Our top tips for going the distance, while staying within budget ...
It makes sense: the further away your destination is, the more it’ll cost, right? Well, yes and no. Choosing a nearer-to-home spot can eke your budget out and has the benefit of giving you more time on the ground. But if you’re looking for a real culture-shocker of an experience that takes you places far-removed from your daily life, a destination considered ‘long haul’ from the UK is likely to deliver. Luckily, long haul doesn’t automatically equate with exorbitantly expensive – there are lots of far-away places that are certainly do-able.
Choosing a cost-effective itinerary has clear benefits: an affordable trip to an exciting destination will attract a bigger group and a bigger group brings with it economies of scale. A less daunting price tag is also an advantage when it comes to fund-raising. Giving students a target that’s achievable is motivating rather than overwhelming.
So here are our tips for sticking to budget when booking a long haul trip:
- Be prepared. Booking more than a year in advance takes full advantage of early-bird airfares.
- Check your group size. The more really is the merrier if your aim is to make long haul affordable. That might mean opening the trip to a wider group of students than originally planned in order to boost numbers.
- Be persuasive. To encourage sign up, leave nothing to doubt. Be prepared to share with parents full details of what will go on every day you’re away. We’re always happy to come in and deliver a comprehensive information evening on the planned trip.
- Include a stop over. Although your journey time will be longer, flights that are broken up often work out a lot cheaper than direct routes. There might also be the chance for a whirlwind city tour!
- Focus on the details. Make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t included in the package offered by your travel company. A provider that includes safety documentation such as risk assessments, EVAC plans and country threat assessments, as well as emergency cards and travel safety training for teachers and students is delivering added value by reducing your workload.
- Do your research. While peak summer is expensive for pretty much all long-haul destinations, there could be spikes at other times, too. Be aware of religious festivals, for example – lots of families travel to and from the UK to celebrate with relatives, increasing pressure on seats and pushing up prices.