Samantha Bradbury, ABTOT Membership Secretary, shares her top tips when it comes to finding and booking the best option for your next Primary school trip.
One of the highlights of my job is looking through ABTOT members’ websites and seeing all the amazing holidays they have on offer. It helps pass a wet Wednesday morning in the office very pleasantly, but it also serves a purpose.
Part of my job is to make sure travel organiser members are correctly displaying the ABTOT logo and providing clear guidance to browsing customers about the financial protection in place.
Teachers who are charged with organising and booking their school’s trips must also get to spend a significant amount of time browsing brochures and clicking throughthe internet. But how do you ensure you are getting the best fit for your requirements from the hundreds of travel organisations with appealing offerings?
Here are my three top tips on finding your next Primary school trip:
1. Use your booking clout
In a competitive market, don’t underestimate your buying power. Not all operators will cater for school trips and not all of those that do will cater for Primary age children – but there are a significant number that will, so make sure you get the best deal you can by researching and shopping around.
2. Do make sure they are financially protected
In a world of erupting volcanos, political and geographical uncertainty and wobbly currency, it is essential that you make sure the travel organisation you book with has financial protection in place – it’s also the law. All ABTOT members are fully bonded and compliant with the Package Travel Regulations and we also insist they have adequate liability insurance in place.
There are a number of ways for a travel organisation to comply, but I would always recommend you check they are a member of an accredited trade association such as ABTOT, ABTA or the CPT and also make sure you can see the ATOL badge proudly displayed if the trip includes a flight.
3. Make it memorable
A Primary school trip is often the first trip children have without family. It’s a huge adventure and really exciting – add in an overnight stay and you are possibly creating a memory that will stay with the children for ever. UK based trips can be as diverse as mountaineering, coasteering, narrow boating, cycling, birdwatching, horse-riding and theatre. Or you might be brave enough to take a group of young children on a plane, train, boat or bus, opening up your travel options to skiing, hiking, conservation, sports, and culture tours. Your only limit is your imagination.
ABTOT is a BEIS approved travel trade association that helps specialist, professional travel organisers, plus charities and associations, meet their regulatory requirements for package holidays. ABTOT has over 160 specialist and diverse travel organisers, many of which offer school trips