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All your school travel questions answered

If you don't see your questions below, don't hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to answer any of your queries.

We will always try our hardest to accommodate a larger group but this is dependent on the availability of accommodation, flights and coaches. Adding extra students to a trip can increase the average cost per person, this is especially the case for groups travelling by air because as flights fill up airlines charge more per seat. We recommend capping your most popular trips to ensure that the price does not increase.

Your booking is confirmed once we have taken the deposit. Until then, prices are subject to change, in particular, if your booking involves flights as these are dependent on the airline.  We recommend that you confirm your booking within three to four weeks of receiving your quote to avoid disappointment. We appreciate that promoting a trip takes time and so we will work with you to help you launch the trip at the optimum time for your school and students.

The deposit amounts vary depending on whether you are travelling by coach or air as follows:

 

First deposit (per paying passenger)

Second payment (per paying passenger)

Coach trips

£50

£75

European  trips by air

£100

£150

Long haul trips by air

£125

£175

Ski Coach trips

£100

£100

Ski air trips

£125

£175

Chateau

£75

£160

The first deposit secures the booking. The second payment is due around eight weeks later and the final balance is normally required twelve weeks before the departure date.

Payment schedules are there to help us secure the flights/transport and accommodation you have selected in time. However, we understand that each school has different needs and so we can often agree a more flexible payment schedule with you if required.

We are committed to keeping your trip as affordable as possible and there are a few ways in which you can keep the cost of your trip down, from filling a coach to capacity to booking your trip early to ensure the flight prices are as low as possible. The earlier we can book your trip the better if you are going by air as it means as soon as the flights are released we can access the best fares for you. Travelling outside peak season can also significantly reduce the overall cost of a trip.

The nature of school travel is that trips are organised well in advance and so when we provide you with a quote, the flights are usually not yet available. This means that the cost of the flight in your quotation is our best estimate based on experience and cannot be guaranteed. Most times we get it right, but we do recommend that you factor in some contingency just in case. Your educational trip expert will advise you on an appropriate contingency amount for flights. If you are travelling by air, we can usually secure you a better flight deal if you provide us with the passenger list well in advance.

Flights are subject to availability and timing changes so please bear this is mind when organising a school trip by air. We can only hold scheduled airline tickets for up to four weeks while low-cost airlines do not allow us to hold flights and so are best booked early to avoid price changes.

We will confirm your room allocation as soon as we receive it from our centre team or your accommodation provider. This should be no later than 2-3 weeks before your group’s departure.

We specialise in organising trips for school groups and so specific dietary requirements can usually be catered for easily if we are aware in advance. Please let us know of any specific requirements as early as possible so that we can ensure with our local teams that the needs can be met. Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us!

We believe that the benefits of a school trip outweigh any potential short-term disruption to your group’s travel arrangements. Read our latest Brexit travel advice here.

For the latest school travel advice on EHICs, read our Brexit FAQ here.

Please let us know before booking your trip if anyone in your group has any special requirements or needs which might their impact their ability to participate in activities. We will do our utmost to accommodate any special requirements but we must know in advance so that we can advise on the suitability of your chosen arrangements. In rare circumstances, we may require a doctor’s certificate to confirm that members of the group are fit to participate in the trip.

If you or a member of your group pulls out of the trip we may charge a cancellation fee which is dependent on the status of booking as follows:

When cancelled

Charge payable (for each cancelled passenger)

More than 12 weeks before departure

Any deposits paid or due will be lost

Between 4 - 12 weeks before departure

60% of the total cost to be paid

 

 

Less than 4 weeks before departure

 

 80% of the total cost to be paid

 

2 weeks or less before departure

total invoiced cost

 

For more information, please see our booking conditions.

Depending on the reason the trip was cancelled, you may be able to claim some or all of these cancellation charges on your group travel insurance policy. See our group travel policy for details of cancellation insurance, excess and policy conditions.

Generally speaking, we offer one free adult place for every eight paying students travelling by coach (1:8) and one free teacher for every ten students travelling by air (1:10).

But this can differ by tour and so please see your quote for the free teacher ratio for your specific trip.

Though we will always try to provide single rooms, this cannot be guaranteed and, unless stated otherwise, your quote is based on teachers sharing a twin room. Alternatively, teachers can secure a single room for an additional supplement as long as there is availability.

Though some groups can organise a collective passport, we recommend that students travel under their own passports where possible. Please see the latest government advice about travelling on a collective passport at https://www.gov.uk/collective-group-passports

Non-British citizens may need visas to travel to continental Europe and British citizens may require a visa for long-haul trips. Though we can provide general information, it is your responsibility to check that all members of your school group fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your chosen itinerary. Requirements do change and you must check the up to date position in good time before departure.

Most countries, including European destinations, now require passports to be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. You can check the latest Brexit European travel advice here <link>.

Special conditions apply for travel to the USA, and all passengers must have individual machine-readable passports. Please check usembassy.org.uk

Up to date travel advice can be obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at fco.gov.uk

Unless specified otherwise, travel insurance will be included in your quote. Voyager offers a comprehensive travel insurance policy, for more information please click here.

If the school have their own policy in place, please let us know and we will ensure that this is reflected in your quotation.  

Whilst we can provide risk assessments for the individual sites and activities, we cannot provide a risk assessment for your individual school as we do not know your students and any factors that might make an activity higher risk for them. If you would like to carry out your own specific risk assessment we can help arrange inspection visits for your trip. You can find useful information and documents here.

When can I postpone?

Between 12 weeks and 28 days of departure you are free to postpone your trip to a later date – just contact us by email to start the process.

You can start the postponement process if one of the following applies:

  • The whole group is required to quarantine at your travel destination
  • Your group is required to quarantine on your return due to the government’s traffic light system
  • Local or national lockdowns in the UK will prevent your departure
  • Local or national restrictions at your destination will impact the main purpose your trip

If you choose to postpone your trip more than 12 weeks before your planned departure date, then your booking will be subject to the normal charges and fees set out in our Booking Terms and Conditions for amendments and cancellations.

These postponement terms only apply if your booking is affected by COVID-19 and do not apply in the case of disinclination to travel.

Will I be charged administration fees to postpone?

If your trip cannot go ahead because of COVID-19, we will not charge your group any administration fees for changing your departure dates, as long as you request the change within 12 weeks and 28 days of your trip.

Will my tour price change?

Prices may change if you alter your plans. Wherever possible we will keep prices changes to a minimum. However, any postponement will be subject to costs and charges imposed on us by our suppliers in making the change.

Groups travelling to our centres by coach are unlikely to experience any significant price changes, while trips involving a flight could see additional costs and charges.

What about my deposit?

Where you postpone a trip booking, we will ensure that all your arrangements are changed to the later date. Any money already paid to us will be carried over to your new trip and will retain the same ABTA and ATOL financial protection as the original booking. We will not charge our administration fee to make the new arrangements and we will do all we can to keep your tour price the same.

What about insurance?

Please see your travel insurance requirements in our Booking Terms and Conditions. We recommend that you check what COVID cover is provided by your school insurance/RPA before booking.

This is in addition to your Standard Booking Terms & Conditions.

Voyager School Travel offers school-only language centres in Normandy and the Opal Coast where we maintain the very highest quality and safety standards for your school trip. You can find out more here <link>. We also have exclusive arrangements with language centres in Murcia, Andalucia & Girona Spain and the Eifel region of German. <link>

All other accommodation has been vetted to ensure it is suitable for school groups and adheres to the strict rules and regulations of the School Travel Forum – the recognised benchmark for school tour providers and the awarding body for the Learning Outside the Classroom (LoTC) Quality mark.  

Safety is always our number one priority and we never compromise on it. We are an Assured Member of the School Travel Forum (STF) which means that you can be secure in the knowledge that:

  • we understand and facilitate the needs of educational travel
  • we have effective Safety Management Systems in place
  • we offer fair terms and condition and the best financial security

Click <here> to read more about our Safety Management Systems.

Voyager offer full language immersion programmes in French, Spanish and German which means from the moment your students arrive at their accommodation they will be greeted by native speakers who are trained to engage your students by speaking to them in their language. We will create a totally immersive environment to get your student used to hearing and speaking the target language for the duration of their trip. During your stay you will notice that your student’s ability and enthusiasm improve and hopefully see this brought back with them to the classroom! For more info see <<>>>>.

Our animateurs are our native French speakers who are specifically trained at our flagship language immersion centre, Chateau de la Baudonnière, to encourage students to use their French. Explanations and instructions, mealtimes, games, tasks, lessons and excursions are all co-ordinated in French to totally immerse your students in the language.

The number of students can directly affect the cost of the trip and so it is important that you reach the minimum group size stated in your quotation. If not, the price per student may increase.  We will work with you to make the trip as affordable as possible and can provide posters,  presentations and parent letter templates to help promote your trip and maximise take-up.

1 student x 1 night = 1 point. The more students and the more nights you stay, the more points you earn.

To claim your rewards or to find out your current balance, just leave us a message or email your Voyager representative.

Between 12 weeks and 28 days of departure you are free to postpone your trip to a later date – just contact us by email to start the process.

You can start the postponement process if one of the following applies:

  • Quarantine is required for all fully vaccinated travellers at your travel destination
  • UK arrival rules require all fully vaccinated travellers to quarantine on return
  • Local or national lockdowns in the UK will prevent your departure
  • Local or national restrictions at your destination will impact the main purpose your trip

If you choose to postpone your trip more than 12 weeks before your planned departure date, then your booking will be subject to the normal charges and fees set out in our Booking Terms and Conditions for amendments and cancellations.

These postponement terms only apply if your booking is affected by COVID-19 and do not apply in the case of disinclination to travel.

If your trip cannot go ahead because of COVID-19, we will not charge your group any administration fees for changing your departure dates, as long as you request the change within 12 weeks and 28 days of your trip.

Prices may change if you alter your plans. Wherever possible we will keep prices changes to a minimum. However, any postponement will be subject to costs and charges imposed on us by our suppliers in making the change.

Groups travelling to our centres by coach are unlikely to experience any significant price changes, while trips involving a flight could see additional costs and charges.

Where you postpone a trip booking, we will ensure that all your arrangements are changed to the later date. Any money already paid to us will be carried over to your new trip and will retain the same ABTA and ATOL financial protection as the original booking. We will not charge our administration fee to make the new arrangements and we will do all we can to keep your tour price the same.

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.

The majority of schools have now 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 their next 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. What's more, our COVID-19 school trip insurance provides cover if someone in your group is unable to travel due to testing positive or being told to self-isolate.

Our COVID-19 Peace of Mind Promise offers the flexibility to change your booking to another date or receive a refund if your trip is cancelled within 21 days of departure.

Voyager School Travel's COVID-19 Promise provides new bookings with additional financial protection in the event: 

  • The DfE or Foreign Office advises against travel to your chosen destination 
  • Quarantine restrictions are imposed at your chosen travel destination
  • The traffic light system requires your group to quarantine on return

Click here to read the full details.

This financial protection is in addition to our COVID-19 school trip insurance which covers individuals who can't travel because they have tested positive or have been told to self isolate.

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 additional medical, accommodation and travel costs incurred due to contracting COVID-19 while on the trip. Click here for the full details.

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.

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.

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 understand the financial protections provided by our Peace of Mind Promise.

Our COVID-19 school trip insurance also provides cover for someone in your group being unable to travel due to testing positive or being told to self-isolate.

 

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.

All our school trip packages include enhanced travel insurance which includes cover for COVID-19.

This covers the medical expenses, additional accommodation and travel costs of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 while on the trip. This specialist school trip insurance also covers the additional expenses of a parent travelling to the resort to accompany the child until they are able to travel home. This means that teachers can return home with the rest of the group.

Our travel insurance has been developed in associated with the School Travel Forum (STF) and ABTA and is included with all Voyager School Travel educational trip packages. 

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, so that the teacher can return with the rest of the group.

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.  You can find more information about how we'll support your group while you are abroad on our Group Safety and Wellbeing pages.

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 cancellation cover for a student 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. The insurance also covers the cost of replacing the party leader if they can't travel because they have tested positive. Read more about our specialist school trip insurance which includes COVID-19 cover. 

It's important to note that if a child drops out of the trip for any other reason, for example if their parent doesn't want them to travel, 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. The 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.

Read more about the current rules for school groups returning from abroad

All our overnight school trips are backed by ABTA or ATOL and 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 understand the financial protection offered by our Peace of Mind Promise.

 

This is in addition to the protection provided by our COVID-19 School Trip Insurance which refunds the cancellation costs of a child who can't travel after testing positive or being told to self-isolate before the trip.

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. Download our Guide to Restarting School Trips for more information.

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.

During the pandemic we have been hosting domestic French school groups at our centres in France so you can be sure that our COVID-19 protocols are tried and tested. You can read about how we will keep your group safe at our French centres by clicking here.

We encourage you to see the new controls for yourself. Get in touch to organise a subsidised inspection visit to one of our centres in France.

The indicators are that travel restrictions are being eased, both home and abroad, especially for vaccinated travellers. The rules to enter France, and to return home, are subject to change and may be further relaxed by the time your trip departs.

Click here to read the current rules for school groups travelling to France.

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.

Visit our COVID-19 Travel Hub for all the information and resources you need to support your enhanced school trip risk assessment.

Yes. Voyager School Travel is a diverse and robust business which owns a coach company as well as centres and a hotel in France, all of which continued to generate income while travel restrictions grounded school trips abroad. Our French centres in Normandy and Northern France have been busy hosting local school groups during the pandemic.

Looking forwards, hundreds of schools, representing many thousand 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. 

At the end of the summer 2021 term, the Department for Education (DfE) confirmed schools can resume school trips abroad in 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 to read the latest DfE guidance on school trips abroad.

The DfE guidance is that groups should only use travel providers who can provide adequate finacial protection and travel insurance and that all trips must be subject to a full and thorough risk assessment.

Visit our COVID-19 Travel Hub for all the information and resources you need to safely resume your school trips, including more detail on our Peace of Mind Promise, our COVID-19 Travel Insurance and our essential Guide to Restarting School Trips.

While we weren't able to host UK school groups at our centres, we put our French accommodation and animateurs to good use over the course of the pandemic. We 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 animateurs were busy running our fantastic live online escape room from the Chateau so that school groups could still enjoy a French immersive experience in lieu of their French trip.

The DfE's Educational Visits Guidance allows English schools to book and take school trips abroad once again. 

To help schools plan their next trip, we have created guides to our most popular destinations. Click on the links below to see the current paperwork, quarantine and testing requirements for school groups travelling abroad:

You can also review the Foreign Office travel advice for other destinations here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice 

You can check the current paperwork, vaccination and testing requirements for our most popular school trip destinations below:

As your trip approaches, we will keep in close contact with you to discuss what is required for your specific destination and your options under the current rules. 

For more detailed information, please see Coronavirus Travel Advice For Schools With Upcoming Trips.

 

 

 

There are no immediate changes for groups travelling in 2021 but groups need to be prepared for new rules relating to visas in 2022.

Yes. The ABTA and ATOL schemes provide financial protection to customers in case a travel company ceases trading. The ABTA scheme covers package trips taken by rail, road, or sea while ATOL is specifically designed to provide financial protection on package trips involving a flight. 

All Voyager School Travel’s overseas trips and UK residentials are protected by either ABTA or ATOL so schools can be confident that the money a parent pays for their child’s school trip is safe. 

The rules to enter Spain, and to return home, are subject to change and may be further relaxed by the time your trip departs.Click here to read the current rules for school groups travelling to and from Spain. 

Why choose Voyager School Travel for your school trip?

COVID-19 trip insurance

All our trips include COVID-19 cover before and during the trip so you can book and travel with confidence. Read more...

Peace of Mind Promise

You won't be left out of pocket because of changing travel rules. New bookings will receive additional financial protection. Read more...

COVID-19 secure

The majority of our groups stay at our centres and travel on our coaches which means we can ensure the highest standards of care are met. Read more...

Safety assured, bonded and accredited

Your booking is protected through ABTA or ATOL. As an assured member of the School Travel Forum we adhere to the highest standards. 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...

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...

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

Contact us