Waking up to a blaring alarm at 4am, and another at 4:45, and yet another at 5:20. It’s kick-off day at EXP, which means the 7 people in our Air B&B have been up since the crack of dawn checking in student groups for flights.
EXP Trips is a student travel organization that leads groups of students on educational trips. They plan all aspects of the trip, and then meet the students and explore the city with them. Our last student trip was in Anaheim, California, where we led over 500 students on a 5 day trip. Every day at EXP is so different, but one of our most active and busy days was a perfect example of what it takes to be an EXP Intern.
At around 6am, the TripHosts (people leading the trip) pile into our rental car, and head to the LAX airport to welcome some of our early groups. Bright neon shirts, sugar cookies in toe, and gigantic signs to help direct the students.
Once at the airport, we set up our display in the baggage claim area. Signs set up, bags on bags of t-shirts for the students, and signs set up, we are ready to welcome the students! We confirm their landing, check what carousel their bags will be arriving on, and call the bus company to make sure they are ready to be loaded. We will be at the airport for upwards of 6 hours, welcoming different groups. We split up into teams to tackle each group.
The students and teachers arrive to the baggage claim, and cautiously approach the neon-shirt crew. We are excited to see them and make them feel welcomed. We direct them with our gigantic signs (“Follow us!! (Unless you aren’t with EXP, that would be awkward!)”) to the idle bus, have them line up their bags, and quickly load up the bus for them. The bus goes to their hotel (where we have already called ahead to check in the group, and get their keys ready.)
We give the students about an hour to settle into their rooms and get ready for the day. Then we load back the bus, and bring the students to Huntington Beach. After three hours, we align the buses for pick-up do check-ins as each student loads the bus. Once we are on the bus, we hand out Angel’s tickets, and Angel’s hats for all the students.
We arrive at the game and have the students text a number. This number allows us to easily send a mass text to all the students to let them know where the bus will be, when we are leaving, and any other important information that needs to be conveyed.
After the game, we load the students and send them back to their hotel. We give the teachers the itinerary for the next day and let them on be on their way.
The EXP TripHost team meets back at the Air B&B and goes over the entire schedule for the next day. It is a busy day as it is filled with lots of logistics and communication, but it is so fun!