There’s so much that goes into planning a school trip abroad. Here’s our checklist to help you organize the perfect educational trip abroad for your students.
Congratulations: Going abroad is a thrilling experience for the class and staff alike! Of course, planning an international high school trip can definitely be a daunting task, especially at first. There are just so many steps involved in pulling off a dream experience for everyone involved. Here’s what you need to know to plan a successful educational trip abroad — including the checklist to create, the tips needed to properly organize, the possible fundraising options, and more.
How to Plan a High School Trip Abroad — A Teacher's Checklist
First, Choose a Destination for Your School Trip Abroad
“Abroad” is, of course, a vague term: There are hundreds of possible countries out there to visit! Consider exactly what you want your class to get out of the trip. Do you want them to brush up on their language skills? Interact with a different culture? Are you trying to enhance their art and history lessons? Are there specific cuisines you want them to try, certain sights to see? Once you narrow down the objective of the trip, it’ll help you determine exactly what area of the world you want to bring them to.
Of course, there are just so many possible places to explore, all with amazing benefits: Travel For Teens, for example, brings students to Costa Rica to volunteer with an animal rescue, the United Kingdom to experience West End theater, and China to see historic sights like the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. You can admire the unique beauty of Eastern Europe, explore the islands of Greece, and check out the most unique animals in the world on the Galapagos Islands. Still, other schools opt to visit gorgeous destinations like Japan, Spain, and Italy. Each spot provides its own jaw-dropping adventure.
What You Need to Do to Organize a Trip Abroad
So, you’ve selected the trip you want to take — what’s next? You’ll want to get your students and their guardians on board by hosting information sessions and Q&As. This will help them understand both the benefits of the trip and the steps necessary to join it. A school trip operator like Travel For Teens can help you run a session like that to encourage registration.
From there, you’ll want to create a checklist for each participant with all the paperwork they’ll need to collect like passport and visa information, the associated costs they’ll have to pay, flights and hotel information to put on file, and more. Create a clear signup period with deadlines, so everyone is ready and prepared by the day the trip comes along. You’ll also want to write up clear and detailed itineraries for students and their families, so everyone is aware of — and excited about! — each step of the trip. Make sure you also create strict rules and guidelines prior to the trip as well: Traveling abroad should be as safe as it is fun!
Fundraising Ideas for a Trip Abroad
If there’s one major setback that prevents students from attending a high school trip abroad, it’s cost. An international trip is pricey — there are flights, lodging, activities, and food to consider, after all! One way to offset that cost? Fundraising. There are so many unique fundraising options available to consider as a class to help make an international travel dream a reality for many students.
Travel For Teens, for example, has all kinds of fundraising ideas for you to explore. Plus, we can help you put them into motion!
Handling COVID-19 Restrictions with International Travel
In the past few years, the world has experienced an unprecedented challenge in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the world is slowly opening up again, COVID-19 remains a concern, especially for international travelers. With that in mind, it’s crucial for teachers and parents to be prepared.
Make sure you keep as up to date as possible with your destination’s COVID-19 restrictions: Be aware of the vaccine and testing requirements needed to enter (and potentially leave!) this country, as well as local rules about masks and social distancing. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the COVID-19 transmission rate in the country you’re considering visiting, so that you’re able to factor that into your decision-making.
And of course, you’ll want to create a contingency plan in case someone does get COVID-19 before, during, or after the trip. Travel insurance is recommended, and you’ll want to consider having adults and accommodations available in the event someone does test positive for COVID-19 and is unable to return right away to America. A school trip operator like Travel For Teens can help you with this process.
Final Checklist for School Trip Abroad
Planning a trip abroad for your class requires you to keep track of a lot of details! Here’s a (very basic) checklist to refer to as you get started — and remember a company like Travel For Teens specializes in helping you pull the perfect school trip off.
- Pick your perfect destination and highlight the educational and experiential reasons for this choice.
- Get permission from your principal and appropriate school staff.
- Host information sessions for families to encourage student sign-ups.
- Create deadlines for student registrations.
- Design an itinerary for each participant and their guardians.
- Look up your destination’s COVID-19 restrictions and pass the information along to parents.
- Inform parents of costs, passports, visas, and paperwork needs.
- Throw a fundraiser to offset costs!
- Check out your destination’s local rules to inform your own trip guidelines. Make sure both parents and students are aware of trip rules and consequences.
- Hold sessions to get students informed about the country they’ll be visiting so they’re prepared for any culture shock — and excited about what they’ll soon get to experience!
- Find appropriate chaperones to help you on the trip, and create contingency plans in case of any emergencies, both small and major.
- Above all else, be ready to have fun!
If you still have questions or concerns, Travel For Teens is always here to help. Navigate here to learn more!