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Teachers' Top Tips for School Trips

We recently ran a social media competition asking teachers to share their top school trip planning tips. Here are some of our favourite answers!

Make copies!

Organisation is absolutely paramount! Have ten copies of everything you could ever possibly need and check everything a hundred times! 

Liaise with the communications team

If you tweet/email the communications person at school, it’s a fab way to publicise, which then helps to promote following trips. 

Use WhatsApp

When we’ve had small groups, we’ve used WhatsApp to communicate. Kids are so relaxed and chilled when they know they can ask questions or contact us very easily, and it means they can easily share photos of the trip too. 

Employ the three 'p's!

The best advice has to be the three ‘p’s – Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance! So important when leading and running any expedition or school trip! 

Have a list of medical requirements to hand

Definitely have your medical staff prepped well in advance with a list of students so you can know about all of the students’ needs and be #readyforaction!

Have a handy sheet with all the relevant allergies and medications in the language of the country you’re visiting and, after one very clumsy trip group, take an extra set of bandages!

Get stuck in!

Our top tip for school trips is simple – get stuck in! Try everything and embrace the opportunities!

Make sure your students know where they're going and why

Empower students to get the most out of their trip. Ensure they know exactly where they are going and why, what’s expected of them in terms of dress, behaviour and outcomes, and what to do if something goes wrong, e.g. they get ill or lost. 

There’s no point in taking students anywhere unless they know exactly where they are going why! Students should be in a position to take ownership (as far as possible according to age, ability etc.) of the trip. 

Take some games equipment

If you can, take some spare equipment for games of some sort. You never know when there might be an hour or so to kill when you’ll be pleased you brought that rounders bat or football!

Prepare for the journey

Take wet wipes – a million wet wipes! They have come in handy so many times on the coach.

Take kitchen roll and plastic bags with no holes…I’m saying nothing else!

Always carry a can of air freshener for the coach. Black bags will also come in VERY handy!

Take a plentiful supply of age-appropriate DVDs for long coach journeys. Also take plastic bags, wet wipes, comfy shoes and some prizes for awards night. 

Take advantage of inspection visits

Go on the Halsbury Inspection Visits to meet the team, visit the areas of choice, meet other teachers and make new friends. 

Create a town quiz

Check out the town on the first night and make a quiz up of what you see – bus numbers, odd names for shops, prices of things…include questions they need to ask locals too!

Arrange your parents' evening nice and early

Make sure you have your trip parents’ evening in plenty of time so you can collect outstanding paperwork. 

Choose accompanying staff carefully

Take responsible and effective staff – this may mean members of the department but there may also be teachers outside of your department whose skills may be fantastic in a trip setting. 

Bring extra water

Always carry a case of secret water bottles under the coach in case of a breakdown. 

Take a notebook

Take a notebook and write down the next daily plan, notes and reflections each night and then when you need to tell the students things you can refer back to your notes and you won’t forget things!

Plan your route

Plan your route through the town the night before with Google Maps so that you at least look like you know where you are going!

Make sure you’ve visited the site first – suss out toilet locations both on site and en route. 

Avoid Mondays!

Never plan a trip for a Monday – parents forget over the weekend and children arrive unprepared. 

Make sure your students are easy to spot

If students are not wearing uniform, some kind of easily identifiable item of clothing for pupils to wear works well, e.g. cap, t-shirt, lanyard etc. 

Download Vamoos

Download the Vamoos app – it has all your paperwork on it, as well as your itinerary, maps and weather updates. It also allows you to share a trip countdown in the build up to the trip. 

We hope you find these tips as useful as we have! Got a tip of your own you want to share? Join in the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

The Halsbury Difference

School trips by teachers for teachers

School trips designed by teachers for teachers

Founded by teachers in 1986 and with several former teachers in our team, we understand the pressures on you as Group Leader and work hard to relieve them.

Tailor-made school trips

Trips tailored to your curriculum and learning objectives

We’ll design your trip around your specific learning objectives and curriculum, to ensure it meets your particular requirements.

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Rewarding loyalty scheme

Earn loyalty points from your very first trip which can be used towards a trip discount or free gift for your school.