Interviews and personal stories

Q&A with Leslie Peterson of Trips Inc.

Q&A with Leslie Peterson of Trips Inc. group collage

Who founded Trips Inc.?

In 1982, Jim Peterson, the founder of Trips Inc., was caring for a young man, Trent, who had cerebral palsy.  Although there were some local “camps” to attend, Jim realized there was a lack of camps for people with intellectual & developmental disabilities. More important, there was no inspiration to travel!

This discovery changed Jim’s life, and he decided to amend that!
Originally from Maryland, he completed his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University and pursued a Masters degree in Special Education at the University of Oregon.  Jim’s dream to create a business that offered accessible travel materialized in 1991 when he started Trips Inc.
Twenty years later, Trips Inc. grew to become an award-winning nationwide company with many return customers!

What does Trips Inc. strive to highlight and teach through their vacations?

“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”

This quote holds significant meaning for Jim in describing why he believes Trips Inc. is such a valuable service for the community we serve.

Travel has had a profound effect on the thousands of customers who have traveled with us in the past 20 years.  During our trips lifelong friendships are forged, self-esteem and confidences soar, and the lives of the travelers are enriched.

The mission for each of our individualized vacations is to create a safe traveling environment that promotes independence, inclusion and FUN!

 Who are the tour group leaders & chaperones at Trips Inc. ?

At Trips, Inc. we know the significance of inclusion for our travelers and our tour group leaders and chaperones are at the heart of making each adventure unforgettable.

In each shared experience a family of sorts is created! A group of caring individuals plan and oversee every aspect of a Trips Inc. special adventure.

Our travel planners, program coordinators, tour group leaders and chaperones carefully evaluate every detail with particular attention to individual needs to create a completely worry-free and fun-filled vacation.

Our professional tour leaders and chaperones all have extensive training and experience in special education, first aid, and travel.They are especially attentive to the countless logistics and tiny details involved in special needs travel. They also excel at creating special bonds with travelers that result in a sense of warmth and belonging and have a keen sensitivity to the needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 What distinguishes your business from other travel companies?

The foundation of Trips Inc. is special education first, travel second.
Our expertise is evident in our affinity for, and sensitivity to, those with special needs.
We offer the best ratio of chaperones to travelers: one staff member chaperone for every three or four travelers. Our average group size is 20, and we strive to match the mobility, ages, social skills and capabilities of trip participants.Our company offers tours that cater to everyone whether it is international destinations like Italy or domestic spots like the Grand Canyon and Walt Disney World.


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Margalit Sturm Francus
A reformed dentist who gave up pulling teeth to show her son the world! Need tips on how to #travel with #autism? Follow me on Instagram & Facebook
Margalit Sturm Francus

Margalit Sturm Francus

A reformed dentist who gave up pulling teeth to show her son the world! Need tips on how to #travel with #autism? Follow me on Instagram & Facebook

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