Sometimes the prospect of arranging sports or performing arts school trips overseas for younger students can be a rather daunting one. Here are some top tips that you may find will help things to go rather more smoothly.
1. Consider using specialists to help. It is perfectly possible to make most of the arrangements for your own school trips, but you may find it rather less traumatic if you engage an organisation with relevant experience to help. There are specialist companies available with expertise in things such as school sports tours.
2. Choose a multi-interest destination for school trips. Trips exist to great cities such as Berlin, Paris and Krakow, or to fascinating regions such as Catalonia and Lake Garda. Even the best behaved younger students may become bored if their surroundings do not give sufficient diversity of activity for them to have a break from their day to day coaching in the sports or performing arts.
3. Plan an activity-filled itinerary. Students with excessive amounts of time on their hands, due to gaps in the timetable, may start to make their own amusement and that may occasionally lead to behaviour issues. Of course, the itinerary cannot be so full as to be exhausting, and young people need some time to themselves, but it is important to generally keep the students occupied.
4. Use only recognised centres of excellence for student accommodation and coaching. Younger students are just as capable of recognising poor accommodation and lacklustre facilities as adults. Specialist companies may be able to show you a proven track record in the centre concerned and its facilities.
5. Arrange a variety of extra-curricular activities. Even if you choose a coaching centre that is close to a major city, simply arranging a series of visits to museums and art galleries may leave some students cold. So, try to vary the agenda you set for such excursions in order to cater for the variety of tastes there may well exist in your party.
6. Make sure that your tour leader is a recognised figure of respected authority. Remember that on-site coaching staff will not accept responsibility for the behaviour of students in the party - that must reside with the tour leader and his or her colleagues on the trip.
7. Plan your school trips travel itinerary carefully. Over-ambitious journeys, particularly by road, can be exhausting even though young students are typically resilient. It might be a pity if your first full day at destination is lost due to students being too exhausted to fully participate in the day's activities.
8. Adopt a policy, in advance, on mobile device usage. This is a perennially difficult situation, but texting or net-browsing students can be a significant disruption to coaching sessions and ancillary excursions to tourist destinations.
A few basic steps such as those above might help to make school trips that bit more rewarding for everyone - including tour leaders.