Plain-Sailing Residential School Trip

How to Plan a Plain-Sailing Residential School Trip: A Bitesize Guide for Teachers

The art of organising a residential school trip can be both exciting and daunting in equal measures. As a teacher, it’s a golden opportunity to provide your pupils with an enriching and invaluable experience of learning outside the conventional classroom. However, the task demands careful planning and coordination.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with clarity and a roadmap for planning and executing a successful school trip that you and your pupils will remember forever.

Establish Your Objectives

The launching pad for any successful school trip is to clearly outline your learning objectives. There are all kinds of questions you should be asking yourself, such as what you want your students to gain from the trip and what types of skills they can learn and build on during their time away. A crystal clear understanding of the desired outcomes will inform all your subsequent decisions, from selecting the right location and accommodation to the planning of your schedule and activities.

Choose the Location

Selecting an appropriate destination is one of the key aspects of the planning process. This decision should be informed by factors like the relevance of the location to your learning objectives, the safety of the area, and its accessibility for your group. If you want to plan an adventure trip, PGL can assist. They deliver residential school trips up and down the country and have a wide array of fun-filled activities both pupils and teachers can join in on.


Budgeting can be one of the more challenging areas of organising a school trip. It requires a careful calculation of numerous costs, such as accommodation, food, transportation, and entry fees to any attractions you intend to visit. What’s more, there may be extra costs on top for materials or supplies linked to the activities planned during the trip. Always aim for a budget that strikes the right balance between delivering an enriching experience and ensuring affordability for all pupils.


Once you’ve found the right destination, the next important consideration is finding appropriate accommodation. When evaluating potential spots to stay, consider factors like safety, comfort, and proximity to your planned activities. Another important point is to make sure there are sufficient beds for all pupils and teachers!

Risk Assessment

As a teacher, you’re duty-bound to ensure the safety of your pupils above all else. Therefore, conducting a thorough risk assessment of the chosen location, accommodation, and planned activities is an absolute must. During this stage, you should establish any potential hazards and devise a strategy to minimise these risks. It’s essential all staff members fully understand and are prepared to follow the agreed-upon safety procedures.

Plan Activities

Understandably, activities are at the forefront of any residential school trip. With this in mind, your plan should include a range of fun, educational, and engaging activities for pupils to get stuck into. Just make sure to factor in downtime into the schedule too. This gives pupils the chance to relax, reflect on their experiences while digesting what they’ve learned too.

Although meticulous planning and attention to detail are needed for organising a residential school trip, it’s a rewarding endeavour that can offer pupils a truly unique, memorable, and enriching learning experience. Following our short guide above will help ensure your adventure runs smoothly and leaves a profound impact on your pupils.