Ben McCafferty, head of sales and product at Halsbury, explains how to beat rising costs when planning your next school trip.
As you know, the cost of just about everything is continuing to rise and, unfortunately, this has also impacted the cost of school trips. But there are ways to mitigate these rising costs to make sure your students don’t miss out on these life-changing experiences.
Don’t leave anyone at home – plan early for a more inclusive trip
Most groups booking a school trip overseas do so about nine months before they plan to travel. Now, when you consider that most school tour operators require full payment ten weeks before departure, that only gives parents six and a half months to pay for the trip.
Book your trip 18 months in advance and you’ll give parents more than 15 months to pay for it, which is much more manageable and means more kids will be able to join you on the visit.
And it’s often the case that the more kids who go on the trip, the cheaper it is per person – it’s a win-win!
Smart choices save money
Planning early will make a huge difference to parents’ ability to pay for the trip. But there are lots of ways to bring down the overall cost too:
Take the scenic route
Coach costs are also going up, but it tends to be cheaper (and far more environmentally friendly) than air travel. If you do travel by coach, make sure you fill it – 44 students plus five members of staff is ideal, as most coaches seat 49-53.
Choose when you travel carefully
Travelling mid-week during term time (and, ideally, between September and March) will save your group a huge amount of money too – plus it will be easier to herd your students around with fewer tourists.
Plan meals before you travel
Pre-book meals at your accommodation and opt for packed lunches to avoid ending up at overpriced cafes and restaurants.
Look for free activities
You don’t need to fill your itinerary with pricey activities. An experienced school tour operator (like Halsbury!) will be able to advise you on cheaper, or even free activities that support your learning objectives – so please make use of us for things like that!
Check out alternative accommodation
The accommodation you choose can make a big difference to both your budget and your experience. Hotels seem the more attractive choice but there are loads of great youth hostels all over Europe that offer more appropriate facilities for school groups, as well as a better price point. Plus, hostels in city centres are often much more modern than city centre hotels.
If you can stay out of the main tourist areas, this can save you loads of money too. Of course, this is much easier if you’ve chosen to travel by coach, as you’ll be able to use that for all your activities and excursions.
Want more ideas to make your school trip more affordable?
My team of school travel experts know our destinations intimately and have lots of great suggestions for making your trip more affordable. We’ve been arranging school trips for nearly 40 years, so we know what we’re talking about – get in touch today and let’s start planning!