Students love a good field trip! Free from the confines of their classroom, kids
are excited for a break from the school routine. Educators and parents
appreciate the way hands-on learning is disguised as play and understand the
boundless potential of a well-planned trip. When it comes to organizing your
students’ field trip, don’t skimp on the effort or creativity. Follow these 10
simple tips to turn your ordinary outing into an extraordinary experience!
Give yourself a minimum of six weeks to set up the basics of the trip: location,
cost, transportation, schedule, etc. Make sure the location offers age and
grade-appropriate activities. And don’t forget all the paperwork - make sure
you design an appropriate form requesting parents’ permission and payment,
and that all student health and medicine information is up-to-date. You can do
all this easily online with ZippSlip - you can even communicate with parents in
their language of choice.
Think big, small, or even virtual
Field trips come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are big “once-in-a-
lifetime” trips while others are simple walks to a local park. Technology has
turned the impossible into possible: watch eagle eggs hatch, blast off into
space, or hike through an African jungle! Options are endless.
Don’t forget about your budget
Many places offer special education rates so be sure to take advantage of
those. Regardless of your budget, it never hurts to ask for additional discounts
and deals. Being flexible regarding the day and arrival time are great
negotiating tools. If fundraising is necessary to defray costs, invite parents to
participate so they’re part of the planning.
Involve the experts
Most field trip-worthy locations have experienced staff and resources (some of
them free!) that can help you plan your day. When planning, explain your
learning objectives and share them with the experts in advance. This will
maximize your experience and make the most of every minute you’re there!
If possible, do an actual or virtual site visit so you have an idea of how the trip
will go. If a visit isn’t possible, talk to other educators who have been there,
done that: ask about any challenges or accommodations you may have to
Get everyone excited!
Once the destination has been decided, announce the field trip with gusto! Be
sure to include important dates and teasers about the experience. Include
colorful photos and video snippets to get everyone excited! With ZippSlip you
can easily share videos, photos and information to pump everyone up about
their upcoming trip.
Leverage travel time
Especially important for longer trips, prepare a fun activity to set the stage.
School bus BINGO or destination trivia are easy to prepare. On the other
hand, if your trip is going to be highly structured, keep the travel time a little
loose and let the kids do their thing while en-route.
ABC’s of the trip!
Activities: Take advantage of special workshops and hands-on activities.
Shear a sheep! Pan for gold! Pilot a plane in a simulator! Supplement these
with your own ideas, like a scavenger hunt, to make sure students have a fun
and educational experience.
Build in rest time: The younger the field tripper, the more rest time he’ll
need! Allow for a relaxed lunch and some down time.
Conversation: Talk about your trip! Ask for student feedback, either
informally on the bus ride home, or have each participant complete a quick
post-trip survey. Just as you relied on recommendations and opinions to book
your trip, use your experience to help others decide if your destination is right
Bonus Tip: Try ZippSlip
ZippSlip allows you to focus on creating a fun and educational experience for
students rather than chasing paperwork. ZippSlip handles everything from
communicating with parents to sending permission slips to collecting
payments and it’s all stored in a secure location. Not only does ZippSlip make
field-tripping easier, but we absolutely make them safer by ensuring teachers
and chaperones have access to accurate student health information, and
parents are kept in the loop throughout.
Check out this FREE Trip Planning Checklist below!