How to Plan A School Trip
The school year is now on fast forward. You have curriculum to cover, testing to complete and a million tasks waiting on your desk. Oh- and it’s time to think about next year’s class trip! Relax… we’ve got you covered with five easy tips to get you started. Here’s how to plan a great school trip.
1. Choose Your Destination and Travel Dates
Decide where you want to go with your group. Are you traveling for curriculum? Performance? Fun? There are tons of great student destinations (link to destinations page) to meet and exceed your travel expectations. Boston makes an ordinary history lesson extraordinary with unique tours and “revolutionary” attractions. Cleveland is picking up “STEAM” with science groups. Orlando is a premier performance destination for bands, orchestras and choral groups. There are so many fantastic destinations your students will love!
Once you know where you’re going, decide when you’re going. The best travel times depend on the specific needs of your group. Consider weather, school schedules, rates, tournaments, etc. Some destinations like Washington D.C. have lots of student groups in the spring. You may want to think instead about how to plan a great school trip in the fall. If you’re destination gets cold (Chicago, anyone?) you might want to travel in the spring or summer. Some destinations’ rates vary by season as well.
2. Communicate the Details with Parents and Students
One you’ve figured out where and when you’re going, it’s time to get parents and students on board. According to SYTA’s independent research study 60% of teachers agree that student travel increases a students willingness to know/learn/ and explore. What parents wouldn’t want to help their child increase their willingness to learn? Build excitement for the school trip using social media or hype it in class. See if your trip planner can put together a website just for your trip to send information out to your students and parents. Plan a parent meeting (and be prepared to answer LOTS of questions!) or see if your trip planner can come and facilitate this! The more information you share, the more successful your trip will be.
3. Set A Schedule
Setting a schedule is one of the most stressful parts of planning a school trip. You may not know when to book attractions, when to take payments or make payments, or when to book transportation. Creating a checklist and timeline will help you manage the process. We’ve included some general benchmarks to help you plan successfully!
4. Make A Safety Plan
I take it back. THIS is the most stressful things about planning a school trip. It’s a bit daunting to realize you are now responsible for the health and well-being of a group of poor decision-makers- I mean, students. In an age of cell phones and instant communication, parents often know when something goes wrong before you!
A solid safety plan and open communication are the keys to a successful student trip. We can’t guarantee that nothing bad will happen as you travel. After all, Mother Nature doesn’t always care that we have plans, buses occasionally break down or students get sick. The good news is that excellent safety resources are available to help inform you as you create a safety plan for student travel.
The Student Youth Travel Association is a superb place to start. This organization is committed to providing student and youth travelers with safe, rich and rewarding travel experiences. A Safety Resource Guide and Safety Tips Brochure is available to download.
Creating a clear safety plan and method of communication will go a long way in helping to alleviate that all-encompassing anxiety associated with student travel. Parents will breathe easier knowing there’s a strategy for dealing with the unknown and students will clearly understand the safety procedures.
5. Choose Kaleidoscope Adventures as Your Trusted Travel Partner
If this abundance of information is starting to make you feel more anxious about how to plan a great student trip, RELAX. Kaleidoscope Adventures can help you simplify the process. KA has been a leader in student trip planning for more than 25 years. Kaleidoscope’s founder and CEO is a former teacher and understands your challenges and time constraints.
The team at KA is accessible, competent and incredibly knowledgeable. They have the inside scoop on the very best student destinations and performance venues. They’ll work with you to create an itinerary that meets your curricular goals and budget needs.
Planning your student trip with KA is easy and convenient – especially when time is not on your side! Contact Kaleidoscope Adventures today. They’ll handle the details of your school trip while you handle, well, everything else!