Before the trip
- In the itinerary, do not call free time, “free time.” Call it “unstructured time.”
- Students should know the area they will be visiting. They should have a map/maps with the place they will be staying clearly indicated with the phone number and address given.
- Students should be advised to take cell phones plus chargers on the trip. If their cell phone isn’t functioning, they should be advised to look for a pay phone or approach a policeman in an emergency.
- All teachers should feel equally responsible on a trip. Everyone should know the itinerary. Teachers should discuss their specific roles. Who will look after first aid? How will walking tours be supervised, for example, with teachers designated at the front and rear of the group? What will happen if a student one day is not feeling well? Having three teachers even for a small group could be useful as emergencies can arise where more adults are required.
- Is the residence/hotel putting all the group more or less together and not spread out over several floors, different wings?
- Snacks are great. You can make up bags of nutritious snacks in advance in Montreal. These snacks will help keep students full of energy and in a good mood throughout the trip.
During the trip
- The trip organizer should know in general where students are all the time.
- A curfew should be established.
- If students realize they will be late for curfew or for any other meeting time, they must be advised to call.
- Divide students into a group of 4 -5, not just 2 for unstructured activities or for tours or other activities. Each group should have a cell phone with the group leaders’ cell phone number.
- Taxis can be useful but they do separate students. If students take public transportation or taxis, they will need the exact address of where they are going as where exactly they are staying.
- Students should carry money but not too much. It should be in the appropriate currency. Students should develop street smarts. They shouldn’t have out a lot of money at one time. Money belts can be useful.
- Students shouldn’t go off with outsiders. No one should go off with a stranger.
- Documents should be kept in a safe location.
- Take care in the planning of each day. If the students become too tired with too ambitious a day, they can become anxious or cranky.
- Start early in the morning so everyone will become tired and not want to go out at night.
- Checklists are good.
- Discussions are good at night to review what was experienced and to bring the group together.
These suggestions were developed with the invaluable assistance of
Pam Berlow, English Department.