Chaperoning a trip abroad can be loads of fun, but also a great responsibility. Follow these simple tips to keep your students safe and well-prepared in advance.
PREPARE A STUDENT LIST
Create and review a list of students assigned to each chaperone. Include any paperwork that might be useful for the chaperone to carry, including parent phone numbers and emergency medical forms.
REVIEW THE ITINERARY
Familiarise yourself and your group with the tentative schedule that highlights important times and locations. When travelling abroad, a map of each location will be helpful. Include information about designated group meetings, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner, listing locations and times.
Some students might have a prescription medication regimen that will need to be followed. It is vital for them to continue to stick to their usual schedule while abroad. Be sure to familiarise yourself with these details before the trip.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
Important contact phone numbers should be readily available. Review and confirm numbers with chaperones and make the necessary updates.
ORDER SCHOOL TRIP T-SHIRTS
Wearing class t-shirts ensures safety for the group. Should a stray student go missing, it makes it much more convenient to locate the student based on his brightly coloured school shirt. Students enjoy taking part in selecting colours and graphic designs. Chaperones and students can browse ShirtSpace’s blank t shirts & apparel to get the process started. This activity will spark morale and cause excitement about the trip. Furthermore, students will take pride in their unique design, resulting in an eager willingness to wear them out and about.
STAY INFORMED OF PROJECTS/ASSIGNMENTS
Remember that students will probably have assignments to complete during the trip. Collaborate with teachers and other chaperones for designated ‘homework’ times. For adolescent groups, consider implementing ‘no drinking agreements’, to be signed by students and parents. While abroad, some adolescent students may be curious about experimenting with alcohol. A clear-cut agreement should be reviewed with teachers and students and signed by all parties.
EXPLORE/DISCUSS TRAVEL INSURANCE
Unfortunately, accidents do sometimes occur while travelling. Travel insurance will allow reimbursement for missed flights, and cover ‘acts of God’, such as a hurricane, tsunami or other type of natural disaster. Certain types of travel insurance will cover medical treatment and hospitalisation, as well as the option to be flown home if needed. Inform parents of cost-efficient options should their young traveller become injured.
RESEARCH THE DESTINATION COUNTRY
Before departing, all well-prepared chaperones must review the current information about entry and exit requirements, safety concerns, road conditions and special circumstances, Countries may have high levels of theft or other crimes that need to be taken into account to ensure safety for the students.
ENSURE THE AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF PAYMENT
While travelling abroad, students should never carry large amounts of money and should have access to an ATM card for cash withdrawals if needed. Many parents sending students abroad open a joint bank account before travel. This way, they can easily track purchases online and add funds quickly in case of an emergency. Make sure parents and students are fully aware of their options to ensure expenses are covered.
Follow these simple tips for a seamless, safe trip abroad for your group to cherish for a lifetime.