If you are thinking of taking your students on an educational tour, the preparation process might seem a bit overwhelming. Where do I start? When is the best time to go? What can I show my students within a limited timeframe? We have written this article to help you find answers and to show you that as long as you choose the right student tour company, it will be so easy to travel with your students that you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before!
Do you have a destination in mind or do you want to focus on a specific subject or topic? Often teachers know what country or countries they want to travel to; if instead you have a definite list of educational objectives for your tour that might be satisfied in a variety of locations, you can also ask your tour consultant to suggest the best destinations to cover them.
The next thing you need to think about is when you can take your students on an educational tour. Are you working with set school holidays or are your dates flexible? Keep in mind that the process of finalising the itinerary, enrolling students and convincing parents can take some time, so it is best to start planning your trip at least 6 months in advance.
Once you have a rough idea of when to go and where to go, do some research on student tour agencies. Visit their websites, read their blog and ask your colleagues for recommendations. It is always a good idea to read reviews and ask the company for references. Maybe some teachers have done a tour to the same destination with a similar educational objective before and can tell you about their experience.
Now it’s the time to call one or a few companies to make further enquiries about your trip. Build an itinerary, get a price quote and if you do get more than one quote, make sure you compare ‘apples to apples’. Do they all offer the same inclusions? What airlines and hotels do they use and will I have a private coach and a tour manager by my side? All these are important factors when it comes to running your trip as smoothly as possible.
Get school board approval. You’ll need to talk to your school’s principal and school board in order to obtain their approval for your trip. The student travel agency that you’ve chosen should be able to help you and provide any documents that you might need.
Start spreading the news: you’re going to travel! Get students excited about your trip by explaining what you’ll see and do. Hang destination posters in your classroom. Organize a parent meeting – your travel consultant should be there to present the itinerary and answer any and all questions.
It’s as easy as that! Keep your tour consultant’s phone number and email within arm’s reach for any questions or concerns that come up along the way. In the meantime, keep the theme of travel alive in your classroom. You and your students are on your way to a great adventure!