You are ready to start planning your school field trip. Awesome! Here are 10 tips to get the most out of the experience.
Before the Trip
1. Plan Your Vision – Reflect and carefully consider your motivations and goals for your school field trip. What do you want the students to take away from the experience? What do you want them to learn about themselves, their destination, and their history? How will you also grow from the travel experience? What is the focus of the trip: fun than learning or learning than fun? Answering these questions will help you to focus during your planning and allow you to see the rewards of your efforts during the trip!
2. Prioritize – No matter your destination, there is always so much to see! It is always tempting to pack in as many sites as possible into each minute of your trip. While you see much, the breakneck speed can be jostled into one blur. In light of your vision for the trip, which sites help to achieve the goals that you have set? Can you extend your trip an additional day? Can you cut any sites to give you more time at the ones that support your vision?
3. Add Something New – If you have been leading trips for your school for several years with the same itinerary, each year may start to feel the same. Re-energize your excitement by adding something new (to you) or different into your itinerary. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time! We can suggest new sights for you. This will help you to continue having fun and keep everything fresh.
4. Build Understanding – Design a project or research activity about your destination for your students. Having a base knowledge and understanding about what they are going to see will add further meaning to the trip.
5. Create Excitement – It is a big deal for the students to travel out of their hometown. Do something each month in your classroom to build excitement and momentum for your upcoming trip. This will make them look forward to the trip even more and have further appreciation for the experience. Check out our resources page for great ideas.
6. Get in Shape – Walking is the best way to see the city and it is a big part of our tours (although we do use motor coach buses). Walking daily or holding a walk-a-thon fundraiser will help to get everyone moving and ready for the trip. That way, everyone can focus on the fun and the sights!
During the Trip
7. Stay Flexible – Attitude is everything. It may rain, you may hit traffic, or a student may get sick – all of which are not in your control. Remember to stay flexible and continue having fun!
8. Engage – Are your students actively looking at the sights? Encourage your students to put down their phones and explore. Pose questions. How does this city or place differ from your hometown? Look closer, what do you see? Scavenger hunts are a great way to keep students engaged and looking. Stay posted on Teacher Resource Monday. We’ll be posting scavenger hunts over the next few weeks.
9. Enjoy – By the time the trip arrives, you will have put in a fair amount of effort planning your trip and building excitement among your students. Make sure to enjoy the trip yourself and to pause to take everything in.
After the Trip
10. Reflect – Encourage your students to write a summary or journal entry about what they learned. Did the trip give further context to the content of your classroom? How did they grow in self-knowledge? What did they like most? What was better than they expected? When did they have the most fun? Reflecting on the experience will solidify their learning and give them something to look back on in future years.
Ready to start planning your school trip? Let’s Get Started!