Formerly known as Remind 101, the Remind app is a safe and easy texting service to send out messages to your group. Your number is protected as you send out text messages (using an internet platform) to your group members reminding them about upcoming meetings or events. I use the app to let the parents that we arrived safely and when we have taken off on our last flight home. Learn more about Remind by checking out their website: https://www.remind.com/
My #1 communication tool for tour happenings is Facebook. I created a page just for my travel groups, and keep all my travelers (both past and present) up-to-date. Click here to check out my Raider World Traveler Facebook Page. I have found that most parents use Facebook on a regular basis, and enjoy the format for information sharing. This is also a great tool to get the word out about upcoming tours.
The #1 communication tool for reaching students would have to be Twitter. My students check Twitter all day long. I started a twitter account for my travel program, and rely on my students to "retweet" any news or announcements that I tweet about the trip. Before my tour, I like for the students to create a hashtag for our trip, and then use it when tweeting on tour. Take a look at the twitter account that I use for travel: Tweet Me!
With all the things that we have going on, it is essential to stay organized. I created a separate email account (using google's "gmail" product) to keep all of my tour communication separate from all my personal or school related emails. Using email is a great tool to communicate, especially when you have more than 140 characters of information to share. I rely on email to communicate the really important information to my travelers (such as enrollment deadlines, passport requirements, etc.)
What tools can you not live without to stay in touch with your group? Leave them in the comments below!