Get your tour off the ground by following these simple steps:
Step 1 – Devise a plan
When it comes to planning a group tour, these are the things you need to establish from the start.
- Where do you wish to tour? And at what time of year?
- How long do you want to be away for?
- What’s the main aim of the tour? Is it pre-season training, a post-season reward, team building or a cultural reward?
- How many students, and will it be single gender or mixed gender? How many teachers will you need?
- What type of accommodation and meals would be ideal?
- What is the budget?
Once you have a basic plan in place share it with your friends and colleagues and get their feedback.
Step 2 – Contact Student Horizons
Get in touch with a Student Horizons specialist tour coordinator and you will benefit from detailed destination information and a good understanding of all the possibilities available.
Using our extensive knowledge we will find the best flight schedules and most competitive costs, and provide
you with a couple of options to suit your travel dates. We always request block seating, which is at the discretion
of the airline.
We will also provide you with a description of various accommodation options and the associated costs. Whether it’s hostel, hotel or apartment all accommodation is thoroughly checked before being endorsed by Student Horizons. In some countries there is the option of billeting (staying with host families), this is a fantastic way of enabling students to really experience the country’s culture and create strong friendships while keeping the cost of the tour down. If your school has a policy on billeting this is something we can work to. If not, there are various arrangements and supervisory requirements that we can work with you to define.
School trips wouldn’t happen without the support of teachers, so it makes sense that staff costs are incorporated into the price students pay. While our cost structure makes incorporating these staff costs easy, it is important to consider that the more staff travelling the more costly the tour becomes for the students. Our typical recommendation is one staff member for every 10 students. It is important that you consider how many staff you would like on your tour, and whether your school has a specific policy that dictates how many must attend.
Step 3 – Get things started
Once you are happy with your proposed itinerary and quote you’ll need to secure the support of your school governors, local authorities or club committee. It is at this stage that you should form a tour committee and then establish a payment schedule, devise a fund raising approach, define the code of conduct for all travellers and decide on a tour selection policy.
Step 4 – Spread the word
Now is the time to get everyone excited! We suggest you invite students, parents and staff to an information evening – Student Horizons will be happy to come along and make a presentation. You will then have the opportunity to discuss the itinerary, cost, fundraising ideas and exactly what is expected from all involved. In addition to outlining the selection process, you will need to share the date for when a non-refundable deposit is required. We also suggest you request the help of anyone keen on joining the tour or fundraising committee or who can provide sponsorship contacts.
Step 5 – Book it in
Booking in the tour is as easy as completing the booking form and providing the non-refundable deposit from each travelling student. Student Horizons will then secure your reservation, make the necessary travel and accommodation arrangements and provide our ground handlers with your tour requirements. Once this is complete you will receive a booking pack confirming all of the services to be provided.
Step 6 – Start counting down
As you count down to departure is a good idea to meet regularly to share details of fundraising events and deadlines.
This is also the ideal time to coordinate the following:
- A health and safety risk assessment – all schools now require that this is completed by the tour leader well in advance of the trip.
- Transport of the group to and from the airport in New Zealand – the best way to make sure the entire group arrives at the airport in time is coordinate group travel. We are happy to arrange this with our preferred coach companies.
- Tour merchandise – it is ideal to order any merchandise early and distribute it to travellers well before the trip. We recommend hosting a final tour meeting to distribute merchandise and run over arrangements and emergency contacts. We are happy to attend this meeting to answer any last minute questions.
- Insurance – it is important to ensure you are covered against unexpected cancellation charges, international medical costs, loss of luggage and money and personal liability claims. If your group does not have insurance, please call us for advice and a quote.
Three weeks before departure a final tour pack will be sent out. This will contain a full itinerary and contact list, a final passenger and rooming list, a tour summary, maps, luggage labels and local information.
Step 7 – Set off
As everyone is buzzing and about to set off, Student Horizons will have a representative at your departure Airport to answer any last minute questions and assist with check-in.
Step 8 – The arrival
Upon arrival a local ground handler will greet you and outline the comprehensive safety management plan and precautions. This local ground handler will be on hand throughout your tour providing you with important insights about what is not to be missed.
Step 9 – Reflect
At Student Horizons we are committed to providing the very best quality and personal service and in order to ensure we meet this standard we need your feedback. Once you return from your travels we would love for you to complete our feedback form and provide us with your tour report – and some photos!