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Things to consider when booking school tours

To make sure your class has the best experience

Everyone loves school tours and making sure they happen without major incident will be the most important part of any trip! Choosing the type of school trip to go on can in itself be quite a challenge as there are now such a range of options with everything from museums to activity centres, sporting activites to island tours.

Many school's do combined tours now and visit two venues with perhaps the first being more of an educational/curriculum related venue followed by a couple of hours of activity in a second venue. If you are visiting a historic or curriculum related venue, check to see if the tour operator has some class preparation notes to help your students prepare for and get the most out fo the trip.

Whatever destination you choose, here’s tips on planning that perfect school tour.

Your tour operator

  • Do you require them to be Garda vetted?
  • Do their staff have appropriate First Aid training if required
  • Does the Bus/coach transport have appropriate seat-belts and insurance.
  • Check your tour operators Health & Safety guidelines and standards to make sure they cover all your requirements
  • Are accompanying parents are insured - you may need to check this with your school's insurance company
  • Does the tour venue provide any class worksheets or teacher notes?

If there are Health and Safety risks, what are they?

There will always be some health and safety risks associated with any school trip but you need to research to ensure these are carefully managed and appropriate. Be sure that any activities you are planning are suitable for your student age group and their ability levels - will everyone be able to participate. If your tour will include overnight stay(s), carefully research the accommodation and the level of supervision that will be provided and required.

Costs and suitability for students

Before booking your trip, fully research the costs . What will the price include/exclude? For example, are there activities that are covered while some extras are not. Factor these in and inform parents of costs included and excluded. Is there any food included or if not are there picnic facilities. Many venues provide free teacher admission - find out if this is provided. What are refund policies in the event the trip is cancelled at short notice by the school due to unforeseen circumstances. Does the tour venue provide any class worksheets or teacher notes? Have you taken into account ages, gender and special needs issues before you book? Keep a record of who and how parents pay for the cost of the trip.( See our article on School Payment Systems for more.)

Parent Information

When organising your trip, give parents a detailed itinerary and general information of your trip. Some of the details you can include are:

    • Details of staff accompanying the trip
    • Costs
    • What to bring(not to bring): clothes, money, ipads etc
    • Number of students attending trip
    • Departure and arrival times
    • Accommodation details
    • Discipline concerns
    • Emergency contact numbers

Remember, If you are the leader of a team who are organising and attending the trip, make sure you have held a meeting with all members of the school trip team. Keep team members up-to-date on changes and arrangements made.
Planning a School Tour?
Make sure to visit our full School Tour Section for lots of ideas in Ireland & Abroad