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Booking timeline

We all know there's a lot of groundwork that takes place before a school trip departs, and the less surprises, the better. Read on to get a better understanding of what happens at each stage of your booking and what will be required of you. C'est parti !

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1. After we've received your first payment

Once you have made a provisional booking with us, we will be sending you a booking summary to explain the payment schedule and, at a later stage, your transport arrangements. It will also confirm the numbers we have for your group and will be sent to you every time you make any changes. As soon as you confirm your booking, please give us your gender split so we can allocate your rooms.

Payment schedule

The payment schedule is arranged according to your needs, so should you have difficulties collecting the deposits on time, just drop us a note so we can amend the deadline for you.

Different payees: If you have a Chateau booking, the first and second deposits should be made payable to the ‘Chateau de la Baudonniere’ and your final balance should be made payable to ‘Foreign Client Payment account’. Any additional payment after that (eg. Last minute extra pupil) should be payable to the ‘Chateau de la Baudonniere’. For Normandy Experience groups, all cheques should be payable to Normandy Experience.

Loss of deposits: From the moment you inform us that one of your students withdraws from the trip, he/she will automatically lose the deposits paid till that point. Pupil places are not transferable. If a pupil drops out and another joins the trip, then a cancellation is forfeit and a new deposit is payable, unless the school asks and the company agrees to transfer. Please note that replacements should also bear in mind gender splits for accommodation purpose.


Click here for essential health & safety and travel resources, such as risk assessments & information about passport validity and what to pack for your trip. 

2. 6–2 months prior to departure

Manage your booking online

As your trip approaches, you'll receive a login and a password to our mange my booking portal. You'll be able to check your payment schedule, transport, room arrangements and programme, as well as upload passenger information.

Transport arrangements

At this stage, we will book all your transport. Details of your coach, ferry or train transport will appear in the mange my booking portal as they are confirmed.

Timings will appear too. However, as things change, the transport planning is likely to change too at this stage and will be more reliable further down the line. We know changes are inconvenient but they are usually due to change in numbers or crossing alterations. We always have the school’s best interest at heart, changes are therefore carefully considered and we always try to provide the most convenient journey instead.


Around 2 months to 1 month prior to your departure, the Chateau will upload your programme online for your group. From this time onwards you can liaise with the Chateau team to discuss this programme and finalise it. So don’t hesitate to call them on 0033 233 604 695 or email Darren on Please note that if the Chateau team doesn’t hear from you, the Chateau team will gather that the provisional programme is suitable to your group and will therefore make it final.

Room allocation

At this stage, your rooming arrangements will be available to view in the manage my booking portal. This is why it is vital to receive the gender breakdown of your group as soon as possible. At this point, you can begin populating your online party member list and allocate students to each dorm.

3. One month prior to departure

Upload your group's details

At this stage we need you to upload your rooming list with the names of all pupils travelling on the trip as well as any dietary and medical requirements via the manage my booking portal. You will also need to confirm your program.

Your party member list must be filled in via the manage my booking portal 3 weeks prior to departure. These are the details of all teachers/staff members travelling on the trip including name, emergency contact number, age, room arrangements, dietary requirements and grouping. It's important to include an emergency contact number should your coach driver need to contact you during your trip.

Pay the final balance

The final balance is to be made one month prior to your departure. Please remember who to make the cheque payable to (see above).

Please note that minor changes to your transport arrangements can be expected up to 2 weeks prior to departure. Keep checking the manage my booking portal for the latest updates or get in touch with the UK office.

4. One week prior to departure

Receive your final itinerary

Your final travel itinerary will be available online with references, emergency numbers and names at the Chateau, along with the details of the coach and ferry companies. This document will be finalised 2 to 3 days prior to departure, as drivers names and numbers are only disclosed this late.

5. On the trip


Coach pick-up: Your coach will arrive at your school 30 to 60 minutes prior to departure.

Ferry check-in: Please have a copy of your itinerary on you as you'll need this to check-in.


Our friendly team will be waiting to welcome your group. A meal will be provided according to the time of your arrival:

Estimated arrival time Meal
Before 20:00 Standard evening meal.

Cold buffet e.g. ham, cheese, crisps, salad, tuna, tomato, cucumber, bread, butter & fruit.

Water & squash. Wine provided for teachers.

After 22:00 Chocolat chaud & madeleines.
Wine provided for teachers.

The Chateau team will hold a meeting with the teachers on the trip the day after your arrival to run through all procedures and programming to ensure a successful trip.

Should any problems arise during your stay, please speak with one of the team members on the ground before contacting the UK office. They will be best equipped to support you.


The UK office will fax you a new travel itinerary with details of your driver for your return journey.

The Chateau will supply the name and number of the French driver (foot passengers only). The team will also organise a telephone appointment between you and the UK office to get feedback from your trip upon your return.

Contact information

UK office

FR office

Castaway Travel
6 - 7 Lovers Walk
01273 827327

Château de la Baudonnière
Les Chambres
50320 La Haye-Pesnel
Normandie, France
+33 233 60 46 95