7 ways to fill places on your school trip
So you’ve researched your options and persuaded your Head to support your proposed trip - great! Now the next step is to persuade your students, and their parents, of its value. Here are my 7 top tips to help get your trip off the ground.
1. Choose an itinerary to educate, excite and inspire
In our experience, the most successful tours offer a balance of educational content mixed with more fun excursions. There has been a lot of debate recently about parents’ attitudes to funding school trips which are considered ‘extravagant holidays’ which is why we always seek to ensure there is genuine educational benefits to our trips. Voyager’s specialist team will recommend a balanced range of educational and fun visits for your tour.
2. Consider your dates
If budget is a big hurdle for you, be sure to take advantage of Autumn/Winter/Spring deals so that you can offer the best value to your students and get the biggest uptake possible! Not only do these periods provide more choice and better value, but there are also educational benefits to taking a trip in the Autumn and Spring terms which will last throughout the school year. Some Year 7 teachers, for example, plan a trip in the Autumn term to encourage students to coalesce as a group and work better as a team. While others will organise a language immersion trip in the Spring to build students’ confidence and interest in the subject before making their GCSE options.
3. Plan ahead
Try to organise your tour plenty of time in advance. This will give parents more time to summon money for the trip and give them the chance to pay in smaller installments. In addition, there will be more availability from accommodation and flights meaning that you will have more choice. Most groups plan their trip a year in advance, but the more expensive tours can be booked over two years before departure! Voyager also offers a help scheme which has proven extremely useful to schools who wish to secure the best choice of accommodation but need to re-advertise at a later date if students have not yet joined the school/chosen options for next year. A holding deposit will ensure your group’s space on the tour whilst enabling flexibility to add more students at a later date.
4. Avoid clashing with other trips
Try to avoid launching your trip at the same time as any other trips that may be planned within your school. Competition can be fierce amongst school tours and friendship groups will tend to stick together, so try to advertise your tour before anyone else. Again, organising your trip for the Autumn or Spring term can make your trip stand out from competing tours.
5. Check your Voyager Rewards points
If you are one of Voyager’s existing customers, ask us how many loyalty points you have. You may already be able to redeem them against your trip and offer your students incentives such as branded clothing for the trip – or even price reductions!
6. Promote and advertise
Make sure that your tour has maximum exposure to your students – we can provide personalised school posters, parents leaflets and powerpoint presentations to spark parents’ and students’ interest and get enough numbers to make the trip viable.
7. Don't fret over numbers
Too many or too few - don't despair. Some years demand outstrips supply and some years for whatever reason there is just not much interest in a tour that was oversubscribed the year before. Talk to us and we will always see what can be done so that you don’t disappoint any students. You can also combine with other subjects to open your pool of students and increase numbers – we can provide you with two carefully planned separate itineraries to work alongside each other to ensure both educational focuses are met and your students get the most out of your learning aims!