School trips form a fascinating part of a kid’s life in school and are always something they look forward to. The tours are not only meant to help the kids see new places and experience a new environment, but also such excursions form a good topic of discussion whenever the kids get back to school and are with their friends. However, without proper planning, such trips could have adverse financial implications on the parent’s budget. This could be a worrying thing, especially when the trips come on short notice or when you have savings goals and need to watch your spending. Proper planning is essential to ensure that such events do not turn into financial nightmares.
Planning a trip would involve laying down the basic requirements for the trip. This would involve knowing the kids destination, what they would eat, the kind accommodation, activities they will partake, and many more. Trips need to be a simple activity and here are some tips that can help you kick start the planning of your kids out of town school trip in the most economical way.
First, you need to determine beforehand the means your child will be using to travel. It is advisable to come up with several ideas and then call a few parents to choose which means will be fit for all children. According to experts Adaptable Travel this would reduce the travel cost. To determine the best means of travel for the kids, you should put into consideration factors such as the price, efficiency, and the convenience of the transport depending on the destination.
Use Fare Comparison Sites.
While considering the transport costs, it would be a good idea to look up the charging rates of the various transportation models. There are a number of online platforms that can help compare prices of various transport providers based on the distance travelled. You should also remember to consider the hidden costs that may include luggage charges; in case a child’s luggage exceeds the maximum luggage weight expected for a passenger then this may lead to hefty expenses.
When travelling to out of town destinations, using indirect flights would often be a cheaper option as opposed to the direct flights. This would mean the kids would take a flight to a nearby airport, then a vehicle for the entire journey. It is indeed true that this option will take more time to arrive at the destination, but it is worth a try if you have the time. Direct flights, on the other hand, would offer more comfort and last a shorter duration.
Bargaining could be effective when you book a flight or a train for many students. You can request the airline to reduce the price per seat or set you up with an offer whereby for a given number of booking seats, a free seat is awarded. Bargaining is easier for school trips only because you will be buying the tickets in bulk.
The art of bargaining also comes in handy when making purchases during the trip. It is evident that during such events, kids might find attractive artifacts or toys that they may want to keep and take back home as souvenirs. Such purchases could be costly, especially if purchased without prior deliberation. Bargaining could help you save a reasonable amount of money.
When planning to travel, it is essential to book early; that is six months in advance if it is possible. It is also imperative that on the travel day, children arrive at the airport or bus station in time. It would be unreasonable, if you live in a busy city, to leave for the airport, thirty minutes to the time of the flight. Therefore, make a point that the kids assemble at the meet-up point at least two to three hours before departure. This would ensure that you avoid missing flights or the bus and would have substantial financial implications.
Use Tourist Options When Doing Your Activities.
During a trip, most people would consider using local transport as the cheaper option; however, for a school trip keeping in mind the kids’ safety using tourist buses would be better. This is because kids would need to be handled more carefully as they are less aware of the safety hazards they might face in transit. As an alternative to public transport, it is wiser to use hired tourist buses (open-topped bus) to visit the sites.
However, in case there are few children of reasonable age, it would be cheaper to use local transport, primarily because in many countries, the fare charges for children are reduced and, in some areas, children travel for free. If an activity is not far from your accommodation, then the best option would be to walk, which is free and also an easy way to get some exercise and keep fit.
Ensure All Documents Are Up To Date.
During trip preparation, you should ensure that all the documents that your children need for travel are up to date. Why is this important? This might help you avoid any emergency and last-minute visits to the passport office at the airport, which could be time-consuming and your kid might miss the trip. This could be a nightmare for the child, not to mention the financial implication. It is also essential that your child carries their medical cards in case of an emergency. You should also make a point of taking up travel insurance for your children. All these documents should have copies which will be kept by the teacher or adult in charge of the children in case of loss.
Accommodation And Food
Another significant consideration when planning a school trip is accommodation. Parents can only let their children go on the trip if they are assured that their children will be staying at a nice and clean place and that they will be eating healthy. The following tips can help you effectively plan for suitable accommodation and food during the trip:
1. Use Budget Hotels And Youth Hostels
You can decide to stay at small hotels which are not as glamorous as five-star hotels that may help in minimizing costs. Youth hostels are also perfect in that you will be offered a large dorm; therefore, many children can sleep in one room as opposed to booking various rooms in a hotel or Airbnb. The school can book two or three hostels, one for boys and the others for girls. The hostels need to be booked in advance and it would be a bad idea to start looking for accommodation on arrival.
2. Go Camping.
The cheapest accommodation you can provide for the children would be camping out in the woods. This however should be done carefully. Plans can be made by the local authorities to provide you with a good campsite that is safe and will help the children get in touch with nature. Needless to say, camping would help to save the cost of hiring the hotels for accommodation.
3. Eat Fast Foods.
Although the nutritional value of fast foods is considered to be low, they are cheap. Therefore, you can decide to shift to fast foods while on the trip. However, they can be supplemented by an apple or banana to keep the balance. Instead of eating at the restaurant you can take away and enjoy your meal on the go or at the campsite. This is because most of the time the cost of eating at the restaurant is higher than takeaway. In case it is decided that the children will eat in the restaurant many people have found eating together to be a great way of saving by ordering one less meal and getting an extra plate.
Perfect Activities For Kids.
Activities are essential, and most people, when planning trips, will plan correctly for everything else but forget planning for their events. The reason for this is that they do not take the time to gather the right information about the places they want to visit. Think, for example, taking a trip to Africa and planning to visit an ostrich firm a day after arrival. However, on getting to the destination, you discover that the day is a Sunday and the tour guides and other workers do not work on that particular day, and you have to spend the day in a hotel. It is essential to obtain enough information about the places you are planning to visit to make sure that the activities can go as planned.
Tourist Information Centers.
Having a local guide, you trust can help when planning for activities. Travel agencies can link you up with excellent tour guides who know their way around the area, and they can also help you overcome the language barrier if you do not understand the local language. These tour guides can show you around on foot, or you can also choose to get a bike tour of the area. They can also take you to the cheapest attraction sites in the area. It is an excellent idea to locate a good tourist information center that covers the area the kids are planning to visit for a successful trip.
The internet is a haven of information. You can use online reviews to get information such as good tourist sites for children to visit. You can check the reviews that a particular attraction received. Attraction sites with five star online ratings are most probably worth checking. Base your judgement also on the user comments posted by people who have been there. You can also ask for recommendations from other people from discussion forums, and they can create for you a whole itinerary that may end up being a lot of fun for the children.
Visit Learning And Recreation Areas
When visiting places of interest during the trip, you should do it in an organized manner, to ensure that apart from recreation, the tour is equally informative for the kids. Some of the educational places you can visit include museums, art exhibitions, aquariums, and the zoo. However, it is also important to remember that children have a short concentration span; therefore, you should also plan to take them to recreation centres like the park, water parks, and fairs. Thus, you can plan to visit the zoo in the morning when they are fresh and can concentrate for more extended periods, then take them to a water park in the afternoon to cool off, so they will not get tired and bored during the trip.
Stay At The Hotel
Another trick that can help to save money during the trip is to choose a day where the children will just stay at the hostel just swimming. This means that for the day the only expenses they will incur is food. All the other costs will not be incurred and parents will have saved money.
There has to be an established means of communication between the children’s parents and the teachers. Parents will need to know when their children arrive at their destination and whether they have reasonable accommodation and food. Therefore, there should be plans to have a means of continually communicating with their teachers or the trip attendants during the trip. You can form a group chat and include all parents and convey all information concerning the planning of the trip through it so that parents feel that they are involved in the whole process of making the trip a success.
Taking the above considerations in mind, it is expected that the next time your kids go on a school trip, they would have a memorable experience. Most importantly, though, you will be able to get through the experience without causing massive damage to your financial accounts. The trick is in the planning. Avoiding unforeseen emergencies during a trip would go a long way in reducing the expenses of the trip. Prioritizing your family safety is the best plan to think about.