Blueprint Tours

Helping you discover our world

About Us

Who Are We

Blueprint Tours, Inc. is a custom tour operator, focusing on educational and performance-based tours for students and adults. We do not offer “off the shelf” tours, but instead work with educators and tour leaders to develop a dream trip to enhance a curriculum or activity.  What makes us different is our experience, commitment to excellence, integrity in pricing, flexibility and unmatched service.

Our Services

Our escorted services span the globe, from local step on guided tours of Chicago, to one day in-state trips to Springfield, to domestic travel and international travel to the great capitals of Europe and even remote parts of the earth.

Our Mission

As we greatly benefited from student travel while in school, we are convinced that the student travel experience is an indispensable part of educational and personal development.  We are committed to providing a similar experience to the next generation.  Due to low overhead and experience, we are able to provide the highest quality travel experience at competitively low costs.  

Travel With Us

Curricular Travel


To discuss trends, events and historical figures in context is critical to understanding.  But there is no substitute to being there.  We are very fortunate to work with educators to help students further understand their world by sharing these places with them.  There is no better way to experience Chaucer than sitting in the Canterbury Cathedral Close.  The physics of Brunelleschi's dome makes perfect sense when you are between its two shells.  Lincoln's legacy becomes animated when you see his handwritten notes and hat.  Performing in the acoustically vibrant dome of Salzburg Cathedral, just as Mozart did, is more than memorable.  And theater staging and craft seen on Broadway at the highest level inspires.  

Performance Travel


Since our inception as a company, we have enjoyed working with ensemble directors in preparing their dream performance tours in destinations as varied as Nashville and Prague.  Over the years, we have established critical contacts with clinicians, performance venues and local ensembles.  This wealth of experience allows us to provide ensemble directors and performers with an amazing, memorable and rewarding performance  experience.

London Summer Program


In 2017, we pioneered a ground-breaking, open enrollment program in London for high school students.  The Summer Scholars Program, now in its third year, has offered students from many different high schools the ability to explore their own interests using London as a laboratory.  For more information on this truly unique and affordable opportunity, please visit


Local Step-On Guiding


One of our expanding range of services is high-quality custom guiding for "Incoming" groups to Chicago and environs.  Past tours include general panoramic coach tours, Loop architectural tours, Gold Coast walking tours, Art Institute tours and "White City" themed tours.

Day Trips


Our academic clients enjoy one day Abraham Lincoln heritage tours to Springfield, including the Capitol Building, Old State Capitol, Abraham Lincoln Library and Lincoln's Tomb.  These tours are expertly organized and provide a high quality, age appropriate experience at the best possible price.

Domestic Destinations


We offer a wide range of options when considering domestic travel.  Our previous experience includes tours to New Orleans, San Antonio, Nashville, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Orlando and Seattle.  These are especially popular with band, choir and orchestra performance groups. Our most popular domestic destination recently has been theater-based travel to New York City.

The Americas


Some of the best value tours we offer have been to Canada and Mexico.  Central and South America are also great options if you have more time.  We have extensive experience in Québec,  Ontario, and British Columbia.  We have also had groups to the Yucatan, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. 



By far, the majority of our experience lies in the discovery of Europe.  Over the past decades, we have been fortunate to have helped thousands of students discover sites as varied as Irish wedge tombs to Greek Temples.  Our extensive knowledge and contacts throughout Europe provide our clients with added value, safety and quality assurance.



Sometimes clients wish to go further afield and we are happy to accommodate.   We have experience in both China and Japan and are happy to discuss these options as either language-based or cultural tours.

Meet the Team

Sue Pipal, General Manager


In 2008, Sue Pipal, a licensed attorney, joined the staff.  Sue’s interests include art, literature, gastronomy, wildlife and conservation.

Charlie Pipal, President


Architect and educator Charlie Pipal founded Blueprint Tours in 1998. Charlie’s interests include medieval history, ancient to contemporary architecture, music and drawing. 

Liz Trantowski, Tour Manager


Liz Trantowski, a professional historian, is a former Spanish language and social studies teacher.  Liz's interests include art, cultural history, language, and geography.



Contact Us

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Blueprint Tours, Inc.

39 East Quincy Street, Unit 2A, Riverside, Illinois 60546, United States

(708) 442-9914