We get asked hundreds of questions from teachers and key decision makers about our trips. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions.
If you have any further questions please let us know. Our school travel consultants have wealth of knowledge to share!
Q. How far ahead should I start planning my trip?
A. This depends on your school and the trip you are planning but we normally recommend around an 18 month planning period. We recommend having deposits ready approximately 12 months before travel so that we can ensure the best possible flight routing and price for your group. Working back from there, you need to work out how much time you need to plan your itinerary, gain approval from your leadership team, advertise to students, run an information evening for parents and then collect deposits.
Q. Is there a maximum or a minimum number of students I can take?
A. The minimum group you can take is 10 as that is the minimum needed to constitute a “group” with suppliers. A number of activities might have minimum numbers such as 15 or 25. There is no upper limit on the number of students you can take although if your group is over 50 we will need to arrange for another coach and activities might have to be staggered between groups. We have had groups of between 11 and 82 students!
Q. I need help with the planning process.
A. Our helpful staff are experts at organising amazing trips so please contact them if you need any help or advice.
Q. I received one of your sample itineraries and although I like it a lot I want to make some changes, is that OK?
A. Of course! The sample itineraries are just to give you an idea of what we can offer. Our trip specialists love working with teachers to create a bespoke itinerary which exactly matches the needs and budget of your school.
Q. Can I go on my preferred airline?
A. If you have a specific airline you want to travel with please let Educating Adventures know and they will try and ensure that you fly with that carrier, or advise of more convenient routing if it exists. Sometimes there might be a supplement to pay for certain airlines.
Q. What student details will I need to collect?
A. Once a trip has been confirmed we will send out a blank copy of the School Group Details Form which has tabs to collect passport information, rooming lists, dietary & medical requirements and school emergency contacts. We send it out early leaving you plenty of time to complete it, we will need it back upon payment of the final balance around 3 – 4 months prior to departure.
Q. When do I get a copy of the detailed trip schedule with timings on?
A. We will send out a draft version of your detailed itinerary approximately three months ahead of departure, an updated version will be sent to you one or two weeks ahead of travel. The final version can be shared with parents and school management.
Q. Will we have to complete waivers?
A. Certain activities do require waivers to be completed in order for students to participate. We will send you any waivers in advance of travel so you have time for the parents to sign them. They usually need to be returned as hard copies on the day of activity but we will let you know if other arrangements need to be made.
Q. Can EA complete my risk assessment?
A. While the completion of the risk assessment has to be the responsibility of the teacher we will help in any way we can and have some useful documents to put you on the right track.
Q. Do I need a visa?
A. Educating Adventures will advise you on what visas you need and the process. If you have any students travelling on passports other than your home country please contact EA immediately for advice.
Q. What about safety and security?
A. Safety and security is our number one priority. We have a safety management plan which details the requirements and checks that we have of our suppliers which we are happy to provide. We also have a 24 hour emergency number for when you are travelling. You will also have a tour director with you (unless your school requests not to have one) who will be on hand to problem solve.
Q. Do your Tour Managers have police checks?
A. Our Tour Managers are carefully vetted and reference checked to make sure they are right for your group. If your school policy requires a police check we can request that your Tour Manager obtains an up-to-date check before your tour commences.
Q. Do your Tour Managers sign a code of conduct?
A. All of our Tour Managers sign a code of conduct with Educating Adventures so they are aware of their responsibilities and acceptable behaviour towards staff and students. This includes a social media policy too, although we find that plenty of our teachers like to keep in touch with our fantastic reps.
Q. How much do we need as a deposit?
A. We require a deposit of 15% of the total cost of the trip, ideally at least 11 months in advance to secure the best flights. The next payment of 15% is due ten weeks later and the final payment 16 weeks before departure.
Q. Are deposits refundable?
A. Unfortunately, deposits are not refundable as they will have been put towards supplier payments. Deposits can be transferred to another traveller (dependent on timing). All schools should ensure participants have travel insurance to ensure that those who drop out due to medical reasons are covered.
Q. Will a change in numbers affect the cost?
A. Change in numbers might change the cost per student as fixed costs such as transport, tour managers and guides will be shared between less or more students. Generally, the more students you have the lower the price will be.
Q. Will the cost go up if the currency changes?
A. At Educating Adventures we try to do all in our power to protect you against fluctuations in the currency rates. However, up until the deposit is paid, if there are significant fluctuations in currency exchange rates we might have to change the price to reflect this. As soon as you pay the deposit and we’ve confirmed the flights Educating Adventures will hedge the currency protecting you against any future fluctuations in the exchange rates.
Q. Do your quotes include tipping?
A. Yes nearly all our trips include all tips to the guides, drivers, restaurants and everything we organise – occasionally we might not be able to pre pay the tips due to the nature of the tour, but this will be made clear in our documentation. Most of our tours have Tour Managers who would manage this for you.
Q. Are payment deadlines flexible?
A. We will work with you as far as possible to come up with a deposit schedule that works. The first and final payments are the least flexible as we have to work around supplier deadlines.
Q. If someone can’t go can I find a replacement?
A. Yes, you can usually replace students free of charge up until the time of ticketing (approx. 6 weeks before travel). Even after ticketing, it can be possible to swap students but usually, there would be fees involved. We’ll do whatever we can to help.
Q. Will we all be seated together on the plane?
A. Airlines will usually seat the group in a block. We can’t specifically place each individual traveller but after take-off, check with airline crew as they may allow you to shuffle around your allocated seats.
Q. I would like to meet my family/friends at the end of the trip and stay for a bit longer. Can I change my flights?
A. Where possible, Educating Adventures will work with the individual traveller/parents to deviate the return flight. When booking group flights, Educating Adventures choose a specific airline and their partner airlines based on availability and routing, so the deviation request must align with their group booking policies. Adjusting the date and keeping the flight route the same is generally easier to accommodate than amending the departure city or routing. Please note that whilst we will do everything possible to assist, deviations cannot be guaranteed, will be subject to availability, and additional costs may apply.
Q. Can I accumulate Frequent Flyer points on my travel? Or use my FF points to pay for my flight?
A. In most instances you can accumulate points on a group fare – please be sure to let your lead teacher know that you have a FF account well in advance in travel so they can pas this information on to us. Unfortunately you cannot use FF points to pay for your flight.
Q. What about passports? Will I need a visa?
A. Your lead teacher will let you know well in advance of travel what visa you will need for your trip. We recommend that you have 6 months validity on your passport from your return date, so if your passport will need renewing – get onto it promptly!
Q. What do I need to pack?
A. Your teacher will provide you with a packing list for the location that you are travelling to.
Q. Will I be required to pay for lots of extras?
A. All of our trips include, flights, transport, accommodation, activities in the itinerary provided, any tips and gratuities required, and meals as per your itinerary (in most cases breakfast and dinner). This means that you shouldn’t be hit with any surprise costs. We recommend budgeting for additional meals, snacks and drinks, and spending money.
Q. How much money should I take and how should I take my money?
A. The amount of money you should take on the tour will depend on the duration, and what is included in your trip. Usually our tours include breakfast and dinners so you will only need to take money for lunches and snacks. We usually suggest students take some local currency in cash, and the rest accessible via a pre-paid currency card which you can obtain from any bank or post office.
Q.How do we stay in touch on trip?
A. Firstly you should check to see what roaming packages your phone provider offers – these can often be cost-effective and much simpler than buying an overseas sim. Most places will be well set up for using wifi so we recommend using apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.