How to Plan a School Trip Abroad?

Planning a school trip abroad can sound like the most complex task ever, fortunately, we got you covered with these 8 actionable steps that should help any teacher or educator to get started.

  1. Decide what its the aim of your trip.
  2. Decide where you are going and when?
  3. Get the green light!
  4. Plan your itinerary.
  5. Get parents approval
  6. Start booking!
  7. Apply for visas
  8. Prepare students for the trip

Read below for details about each step where we also cover some Big questions to help you figure out where to start! 🙂

1. Decide what is the aim of your trip. The first step to a successful school trip abroad is deciding on your main goal. Being able to define that aim will allow you better plan for it as well as convince your students, parents and principal that this is a good idea!

[The Big Questions to ask yourself] 

For example, has your class been learning about World History or World Economy, European History or the Great Wall of China and you believe that an educational trip is one of the most unique experiences a teacher can share with his/her students while teaching them about the world? Ask yourself the right questions and define the aim of your trip.

World Map
School trip abroad

2. Decide where you are going and when. Now that you have defined your goal, you want to find the perfect timing and destination.

[The Big Questions to ask yourself]

How will the destination tie in with your aim?
Are you planning to visit several cities/countries or just one?
Will it be summer or winter trip?

3. Get the green light! Once you are ready with the aim and a rough plan of your school trip, present it to your principal to get their approval. Remember to place yourself in his/her shoes by trying to think of the questions s/he will most likely need answers to. This will help show that you are confident and have thought about this trip abroad thoroughly before coming up to him/her.

[The Big Questions to ask yourself] Is the aim of my trip clear?
I am able to communicate the value of this trip?

Plan your school trip abroad
Grap a cuppa, take some time to plan it well. This will allow you to spend more time with your students during the trip!



4. Plan your itinerary. After getting your principal’s approval, it’s now time to plan the detailed itinerary of your trip abroad. Make sure you sit down and take the time to plan day by day. This can sound like some extra efforts, but going through each day of trip very carefully can avoid you unexpected surprises during the trip. This will also allow to be more relaxed and spend more time with your students instead of constantly being taken with logistical worries of the trip.

[The Big questions to ask yourself]

– Where will we be staying? Hotel? Hostel? Student accommodation?
– Will I be staying in the same accommodation throughout the trip?

– What visits will there be and what’s the purpose of each visit?
– Are the visits during my trip diverse enough?
– Are visits appropriate for the age of my students?

– Where will we be eating each meal?
– Should I make a reservation if we are a big group?
– Do I have to cater for any particular meal restriction?

– Will the group travel mainly by coach from visit to visit?
– Is public transportation more convenient if you are planning a school trip to a big city?
– Is public transportation suitable for the age of the students?

5. Get Parents approval. Once you got your agenda and your answers for your big questions, you are ready to send it out and get parents approval. Parents will most probably want answers to those questions but also the rules/regulations that would help ensure their children’s safety.

When creating the parent’s approval form, provide your contact details in case of emergency and include a section about how you are planning to ensure safety during that school trip abroad. Parents need to know that their kids will be in safe hands when signing it.

[The Big questions to ask yourself] 
– Is my approval form asking for emergency contact details?
– Is my approval form providing emergency contact details?
– Is my approval form providing parents with enough information so that they trust that their kids will be in safe hands?

happy students
A well planned trip will allow you to spend more time with your students.

6. Start booking! Now it’s time to start booking! Lots of places that require bookings now have their own online booking system. A good starting point is checking their websites to see if that’s possible or if they provide an email address through which you can do it. Some places will still require you to call. And if you are planning to travel in a country that is in a completely different time zone than yours, remember to plan ahead and call at the correct time!

[The Big questions to ask yourself]
– If I am moving from place to place, how many nights will I spend in each location?
– How many rooms should I book?
– Should I make a reservation for the visits/lunch/dinner? And if I am making a reservation, am I planning enough time to be able to reach on time?
– For all bookings ask if they have group prices?
– Can they provide me with an invoice?
– If I need to call for a booking, what is their timezone? What time should I call?

7. Apply for visas (if needed). If a visa is required for your school trip abroad, you will have to have all your documents ready when applying. It is important to check how long it will take for your visa to be processed as this can vary a lot. Once you know the processing time, be sure to leave enough time before the departure date so that you have visas ready on time.

[The Big questions to ask yourself]
– What type of visa will we need for this trip?
– What documents are required?o Usual documents needed are:

  1. Participants list
  2.  Passports
  3.  Itinerary
  4.  Flight bookings
  5.  Visa application forms & fees
  6.  Invitation letter if anyThis is a general checklist to help you but it is better to confirm with the country’s authorities.
jumping students
Travelling is the best education you can provide your students.



8. Prepare students for the trip! You are now all set for this school trip abroad! One very important last step is preparing students. Get them excited while making sure they understand the purpose of the trip.

If you are going to a country which is very different from what they are used to, it’s is important to prepare to do some proper expectation settings. This will allow them to be ready and not face any culture shock. Organise an activity teaching them about the country they are about to discover and encourage them to do their own research.

While your students might show lots of excitement, do not forget to look out for those first-timers who never travelled before. It can be daunting to leave home for the first time and it is important for them to know that it’s totally normal.

[The Big questions to ask yourself]
– Do the students understand the goal of the trip?
– What are the big cultural differences students can face? (This can include food & accommodation)
– Do my students know what to bring? What to pack?
– Do students know what are the different visits and places you will be going to?
– Have the proper rules and expectations been set?

These are the Big questions to get you started and get the basics covered. We know that preparing for a school trip abroad can look like gigantic amount but remember that the time spent in the prep phase, will allow you to just enjoy your trip with your students!

At we help schools, teachers and educators organise their educational trips to China. We bring groups to discover the unique Silk Road, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou or Xian. And if they want anything particular, we do bespoke! We deeply value:

1. Student’s Experience.
We listen! We will always remain open to feedback and be sure that students are having the best experience during any of our trip.

2. Safety of the group.
We have experienced leaders that never take unnecessary risks. We work only work with partners that gained our trust and our routes are carefully planned.

3. Quality
Before any trip, we test and make sure all accommodation/visits/transportation are up to our of criterias.

Students on school trip
School trip abroad happiness!