Guide to planning your trip

We know that as a teacher you value the experience of taking students outside the classroom and bringing the curriculum to life. A well run school trip is arguably a pupil’s highlight of their school year, sometimes of their entire school life. Discover The World are experts in providing rich learning experiences in destinations specifically chosen to link curriculum with inspiring worldwide locations.

At all times we understand the demands and pressures put on teachers during the working day. In light of this we aim to assist as much as we possibly can to provide a comprehensive, memorable and educational travel experience.

Speak to a specialist
iceland thingvellir national park students2 rth
Using a tour operator

Although it is possible to organise a trip independently you need to be aware that you are completely responsible for all health and safety aspects of the tour. However, if you choose to book through Discover the World, as our client you are entitled to the protection afforded by health and safety laws, trade description legislation, contract laws and package holiday regulations. In addition:

• We are members of the School Travel Forum and Learning Outside the Classroom badge holders.
• You will have access to our detailed Risk Assessments, Code of Practice, Code of Conduct and general guidance notes.
• Our staff will help you tailor a trip to meet your group’s requirements. On the ground, our agents, representatives and tour guides will make sure that everything runs smoothly during your trip. With our wealth of knowledge and experience you can be rest assured that your group will be in safe hands.
• We can provide you with detailed work sheets for the specific study areas of selected destinations.
• We are a fully bonded tour operator ensuring that all money paid to us is protected no matter what. We are bonded by ABTA The Travel Association, AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) and the Civil Aviation Authority under the ATOL scheme.
• On all our future educational visits, to all our destinations, we are leading the way in offering you reassurance by introducing our 100% Unique Guarantee. It is our aim to ensure that you, your students, and their parents, have complete peace of mind.  Find out more »

Choosing a destination

This can be a difficult decision, but with our expert destination knowledge we are able to advise you on which location and itinerary best fulfills your tour aims, expectations and budget. Often the best way to make your final decision is to ‘touch and feel’ the destination yourself by attending one of our popular teacher inspection visits. This not only provides vital local knowledge, but has the added value of sharing ideas with fellow teaching professionals which can enhance your overall tour experience. Find out more »

Safety considerations

It goes without saying that safety is paramount and considered at every stage of our operation. A key element of safety is an effective risk assessment. To meet individual school requirements Discover the World provide detailed risk assessments. The specifics and details depend on each school, area and LEA requirements. We have also developed a Code of Practice and a Code of Conduct, both of which are made available to groups booking with us. Find out more »

It is essential that you have appropriate insurance for your group. Often your school or LEA will already have a travel insurance scheme. However, we do offer you the option to take out comprehensive school group travel cover provided by a specialist insurance company.

Get planning!
Most school groups plan 6 to 24 months in advance. Schools have varying procedures in terms of when they promote trips to students and when they have to be signed off by governors and SMT. We encourage groups to launch trips as far in advance of the departure date as possible to assist parents in planning ahead financially.
Make your trip affordable for all students
  • Plan in advance The more notice you provide pupils and parents, the more time they will have to save for the trip. Launch your trip 6 to 24 months in advance of the departure date and offer weekly or monthly payment installments to allow enough time for them to prepare financially. If you are unable to launch a trip this far in advance, as students are yet to pick their final subjects, you could announce a forthcoming trip and send a letter to the parents of prospective students to advise of the potential cost ahead.
  • Source funding To assist with fundraising efforts you could apply for a Government grant or encourage your students to fundraise through various means. Sometimes it may be possible to obtain sponsorship from your equipment suppliers. Find out more about Fund Raising »
  • Travel off-peak The costs are often significantly lower during this period.
  • Price promise At Discover the World we understand budget constraints and therefore aim to keep our charges to a minimum without sacrificing quality. Consequently we offer a price promise that our fees represent the best value on the market. This will give you peace of mind that you are getting the best price in addition to the highest quality.
Tips to achieve your desired group numbers

Further to the above, here are some tips to encourage students to join your educational trip:

  • Appeal to a wide student base Try and open the trip to as many students as possible. You could consider combining year groups and/or various subject areas. Alternatively, it could be a purely ‘awe and wonder’ educational visit. Our trips can be relevant for geography, geology, biology, science, photography, art, tourism and environmental science.
  • Create excitement We can offer you guidance on promoting your trip and provide you with posters, images and template parent letters. We can also assist with information evenings to help excite students and parents further.
  • Budget It is advisable to over-budget. Often the cost of flights and accommodation can only be quoted and booked a certain amount of time in advance.
  • Time considerations Try to plan your trip at a time which is practical for students. For example, if you plan a trip in the middle of the summer holidays, many may have family commitments.
Useful Websites

Most importantly you should read HSPEV (Health & Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits) and Good Practice Guides issued by the DFES. It is strongly advisable to look at the information on the School Travel Forum website.

You may also wish to look at the following:

Department for Education and Employment
Association of Teachers and Lecturers
NUT website
NASUWT website

Useful Publications

Department of Education handbook, 

  Handbook for group leaders - 2002