As a teacher, planning a school trip or school residential can be a daunting task. You have the responsibility of making sure the trip ticks all the right boxes; educational, enjoyable, good value, and safe (to name a few). To give you a helping hand we’ve put together some tips on how to plan a school trip. A guide to getting started and help you ensure your staff and pupils get the best experience and value for money.


Decide the purpose of your school trip

It’s a good idea to know the outcomes you want from your school trip or school residential before you get started. You want to know the venue you choose can deliver on those outcomes. Educational trips can also be fun, the students can learn skills they will take with them through life, and they can learn a new respect for each other and staff. Be sure your venue has experience with school groups and knows how to enhance your visit.

Look for value for money

You will no doubt have a budget per head and will want to look for the best value for your money. Although your budget will dictate some of your options it’s worth looking at more than just the cost of the activity, you may find a cheaper option doesn’t deliver on your desired outcomes and could mean you’re not getting the best value for money. Look for content quality as well as costs.

Find a reputable and licensed school trip provider

You no doubt have guidelines and policies that mean your school trip provider needs to tick certain boxes; be licensed by governing bodies, have the appropriate insurance, have the relevant risk assessments in place. Look out for accreditations such as Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC), The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA), and that activities are approved by your local council.

Try it for yourself

It might not always be possible, but if you can try to visit the venue or site for your school trip or school residential then definitely do so! Ask to be shown around, most venues that cater for school trips will understand the need and welcome your visit. Some activity providers will also allow you to try the activities first so you can be confident they are right for your trip.

Talk to a school trip provider

Your school trip or school residential is an important part of the school year, so you want it to be sure you’re in the best hands. Most venues will know the importance of getting it right, so talk to their schools contact who knows exactly what they’re doing and how to book the best experience for you and your students.

Prepare the children and their parents

The first school trip, especially a residential, can be a nerve-wracking time for both the children and the parents. Make sure you prepare them both with all the information they need to know; a packing list for the child and details of what they’ll be getting up to for the parents. For the parents, include information about the company your school trip is booked with so they can rest assured their children are in safe hands.

It’s a good idea to know the outcomes you want from your school trip or school residential before you get started. You want to know the venue you choose can deliver on those outcomes.

Now you’ve read our tips on how to plan a school trip or residential, why not download our school’s brochure packed full of the information you need for booking your trip with New Forest Activities. We are a fully accredited, experienced activities company in the New Forest with an exciting programme of activities tailored to schools, offering residential trips as well as day trips! Alternatively, get in touch to speak to our school’s coordinator about your school trip needs.