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Faculty & Staff Trip Advisors

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Faculty & Staff Trip Advisors

Every Alternative Break trip throughout the year has a faculty/staff advisor participate on the trip. Trip Advisors bring a very important dynamic and role to every AB trip. The following are some of the roles of the AB Trip Advisors.

As outlined in the AB Constitution, the Faculty/Staff Trip Advisors:

  • are responsible for adding their valuable experience to the trip and its participants
  • are not meant to micromanage the trip, but provide leadership in the event of a crisis and help ensure all students are abiding by agreed upon student contracts and SMU student policy
  • are expected, although not required, to participate in pre and post trip activities as much as possible
  • will attend their trip for no charge (with the exception of incidentals and snacks/food en route to and from trip location)

Expectations of the Trip Advisor are to:

  • Participate in all trip service, reflection, and fun activities
  • Be accessible to trip leaders to provide mentorship and facilitate leadership development
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with trip leaders
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with community organization representatives
  • Be prepared to facilitate conflict resolution strategies
  • Be prepared to help participants process issues encountered during the trip
  • Be prepared to help trip leaders manage stress, logistics, conflict, exhaustion, and crisis
  • Be prepared to share your thoughts and experiences with participants
  • Complete appropriate follow-up activities, evaluations, and program documentation with participants
  • Uphold the mission, values, and policies of the Alternative Breaks program and SMU
  • Must be willing to be certified through SMU Engaged Driving and drive a 12-passenger or minivan
  • Assist the students in the event of an emergency

Trip Advisor FAQs

  • How much does it cost an advisor for an AB trip? Trip Advisors attend the AB trip at no charge to themselves, with the exception of incidentals and food purchased en route to and from the trip location.
  • Can my partner and/or children attend with me? This is usually not possible for risk management purposes; however, we are happy to evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
  • Will I share a room with students? In most cases yes, as AB trips travel very economically. Most trip accommodations are made through hostels and churches with shared room accommodations. Exact accommodations vary by trip.
  • More questions?  Please review the Advisor Manual on CONNECT.


2018-2019 Trip Advisor Applications will be available in late summer.

More Information about Trip Advising

If you are an SMU Faculty or Staff member interested in attending an Alternative Break trip as advisor, please contact Brittany Barker ( for more information.