Lack of proper planning for your next school or class trip can lead to headaches and the potential for disaster.  This list of school trip tips can help you plan for some issues you might not have considered before you leave on your next adventure.

{mosimage}When you plan a class or school trip there are some easy to follow tips that will help you and your class members get the most out of the experience. Planning and carrying out a school trip can be an incredibly stressful adventure if you don't plan correctly, but as the trip planner you should get to have fun too. Follow these easy school trip planning tips to help minimize your stress level and maximize your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that these tips are primarily focused on middle school and high school group travel topics. Older groups may not require this much attention.

1. When planning a class or school trip plan to take along a medical professional

If your budget allows for it, and you need another chaperone on the trip, consider asking your school nurse to go along on the trip with you. Other alternatives could be the parent of a student in the class that is a nurse or physician.  You should plan on giving this person a reduced price on the trip, but in return you will not have to worry as much about what to do if a student gets sick after you leave. If at all possible always take the school nurse on the trip. They have liability coverage through the school just in case something goes wrong.

2. Plan ahead and make sure your chaperones are kept busy during the trip

Taking more chaperones on trip than you need is not necessarily a good thing. Sometimes adults can be even more of a pain than the students can, especially if that adult looks at the class trip as a vacation for themselves rather than as an educational experience for the students.

3. Ban alcohol on your trip

I'm not talking about just students, I'm also talking about adults. Many PTA and other groups have passed resolutions that forbid any adult on a school trip from consuming alcohol even if no students are around. First, this policy sends the right message to your students. Second, it is a good safeguard against a parent calling your principal and complaining because their daughter told them that one of your chaperones was down drinking in the hotel bar last night.

4. School trip chaperones should be provided with a guidebook

Make a planning packet specifically for your trip's chaperones that spells out your expectations, their duties, and a more in-depth itinerary than the one you give to the students. You should also include in this guidebook a trip roommate listing, airline flight assignments, travel agent emergency numbers, and cell phone numbers for you and your trip nurse.

5. Always have an emergency plan in place for your trip participants

Give each student a wallet sized card with cell phone numbers, hotel numbers, and other important information to use on the chance that they get separated from the group. If your class trip takes you to a country that does not speak your language, always include on the card a sentence or two in the native language explaining how to contact you. Tell your students to present this card to only to a police officer or someone they believe they can trust and to only use it if needed.

6. ALWAYS have a discipline plan set up for your class or school group.

For more information on this very important aspect of planning a school trip please visit my articles on School Trip Conduct Policies and Group Discipline While Traveling.

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