This spring in Inner Mongolia, we tried something a little different. After taking multiple large student groups to the area over the years, tour leader Erin had the idea to make large group travel feel a bit more like a small group experience. So, with the permission of the flexible and adventurous staff of the International School of Beijing, The Hutong crew crafted rotating itineraries for this grade-level trip to Inner Mongolia.
The new concept of rotating itineraries with all accommodations and the majority of meals being hosted in the same location worked like a charm! Students had unique experiences, which they were happy to share with each other in the evenings, and teachers and guides facilitated activities with maximum student interaction. The Hutong staff was so impressed with the students interest in every activity and was so taken by their willingness to participate and learn about the local culture, and looks forward to craft more unique itineraries with teachers this fall!
As with most things in life, the simplest experiences can often be the best. Waiting for our flight, a delay at the Chi Feng airport provided the perfect setting for our ever-positive group to make the most of the last few hours of the trip. Using the check-in hallway as a stage, student groups re-enacted their experiences in the Desert, suggesting UNESCO-inspired updates and future plans for the attraction. Watching students create raps, poems, haikus and commercials whilst pantomiming and turning themselves into camels and even into recycling bins and sand dunes made for some great laughs and looks from other passengers; it only made us wonder if we should incorporate flight delays into all of our itineraries!