A Roadmap for Planning Your Educational Trip
We understand choosing a Travel For Teens program is a big decision to make! We are here to help guide you every step of the way to ensure you choose the best trip for your interests and goals!
International travel gives young learners the opportunity to immerse themselves in new cultures, expand their perspectives, and gain essential skills that they’ll need throughout their lives. Planning and executing an educational trip abroad for your students may seem intimidating at first. But with TFT, we handle almost all of the planning for school trips, taking the pressure off teachers. We’re here to help and support you throughout the process and ensure you and your students have a fun, safe, and authentic experience.
Follow these steps when navigating your options and give your students a life-changing opportunity to broaden their horizons.
Step-by-Step Guide for Teachers
Define the goals and objectives of the trip
With over 160 programs to choose from, there is a wide range of many types of adventures. Are you looking for a trip that offers more adrenaline activities or an urban-cultural focus? Do you want to engage in community service projects, practice a language, or both?
Before you select a tour operator and begin planning your itinerary, it’s important to determine what the educational goals and objectives are for your trip. Consider the subject matter, desired destination, and specific learning outcomes that will best serve your students.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in this early planning phase:
What specific lessons do I want my students to take away from this trip?
How can I ensure the destination and itinerary items align with the educational goals?
What safety concerns should I consider when selecting a destination and planning the itinerary?
It is recommended to view the Frequently Asked Questions page when preparing to choose your trip! Additionally, each program has trip-specific FAQs on each webpage.
Research and select a reputable educational tour operator
Look for a tour operator like TFT that specializes in educational tours for students, has experience planning and coordinating trips to your desired destination, and provides plenty of planning resources and support for teachers, students, and families.
Important questions to keep in mind as you decide on a tour operator include:
What experience does the tour operator have in planning educational trips for students?
What are the safety protocols and procedures of the tour operator?
What staff training is required for counselors?
How does the tour operator work with teachers to develop an itinerary that aligns with the educational goals of the trip?
Plan the itinerary
TFT offers a variety of exciting programs and curated itineraries to choose from that include educational activities, sightseeing opportunities, and immersive cultural experiences that are specific to each location!
While we take care of most of the planning, we also understand that you and your students will have unique educational goals, interests, and needs. You have the option to work directly with us to design a customized itinerary for your trip.
Here are a few questions to consider when planning an itinerary with your tour operator:
What activities and experiences will help my students reach their educational goals?
How can I balance educational activities with sightseeing and cultural experiences?
How can I ensure the itinerary is feasible and within budget?
Determine the budget for the trip. Examples of funding options to consider include grants, fundraising, and sponsorships. It’s also always helpful to ask about discounts and special offers. At TFT, we offer a variety of ways students can save.
Here are a few good places to start when securing funding:
How can I provide options for students to obtain financial support for the trip?
How can I ensure that costs are transparent and reasonable for students and their families?
How can I manage unexpected expenses or changes in the budget?
TFT simplifies the funding process and takes the pressure off teachers by offering all-inclusive school trips and handling all payments directly!
Obtain necessary permissions and paperwork
With a tour itinerary in place and funding secured, it’s time to collect any necessary permissions and paperwork, including permission slips from parents and guardians, travel waivers, and any required travel visas or supporting documentation.
Questions to ask yourself as you prepare include:
What specific paperwork and permissions are required for students to travel abroad?
How can I best communicate these requirements to parents and guardians?
What contingency plans should I have in case students are unable to obtain the necessary paperwork or permissions?
Communicate with parents and students
It’s a good idea to expect students and their families to have lots of questions and concerns about the upcoming trip. You can help alleviate concerns and streamline communication by keeping parents and students informed about the details of the trip!
Plan to send updates about the tour itinerary, costs, safety protocols, and any necessary travel arrangements. Here are a few items to keep in mind:
How can I best keep parents and students informed about trip details and expectations?
How often should I send updates to parents and students?
How can I address concerns or questions from parents and students?
What communication channels should I use to ensure that everyone is informed and up-to-date?
Prepare students for the trip
Ensure your students are fully prepared for the trip by providing them with relevant educational materials, an overview of the trip itinerary, and one of our detailed packing lists. They should also learn about cultural norms, customs, and behavioral expectations so they have the knowledge they need to respectfully interact with local populations.
Here are some things to consider during the preparation phase:
What educational materials and activities will help prepare students for the trip?
How can I ensure that students understand cultural norms and expectations for behavior?
How can I address any specific needs or concerns of individual students?
Execute the trip
Our incredible staff handles the daily planning and activities so you can focus on your students and their learning. They’ll ensure the itinerary is followed correctly, manage any unexpected issues, and ensure that the students are safe and accounted for.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure the trip goes smoothly:
How can I work with the tour team to ensure my students are getting the most out of their experiences?
Do any of my students need specific accommodations that TFT should know about?
How can I incorporate specific lessons into daily activities?
Follow up and evaluate
After the trip, it’s always important to debrief with students, gather feedback from each student and their parents or guardians, and evaluate the success of the trip. This will help you determine how well the trip accomplished the specific educational goals and objectives you set out to achieve.
Here are some questions to consider to help you measure the success of the trip:
How can I best gather feedback from students, parents, and other stakeholders?
How can I evaluate the success of the trip in meeting its educational goals and objectives?
How can I use feedback and evaluation to improve future educational trips abroad?
Do it again!
Schedule a trip for next year in advance! Plan a second trip with TFT to earn (or cash in) loyalty points. These points can be redeemed for scholarships, room upgrades, personal travel purposes, and more.
With your first educational tour behind you, you can use your experience to help you plan the next one. Here are some great places to start:
What were some of the highlights of the trip that I would like to replicate or build upon for the next trip?
How can I use the loyalty points earned from the previous trip to enhance the experience for my students on the next trip?
Would I recommend this tour operator to a colleague or fellow teacher?