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The best time of year to take a school trip: Why you should travel earlier in the academic year

— 1 Nov 2023 12:38:50 by Sam Taylor

You've gone to the effort of planning a school trip and you want to make sure your learners get the most out of it. One of the biggest determining factors is the time of year you travel.

Our School Centre Account Manager at Voyager School Travel, Lucy Buckley, spent 17 years as a teacher, during which time she ran and assisted 10 trips—4 of which were with us to Château de la Baudonnière. Now she's on the other side and sharing her top tips to help you decide the best time of year to take a school trip to maximise the educational value. Buckle up!

The advantages of taking a school trip outside of summer

Of course, it's great to end the year on a high. Equally, you want to consider when you're going to get the most mileage out of the trip you've put so much preparation into back in the classroom—and the best time for that is September–April.

Here's a few of Lucy's top reasons why:

  • Students bond earlier on, maximising their performance through the academic year
  • Build on everything your students learned during the trip for longer back in the classroom – rather than travelling before the long summer break
  • Secure more favourable rates for transport – reducing the price of the trip
  • More availability at our centres, meaning you have greater chance of sole occupancy
  • Fewer crowds at attractions, meaning you're more likely to secure your first choice

Get more out of your trip back in the classroom

The ability to use real examples of everything students have learned and experienced on the trip in the following weeks back at school is an attractive reason to choose an autumn term school trip. You're able to contextualise the content of your lessons for an extended period, incorporating and building on elements from the trip. This is a great way to increase student engagement and to squeeze every bit of value out of the trip without having to contend with the imminent summer holidays.

If you're taking a language immersion school trip, it's going to be more effective to travel earlier in the year, so that you can reinforce and compound everything you've learnt on the trip before everyone breaks for 6 weeks and, inevitably, forgets the gender of marché or the conjugation of pouvoir.

Keep costs down

We're able to secure more favourable ferry rates when you travel in the autumn term, which means that we can keep the price of your trip down. We discovered that January–February is the cheapest time of year to cross the channel, whereas prices are at their peak from April–September.


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