School trips provide invaluable learning opportunities, but they are also an investment of both time and financial resources. Traveling during the fall months of October and November offers many benefits that will help your school group save both time and money.

Here are five great reasons to take a student trip during the fall.

1. Saves Money

If you lead an educational tour, you want the kids to travel without placing a large financial burden on their families. A professional student travel consultant will work with you to maximize your travel dollars, however, one of the easiest ways to do this is to travel in the fall.

School trips to most destinations are at least 5% cheaper in the fall.

The law of supply and demand works in favor of fall groups. With less competition for hotel rooms, buses, and restaurant space, it’s possible to negotiate lower prices. This is especially true for some of the most popular destinations for student trips, like Washington, D.C., and New York City.

2. Hands-on Learning Helps Test Scores

It seems like we’re testing more than ever, with most large-stakes tests happening in the spring, which offers another advantage of a fall trip.

For one thing, you don’t have to plan around testing, and you don’t have to be out of the classroom during the months prior to testing. Administration and parents will like that, making it easier to get the support you need.

Another advantage is that educational tours allow students to learn in novel ways that build their observation skills, helping them retain information and create lasting connections that can be built upon all year.

In an article called The Educational Value of Field Trips, the authors explain how educational student tours to a museum, for example, improve critical thinking and more.

“Our research suggests that students actually retain a great deal of factual information from their tours. Students who received a tour of the museum were able to recall details about the paintings they had seen at very high rates.”

According to the article:

  • When surveyed weeks later, 88% of the students who saw the Eastman Johnson painting At the Camp—Spinning Yarns and Whittling knew that the painting depicts abolitionists making maple syrup to undermine the sugar industry, which relied on slave labor.
  • 82% of those who saw Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter could recall that the painting emphasizes the importance of women entering the workforce during World War II.

Statistics talk, but these emphasize that curricular connections made on a school trip can have a lasting impact. In addition to what they learn, students also can generate questions while on a tour that they hope to answer throughout the year, which can increase interest and engagement.

3. More Time on Tour

A professional travel consultant knows how to maximize your time on tour, from hotels that are close to important sights to timed tickets for popular attractions. If you really want to avoid traffic and long lines, traveling in the fall is the way to go since most destination cities see fewer visitors between August and December.

4. Less Stress

With less traffic and crowds, your tour will feel more relaxed. You also have more flexibility if you want to make itinerary changes while you’re on tour because fewer other groups are vying for entry to popular sights. Anyone traveling with students can certainly appreciate anything that will help them have more flexibility and relaxation!

5. Better Weather

It’s not a guarantee, but autumn weather makes for comfortable touring in almost every part of the U.S. Spring weather can be very unpredictable, and summer brings heat that can be uncomfortable at best.

Autumn also is a time of natural beauty with changing colors and falling leaves. It is a great time to take your students on outdoor adventures that might not be possible during other times of the year.

Average high temperatures in October

Washington, D.C. 68°

New York City 65°

Boston 62°

Philadelphia  65°

Gettysburg 64°

Florida 84°

Colonial Virginia 71°

The Grand Canyon 83°

As long as you promote your trip well in advance, taking your students on a fall tour can offer many benefits. Working closely with your student travel coordinator is the best way to make the most of any student trip.

To learn more about these popular destinations, please browse our tours, or book a time to chat with one of our Student Travel Consultants!

Originally published October 2019, updated November 2023.