Blog Top of the Class: How to Plan a School Trip

No matter if you’ve been teaching for days or years, jumping through the logistical hoops of an educational visit always remains a challenge. Whether you’re leading your first or tenth outing, there’s always room for improvement – especially on the organisational front. We at the School Travel Company are here to help you get all of your ducks in a row… and plan a trip that your students will cherish for years to come.

If merely thinking about organising a school tour gives you a headache, you’re not alone. For many teachers across the globe, finding the time to come up with school trip ideas – let alone planning an outing from start to finish – is a real difficulty. However, the good news is that not everything has to fall on your shoulders when you enlist the help of the School Travel Company. Along with providing you with an itinerary that best suits your needs for a school trip, ideas for getting the ball rolling are our speciality. Read on for some of our top tips.

Getting Started

Our first piece of advice to any teacher is always: don’t be afraid! The longer you put off planning, the more difficult it gets – so it’s best to dive in with both feet.

Begin with the fundamental considerations that accompany any school tour, including the ages of your students, the class size, your allocated budget and whether the trip is primarily fun or educational. Before you get down to the nitty-gritty portion of the planning, make sure that you’ve thoroughly discussed your primary vision for the trip with your department head and/or with your Head Teacher: this is not only crucial for receiving approval, but also helpful for receiving feedback and advice from colleagues.

Next comes everyone’s favourite part: the actual preparation.

  • Familiarise yourself with your school’s procedure for organising days away, ensuring that you have all of the necessary approvals and forms on hand. To avoid anything from slipping through the cracks, it’s worth going over the administrative process with another colleague. 
  • Write down the objectives of the visit to convince parents or guardians of its educational (or other) value for their children. Make sure that you ask for written consent from all parents. 
  • Develop an itinerary and a packing checklist. While this can be time consuming, it’s not if you let us do this for you! You’ll share this schedule of events with parents, students and colleagues. 
  • Make a list of every pupil attending the trip, and create folders that contain their parents’ or guardians’ written consent, their medical and dietary requirements and other important information, such as their behavioural tendencies. 
  • It’s always a good idea to visit the location beforehand. At the School Travel Company we can organise an inspection visit prior to the trip, allowing you to conduct risk assessments, try out your chosen accommodation and check out local transport options before your class steps foot off the bus.
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Frequently prior materials and lesson plans are readily downloadable online if you’re looking for material to prepare your students.

Preparing Your Pupils

To help your students get the most out of the experience, it’s best to prepare them for it inside the classroom. By teaching them about the topics that the excursion covers, they’ll be able to draw on their knowledge and genuinely connect with the subject matter of the school trip. Ideas for further sparking their interest include:

  • Showing pupils a film about the destination
  • Having students who went on past trips talk about what they most enjoyed
  • Going over the itinerary in class, and – if the outing is educational – highlighting opportunities for downtime
  •  If applicable, giving them a checklist of items (and/or questions about them) to look out for during their trip, such as historical monuments or flora and fauna. The first person to see everything on the list wins a prize!

Of course, these tips for planning your outing are only a drop in the ocean compared to our experienced team’s wealth of insider knowledge. Whether you’re looking for school trip ideas or already have a specific excursion in mind, we at The School Travel Company are here to lift the logistical weight off of your shoulders. To find out more about our inspiring itineraries, get in touch with us today.  

“Bringing the Classroom to Life”

The School Travel Company Blog is a treasure trove of tips and titbits, ideas and inspirations, suggestions and surprises to expect when planning your school trip!

Have a browse through and take advantage of the experience of our expert tour managers.

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