Developing The Perfect Student Travel Itinerary

If you’ve never traveled with students before, or you’re a first time Group Leader, there is a lot to consider as you design a student travel itinerary.  Creating an expedition that is educational, immersive, adventurous, and most importantly, safe, is a unique art form.  Here are a few suggestions if you’re new to student travel:

  • Know Your Goals – What is the ultimate goal of the expedition you’re planning?  What do you want your students to glean from this experience?  What do you want them to come back with and utilize moving forward? Knowing this before you begin is essential. This allows you to backward design your expedition to get the intended results.
  • Adventure, Service, and Culture – Think about how much service, cultural immersion, structured curriculum, and how many adventure activities you want in the itinerary.  Only you know your school, students, and educational objectives.  Getting the right balance of activities will help the flow and the morale throughout the trip.
  • Play It Safe – Know your students and your school’s risk management policies. We encourage educators create an application process to evaluate which students want to travel and if they are traveling for the right reasons. Also, make sure you understand your school’s and/or your district’s risk management policies so you can create a safe and enjoyable itinerary from the start.
  • You Can’t Do It All – Don’t overbook yourself and your students. Trying to pack too much into the itinerary is a common mistake and often makes for hectic travel days and tired students. Wanting to “see it all” is enticing, but you’ll have a better experience if you focus an itinerary on a select group of in-country sites or destinations.
  • Downtime – Both structured and unstructured downtime helps students engage more deeply in the destination and the experience. Plan for a couple of slow mornings or an afternoon of souvenir shopping so students can experience the culture and practice their language skills at their own pace.
  • Reflection – Adding quality time for journaling and reflection helps both you and your students process the experience and gain greater meaning from the journey. Dedicating a little time each evening, or during the day, where students can participate in guided discussions makes for truly transformational expeditions.

At No Barriers Youth we have designed thousands of itineraries for public and independent schools, for middle school students and for upper schools. No matter who we are working with, we encourage you to infuse your curriculum and program goals with our global education and travel expertise to create a unique and impactful experience your students will never forget!

Click here and get a sample itinerary to begin designing your next expedition.