Early planning offers many benefits to a school trip. Often, it can make or break the success of the trip and significantly impact the number of students who are able to attend. Here’s what you need to know.
What do we mean by “Early Planning”?
Early planning used to mean 12 months in advance of your next school trip. One trip would end and planning for the next year would begin! However, each year groups are booking earlier and earlier. This is a trend that we don’t see going away. Early planning now means 14-15 months in advance of your travel dates.
Early Planning Ensures the Best Availability
Hotel and motor coach availability is limited, especially if you are looking for accommodations for a large school group! By sending our office your travel dates 14-15 months in advance, we can secure your top choices for a hotel and motor coach company. If you are traveling with Scholastica in the current year, we will make this year’s itinerary the starting point. Then, after your trip, we can make any adjustments to attractions or restaurants that you would like to see.
Early Planning Gets Students to Commit Sooner
Giving ample advance notice of the trip allows families to place the travel dates on their calendar before other family or school obligations come into conflict. Getting families excited early on helps to build up the trip as a “can’t miss” opportunity and facilitates earlier budgeting to pay for the trip as well as allotment of work vacation time (if needed).
However, group leaders will often wait until the start of the next school year to announce the trip. In our opinion, this is a mistake. With all the announcements at the start of a new school year, the trip becomes yet another thing to add to the list instead of a great opportunity. Build engagement by announcing the trip dates as early as possible.
Early Planning Gives Plenty of Time for Fundraising
Fundraising is a huge part of school trips. Scheduling your trip dates 14-15 months in advance gives ample time to plan and orchestrate fundraisers. The earlier you get started, the more likely it is that more students will attend the trip. The more students that fill each motor coach, the lower your price will be! Happiness all around.
Early Planning Allows Time for a Plan B
An earlier announcement of the trip dates can correspond with an earlier committment and payment date from students. Set a cutoff date sooner than usual in the fall. If you do not have enough students for the trip, you will still have time to work with your travel consultant to craft an alternative plan and trip opportunity that may appeal to more students. This way, a trip still travels!
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