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.
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 quote should include.
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.
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.
We have put together a free planning guide that you can print off to help you plan.