Field Trip Checklist for Teachers
Group PlannersSchool Travel
There is certainly no shortage of things to remember when preparing for a field trip, especially if the trip lasts several days. From finding transportation to booking a hotel, planning to travel with students can be overwhelming. However, staying organized is the key to planning a field trip without stress.
When you create a field trip checklist, you can organize your thoughts and prevent last-minute anxiety. As a teacher, you must separate your field trip to-do list into different categories. You’ll want to determine tasks to complete before and during your trip and create a packing list for yourself, too.
A Week or More Before the Trip
Before you can go on your trip, there are various tasks you must complete. You may have to complete some of these tasks months in advance, while you can do others the week before. These tasks include:
- Submitting a field trip information form to the principal.
- Calculating the cost of the trip. Consider expenses like admissions, meals, fuel, driver pay and hotel fees.
- Submitting a request for a substitute.
- Distributing an instructional plan for students not attending the school trip.
- Collecting the names and cell phone numbers of all faculty and chaperones attending the trip.
- Deciding if referrals, in-school suspension or other forms of misconduct will make students ineligible for the trip.
- Submitting a list of students who will be attending the trip to all faculty and the attendance office. Include the times you are leaving and returning.
- Notifying the Health Office of the students participating and reviewing their medical needs. Decide if you want a nurse to attend the trip with you.
- Verifying that trip is on the school field trip calendar.
- Submitting copies of volunteer and chaperone forms to the school office for all non-faculty members attending the trip.
- Notifying the cafeteria of the number of students going on the trip. You also need to decide if you want them to prepare sack lunches.
- Submitting copies of signed permission slips to the school office.
- Reserving transportation and hotel accommodations. You want to choose the right charter bus for your group and trip and book it in advance.
- Determining if you need to do any fundraisers and collecting all the trip money from the students.
- Collecting student emergency contact information.
- Creating and distributing an itinerary to the students.
- Gathering the bus driver’s information.
- Distributing a packing list to the students.
The Day Before the Trip
The day before the trip is your chance to ensure everything is in order. Here’s what you need to do:
- Set your alarm clock.
- Send out a final reminder to parents about the meeting time and location. Do this through automated call service, email or text message.
- Communicate with your tour leader to confirm the meeting time and location.
- Charge your cell phone.
- Check the weather forecast.
- Make sure you have relevant addresses at the ready.
- Charge your camera battery if your phone is not equipped with a camera.
- Gather any materials needed for the trip, such as pencils, pamphlets, clipboards and worksheets.
- Save emergency numbers to your phone. This includes the number of the tour leader, the chaperones and the bus company.
When packing the night before the trip, ensure you can account for the following:
- Completed parent permission, emergency contact and medical waiver forms
- Lanyards, lanyard name tags for each student and a permanent marker
- School trip t-shirts (if applicable)
- Extra copies of the itinerary, rooming list and bus roster
- Camera and spare batteries
- First aid kit
- Paper towels, tissues and toilet paper
- Trash bags
- Disposable gloves in case of unforeseen spills or sickness
- Hand sanitizer
- Your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications
- Peppermints for motion sickness
- Bottled water and bus snacks
- Entertainment for the bus, like magazines
- Weather-appropriate clothing and gear
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Spare contact lenses
- Light stick, so the students can easily find you even while touring
The Morning of the Trip
The morning before you depart, make sure to:
- Review assigned chaperone groups with the students.
- Confirm that the students have the cell phone numbers of their assigned chaperone and group leader.
- Introduce yourself to all adult chaperones attending the trip.
- Review the behavioral rules and expectations with the students.
- Provide each chaperone with a bus roster with their students’ names highlighted.
- Confirm that each chaperone knows their assigned bus number.
- Review the day’s itinerary with the students.
- Claim your front-row seat on the lead bus.
- Take roll and count students before leaving the school.
- Make note of “no-shows” and inform the principal and parents.
- Call or text the tour leader to inform them of your estimated arrival time.
- If applicable, save a seat in the front row for the tour leader, preferably on the side where the microphone is located.
During the Trip
During the trip you’ll want to:
- Divide the class into small groups with different chaperones.
- Allow for an orientation period so the students can check out the site and voice any concerns.
- Plan restroom breaks.
- Take a head count at each stop.
- Adapt activities as needed with regard to unpredictable weather or time constraints.
Reserve Your Field Trip Transportation With BusRates
One of the most important aspects when planning a field trip is transportation. You need a reliable vehicle that can transport a large group, and nothing is more reliable than a bus. Buses are the standard transportation method for group travel because they’re spacious and offer various amenities to suit your group’s needs.
It’s essential to reserve your transportation in advance to ensure you get what you want. BusRates makes it easy by connecting you with countless bus companies across the United States and Canada. You save time and money by contacting these companies directly. Request a free quote today for your field trip and check “reserve transportation” off your to-do list!