Event Information for Band Members
Click the event name for information on staging time and location, uniform of the day, maps, etc.
Events that have already passed or for which we do not yet have staging info are not listed here. See the Performances page.
FULL BAND EVENT: All TBGO band associates welcome to perform - y'all come!!!
Event: A chance to play in Portland's Living Room (which we love). We are the final Atmospherics performance in the Square, and this is final TBGO appearance of the 2017 season.
Meet: At 10:30 AM in Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Parking: Choose your favorite downtown parking garage or hunt for on-street metered parking. Or hop off the train at the Pioneer Courthouse Square MAX stops and avoid the parking hassle.
Uniform: DRESS uniform - TBGO letterman jacket, TBGO dress polo shirt, black pants/belt, black socks, black shoes, TBGO hat. Black turtleneck is optional. It's a holiday event, so appropriate decorating and/or holiday headgear is encouraged.
Showtime: Performance begins at 11 AM and runs until Noon (just in time for the daily performance of the Pioneer Courthouse Square Weather Machine).
Set List: This is the same as the set list we used on December 10. BE SURE TO SEE NOTE AT RIGHT concerning Jingle-Bell Rock.
One Mint Julep
You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
I'm Shipping Up to Boston
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Jingle-Bell Rock - SEE NOTE AT RIGHT
Following the Gig: Great time to visit the new TBGO brick in the Square. Photo op!!! I'm betting there will also be plenty of opportunities for lunch with the gang.
Jingle-Bell Rock: If you can't find this in your music -- well, that's because it's brand new. We tried this at the Dec 3 rehearsal and Dec 10 gig, and it went well. Since some of you weren't able to be at those events because of conflicts, here's your chance to download a part (below). Grab and print your part, then try listening (and maybe playing along) with the MP3. Note that the band plays a verse, then sings a verse with the crowd (while tubas and clarinets continue to play behind the singing), then we play from the bridge on out. Check it out! Clarinets: Please try to split evenly between 1st and 2nd parts since (in theory) you're playing helpful chords behind the singing.
Jingle-Bell Rock MP3 - Click to listen and play along
I highly recommend that you memorize as much as you can of all four of these tunes, both to improve your parade experience and to improve the band's performance, especially for the night parade.
Other tunes: We'll also keep working on Jump and Bohemian Rhapsody for a possible Netherlands standstill (and for use throughout the summer season), but we will NOT use these as parade tunes in the Netherlands.
I do plan to add Jump as a parade tune later in the year, so (a) auxiliaries keep working your new routine for Jump, and (b) instruments please work on memorizing Jump as you have time.
UPDATED: August 2, 2017
Our “big trip” for 2018 is to the Netherlands! Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is a huge flower parade taking place every spring in the Netherlands, not far from Amsterdam. The parade features elaborate floats decorated with bulb flowers (tulips, daffodils, etc.) and is a major event. Check out this video to get a peek at the festivities. The parade winds 24 miles through several towns over the course of the weekend in segments that are mostly in the 2.5 to 3 mile range. The first parade segment (Friday evening) is illuminated; the remaining segments take place throughout the day on Saturday. Our understanding is that each of the segments has about 4 bands participating. The Bloemencorso Bollenstreek board of directors has invited us to be part of BOTH the Friday and Saturday parades, and we're also looking at other possible performances while there.
The core part of the trip is the Basic Trip, which covers our stay and performances in The Netherlands. It may be the Basic Trip, but there's nothing Basic about it -- it ought to be another fabulous TBGO adventure! In addition to marching two parade segments, we'd like to arrange 1-2 additional performances (with some ideas shown below). We've got castles and gardens and museums and medieval cities and a cruise along Amsterdam's famous canals. There's ample time for sightseeing, both with the group and on your own. The itinerary may still get moved around a bit as we solidify things like additional performances, but the key parts of it are now set. The Basic Trip runs from April 18 through April 25. Click here for the Basic Trip official itinerary.
Many of you suggested that you'd like to extend your stay in Europe with a longer TBGO group tour. The "TBGO Magical Mystery Tour" (Extended Trip Add-On for short) is available as an add-on option for those would like to see more of Europe before returning home. Those desiring the longer trip will begin with the Basic Trip, then continue with the Extended Trip Add-On. Click here for the "TBGO Magical Mystery Tour" Extended Trip Add-On official itinerary.The survey we took back in the spring estimated that nearly 110 of you would be Likely or Almost Certain to attend this event. That would be a terrific band, and taking that band to the Netherlands is our goal. Due to the special nature of this trip and our desire to reach that goal, we anticipate offering a greater-than-usual number of awards via the Travel Assistance Program (TAP) for Band Associates who said they are Likely to attend but not at the full $2000 cost. (Click here to learn more if you're unfamiliar with the TBGO Travel Assistance Program.) Non-performers (as always) are welcome to travel with the band, but are responsible for their own travel costs (i.e., non-performers are not eligible for travel assistance awards). Note: New band associates who have been performing with TBGO during the summer season are also eligible to apply for travel assistance awards.
The TBGO Board of Directors has determined that supporting travel to performances is an appropriate use of band funds - hence the existence of the Travel Assistance Program. However, we do not feel that it's appropriate to spend band funds in subsidizing "primarily vacation" travel such as the Extended Trip or "travel upgrades" such as single rooms or upgraded airline seating. The basic philosophy is "if you can afford those things, you can afford to apply those same dollars toward the cost of the trip". As a result, the Extended Trip is not available to travelers who receive TAP awards. Upgraded air travel or other upgrades are not available to travelers who receive TAP awards. Further details about Travel Awards (including how to apply) are available below.
Itineraries for the Basic and Extended Trips follows.
To skip to the "nitty-gritty" on travel packages, costs, etc., click here.
To skip directly to the link to officially sign up for the trip, click here.
Click here for the official itinerary for the Basic Trip (current version: August 1).
See below for an overview of the official Basic Trip itinerary. Note that performances other than the Bloemencorso parade are still wishes, not commitments! All dates shown are 2018.
Wed April 18: Fly from U.S. to Amsterdam
Thu April 19: Arrive Amsterdam and transfer to the Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport, a new four-star property located about 12-15 miles from the parade route with attractive rates, daily hot breakfast, and great connectivity to both Schiphol Airport and the heart of Amsterdam. Our flight arrives at 830 am and we should be at the hotel by mid-morning. You'll have the rest of today to acclimate to the time change and get to bed by around 8 pm to be ready for the next day.
Fri April 20: Visit Keukenhof Castle and world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, home to 8 million flowers on 79 acres. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, narcissi, and gladioli galore! This evening, the illuminated segment of the Bloemencorso takes place from 915 to 1030 pm.
Based on recent email exchanges, it looks very probable that we will perform in the illuminated parade this evening. Parade distance still a bit uncertain, looks to be in the 1.0 to 1.8 mile range.
Sat April 21: Parade Day!
Our parade segment is still not determined for sure, but it's looking like we may be in the segment that runs from Sassenhiem to Lisse beginning around 1230 pm. Includes Dutch television! Distance for this one is purported to be 3.8 miles. Remainder of day is free; we are exploring some options including taking in one of the other segments of the parade as spectators.
Sun April 22: Today we visit the world famous Zaanse Schans Windmills just north of Amsterdam right on the River Zaan in a quaint village setting. A unique piece of Dutch history from the 18th & 19th century!
From here we travel to Utrecht. This quaint and quirky city is one of the oldest in the Netherlands. Utrecht is a Friendship City to Portland (a slightly more limited relationship also certified by Sister Cities International) and we hope to schedule a standstill show here. Rest of late afternoon / evening free in Amsterdam.
|Mon April 23: Our day to explore the city of Amsterdam beginning with a half-day city tour and canal cruise (1 hr) . Rest of day free.|
Tue April 24: Visit the world-famous Rijksmuseum in the morning (2.5 hrs) to view masterpieces of Dutch art and history. Near the museum is Vondelpark, the largest city park in Amsterdam and the most famous park in the Netherlands, and just maybe an option for a TBGO show. Remainder of day free.
Wed April 25: Fly Amsterdam -> U.S. if ending with the Basic Trip, or continue below with Extended Trip.
Click here for the most current official itinerary for the Extended Trip Add-On (current version: July 30).
See below for an overview of the official Extended Trip itinerary. All dates shown are 2018.
Wed April 25: Depart our Amsterdam hotel via motor coach and head south to historic Bruges, Belgium for a walking tour, followed by a short visit to Brussels on our way to Paris, France (3 nights).
Hotel: Novotel Tour Eiffel
Thu April 26: Paris. Morning Half-Day City Sightseeing Tour with step-on guide; remainder of day free for you to explore.
Fri April 27: Paris - Full free day for everyone to explore Paris on your own, shopping, visiting tourist sites, museums. You'll also have a voucher for a 1-hour Seine River Cruise to use on your own, as well as a Paris Metro Pass to help you get around the city.
Sat April 28: Depart Paris right after breakfast via motor coach on our way to Strasbourg, France with stop along the way in Verdun, the site of WWI battlefield and monuments. Arrive in Strasbourg in the afternoon and take in the sites of one of the best preserved medieval cities in Europe with a guided walking tour. Overnight in Strasbourg (1 night).
Hotel: Boma Hotel
Sun April 29: Travel east heading for Munich, Germany. Along the way we'll make a stop in Dachau, Germany, site of the first of the Nazi concentration camp for political prisoners during WWII. Afterward we continue along the Romantic Road to arrive in Munich. Overnight in Munich (2 nights).
Hotel Maritim Hotel Munich
Mon Apr 30: Travel with our guide from Munich to Fussen, an attractive Bavarian town nestled at the foot of the Alps. Fussen is our gateway to nearby Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle, among the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Enjoy Mad King Ludwig's fairy castle!
Tue May 1: Continue our journey a short distance east into Austria as we make our way to Salzburg, home of Mozart and the setting for "The Sound of Music". Half-day "Sound of Music" guided tour upon our morning arrival into Salzburg, including admission to Mirabell Palace & Gardens, the site where Maria and the children sang Do-Re-Mi around the fountain. Rest of the day free to explore the city. Overnight in Salzburg (1 night).
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Salzburg - The Pitter
Wed May 2: Head back west with a visit to Innsbruck, Austria plus other scenic and alpine areas. While there, perhaps we'll have time for a brief visit to the site of two Winter Olympic Games (the view between the tips of your skis as you head down the 90 meter ski jump is the city cemetery!). Leaving Innsbruck, we make our way to Lucerne, Switzerland in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Overnight in Lucerne (2 nights).
Hotel: Hotel Monopole Luzern
Thu May 3: Mid-day guided tour to Mt. Pilatus with short motor coach ride to a panorama gondola trip up the mountain where we'll have time at the observation area for some of the most breathtaking views in Europe. With luck (depends on weather and timing), our descent on the other side of the mountain will be via the world's steepest cogwheel railway, where we board a lake steamer for the trip back to Lucerne city center.
Fri May 4: On your own much of the day to shop and explore or take in a visit to the Swiss Transport Museum. Mid-afternoon we depart by motor coach to the Zurich Airport (1 hour) for our stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel. (We are staying right at the airport because of our early flight the next morning.) Last minute shopping is available at the airport (walkway from our hotel to the terminal) and plenty of restaurants at the airport and at our hotel.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Zurich Airport
Sat May 5: Departure day. Arrive at ZRH airport terminal between 430/500 am after a 5 minute walk from our terminal and check in for our 700 am departure to Amsterdam on KLM, followed by non-stop flight back to PDX on Delta.
The TBGO travel packages are offered as a streamlined way for Band Associates to participate in the Netherlands trip. As always, you may elect to forego the packages and make all your own travel arrangements. Please be aware that if you choose to make all your own arrangements you are also responsible for your own ground transportation, including transportation to and from performances.
Because of the complexity of this trip, the land portions of the travel packages are offered as "all or nothing"; i.e., we will not subset or otherwise modify the land portions of the Basic Trip and Extended Trip. For example: You cannot take the Extended Trip as far as Munich and then fly home. (To be more precise: You can do that, but you still have to pay for the entire Extended Trip, including the portions you skipped). However, if you wish to extend the trip on either end, Tom can likely help with additional arrangements.
Because of the requirements of European hotels, we cannot offer Triple or Quad accommodations on this trip. Double and Single accommodations are available.
It's important that you are in reasonably good health to endeavor to handle and take on a trip as such as this being offered to the TBGO Marching Band for both The Netherlands Basic Trip and the Extended Trip Add-On. You must be able to get on/off the motor coaches in reasonable fashion and there will be some walking. As a matter of fact on the Extended Trip there will be some walking tours as outlined in the itinerary. Those not in good health can cause delays each day on the tour and hold things up for the rest of the tour participants. Should you fall in this category you may need to strongly re-evaluate if a trip as such is for you. Alternatively, you may need to bring along someone with you (family or caregiver) to insure you have someone who can assist you each and every day to avoid becoming a burden to other travelers. Getting thru airports what with security, long distances to walk to immigration and flight gates is yet another area to be aware of. Being aware of these expectations and your limitations, and then making thoughtful choices will ensure that we can provide a great experience for everyone.
There are multiple options available for air travel for both the Basic and Extended trips. The many combinations make it hard to create a "price options" table showing all the possibilities. As a result, here's how you should compute your cost for the trip:
Performers, including Support Staff and relatively new Band Associates, who cannot otherwise afford the Basic Trip are eligible to apply for Travel Awards to help defray its cost. Non-Performers (e.g., family members) are not eligible for Travel Awards. Travel Awards are not available for travelers electing the Extended Trip, Comfort Air Upgrade, or other upgrades that may be offered.
Prospective applicants are referred to the online Travel Assistance Program (TAP) Details for more information about the intent of TBGO’s TAP program and its selection process. Since the Netherlands trip is a costly major trip, we anticipate that a larger-than-usual number of TBGO Associates may apply for Travel Awards. To apply for a Travel Award, please sign up via Survey Monkey using the normal signup survey link. During the Survey Monkey signup, you will be asked if you wish to apply for a Travel Award. If yes, you'll be asked for your Proposed Travel Budget, which is the amount you propose to pay for the trip. The minimum Proposed Travel Budget is $1000 for those applying for the Basic Trip Land Package + Economy Class air, $300 for those applying for Basic Trip Land Package without airfare (i.e., you are making your own air arrangements).
It is our goal to take as many Performers as possible to the Netherlands, and we expect to award a significant number of Awards. However, be aware that applying for a Travel Award does not guarantee that a Award will be awarded. Travel Award applicants will be notified of the status of their application shortly after the close of the signup period. The status of each Travel Award application will be determined before the applicant’s travel deposit is charged (i.e., we will not charge the travel deposit to your credit card if the Travel Award is not granted).
Travel Award recipients may purchase Travel Insurance if desired. Price of the insurance is based on the full cost of the trip ($1456) and is paid by the Travel Award recipient. If a Travel Award recipient incurs a Trip Cancellation event that results in an award from the insurance company, the Travel Award recipient is expected to reimburse TBGO for TBGO’s portion of the cost of the trip.
Performers who require a degree of financial assistance with the trip are urged to consider applying for a Travel Award; as we’ve said many times, it allows TBGO to field a better band and all of you have helped earn the money in the band’s travel fund. At the same time, the Board respectfully requests that you elect the highest Proposed Travel Budget that you can realistically afford given your financial situation; this will help us award Grants to the largest possible number of applicants. We also request that you evaluate your own health situation before applying for a Travel Award; it is counter-productive for the band to allocate Awards to those who are unable to perform as expected.
DUE DATE FOR TRAVEL AWARD APPLICATIONS: The due date to apply for a Travel Award is END OF DAY, SUNDAY AUGUST 13, 2017.
Pricing for Double and Single rooms for the Basic Trip Land package is shown below. For either room type, deposit of $250 is due at reservation (when you sign up), with balance due by January 31, 2018.
ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
|Room Type||Basic Trip Land||Payment|
|Double (2 persons per room)||$995||$250 deposit at time of reservation; balance due by January 31, 2018.|
|Single (1 person per room)||$1455||$250 deposit at time of reservation; balance due by January 31, 2018.|
Pricing for Double and Single rooms for the Extended Trip Land Add-On is shown below. For either room type, deposit of $200 IN ADDITION TO THE DEPOSIT FOR THE BASIC TRIP LAND PACKAGE is due at reservation (when you sign up). Second deposit of $250 per person is due by December 1, 2017. Balance due by February 1, 2018.
The pricing for the Extended Trip Land Package Add-On varies depending on the number of people who sign up for it. This is because we have fixed-cost resources (motor coaches, guides, etc) that we have to amortize across the number of people who sign up. See page 4 of the official Extended Trip Add-On itinerary for complete pricing details as number of travelers varies.
Based on the demand we've seen during preliminary signups, it is likely that we will have 60-70 travelers on the Extended Trip Add-On. Prices shown below assume 60-70 travelers; if there are fewer, the price for the Extended Trip Land Package Add-On will vary as shown in the Extended Trip Add-On itinerary. For your arithmetic convenience the table shows the price of the Extended Trip Land Add-On package by itself and also the Total Land price (i.e., combined total of Basic Land and Extended Land Add-On).
PAYMENT DISCOUNT: All payments (including deposits) for the Extended Trip Land Add-On reflect a 3.75% discount for paying via check. If you wish to pay by credit card, prices are 3.75% higher (these are the travel operator's rules, not Tom's rules).
ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
|Room Type||Extended Trip Land Add-On||Total Land (Basic + Extended)|
|Double (2 persons per room)||$2596||$995 + $2596 = $3591|
|Single (1 person per room)||$3568||$1455 + $3568 = $5023|
Be aware that you can reserve a Basic Trip Land Package and choose to make your own air travel arrangements. This allows you to use a preferred carrier; purchase tickets using mileage program miles; depart at a different time of day; search for other attractive pricing options, etc. If you want Tom to make airline reservations for you, read on for options.
For both the Basic Trip and Extended Trip, if you are utilizing the Delta flight from Portland/Amsterdam on April 18 but intend to (1) extend your stay in Amsterdam and depart on a later date; or (2) return from another European city served by Delta/KLM, you can take advantage of the contract rates described in the sections below. However, YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR DATES TO TOM IN WRITING VIA EMAIL if you wish to do so.
For travel originating from Portland, we are using a nonstop Delta Airlines (Airbus A330-300 series aircraft, 293 passengers total) between Portland (PDX) and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam (AMS) as our intercontinental flight. Travelers on the Extended Trip will also have a flight from Zurich (ZRH) to Amsterdam when returning to the U.S. (this flight then connects with the AMS -> PDX nonstop). Travelers departing from other locations should contact Tom for options and pricing. All the material that follows assumes that you're departing from PDX.
See this link at Delta Airlines for descriptions of these options.There are three classes of service to select from:
All airfares for Economy Class, Comfort Air, and Business Class are non-refundable/non-transferrable and subject to change.
Those taking the Basic Trip (no Extended Trip Add-On) fly Delta Airlines PDX -> AMS non-stop on April 18, and then return AMS -> PDX on the reverse version of that flight on April 25.
For Economy Class: We have a contracted Economy Class price of $1036.00 including tax, which compares favorably with available pricing you'll find online. To take advantage of this price, YOU MUST SIGN UP NO LATER THAN AUGUST 20 and we greatly prefer that you sign up by August 14. Deposit of $150 is due at time of booking, with balance due by February 16, 2018.
For Comfort Air: Pricing for Comfort Air is the price of Economy Class plus the price of Comfort Air upgrade. As described in the previous paragraph, our available Economy Class price is $1036.00 including tax. Again, you MUST SIGN UP NO LATER THAN AUGUST 20 to take advantage of this price. The additional price of the Comfort Air upgrade varies; last week it was $149 each way ($298 round trip) and as of this writing (August 2) the price is $129 each way ($258 round trip). The upgrade price is subject to change (most likely up, not down) and your final cost will reflect the current price of the upgrade at the time you are ticketed. There are a LIMITED NUMBER of seats in the Comfort Air section of the cabin; they will be allocated first-come, first-served to those who request them until seats are no longer available. Since these are desirable seats, the airline requires that full payment is due at time of ticketing.
For Economy Class and Comfort Air: As noted, our contract price is available only through August 20. Unclaimed seats must be released after that date. If you sign up after August 20, you will be ticketed at the current prevailing rates at the time of ticketing.
For Business Class: We do not have a contract price for Business Class air. Price as of this writing is $4045.00 including tax. Price is subject to change depending on prevailing rates when ticketed. Full payment is due at time of ticketing.
|Service Class||Price Through August 20||Price After August 20||Payment|
|Economy Class||$1036.00||Prevailing Rate||
$150 deposit at booking, final payment by Feb 16, 2018 (if booked by August 20).
|Comfort Air||$1036 plus prevailing price of Comfort Air Upgrade
($258 RT at this writing)
|Prevailing Rate||Full payment at time at time of ticketing|
|Business Class||Prevailing Rate
($4045 at this writing)
|Prevailing Rate||Full payment at time at time of ticketing|
Those taking the Extended Trip fly Delta Airlines PDX -> AMS non-stop on April 18. On May 5, we fly ZRH -> AMS via KLM airlines, then AMS -> PDX nonstop.
For Economy Class: Our contracted Economy Class airfare for the extended trip (includes all three flights) is $1525.00 with tax. However, this price is HIGHER than current available rates (currently $1325.96 with tax). This means you have a couple of options if you want Economy Class air:
We believe most of you will choose to purchase and pay for your ticket now to save a couple hundred bucks. During signup, we'll ask for your preference (purchase now or use the contracted rate). Two final caveats: We must have at least 15 people choosing the contracted rate in order to receive it. If not, flights will be ticketed at current prevailing rate. And signups/deposits for the contracted rate are due by August 20.
For Comfort Air: Pricing for Comfort Air is the price of Economy Class plus the price of Comfort Air upgrade. The additional price of the Comfort Air upgrade varies; last week it was $149 each way ($298 round trip) and as of this writing (August 2) the price is $129 each way ($258 round trip). The upgrade price is subject to change (most likely up, not down) and your final cost will reflect the current price of the upgrade at the time you are ticketed. There are a LIMITED NUMBER of seats in the Comfort Air section of the cabin; they will be allocated first-come, first-served to those who request them until seats are no longer available. Since these are desirable seats, the airline requires that full payment is due at time of ticketing. Since you must pay in full at time of ticketing, there is no advantage in using the contracted Economy Class rate if you want Comfort Air seating, so Comfort Air requests will be ticketed at the prevailing price when received.
For Business Class: We do not have a contract price for Business Class air. Price as of this writing is $5134.00 including tax. Price is subject to change depending on prevailing rates when ticketed. Full payment is due at time of ticketing.
|Service Class||Price Through August 20||Price After August 20||Payment|
|Economy Class -
$150 deposit at booking, final payment by Feb 16, 2018. Must be booked by August 20.
|Economy Class -
($1325.96 at this writing)
Full payment at time of ticketing
|Comfort Air||Prevailing Economy Rate plus prevailing Comfort Air Upgrade
($1325.96 + $248 at this writing)
|Prevailing Rate||Full payment at time at time of ticketing|
|Business Class||Prevailing Rate
($5134.00 at this writing)
|Prevailing Rate||Full payment at time at time of ticketing|
If you have a Delta Airlines frequent flyer number, please provide it during signup (there will be a slot for it). NOTE: Alaska and Delta are no longer part of each other's frequent flyer program and there are no other carriers that have a reciprocal mileage reward program with Delta in the USA.
Please note any dietary meal needs for your flights during signup.
Economy Class and Comfort Air: 1st checked bag is FREE. 2nd checked piece is $100. No more than 50 pounds for each checked piece of luggage and no more than 62 dimensional inches (Length + Width + Height) for each bag. You may also have one (1) carry-on piece of no more than 45 dimensional inches with specific size of 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Anything larger than this is too big for carry-on. No carry-on weight restriction (well, 50 pounds but who wants a 50 pound carry-on!). Our experience with musical instruments as carry-ons is that the airlines are generally more lenient about sizing, but we can make no guarantees about what they'll allow if it exceeds the stated dimensions.
Business Class: Two (2) bags free, up to 70 pounds each. No more than 62 dimensional inches for each bag. You may also have one (1) carry-on piece of no more than 45 dimensional inches with specific size of 22 x 14 x 9 inches. No carry-on weight restriction (well, 50 pounds but who wants a 50 pound carry-on!). Our experience with musical instruments as carry-ons is that the airlines are generally more lenient about sizing (especially in Business Class), but we can make no guarantees about what they'll allow if it exceeds the stated dimensions.
Paying for Checked Baggage: TBGO will reimburse band associates for the cost of oversize / overweight checked baggage necessary to the functioning of the band in performance. These charges must be pre-approved before we travel. Band associates are otherwise responsible for all baggage costs.
TBGO travel packages (like most travel packages everywhere) are non-refundable. To protect yourself in case of problems that prevent or interrupt your travel, you may wish to consider purchasing travel insurance. TBGO travelers may optionally elect to purchase the Worldwide Trip Protector policy from Travel Insured International when signing up for this trip.
Trip cancellations can happen at any age, though the likelihood of health problems increases as we age. Travel insurance also protects you should you need to change travel plans because a family member develops health issues. Your policy protects you against such things as Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Missed Connection, Itinerary Change, Travel Delay, Accident & Sickness Medical Expense, Emergency Medical Evacuation/Repatriation (Air Ambulance), Travel Accident Protection, Baggage & Personal Effects and Delayed Baggage. Additional coverage details are available at this link.
The premium for travel insurance varies by cost of trip and your age. As an approximation, you can use this chart to estimate your insurance premium. This is not a current insurance table, so your actual price will be higher than shown here. Find the row of the chart that shows your trip cost, then slide across to the column with your age; the figure in the intersection is an estimate of your cost to insure this trip. Contact Travel by Tom Higham for a firm quote of travel insurance cost.
Many people do not understand the value of travel insurance until certain things happen, such as having to cancel their trip due to illness, injury or death type reasons to themselves or other family members that would prevent them from taking a trip they have planned on going. Or, someone may need to cancel in the middle of their trip and come home early for similar reasons. You may believe that your home owner or other insurance may protect your investment if you are forced to cancel your trip, but typically it does not. Please note that the cancellation and trip interruption protection of the plan priced in the travel insurance chart above covers only documented illness, injury, and death. Those who desire expanded coverage (e.g., due to work related reasons, or for any reason whatever) can be insured using another policy type through Travel Insured International at additional cost; please contact Travel by Tom Higham with your needs.
To be sure you are fully covered, especially for pre-existing reasons, you must purchase your travel insurance within 21 days of your deposit (best to do it at the same time you are making your trip deposit so that way you know you have it handled). You will be offered an opportunity to purchase travel insurance when filling out the Survey Monkey sign-up for the trip.
Note that a valid U.S. Passport is required. You may NOT use a U.S. Passport Card, birth certificate, or similar documentation -- a Passport is required and the valid date must extend at least SIX MONTHS beyond your return date to the U.S. If you do not hold a passport or your passport is not up to date, you should acquire one or renew it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid issues later on. See the TBGO Passport Information page for detailed information on applying for a first passport or renewing an expiring passport.
Keep your passport WITH YOU WHEN YOU BOARD THE PLANE -- DON'T PACK IT IN YOUR LUGGAGE!!!
Use the link below to sign up for the Netherlands trip. This is the Final Signup; it commits you to making the trip. ALL PAYPMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
You will need to know the following:
ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE
Click pix to enlarge
The Board has been talking with members informally to get travel ideas, and there's no shortage of fun things to do. After long discussion we have a plan to propose, built using these criteria:
It's time to put together the new travel plan with your input and then head off for new adventures!
Here's our current thinking on major road trips:
Bloemencorso Bollenstreek is a huge flower parade taking place every spring in the Netherlands, not far from Amsterdam. The parade features elaborate floats decorated with bulb flowers (tulips, daffodils, etc.) and is a major event. See poll above to add your thoughts on making this trip.
In the aftermath of our Bahamas cruise in 2012 we get lots of other "cruise" suggestions, with Alaska being among the most popular.We would look at a departure just after Rose Festival, before the rates climb to the stratosphere. This would be an Inside Passage trip, probably departing from and returning to Seattle. Typical itineraries on these trips include port stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, plus one or more days of cruising in Glacier Bay National Park. Plus whales, mountains, lots of gorgeous you get the idea. The major problem with an Alaska trip is that there are no good existing events to target (the largest we can find is the July Fourth Parade in Juneau) and it would be challenging to coordinate a cruise schedule with events taking place in the ports. This would have to be another "invent your own venue" kind of trip, much like the Bahamas, which takes more work and probably results in smallish crowds. Estimated logistics: 7 nights, $1200-1400 per person (which includes food and all the usual cruise ship amenities)
On the first Saturday in May, "the most exciting two minutes in sports" takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Two days before the Derby the Pegasus Parade rolls 1.7 miles through the streets of Louisville with giant helium balloons of recognized characters, spectacular floats, marching bands, equestrian units, local and national celebrities (previous Grand Marshals include William Shatner, Gladys Knight, Muhammad Ali, Chubby Checker, Mickey Mouse, and Cyndi Lauper), and exciting performance groups. We would probably NOT attend the actual Derby; general admission in the infield is $75-$100 (and you can't see the race), with grandstand seating in the multiple hundreds of dollars. But other local attractions include the Great Steamboat Race, a full slate of Festival events, and tours of the Louisville Slugger Baseball Bat Factory/Museum. We'd also probably arrange a "touring" day through the Bourbon Trail, My Old Kentucky Home, and (maybe) Lincoln's Birthplace in Hodgenville. Yet another possibility would be to make the 90 minute drive to Cincinnati for a performance along the Ohio River, a Cincinnati Reds game, or a visit to Kings Island amusement park. Estimate 4 nights, $1000 per person.
Another perennial request. The most likely opportunity would be the Honolulu Festival Parade of Bands in March. The parade, which draws some 40,000 viewers, is currently considered the best parade in the state. There is a band and orchestra festival the same weekend, but that seems more geared to concert band performances. Overall, we think Hawaii is a great vacation destination but only a so-so target for a band trip. Nonetheless, we'll keep an eye out because you never know when we'll find just the right thing! Estimate 4 nights, $900-$1100 per person.
We love the idea of a cultural barnstorming tour through Cuba, but it's still a little too soon for us to consider it - not enough flights, not enough rooms, too hard to execute. But we're gonna keep an eye on this one. Estimate 6 nights, $2000 per person.
We receive multiple solicitations for the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago each year, so our odds of getting in would probably be okay. Pluses: Major city, major parade, giant balloons, nationwide TV coverage on WGN, new area of country for us, holiday shopping along the Miracle Mile. Minuses: Chicago in November .... Estimate 3 nights at $950.
Hundreds of giant puppets, more than 50 bands with music from around the world, thousands of New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation - sounds pretty wild, huh? And October would undoubtedly be warmer than, oh, the Macy's Parade in November. (Speaking of which: We think we would have to signficantly grow the band to even consider applying for Macy's, and we'd also have to be much "spiffier" in our uniforms and routines.) Anyway - Halloween in Greenwich Village could be fun! Estimate 3 nights at $1000-1100; would probably offer optional extensions.
There are plenty of other ideas floating around, including a return to China (for example, the Luoyang Peony Festival with a side trip to see the Terracotta Warriors of X'ian), a return to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, etc. Both Bristol, Rhode Island and the Calgary Stampede have told us we'd be welcome back. The Board plans to work through some of these ideas and we also plan to survey our band associates to see what sounds popular and then put together a plan.
Besides our annual "big road trip", we want to make a conscious effort to broaden our reach in regional events. This will certainly include day trips, but we'd also love to add roughly one "mini-trip" each year if the band can support it. In general, we'd try to space mini-trips so that they don't fall right on top of a major trip (i.e., we'll try to create "breathing room" between trips as much as we can.) A mini-trip would typically be closer to home, include a 1-2 night hotel stay, and cost in the range of $200-$350. Examples of mini-trips that we've done include the Wenatchee Appleblossom Festival, Pendleton Round-Up, Medford Pear Blossom Festival, White Rock (BC) Sea Festival, and Rogers Santa Claus Parade (Vancouver, BC).
Many of you have worked with Tom Higham, who handles TBGO's overnight travel (and personal travel for many of us).
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