1) 2013 Year in Review for Weekend Student Adventures
2013 was yet another record-breaking year for us at WSA Europe – we kicked off the Spring 2013 semester with one of our biggest speaking circuits to date. Throughout January, I was able to visit over 30 university campuses in Europe to share about my travel philosophy of bridging cultural gaps and pursuing a more meaningful kind of semester abroad. We enjoyed record audiences in Ireland, London and Madrid.
After three years in operation, we’ve got our city itineraries down pat, and I’m proud of the local guide team we’ve assembled around WSA’s mission of deeper travel. Our celebration weekends sold out: we had 97 happy leprechauns on our St. Paddy’s Dublin weekend, and we brought 55 pilgrims to Easter Mass with Pope Francis during his first weeks at the Vatican.
We capped our semester by researching and launching our new itineraries in Berlin and Krakow. The two cities had been on our list for some time as places that have vivid, raw and recent histories that intertwine with their fascinating modern culture in many unexpected ways. Berlin’s alternative scene and street art overlay rusted out courtyards. And Krakow’s student pubs are bringing new life to Medieval basement cellars. We can’t wait to get back and lead more excursions here next month!
Over the summer, WSA debuted our newest product, WSA Detours, for the independent backpacker. WSA Detours are unguided and are available in cities across Europe any day of the week year round. We’ve included the same value into these packages as we have in our guided City Trips: top-rated accommodations, skip-the-line sightseeing, restaurant and bar recommendations, personalized city guide – but as the packages are unguided, they allows our travelers to explore at their own pace and create their own adventure in each destination.
The Fall semester was equally as busy, with Krakow and Berlin tours selling out in their first semester, our famous ski trip hitting the slopes, and the most students on WSA tours to date in a single semester. WSA Detours in Amsterdam, Budapest and Rome were met with rave reviews, and we expanded the unguided packages throughout six other cities including Dublin, London and Prague.
I’m proud of how we took WSA to the next level – completing our roster of guides by hiring skilled new local guides in Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Berlin, as well as recruiting new team members to help with marketing and promotion in Ireland, England and Italy – all while maintaining the personal touch that so distinctly differentiates our services.
2) What to Expect from Weekend Student Adventures in 2014
Watch out for the official Detours mobile app, newly updated iTunes Weekend Student Adventures app, a full roster of WSA guides across all WSA destinations, as well as exciting new destinations throughout Europe! Which should our next destination be? Istanbul, Croatia, Canary Islands, Sicily or Tel Aviv? We’d love to hear from you! You can follow what we’re up to on Facebook, or through our for-students-by-students travel blog 365 days a year!
We’re lucky to be surrounded with such a great WSA family, as well as hundreds of happy backpackers, and can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!
Click on this link to check out Weekend Student Adventures