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School field trips are an exciting break in routine for students, as they have little to worry about besides getting the permission slip signed. But for teachers, field trips can require months of advanced planning. Teachers need to do everything from finding a charter bus to developing an itinerary. All that planning will pay off in spades when you see the inspired faces of your students as they tour a historic site. Use this checklist to help you get started.

Pupils On School Field Trip To Museum Looking At Map

Arrangements to Make

The first step in planning any school field trip is to have a chat with the school administrator. You’ll need to discuss where you plan to take the kids, how long the trip will last, and what educational value the trip offers. Once you have consent, you can begin making arrangements. You’ll need to make arrangements for:

Transportation to and from the site
Accommodations, if planning an overnight trip
Meals and beverages
Site coordination (check the site’s policies on group trips)
Tour guide
A substitute teacher(s) and an instructional plan for non-participating students
And of course, you’ll need to set a date! You’ll also need to:

Develop a field trip budget
Determine if the site requires the purchase of tickets (check for group discounts)
Figure out the cost per student

Forms to Fill Out

At least a month or two before the trip, you should begin handing out and collecting forms from students. You’ll need your students to fill out and submit these forms:

A permission form signed by parent/guardian
Meal request form
Allergy/medication/major medical condition notification form
Medical waiver form
Emergency contact form
Set a deadline for collecting these forms and the money from each participating student. You should also have emergency contact forms filled out by each of your chaperones. Additionally, you’ll need:

Attendance sheet (to bring on the trip to keep track of students)
Student passes/tickets
List of students attending trip (for faculty’s reference)
Total number of absent students (for cafeteria staff’s reference)
Handout with final reminders for parents/attending students
Handout with trip itinerary for parents/attending students

For school field trip transportation in Washington, D.C. and throughout the mid-Atlantic region, you can count on Haymarket Transportation. The teachers we work with are often surprised at just how affordable our luxury charter buses are, and our coordinated tour arrangement services make planning field trips a breeze! Call 301-778-2007.