Planning a school trip or educational trip abroad can be incredibly stressful. There are so many things to take into consideration. From planning logistics to ensuring the educational quality of the program – it’s easy to see why many teachers end up feeling overwhelmed when they’re tasked with planning travel on top of their day-to-day responsibilities.
If your school is considering a trip overseas in 2023 or 2024, these are our four favourite tips for taking the stress out of educational travel!
1. Leave the heavy lifting to the school trip professionals
Planning a school trip isn’t the same as planning a family holiday. With an ever-increasing number of regulations, logistics obstacles and pressures from leadership surrounding the quality of activities and learning outcomes, there has never been a better time to outsource your programs and tours.
Your teachers aren’t experts in planning high quality, educationally robust educational tours – and nor should they be. However, the right touring partner will work hand-in-glove with the relevant teachers in your school to ensure the trip itinerary is jam-packed with experiential learning activities, which are aligned to your school’s curriculum and desired learning outcomes.
If you are in the early days of planning a tour, we suggest requesting itineraries from several providers and then going over each of these with a fine-tooth comb to compare them. What should you be looking for when evaluating school trip itineraries? Check out this article for some handy tips.
2. Make sure you plan your school trip with a tour operator – not a travel agency
You may have heard the terms “travel agency” and “tour operator” used interchangeably over the years. In reality, they are not the same thing – at all!
If you’re planning a school trip or educational tour – particularly one overseas – we recommend you engage with a tour operator rather than a travel agency. Why? A travel agency uses third party operators in most tour locations. This means that when something goes wrong, you won’t be dealing with your tour co-ordinator.
Meanwhile, a great tour operator books and organises all elements themselves, so they can solve any issues that arise. You’ll only be dealing with them, which makes life much easier!
3. Ask for a tour director and specialists guides trained in educational touring
Another benefit of using a tour operator is that you are more likely to have a tour director and/or specialist guides included in your school trip package.
A tour director will make life so much easier while you’re abroad. It’s their job to organise all the logistics for you, ensuring everything runs smoothly. They will make sure everyone is safe and that you get to where you need to be in good time to have a great experience. They are also licensed guides and will be able to offer knowledgeable commentary along the way.
These specialists are usually trained in the specific subject or area you are studying and will be able to provide useful knowledge and information. Most travel agencies will only supply a tour escort, who is really only there to organise logistics and get you from A to B. They do not provide any guiding services, or commentary.
4. Manage your eco-anxiety by travelling sustainably
Most of us are acutely aware of the impact of our day-to-day lives on the world around us. That concern is even more pressing when it comes to travel – perhaps you’re even lying awake at night, thinking about the impact of your flights, transport and other aspect of your trip!
Young people aren’t immune from these fears, either. Many report feeling ‘eco anxiety’: a chronic fear of environmental doom based on what they hear and see from people around them, and in the media.
The good news is that school trips and educational tours don’t have to be that way. The right travel partner will be completely aligned with your school’s sustainability objectives, and will offer ways for you to offset your carbon emissions from each trip. More on that here.
How can we help?
Latitude Group Travel is Australia’s leading provider of school trips and educational tours for late primary and secondary school students. We’re committed to helping teachers and their students bring their classroom learnings to life by creating memorable and unique experiences. Our itineraries allow your group to take in iconic sights combined with as many classes, workshops, themed guided tours or subject related activities as you wish.