Frequently Asked Questions
All JSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and fans are welcome to accompany the Marching Southerners to France in 2024.
While we will be traveling together in a trip arranged by the same travel agency, we will be organized into two separate groups: Performers (the Marching Southerners and band faculty/staff) and Non-Performers (alumni, fans, band family members and non-band faculty, staff, students). The Performer group will be led by Dr. Ken Bodiford, director of university bands, while the Non-Performer group will be led by Kaci Ogle, director of alumni relations. French tour guides will travel with us throughout our stay, handling arrangements and easing language and cultural barriers. Due to the large number of travelers, we will be split even further into travel groups that stay together throughout the trip. With hundreds of participants, it’s not usually possible for us to dine at the same location or see the same exhibit at the same time. Therefore, we typically rotate together in assigned groups and only see the “full” JSU group during performances. You will probably experience the trip with the group of people on your flight - riding in the same busses, staying in the same hotels, eating in the same restaurants - led by the same French tour guide. This is all part of the fun. Get ready to make new friends!
Marching Southerners and non-performers will be roomed separately. Travelers will be paired with roommates, based on group type (Performer vs Non-Performer) unless they purchase a single occupancy room. European hotel rooms typically only accommodate two guests per room, in single beds, but a limited number of three-person rooms may be available. For adults traveling with minors, a limited number of adjoining rooms may also be available - on a first come, first served basis.
Airplane tickets will be bought in blocks by the travel agency, 60-90 days in advance. Due to the number of travelers, seat selection will not be possible. You could be seated anywhere on the plane, apart from your traveling companions. Since so many of us will be on flights together, we usually recommend travelers trade seats with one another - if they wish - at the airport.
A land only travel package is available for those who already have their own transportation to France. Please visit the Reservations page for details.
The deadline to make a reservation is typically six months prior to the trip. A hard date will be provided when available.
Due to the fluctuating cost of fuel and other expenses, it is possible that the price of the trip could change between now and 2024. Any price increases will be communicated by TMF and included as a surcharge. Likewise, if the price of the trip decreases over time, any added revenue will be invested back into the trip in the form of a free meal, excursion, etc.
We will have French tour guides on our trip to help navigate the language, culture and customs. The travel agency will keep us informed of any health restrictions and travel advisories. Outside of that, we recommend brushing up on your French etiquette. "Etiquette" is a French word, after all.