Taking students on an educational tour is an amazing thing to do for your students. While excitement about the trip is essential, you also want to create an opportunity that is achievable for you, your students, and their families.
Here is a simple checklist of initial considerations to help you plan an experience that is both meaningful and realistic.
1. Are your students interested in traveling?
- You can survey students formally or informally and adjust your destinations, dates, and attractions to meet their needs and yours.
- Web-based tools like Survey Monkey or Google Forms can simplify the process and give you results that are easy to share.
- Student support will help with gaining approval from administration and parents, so keep track of your data and be prepared to present it to decision makers.
2. Will your students’ families support the trip and are they comfortable with the financial commitment?
- Surveys can be helpful to answer these questions as well. You can set up price points as multiple choice options to see what the ceiling would be for
families and adjust your tour plans accordingly.
- Work with your educational tour provider to set priorities and maximize your dollars for travel, hotels, dining, and attractions within your budget.
- Consider scholarship options and fundraising opportunities in advance to know what the out of pocket cost will be for families.
3. Can you relate the trip to the curriculum in a meaningful way?
- You will most likely need to show the educational value of the trip to gain support. Learn more about gaining parent support and research which curriculum standards you can relate to your destination city.
- Read our posts about explaining the cost and value of student travel. There are also several other articles about how to relate curriculum standards and student travel:
4. Are your peers and administration supportive?
- It’s tough to fight against a negative current, so you’ll want to have other teachers onboard with the idea of the student trip. Bring up your ideas with a few teachers first to get their reactions and advice.
- Plan a meeting with your supervisor to explain the value of the trip and to plan the steps needed for the approval process.
- Depending on the organization of your school, make a plan for introducing the idea to the building staff early in the planning process and welcome input.
- Be prepared to explain the value of the student tour to people who teach in the different content areas.
- Learn more about earning teacher support here.
5. Do you have the resources, including time, to see it through?
- Be realistic about the home - work - life balance that you need. You don’t want to find yourself over committed and frustrated.
- Create a plan to share responsibilities with other teachers who are willing to help.
- Parent volunteers also are great at helping with organizational tasks, so recruit a few who you know and trust.
Your enthusiasm will be your greatest asset through the process. Working through these early considerations will help save you time and headaches moving forward as you turn your travel ideas into reality.
Our team of experienced student travel consultants at NationsClassroom will take the stress out of planning your trip so you can enjoy it along with your students. They will handle all of the logistics to make your trip a success.
What was your greatest roadblock in the early planning stages for your student trip? Or, if you’re just getting started, what makes you the most nervous? Share a comment.
Originally published April, 2017, updated May, 2020