When's the best time of year to take a school trip? The benefits of travelling early in the academic year
You've gone to the effort of planning a school trip and you want to make sure your learners get the most out of it. One of the biggest determining factors is the time of year you travel.
Our School Centre Account Manager, Lucy Buckley, spent 17 years as a teacher, during which time she ran and assisted 10 trips—4 of which were with us to Château de la Baudonnière. Now she's on the other side and sharing her top tips to help you decide the best time of year to take a school trip to maximise the educational value. Buckle up!
The advantages of taking a school trip outside of summer
Of course, it's great to end the year on a high. Equally, you want to consider when you're going to get the most mileage out of the trip you've put so much preparation into back in the classroom—and the best time for that is September–April.
Here's a few of Lucy's top reasons why:
- Students bond earlier on, maximising their performance through the academic year
- Build on everything your students learned during the trip for longer back in the classroom – rather than travelling before the long summer break
- Secure more favourable rates for transport – reducing the price of the trip
- More availability at our centres, meaning you have greater chance of sole occupancy
- Fewer crowds at attractions, meaning you're more likely to secure your first choice
1. Beat the waiting list
Over the summer term demand for our expert-led educational trips often outstrips supply. But consider taking your school trip before Easter and you'll find more availability on our 'sold out' language residentials and signature escorted tours. What's more, once you've secured your school's place at one of our centres, you will benefit from priority access in future years.
2. Students get a head start on learning
It's no coincidence that 90% our of autumn visitors return each year. Our immersive approach to language teaching is shown to improve students' listening skills, vocabulary and language confidence - building strong foundations for the rest of the academic year. A week at Château de la Baudonnière, for example, offers students more exposure to speaking and listening to French than is possible in a whole term of lessons back at school.
Why not supercharge your students' learning with a language residential at the start of the academic year?
3. More choice of accommodation, activities and visits
Teachers who want the widest choice of activities and accommodation should consider a trip outside of the busy summer term.
Avoid the crowds and spend longer at popular attractions such as Disneyland Paris, Mont St Michel or Barcelona on a language trip earlier in the academic year. What's more, groups taking a residential in the quieter months will benefit from individual attention from our staff and may even bag sole occupancy at some of our centres such as Moulin aux Draps centre in Northern France.
Psst! Teachers are more likely to get a single room by booking a trip in the autumn or spring terms.
4. Greater long-term impact back in the classroom
Teachers wanting to maximise the educational benefit of our curriculum-linked MFL trips should consider travelling earlier in the year to give students more opportunities to practise and reinforce what they learned abroad. When it comes to learning a language, it's a shame for progress made on a trip in July to be lost over the long summer holidays.
5. Benefit from seasonal special offers
Being flexible with your dates, and travelling outside the summer term, means that more of your students can benefit from our premier language trips. Prices in the spring term can be 20% cheaper than the summer term and we offer great seasonal deals, packed with valuable extras, at our Moulin aux Draps residential centre in Northern France.