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About Us

Special Journeys Travel Companion Association is an Omaha based registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We recruit, train, and supervise volunteer Travel Companions on group vacations for individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities. The chaperoned vacation groups travel across the US, on cruises and overseas.

 

The volunteers from Special Journeys Travel Companion Association assist travelers on vacations sold to special needs travelers by Special Journeys, LLC and operated by Special Journeys Tours, LLC.  Transportation on the vacations is provided through Special Journeys Transportation, LLC.




Our Mission

Everyone deserves the right to live a full life and the opportunity to travel. We recognize that some individuals need assistance to make those goals a reality. We believe that by helping others, we in turn become our best selves and lead lives that are more fulfilling. Together we are passionate about creating vacation experiences that are safe, supportive and transformative for our special needs travelers.

Our Approach

Our Volunteer Program

Volunteer Travel Companions travel on the vacations with all of their expenses covered except snacks and souvenirs. The Travel Companions supervise groups of 3 to 4 travelers. Before the vacations, volunteers are screened and then trained via web-based training. The vacations are led by Tour Leaders who have almost 400 trips of experience. On the trips the Travel Companions are assisted and supervised by Head Travel Companions.

 

Our Special Needs Travelers

Travelers are individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities who would benefit from a fully-staffed chaperoned vacation. Most of our Travelers are in services with a special needs agency and receive case management services. Most of our Travelers hold a community job which allows them to pay for the vacation.

 

Traveler Vacation Registration

Travelers select and purchase vacations through Special Journeys, LLC. This Omaha based travel agency has offered almost 400 chaperoned vacations since 2004. Every trip is led by one of both of our two Tour Leaders – Lexi & Tom Mann. The vacations are offered to special needs travelers on a private pay (self-pay) basis.

 

Travel & Travel Companion Safety

Our two Tour Leaders have been leading chaperoned vacations for over 20 years, with almost 400 trips under their belt. We have well-honed processes and procedures developed over two decades for specific types of trips (bus, flight, cruise) and situations. We believe that if we plan for the 95% of what we can pre-plan for, we’ll be prepared for the 5% of situations we can’t anticipate

 

Our trip preparation and on-trip operations are supported by our extensive, in-house-developed software. The vacations also operate with specific equipment and materials custom produced to ensure safe and efficient on-trip operations. The company is also fully insured and we have a 32-page Agreement & Release document for our special needs travelers that covers everything we’ve learned and encountered in 20 years.

Where We Work

Our work is focused in two separate markets. Our Omaha office serves travelers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. Travelers and Travel Companions are picked up and dropped off in their home city and brought to the bus or a central meeting place before a flight. Our Texas office serves travelers and Travel Companions who meet the bus at convenient meeting spots in Austin, Temple, Waco & Lewisville, TX.