Flight-free school trip ideas—where can you travel by coach?

13 Jun 2022, 15:57 by Kate Moore

Many of us have got out of the habit of jumping on a plane, and this enforced grounding has encouraged more people to reconsider how they might travel in the future.

As the trend for flight-free travel is set to continue after the pandemic, we explore the benefits of taking a flight-free school trip and what school trip destinations can realistically be reached without boarding a plane.


The top four reasons to organise a flight-free school trip 

1. Flight-free school trips are more affordable and accessible

Travelling overland is generally cheaper than travelling by plane making these trips more affordable and accessible for all students. This is because on a school coach trip you can spread the fixed cost of the vehicle and driver across the maximum number of passengers (aim for a group of 35 for a standard coach). What’s more, by organising your school trip by coach, you don’t have the worry about additional luggage fees, airport taxes and transfers.

2. The convenience of a door-to-door school trip

Take your school trip by coach for a seamless door-to-door service with your whole journey, from school pickup to resort and back again, all conveniently arranged for you. By choosing a ferry or Channel Tunnel crossing instead of a flight also means that you can plan the most convenient crossing, bearing in mind the location of the school. Once you arrive at your destination, teachers also like the convenience of having their own coach and driver available for excursions and activities during the trip. 

3. Overland school trips are easier to supervise

Taking a school trip by coach can make life easier for the teachers and other supervising adults on the trip. This is because it is easier to keep an eye on all members of the group throughout the journey – without the worry that one or more of your students might get waylaid at the airport and miss their flight! 

4. More school groups want to travel jet zero

School coach trips allow you to maximise the number of passengers per vehicle and so reduce emissions per person. There is no doubt that a coach trip does less environmental harm than travelling by plane - according to the Department for Transport/National Atmospheric Emission Inventory a school group travelling from London to Glasgow by plane would emit seven times more CO2e per passenger than the equivalent overland journey by coach.

Be inspired by these flight-free school trip ideas for 2023

Whatever reason you want to avoid a flight in 2023, we have a great range of school trips that can be easily reached without boarding a plane. Take a look at our pick of our no-flight school trips to Europe which are reachable by coach and ferry.

German language school trip – staying at Hellenthal centre, Rhine-Westphalia

Journey time from Calais by coach – 6 hours 

Immerse your students in the authentic German language and culture. Staying in a traditional youth hostel, in a picture book setting of hills, lakes and half-timbered buildings. This immersive German language school trip to Hellenthal combines onsite adventure activities with local cultural visits. Children also learn more about protecting the natural environment with a trained German-native speaking instructor.

Find out more about this school trip to Hellenthal

Spanish language school trip – staying at Mas Pagès centre, Girona

Journey time from Calais by coach – 14 hours (overnight trip) 

Less than an hour from the French border, this Spanish language school trip to Mas Pages centre in Northern Spain has been specially designed for groups travelling by coach. This immersive Spanish language trip makes the most of the lush Spanish countryside, temperate climate, and stunning historic sights of the area. Learners enjoy onsite adventure activities and visits to traditional Spanish sites with our Spanish-native language and activity instructors.

Find out more about this school trip to Girona

French language school trip – staying at Château de Chantereine centre, Normandy

Journey time from Calais by coach – 2 hours 

Our latest French language immersion programme, based at Château de Chantereine in Upper Normandy, has a nature theme – with guided walks to the Baie de Somme nature reserve where students will explore this unique protected natural environment, learn about the migratory birds and encounter the area’s own seal colony close-up. All activities are led in French, with our own animateurs, with students staying in a 17th century château just a short walk to the beach.

Find out more about this school trip to Château de Chantereine


Feeling inspired to book a flight-free school trip? Contact us for a quote or more no-fly school trip suggestions.

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