Record-breaking weather dumped more than 56 inches of snow on Washington, D.C., this winter, creating the largest snow accumulations ever documented in the area. Several WorldStrides groups were visiting the capital in early February when back-to-back storms brought multiple feet of snow, closing schools and government offices across the metropolitan area. However, WorldStrides’ Tour Central office remained fully staffed 24 hours a day, providing local support to groups and booking hotel rooms for staff and Night Chaperones at nearby hotels.
WorldStrides’ vendors were similarly committed to providing the best program experiences for our groups. Though Washington, D.C., residents weren’t venturing out of their homes to dine, many of our restaurant partners opened exclusively for our groups with appointments. WorldStrides travelers even got to take their group photos on the Capitol steps despite federal government closures and untouched sidewalks. Staff from WorldStrides’ valued photography partner, Memory Makers, brought their own shovels with them to the Capitol building to clear the steps before students arrived for their group photos.
Tour Central staff worked diligently to reschedule groups with appointments at museums and government buildings that were closed due to the snow. WorldStrides travelers instead visited open attractions like the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, the Newseum, and Madame Tussauds. Groups also got the special opportunity to experience the national monuments in a way very few Washington, D.C., tourists do—covered in snow! Many of WorldStrides’ travelers were visiting from warmer climates and were thrilled to build snowmen, engage in friendly snowball fights, and explore the capital in the magical wintry weather.
Despite the challenges created by the icy conditions, WorldStrides’ customers praised the responsiveness of Tour Central. “After 23 years of working with WorldStrides, I continue to be very satisfied with the support I receive…Tour Central was the best it’s been!” said returning Program Leader Pat Roncagli. No matter the weather, WorldStrides and our vendors are committed to ensuring all of our travelers have fun and memorable experiences on their WorldStrides programs!