How to Organise a School Trip

3 February 2020

Planning a trip to an unfamiliar place can often seem like the most daunting task for any teacher. But when you have the welfare of your students to consider too, the whole process has the potential to become overwhelming very quickly.

Although exciting and extremely rewarding, there are countless questions to consider when organising a school trip to a new place. What should you do while you’re there, what insurance documents will you need, and what should you pack?

To help, we’ve pulled together a handy list of things to consider when organising school trips. From finding out about the local area, to informing parents about your trip – here’s what you should bear in mind when it comes to creating an experience for your students.

Where to begin

When planning a school trip, getting moving can often be the hardest part. The earlier you can get started the better – it means more time for finer details, and gives parents the chance to properly budget for their child’s school trip.

The most common way for schools to book a school trip is through a school tour operator, who can help take care of your school trip requirements, logistics and planning. Choosing to travel with a tour operator can help students to build their knowledge and cultural appreciation for new and unknown places, whilst creating an exciting and memorable experience.

Before choosing your tour operator, you should think carefully about your budget (what is affordable for parents?) and the dates that work best to avoid clashes with any other school activities. You should also remember to seek approval from your EVC or SLT before continuing with any further school trip planning.

Finding your tour operator

When selecting your tour operator, you should be on the lookout for someone who is a member of the School Travel Forum (STF) and holds the LoTC Quality Badge in order to gain peace of mind when it comes to safety standards. When looking for a tour operator choose someone who is honest with you and that has your learning objectives at heart. You should also choose a tour operator who has the important accreditations – ABTA and ATOL (if you are flying) so you can be sure they are financially protected.

When searching, make sure to consider an operator with great local knowledge, a thorough safety management system, and a personal tour consultant on hand throughout your trip. A good tour operator is one that can take care of all loose ends and create a sense of fun, meaning that teachers can sit back and enjoy the trip just as much as their pupils.

When it comes to requesting prices, make sure you ask for a full written quote from various tour operators to ensure that you are getting the best price possible. Take a look at our comparison table to see exactly what your qyote should include.

Approving and promoting your trip

Once you have chosen your destination and tour operator, it’s time to meet with your EVC and SLT to get full approval for your trip. When you have approval, you can provisionally book and start looking into the finer details of the trip.

Make sure to request a full provisional document which states the aspects of your trip that aren’t included in the price. This will help to give an indication of any other charges that may be incurred in future.    

When it comes to promoting your school trip to parents, you should make sure to share as much information as possible from the outset. This will help to establish an initial number of students attending your trip. Take a look at the Letters and Templates section of our website for help.

At WST, our Trip HQ also helps teachers to successfully promote their trip. Trip HQ is a WST tool that helps you bring the school to trip to life for parents and allows you to keep them upto date with any pre-trip information and all the daily activities and experiences during your trip as well!

Booking your trip

Once you have received your deposits from parents, it’s time for the fun bit. After confirming passenger details, you can officially book your trip!

As for the finer details, you tour operator should be able to help with this – leaving you to think about creating lasting memories for both you and your students. The Tour Planning & Tools section of our website has a wealth of information, from packing checklists to insurance information and payment planners, to help you get started.

If you’re interested in booking a school trip for your students, WST would be more than happy to help. Get a quick quote for your desired destination, and a member of our specialist team will be in touch to discuss your requirements in more detail.