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Organising a successful first school trip

Organising your first school trip can appear to be a daunting process; our essential guide to organising a successful trip takes you through each step, answering frequently asked questions and providing tips and support along the way.

For groups travelling from Republic of Ireland - download Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip here.

For groups travelling from Northern Ireland - download Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip here.

Helpful advice for your first school tour 

Below you'll find tips that will be useful when the time comes to arrange your first school trip.

Why use a tour operator

You might wonder why you should choose to organise a trip through a tour operator rather than do it yourself. Our helpful guide details some key reasons.

If you’ve got question marks over health and safety, wonder what ABTA & ATOL bonds mean for you, are keen to learn more about on-the-ground support, or wonder how would you get your group home safely should the unforeseen happen, then Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip is a vital read. Find out more about what a tour operator would take responsibility for, what they could help you with, and in what ways you will be protected.

Support whilst you’re away

Imagine being on your way home from France only to be told that your ferry has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. It could be days until your group gets home.  Where would your group stay? How would you afford it?

The backing of a tour operator takes the worry out of unforeseen circumstances – from 24 hour helplines to assistance ‘on the ground’. Learn more about the support tour operators can offer in Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip.

Plan your school trip – timelines and checklists

How long before your tour should you enquire... promote... book... collect deposits... plan your itinerary... complete your passenger and rooming lists?

A lot goes into creating the ideal school trip for your group. Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip provides a quick reference timeline of the basics and a handy pre-tour checklist.

Choose your destination

Perhaps the single biggest decision you will have to make is where to take your pupils to provide the most enriching experience possible, within budget.

Whether you want access to the first-hand knowledge of your tour operator, tips from teachers who have ‘been there, done that’, or a comprehensive quote with no hidden surprises down the line, school travel companies offer a wealth of benefits when it comes to choosing where to go, where to stay and what to do when you get there.

Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip highlights these and many other ways a tour operator could help you make the best decision for your group.

Gain approval, promote your tour & confirm your booking

Getting your tour ‘off the ground’ is another hurdle you’ll need to jump to move things forward.

Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip explains the support tour operators can offer in getting your tour plans signed off your local authority and school management, the promo tools on offer to help you gain interest from students, and advice on getting parents on-board too.  It’s also an essential read if you want details on how payment schedules work, plus guidance on issues with passports and visas... and much more besides.

Tailor-make your tour

Once you have booked your tour, there’s still some way to go before you jet off.

Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip covers how to build and arrange a programme of visits that meet your exact learning objectives, and those little extra considerations that a tour operator can make you aware of.

Complete your risk assessments

This area of trip planning has many a teacher pulling their hair out. It is a detailed and necessary part of the planning process, essential for the safety of travellers, and – once you know you’ve got it right – a huge reassurance for you.

Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip covers:

  • How a tour operator can save you a considerable amount of work
  • Where to start in managing on-tour safety effectively
  • Areas which should be considered as part of the overall risk management process
  • What a tour operator can do for you, what they can’t – and why!
  • Risk assessment basics – plus a sample risk assessment for you to look at

Bon voyage!

You’re on your way. You’re excited and anxious in equal measure. Your Essential Guide to a Successful School Trip details what other teachers feel are important last minute considerations to be aware of before you travel, including the importance of a 24 hour duty office whilst you’re away.