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Group Travel 101

Better Safe Than Sorry: Safety Tips for Educational Travel

By: Liz Patterson

When traveling with a group of students safety and organization are more important than ever. Though you want your students to have an exciting time and enjoy their new learning experiences, you have to establish some guidelines and safety rules. These will not limit the fun, but rather increase it and give you peace of mind.

Educational travel is the best, most interesting and appealing way to make school come alive. Don’t shy away from it because of the responsibility of being in charge of students. If you follow these simple tips and be smart and cautious, you will keep the situation secure and allow your students to have a fantastic, memorable time.

You’ve heard the phrase “better safe than sorry.” Implement this little piece of wisdom by taking along the school nurse or some other medical professional with you. The odds that someone may get hurt may not be very high. But if an accident happens and you have no one there deal competently with it, your trip can be ruined. Also just the fact that a medical person is going along gives many parents and students peace of mind and confidence.

Next tip is to always have chaperones. I am sure you know this, but it is such a crucial safety measure that I will mention it anyways. Make sure the adult chaperones know their obligations and responsibilities. Often they can view educational travel as just a vacation for themselves. They have to be aware of the seriousness of their position and be willing to put the safety of the students over their own comfort sometimes.

Also, chaperons must know what is going on. Too often chaperones end up making things more complicated rather lessening the stress. Give each chaperone a guidebook explaining exactly where you are going, what you will be seeing, what you will be doing, and what their role in it all will be. This will prevent a lot of confusion and hassles. The chaperones will appreciate it too, for it takes a deal of strain off their shoulders when they are properly informed of the travel plan.

Another guideline that goes along with our motto of “better safe than sorry” is to have an emergency plan prepared. What will you do if one of the students gets hurt? How do you function if one gets lost? Think through the possible mishaps and take precautions to circumvent or deal with them.

I am not saying that you have to be a pessimist and expect everything to go wrong. Most likely your educational trip will be a wonderful, fun experience. I don’t want to give you the impression that you should worry about traveling. On the contrary, proper planning and preparation erases worry. If you have an organized plan of action for any unlucky circumstance, you will not be so anxious. You will be able to relax and enjoy your trip. For educational travel is just as much a delight for parents and teachers as it is for students.

So take into consideration these helpful tips and plan a trip that will inspire your students and renew your enthusiasm in education.

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