Pursue these 10 goals during your next school trip. Achievement will lead to more efficient planning, increased student engagement, and more enjoyment for all.
Goal 1: Encourage Commitment
Many parents sign-up for a trip with good intentions but fail to commit by go-time. Encourage commitment earlier in the trip planning process by making the first trip deposit non-refundable, limiting the number of available spaces, and including multiple deposits in your payment schedule.
Goal 2: Rooming List Sent 45 Days Before Departure
The school trip rooming list is extremely important for successful trip operations. It’s so critical that Scholastica Travel requires it to be submitted 45 days before trip departure. Why all the fuss? For starters, your final invoice is calculated based on your submitted rooming list. Upon receipt, Scholastica Travel updates all vendors with final participant numbers and then sends your rooming list to the hotel that is booked for your group. The hotel can then block the rooms for your group and assign room numbers. This means that the earlier the hotel receives your rooming list, the more likely that your room configuration and floor layout will be to your preference.
Goal 3: Clear Chaperone Communication
Chaperones are often very eager to help, but they need to be pointed in the right direction. Your trip will run much smoother if chaperones understand their specific roles and duties before the trip. During the trip, keep communication open and easy between the chaperones on your bus by distributing a contact list and setting up a group messaging service. Bus leaders with a chaperone group message service in place can send easy reminders or change of plan notifications.
Goal 4: Fill the Bus
Scholastica Travel provides each group leader with five pricing categories based on the number of paying people traveling on each motorcoach. The more people that fill the bus, the lower the price of the trip! The trip price lowers because there are more people paying for the fixed costs such as the motorcoach, tour leader, and night time supervision.
Goal 5: Include Something for Pure Fun
A school trip is an incredible educational opportunity. Students learn a tremendous amount from the various sites that they visit and they also learn a lot about themselves in the process. We have found that the most fruitful travel experiences also include an activity that is purely for fun. This gives students time to rest from the heavy learning and refreshes them to more fully participate in the remaining activities.
Goal 6: Familiarize Students with the Destination before Departure
Give students the opportunity to learn more about the places you will visit prior to trip departure. This can easily be done in a classroom setting with virtual tours or individual presentations on a chosen topic. Many of our groups have students play the role of tour guide! Students research a site and present it to the group as if they were giving the tour. They share background history, any symbolism in the architecture, and tell a story.
Goal 7: A Designated Decision Maker
If you are the group leader, embrace your role as designated decision maker or nominate another trustworthy teacher for the task. There will be a number of small decisions to make while traveling on the school trip. We recommend that you do not defer these to the group or even a group of chaperones on a consistent basis. Deferring decision making to the group often leads to frustration and discontent as opinions inevitably will differ.
Goal 8: Stay Flexible
Unavoidable adjustments can happen on tour. It may rain, you may hit traffic, or a student may get sick – all of which are not in your control. The group leader’s ability to make the best of a situation will set the tone for how the rest of the group responds. Remember to stay flexible and continue having fun!
Goal 9: Intentionally Commemorate the Trip
Have a plan for commemorating the trip. This can be with a professional group photo, an essay contest, a private Facebook page to share photos and memories, or even a trip T-shirt. Find a way that works for you to capture the fun moments and smiles that you group experiences. You will look back fondly on these memories!
Goal 10: Evaluate Trip En Route Home
What could have been better? What did you learn that you could apply to the next trip? Take notes while the experience is fresh in your mind. These will be helpful when giving feedback to our company and in planning your next school trip.
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