So, When should I register for a trip?

by Beth Crocker - Mission Trip Coordinator

One of the more common questions we get at Next Step is, “When should I register for my summer mission trip?”  Well, the first answer of course, is whatever is best for you.  Next Step is intentionally set-up to accommodate registration at any time of the year, from over a year in advance to a week before a trip.  But, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you try and figure out when is best for your group to register.  Here are 5 tips to help you with your registration process at Next Step:
1. Sooner is Better
Each year, registration opens in July for the following summer.  And believe it or not, by August many weeks at many locations are full. Next Step asks for a $50 deposit per participant, so if there is any way your group can get that deposit money together, we recommend you register right away and then we can work together to get the details in place after registration. Also- remember that Next Step allows you to register and hold your space for 30 days without a deposit.  So, if you are in the decision making process, even if its going to be a few weeks, get registered as you wait for your final decision.
2. Community Partnerships are Valued
In an effort to encourage continued relationships between churches and local communities, Next Step offers a pre-registration period in June and July every year.  During this period, churches have the first opportunity to register for a trip to the same community, the same week as the previous year. If you use this pre-registration option, your deposit is not due until October 1st!  We never want a church to be penalized for wanted to return to the same community and not being able to register due to space.
3. Spots are Transferable
What if a student needs to drop out between registration and the trip?  No problem!  We understand that a student’s life can take many unexpected turns throughout the year.  At Next Step you can transfer a spot to another student at any time.  You’re “spot” will never go to waste, we are happy to have another participant join at any time.
4. Think About Other Groups
So far, we have talked a lot about the value of registering early.  But- if your group is flexible on dates, there is sometimes great value in waiting to register.  It allows you to see what other groups are registered and help decide what is the best fit with your group.  Want to go on a trip with 100 other high schoolers?  Prefer a week where it is just your group?  Want to link up with another church from your denomination?  IF you feel comfortable waiting until after the new year, Next Step can help you set up a specific trip experience.
5. We are Here to Help!
These were just a few tips about registration, but we understand that every group has different questions and needs during the registration process.  Just remember that Next Step is your partner and you are our customer!  We are happy to customize deposit amounts, payment deadlines and other requests that would make this process easier for your group.  Don’t hesitate to ask, let’s make this trip work!