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How To Plan a School Field Trip

When you’re a young student, you love to explore and discover new places and new activities. They break up the school routine you’re used to. But that means that educators must do all the planning, which can often be stressful. 

As an educator, you must prepare and organize to pull off a successful school field trip. The upside is you will provide participants with a rewarding scholarly experience. Learning something hands-on helps children absorb more information and knowledge and provides them with a sense of independence. 

Plus, the planning part doesn’t have to be daunting, either. Let’s explore how you can plan a school field trip without all the hassle and stress.

9 Tips to Planning a School Field Trip 

1. Start planning early. 

One of the things you can do to ease your stress is planning early. There are many details to think of, so the sooner you start, the better. You can figure out most of the details in due time:

  • Select the school trip destination
  • Get destination feedback from parents, students, and school administrators
  • Plan the educational side of the excursion
  • Collecting parental permissions
  • Arranging for transportation
  • Figuring out meals if needed
  • Finding chaperones
Field Trip Permission Form Template

These are just the most important parts of a successful school field trip. Start by giving yourself enough time to tackle any unexpected problems along the way. 

2. Decide on a school trip destination. 

Take some time to brainstorm potential school trip destinations. Think about location, entry costs, transport, parking, the age and number of participants, trip duration, and other key factors that may influence your selection. 

When choosing a destination, consider the learning objectives and curriculum goals. Once you discover a few good options, make sure to ask your colleagues for some feedback. And it can be even easier than you imagine. You can use a tool like 123FormBuilder for that! Then, ask for the administrators’ and parents’ opinions, and then you can even ask what the students think if you want. 

3. Get clearance from the administration. 

The next step in organizing your school field trip is to obtain administrator approval. Do it before discussing the trip with your students. You don’t want to get their hopes up for nothing if the school administration doesn’t give the OK for the trip. 

Ensure that you give the administration a clear view of costs, benefits, and the day and time for the excursion. Add any other relevant details that would help get the administration on board with your trip. 

4. Contact the school field trip site. 

This step can be completed before or after you get the administration on board. Do it before if you need clear details such as costs and general availability. After you get the OK from the school administration, you can confirm that the dates you want to do the school field trip are available. 

You can now make reservations, obtain details about group discounts and cancellation policies, and pay the required deposits. Share with the site the number of kids in attendance and mention if any of them have any special needs. Ensure that the site is accessible to those with disabilities if needed. 

Check if the site has a map of the location to find places where the students can have lunch or go to the bathroom, for example. If possible, visit yourself before the school field trip date to get familiar with the place. 

5. Find transportation. 

Let’s say you already pinpointed the where and when. Now, it’s time to plan how you get there, not just you but your students, too. With a larger group, you will probably travel by school bus. If your group is smaller, you may consider public transportation or a staff vehicle if available. 

You need to make reservations in advance for a school bus to ensure it is available on the day of your school field trip. 

6. Decide on food options. 

The longer your school field trip, the more details you must plan to give students the best experience they can have. One of the details is food! Nobody wants to deal with hungry kiddos in unfamiliar territory, after all. 

You can use an online survey form to set up the best option. The easiest would be for students to bring their own meals. Another option would be to make plans to eat on-site at a restaurant or cafeteria. If one such location is available, you can make a reservation beforehand. 

You can also organize the meal itself with a well-placed online form where you ask the students to pick from various options. That saves time and alerts you of any dietary allergies or preferences. As they sign up for a menu, you can send the data to the restaurant and make it easier for them to prepare the food in time. That way, the students don’t have to order on the spot or handle money. Everything is taken care of beforehand; they just take a place at the table, and the food can be served faster so everyone’s happy. 

7. Recruit some chaperones for the school field trip. 

An educator handling dozens of children faces a challenging responsibility, especially in a non-school setting. Depending on the children’s age and the activities planned, it would be useful to recruit at least one adult for every ten students. 

You can send online forms to parents and fellow educators, for example, to check availability and willingness. You will have to recruit them at least two or three weeks in advance and set up some alternates in case someone can’t make it. 

Notify the chaperones that this is an educational event and let them know what their tasks will be. 

8. Get the students and their parents ready for the trip. 

After setting up all the other details, you can move on and share the trip details with students and their parents. The best way to do that is to hold an informal meeting. There, you can discuss school field trip details with the parents (rules, expectations for the students, and chaperones). 

Tell students what rules they must follow and how their behavior should be. Explain to them the trip itinerary and include what they should wear, what they should bring, and what they shouldn’t bring (like valuable items they could lose or get stolen: jewelry, smartphones, tablets, etc.).

9. Get permission from parents/guardians. 

When going on a school field trip, it’s essential to get permission slips from parents or guardians. 123FormBuilder can streamline the process. For starters, use a field trip permission form. It will greatly simplify your workload. 

Last but not least, be prepared in case of emergency. Bring a first-aid kit and collect parent content information before the trip, just in case. Use an online form so you can export all the data into a simple Excel format if needed. You can search, find, and use the necessary data from there. 

School field trip destination ideas

Need a few ideas for an incredible school field trip that students will love? Here are a few ideas:

  • A botanical garden
  • A city park or community garden
  • A historic site
  • A farm, orchard, or greenhouse
  • A nature center or animal sanctuary
  • A museum or art gallery
  • A cultural center
  • An animal shelter
  • A library
  • A fire station or police station
  • A college or university
  • A local business

Try 123FormBuilder for your school field trip!

Many aspects of your school field trip planning could use some external help. That’s where our formbuilder solution comes in. We love educators and understand their vocation, so they receive a 50% educational discount for paid plans (that’s Gold, Platinum, or Diamond plans). You can create beautiful and effective online forms AND protect the collected data. So give it a shot, your perfect school field trip adventure awaits!

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