Planning your trip

How to plan your trip

We are delighted that you are looking to book your forthcoming trip/tour with us.

These are challenging times and rest assured that we are here to help every step along the way as we have been now for more than 30 years, since we started the business, what seems a lifetime ago, back in 1992. We remain family owned and independent with a specialist and hugely experienced team dedicated to ensuring your trip runs as smoothly, safely and rewardingly as possible.

The trip that you are booking should be the trip that you want and expect, so the key elements and specific inclusions for your trip will be listed on the personalised Trip/Tour Proposal that we have sent you. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you would like any amendments or additions before you book. In the meantime, please carefully read the information in these pages as along with the other documents and resources that are available to you, they contain important generic information regarding the booking and planning of your tour.

Planning step-by-step

We have been helping schools, colleges, clubs, associations and academies to organise trips and tours for longer than we can all remember, so we’ll ensure that the process of organising, promoting, booking and managing your trip is as seamless as we possibly can. Here’s just a simple guide to the process from the initial stages to actually setting off on tour:

1. When and where to start?

Well, if you’re reading this then hopefully, you’ll have had a good look through our website for some ideas or had a chat with us already to discuss your initial plans and aspirations. For some friendly, free advice, please just drop us a line or call. Typically, Group Leaders start planning trips anything from 4-18 months in advance of travel, but it’s never too soon to begin the process. See OEAP National Guidance for advice on running a trip.

2. Choosing your trip

No problem if you don’t have a definite trip in mind already – we’re always here to help. We can go over the different options, destinations and learning objectives as well as agreeing a budget that you think will work for the demographic of your group. We’ll then happily tailor-make your package to ensure it ticks the boxes for everything you want to achieve.

3. Approval for the trip

Once this has been signed off by your Trips Co-ordinator and/or SLT, you’ll hopefully be ready to proceed. Please read our Planning & Safety Guide for lots of useful advice and links. If you need anything further from us, then please don’t hesitate to ask.

4. Promoting the trip

We’ll usually be able to hold a short option for you (accommodation, flights) on request, while you send out letters/emails to those you wish to invite to join you on the trip and to collect in the initial deposit payments. Please let us know if you need any help with the wording or any marketing images, presentations or assistance.

5. Booking the trip

Once you have finalised numbers travelling and collected in deposits, we’ll send you an invoice for the payment due. All deposits are strictly non-refundable but on most of our trips, names are inter-changeable until a later date. Travel insurance will be included in your package unless you have decided to opt out. You’ll need to send us a single payment (by cheque or bank transfer) to cover the deposits required and return a completed Booking Form. We’ll send you your Confirmation by return.

6. Amendments, updates and payment instalments

The payment instalments (dates and amounts) will be itemised on your Proposal and Confirmation Invoice so you’ll have plenty of time to set up a schedule for parents to save and pay. We’ll always be as flexible as possible if you need to make any changes to your passenger list or programme, so please just let us know.

7. Risk Assessments & provisional itinerary

In the weeks and months prior to your trip, we’ll continue to work on your itinerary and put in place the necessary arrangements that make up the programme agreed. If you need any assistance with risk assessment documentation (for Evolve or in-house purposes) then now’s a good time to get this organised as well as any Governing body ‘Permission to tour’ approval too.

8. Making the final payment

Your final balance will be due 12 weeks prior to departure along with a final passenger list and any special dietary requirements too. Make sure these are completed accurately to avoid complications in due course. Once received, we’ll send you your Provisional Trip Details (skeleton itinerary arrangements and key timings) and finalise the outstanding elements of your programme. We can put together a Presentation for a parents evening too if you let us know in plenty of time.

9. Final itinerary and tour documentation and guidelines

Your final itinerary, tickets, group leader guidelines (selected tours only) and vouchers (if required) will be sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure. Check everything very carefully to ensure you have everything you’ll need. Please don’t hesitate to call us at any stage if you need any further help or advice.

10. Setting off

The moment has arrived. The planning and preparations are all in place and it’s time to head off and experience a wonderful trip ahead. You’ll always have a 24/7 Duty Manager to call in case of any problems, so you can travel with total peace of mind.

Booking your trip

  • Carefully read your Proposal to check that it meets with your expectations and requirements.

  • You should also carefully read our Booking Conditions before committing to your booking and entering into a contract with us, bearing in mind that the information contained within this document and important information supplied by us and available on our website also forms part of your terms and conditions of booking.

  • Complete the Booking Form as fully and accurately as possible and return to us with your initial deposit payment.

  • Please note that all deposit payments are strictly non-refundable.

  • Your deposit may be made by cheque, bank payment or by debit or credit card. If you wish to make payment by business credit card we will regrettably have to impose a charge of 2% to cover the additional fees levied by the card companies.

  • If you are booking a flight-inclusive package, we shall also require a full passenger list at this stage.

  • We shall send you a Booking Confirmation once your booking is in place.

  • Your payment schedule will be shown on your Proposal and also on your Booking Confirmation, detailing the final balance payment date and any interim deposit payment dates if applicable.

Booking conditions

Our Booking Conditions together with the General Information contained in our brochures and proposals form the basis of the group leader’s contract with us. You can view our booking terms and conditions here.