 3/18) — thank you to all who have paid. If you are behind, please send in a check this week or contact us to make arrangements. View the payment schedule here

Mr. Stinky Feet & SME Band London Trip Fundraising Concert MOVED TO 9/30/2022

  • Mark your calendars! The SME Band will be teaming up with renowned musician Jim Cosgrove, also known as “Mr. Stinky Feet” (also an SME Band Dad!)
  • Members of the SME Music Theory class are adapting some of his hit songs that he performed with the Kansas City Symphony for the SME band, and we will be performing together in the SME Auditorium
  • Event will feature guest artists, concessions, games, and fun family-oriented activities
  • All proceeds from the event will go toward the SME Lancer Band trip to London in December
  • Volunteers will be needed! Please email Phaedra, lancersinlondon@gmail.com if you are interested in helping us run this awesome event
  • See Jim’s info here: https://jimcosgrove.com/

2/6/2022

  • Trip Payment #2 (due 1/28) — thank you to all who have paid. If you are behind, please send in a check this week or contact us to make arrangements. You can find the payment schedule below (announcements from 1/17)
  • Please make all checks payable to “SME Band Trip Fund” & send to SME Main Office
  • Have you completed your traveler contract – one per traveler? You may have already registered with us, but this is the super-official-information we will use for the airlines and hotels. If you don’t know your passport # yet, write “TBD” in the form.
  • Fundraising – we have a VERY cool project in the works for May, but we need parent volunteers to coordinate and/or facilitate additional fundraisers. Please view the signup form here
  • Passports – if you do not have one, please make arrangements ASAP.

1/24/2022 Meeting Recap & FAQ

FAQ

Can you clarify information on Hotel Rooms? Roommates, families, etc?

  • All travelers – students and adults – will be two-per-room
  • Adults may pay a single-room supplement of $660 for the week for a single room
  • Married couples will share one bed in a room, adult chaperones and students will each have their own twin bed equivalent
  • Larger families can be accommodated by pull-out beds/cots, or sharing adjacent rooms.

I missed the deposit! Is there a deadline? Is it too late?

You’re not too late! Please contact lancersinlondon@gmail.com ASAP to make payment arrangements. We want to have every potential traveler confirmed and caught up by the end of the school year.

I feel like I’ve missed an email or need to find a document/resource such as the most updated payment information or the trip contract. Where do I find it?

If you’re here, you’ve found it! The London Travelers Information Page and the London Trip Announcements are the go-to resources. If you still can’t find the answer to your question, email lancersinlondon@gmail.com or alextoepfer@smsd.org

What if we are flying separately from the group? Departing early or returning late?

  • Everyone in the inclusive package ($3600-3900) must depart with the group. Families may arrange a separate return flight with the airlines at $200 per person
  • Families seeking more flexibility may choose a “Land Only” package ($2,300) which includes all hotel/entrances/tours/etc, minus airfare. Families will arrange their own airfare.

How can we get a passport, and when are they due?

  • If you are unsure how to obtain a passport, please visit the US Passport Guide Here
  • If you don’t have a passport, please begin the process now. They can take several months to secure!

How are you accommodating students with food allergies or other medical concerns?

  • Always reach out and communicate with us if you have any specific needs
  • We will send out a medical questionnaire from which we can assess student needs, and we will work with the company to ensure each students’ allergies are accommodated.
  • Students with severe allergies should have relevant medical information on their person during the trip, in addition to communicating to the travel coordinators.

Will we be hiring private security for the evenings at the hotel or will parents be expected to take “shifts” to cover the overnight hours?

  • The hotel has security and CCTV. Parents will NOT need to do overnight shifts.

How we will be traveling to and from KCI? Can we leave our cars at SME?

  • We will depart SME for KCI via bus, so no one will have to deal with extended stay at KCI. Cars my be left in the SME parking lot. PV police department will check on the vehicles periodically while we are away.
  • Parents may pick up students from the airport when we return if desired. Please communicate your preference ahead of time.

Will students be able to pick their roommates?

  • Yes. Each student will fill out a roommate request form. Some students may need to be paired up with a different student or students due to numbers, but we will accommodate the requests as best we can.

Which Hotel are we staying at?

  • We do not know yet. Once our numbers (and numbers of other traveling bands) are secure, they will place us at an appropriate 4 or 5-star hotel.

How will instruments and luggage be transported with the group?

  • Approximately two weeks before departure we will have a “packing party” in which we will load up marching uniforms, instruments larger than (and including) trumpets, and as much luggage as possible into large cargo boxes. Those boxes will be picked up by the travel company and shipped via air cargo to London, where they will be awaiting our arrival at the hotel. Approximately one week after the trip, they will return to SME.

Is the travel insurance included in the deposits we are making or do we need to sign up for travel insurance separately?

  • The travel insurance is included in the cost of the trip.

1/23/2022

  • All-Traveler VIRTUAL Info meeting Monday, January 24 2022, 7pm
  • We will now be hosting this meeting virtually — we have several things to present and share, and with the ongoing COVID concerns we felt it would be easiest to convey our information digitally.
  • Meeting invite/address:

Previous Announcements

1/17/2022

  • Registration and the deposit of $200/ person is now past due.  Note that $100 is now non-refundable.  We are reserving trip spots for paid participants this week, so if you intend to go but have not yet signed up and provided a deposit, please contact us as soon as possible at LancersinLondon@gmail.com
  • The payment schedule has been adjusted forward so that we have time to process and make payments to the travel company within the deadlines.  Thank you for your patience as we work through challenges setting up electronic payment options.  The new payment schedule is as follows:
  • We need MANY volunteers to help with fundraising activities.  We have a Sign-up Genius for a Monthly Fundraising Coordinator for each month between now and November.  We have a long list of ideas for anyone to select a fundraising activity and move it forward in the month of choice.  We are also looking for someone to organize outreach to corporate sponsors and someone willing to do a matching services between those in the community with jobs or odd jobs and students who want to find work.  Please sign up to volunteer at:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F44A8AE2DA4F8C43-monthly  Many hands will lighten this load.  
  • Please begin the process of renewing or applying for your passports as soon as possible. Note that the passport application process is backed-up due to COVID-19.  Applications must be submitted in person by appointment only (with few slots open) and returned passports will take a minimum of three months. The travel company will need passport numbers from us soon to book flights. Please take care of this as soon as possible. 
  • We will have an informational meeting to go through the contracts and collect payment #2 as well as to hear any questions you  may have about the trip. Please join us January 24th at 7:00 PM VIRTUALLY

Phaedra Svec

Trip Communications

816-564-5891