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Your COVID-19 school travel questions answered

Now that the world is reopening to international travel, and the Department for Education has confirmed that English schools can book new trips abroad once more, we are ready to help you prepare for your next educational trip.

This Q&A will guide you through the main questions you need answered to plan and book your next school trip with confidence. This includes the introduction of enhanced health and safety measures alongside the extra flexibility and financial protection provided by our Peace of Mind of Promise and COVID-19 school trip insurance cover.

Children have missed out on so much and so we can't wait to organise an educational trip to help plug students' knowledge gaps. Join the growing number of groups, representing thousands of travellers, who have secured their school trip with Voyager School Travel for 2022. 

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COVID-19 travel hub

All the information you need to restart your school trips

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Planning your next school trip

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that schools in England can now book trips abroad subject to an enhanced risk assessment and suitable financial protection. Read the full DfE advice here.

By the time schools resume trips in 2022, most classes will have missed two planned trips since the pandemic began. This has resulted in considerable pent-up demand for 2022 places, in particular for our language immersion programmes.

8 of 10 of groups have already rebooked their place at our Normandy language centres, and 100s of groups, representing many thousand travellers, have secured their 2022 school trip with us. We are also seeing group sizes increase as schools have combined year groups to ensure that none of their students miss out again next year.  

The result is that sought-after dates in 2022 for our language centres and most popular programmes in ParisGermany and Spain, are filling up fast.  

We strongly recommend that you talk to us very soon to avoid disappointment later down the line, especially if you have preferred accommodation or a particular week in mind. We may be able to option your preferred trip while you get the ball rolling with SLT and parents.

To give schools confidence to secure a new 2022 trip our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise allows groups to change their plans up to 28 days before departure and guarantees a refund for trips cancelled because of COVID, DFE advice or quarantine rules. Click here to find out more.

To give schools the confidence to book a trip in times of change, our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise allows school groups to change their plans up to 28 days before departure and guarantee a refund if the trip has to be cancelled due to COVID-19 or requirement to quarantine. Click here to find out more.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have had to reorganise the travel plans of hundreds of groups, but over this challenging period we have retained the goodwill of our customers which is a testament to our personal approach.

Our school trip insurance has been upgraded to include cover for COVID-19 and this includes cover for an individual who has to pull out of the trip because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or they have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate. Read more about our COVID-19 cover.

Our school trip insurance has been upgraded to include cover for COVID-19 and this includes medical expenses as well as additional travel and accommodation costs for an individual testing positive. The insurance also covers the additional expense of a parent travelling to the resort to accompany the child until they are able to travel home.

Our school trip insurance has been upgraded to include cover for COVID-19 and this includes medical expenses as well as additional travel and accommodation costs for an individual testing positive. The insurance also covers the additional expense of a parent travelling to the resort to accompany the child until they are able to travel home.

We provide 24/7 support to all our travelling groups and so if you come across a problem, or your plans have to change at short notice, we are here to help sort it out. Our multi-lingual travel team is here to deal with local operators on your behalf.  

Our local French teams are also on hand to liaise with local medical services and to advise on local health protocols if required.

By having our own properties in France, our own coach company, and long-standing relationships with airlines and ferry companies, we have the connections to get you home quickly and safely if need be.

Our school trip insurance has been upgraded to include cover for COVID-19 and this includes cover for an individual who has to pull out of the trip because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or they have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate. Read more about our COVID-19 cover.

If students drop out for any other reason, for example their parent or guardian no longer wants them to take the trip, then insurance companies will class this as ‘disinclination to travel’ and it is unlikely you will be covered.

Your trip price is based on a minimum number of passengers and a drop in numbers could increase the per person price (this is due to fixed costs such as coaches and guides which don’t reduce in line with numbers). For this reason we recommend that you try to fill the vacant place.

We will not run a school trip to a destination which requires the group to quarantine on arrival. If this is the case, we would first attempt to rearrange your trip to a suitable alternative destination or postpone your trip to a new date. If this is not possible or acceptable, your group will be eligible for a full refund.

Our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise has been introduced to protect new bookings against having to quarantine on their return due to the government traffic light system.

To give schools the confidence to secure a new 2022 trip our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise allows groups to change their plans up to 28 days before departure and guarantees a refund for trips cancelled because of COVID, DfE advice or quarantine rules. Click here to find out more.

All our overnight school trips comply with the Package Travel Regulations. This means that if we have to cancel or significantly alter your trip due to Foreign Office (FCDO) advice, we will either provide a suitable alternative for your group or provide a full refund. We take this commitment very seriously and can report that every group that we had to cancel during the pandemic has either received a full refund or has been happy to postpone their trip to the following year.

 

What’s more, to give schools confidence to secure a new 2022 trip our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise guarantees a refund for trips cancelled within 28 days of departure because of COVID, DfE advice or quarantine rules. Click here to find out more.

By the time that most school trips to France resume, we expect life will have returned to something near normal. But, if when your group is due to travel, the government traffic light system still requires a COVID-19 test to return to the UK, we have organised for a private testing company to conduct onsite COVID testing at our language centres for €15 per pupil. Onsite testing is also available to groups staying at Disneyland® Paris.

Our travel insurance covers individual members of the group for COVID-19 related claims, for example, the cover will reimburse an individual if they can’t go on the trip because they’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Click here for a summary of our COVID-19 trip insurance.

You should also check if your school insurance or RPA includes cover for the whole trip having to be cancelled, for example, because the DfE advises against taking educational visits or because you are unable to run the trip because the government traffic light system requires the group to quarantine on return.

To give schools the confidence to secure a new 2022 trip our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise allows groups to change their plans up to 28 days before departure and guarantees a refund for trips cancelled because of COVID, DfE advice or quarantine rules.

Yes. All trips include COVID-19 travel insurance which includes cancellation cover for any individuals who can’t travel because they’ve either contracted COVID-19 or been told to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace in the run up to the trip. You will also be insured for costs incurred due to contracting COVID-19 or being required to self-isolate while on the trip. Click here for the full details.

With our Peace of Mind Promise we are giving you have the flexibility to change your booking to another date or receive a refund if your trip is cancelled within 21 days of departure. Click here to read the full details.

COVID-19 safety protocols and risk assessment support

Wherever possible our school groups stay at our centres, travel on our coach fleet, and are looked after by own staff which means that we are in control of every aspect of your trip and are directly responsible for the safety of your group.

We have been hosting school groups at our centres for over twenty years and have the experience and local knowledge to look after the specific needs of your group. 80% of our Normandy centre groups have already rebooked, demonstrating teachers' confidence in our standard of care and their belief in the educational value of our language programmes.

You can read about how we will keep your group safe at our French centres by clicking here.

While UK schools have been unable to travel abroad, we have been hosting French school groups at our centres and so we know that our COVID-19 protocols are tried and tested.

We encourage you to see the new controls for yourself and can organise a subsidised inspection visit to one of our centres in France as soon as you're able to.

We have been working closely with professional bodies, such as the School Travel Forum (STF), to draw up new health and safety protocols for our centres and suppliers so that you can book and travel with confidence. We hold our travel partners to the same high standard as our own centres, and so if your group is not staying with us, you can still be reassured that a qualified member of our leadership team has carried out additional checks to ensure that your accommodation and activities comply with the STF enhanced protocols for COVID-19.

Click here for more information to support your enhanced risk assessment.

General questions about Voyager School Travel

Yes. Voyager School Travel is a diverse and robust business which owns a coach company as well as centres and hotels in France, all of which continued to generate income while travel restrictions grounded school trips abroad. What's more, hundreds of schools, representing 15,000 travellers, have already transferred their bookings to a later date—so you can be confident that our company is financially secure and your money is safe.

What’s more, you have the additional reassurance that all monies paid to Voyager School Travel are protected by ABTA and ATOL.

Though we haven’t been able to host UK school groups at our centres, we have managed to put our centres and centre staff to good use over the course of the pandemic.

We have transformed our Normandy Chateau into an 'English Manor' where French school children can enjoy an immersive English language and British cultural experience without crossing La Manche. At the same time our Normandy animateurs have been busy running our fantastic live online escape room from the Chateau so that our school groups can still enjoy a French immersive experience until they can travel abroad once more.

While the Moulin and La Grand’ Ferme have been booked with local domestic groups and French guests until UK school groups return to France.

Travel advice for schools

At the end of the summer term, The Department for Education (DfE) confirmed schools can resume school trips abroad from the autumn term subject to government and international travel restrictions. The DfE also lifted their restrictions on schools organising future trips, which means that schools are now free to book for 2022. Click here for more details.

We are in contact with all group leaders with upcoming trips to discuss your options with the current travel restrictions in place. We are also discussing your options should travel restrictions ease and mean we are able to carry out your trip, but your group remains reluctant to travel. In this instance, we will work with you to postpone your trip to a later date. Schools with upcoming bookings can click here for more information.

As destinations reopen to international visitors, and travel restrictions are gradually relaxed, we expect travel to have returned to something near normal by the time that most of our schools groups are due to travel. 

Be reassured that if the rules at the time of your trip prevent you from travelling, such as the need to quarantine on arrival, under the terms of our COVID-19 Promise, your group will be eligible for a full refund. You can read more about our COVID-19 Promise here.

For groups due to depart in the coming months, we are monitoring the current travel restrictions and we are in contact with any groups about the current requirements. There is more advice for groups with an imminent trip here.

As your trip approaches, we recommend that you read and understand the Foreign Office advice regarding entry requirements for your destination including what documentation and testing is required in advance of your trip and on return. 

Foreign Office travel advice https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice 

English government advice for people entering the UK https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control  

The rules for residents of Scotland and Northern Ireland may be different and groups should consult local guidelines before travelling.

Why choose Voyager School Travel for your school trip?

You are in expert hands

We have specialised in educational trips for over 10 years and organise school trips for over 25,000 students a year. Read more...

We make it easier

Teachers’ lives are hard enough without the extra work involved in running a school trip, so we’ll be there for you before, during and after the trip. Read more...

Our own overseas teams

With a large overseas team looking after the majority of our school trips, you can be sure of consistent and personal service. Read more...

Truly educational school trips

Our language programmes use our own highly trained native-speakers to create a truly immersive experience which is shown to improve learning and confidence. Read more...

Our own residential centres

Our European residential centres offer the highest quality instruction and care which is why 8 out of 10 school groups return to our centres each year. Read more...

For teachers who are serious about the educational outcomes of their school trip.

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