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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 yearOur 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.

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Why choose Voyager School Travel for your school trip?

You are in specialist hands

Our team use their teaching, language & destination experience to organise educational trips that are not only enriching but hassle-free. Read more →

Safety assured, bonded & accredited

As a member of the School Travel Forum & protected through ABTA & ATOL you can be sure of our high standards. Read more →

Trusted by teachers

Schools trust Voyager School Travel to organise the educational trips for over 32,000 passengers a year. Read more →

We deliver the educational elements

Signature educational experiences with our own language & activity instructors allow teachers to enjoy the trip too. Read more →

Stay at our own residential centres

Groups staying at our own residential centres in France will benefit from high quality learning, safety & service. Read more →

Our own overseas teams

Peace of mind knowing our French managers, instructors, coach drivers & support team will look after your every need. Read more →

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

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