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When a student trip is announced to families, there is always a buzz of excitement as the first kids begin to register. When the initial rush is dulled by daily routines and to-do lists, a trip leader can use creative ways to help families remember to follow through with registration and paperwork.

Here are six ideas to keep your trip top-of-mind.


1. Registration rewards

Offer a small token to students when they register, like a plastic bracelet, laptop sticker, or a pen with the tour destination on it. This way, students know when they are registered since parents sometimes forget to let their kids know.

[Need more help on how to get families signed up for your next school trip? Check out our other blog about encouraging registrations for your school trip.] 

2. Hold a drawing each week

Enter the names of your students in a drawing each week for a t-shirt or a book about your tour destination. Announce the winner in your communication with parents each week, whether it’s a blog, email, or printed newsletter, and include a reminder about the registration deadline along with a link to sign-up. 

3. Countdown calendar

This is a great way to create a sense of urgency. You can set up a countdown calendar as a tab on your computer and show it on your SmartBoard or through a projector as students enter and leave the room.


It’s also a good thing to show on the screen at some point during your parent meeting. You can include a countdown to the registration deadline and to your travel date. The countdown is something else to include in your weekly parent communication. You can find this Countdown Clock here

4. T-shirt design contest and sale

This one doubles as a fundraiser. Have students submit design ideas for a t-shirt for the trip that can be sold in advance as a fundraiser. Announcing the contest and distributing order forms also gives you another chance to remind families about registration and paperwork deadlines. 

5. Follow-up letters

This is important if your tour is considered a class trip and you want to make sure that every family is aware of the deadline. Two weeks before the deadline, send letters home to the families of students who are not registered. Require a response like you would for a field trip form so parents can indicate if they plan to have their student travel or not.

This also gives families a chance to be in touch with any questions or concerns and you will know that no one missed the opportunity unintentionally.

Your goal is to offer the kids a meaningful experience, so most families will not be bothered by a gentle reminder, especially if it’s done with a helpful spirit.

6. Create a bulletin board

Find a way to display information about the trip inside and outside your classroom. Use photos from previous tours, posters, streamers, and other decorations to create a visual reminder about the fun and educational moments the kids will have on tour. Also include deadlines and important tour information.

If you need help with registration or ways to encourage your group, talk to your student travel consultant who is there to help every step of the way or browse our tours. 

Since you need to rely on parents to register your students, you also may be interested in another post, Ten Ways to Gain Parent Support for a School Trip.

Originally published December 2017, updated January 2021