5 Unique Ways Schools Can Get An A+ on Their Next Excursion
School field trips are a wonderful experience for most children. Many of us have fond memories of the school excursions that opened up our worlds and introduced us to new places and experiences. With the next generation of children now off on their own adventures, schools are beginning to go high tech to help make this childhood right of passage easier on both parents and staff. Here are 5 unique ways tour booking software has helped make school outings an even better experience.
1. Smooths the way for parental approval
Whether your child is a high schooler considering visiting another country as a foreign exchange student, or a kindergartner contemplating their first zoo trip, both students have one thing in common—those pesky parent forms disappear into their backpacks never to be seen again. Getting forms to the parents, completely filled out, and back to the school office can sometimes take miracles, but with a booking software you no longer have to depend on a child for that important paperwork.
Parents can simply fill out their information and pay online, and the paperwork is immediately received by the office. This can be a huge load off of parents, kids, and staff, making the field trip that much more fun for everyone.
Getting parental approval is especially important for larger trips, such as those that involve leaving the state or country. With software making paperwork accessible on both sides, understanding what the trip is about just got so much easier.
2. Helps organize large groups of travelers
When students are traveling out of state for band events, sports, or other activities, managing all their individual needs can be hard. Keeping all the kids safe is hard enough, but with each student needing their own tickets, luggage tags, and other details, getting through without a single mistake can be impossible. Thankfully, booking software can help manage these details without a single mistake. Luggage tags can be printed off, tickets kept together, and paperwork automatically handled with minimum fuss.
This frees up teachers to pay attention to important details—like how many kids made it onto the bus to get to the airport—without stressing about whether all the tickets are in hand at the same time. This is useful whether the kids are going somewhere far away, or simply trying to get to a hotel just a bus ride away.
3. Allows mass communication
Sometimes schedules have to be changed last minute. The big game got delayed, flights canceled, or hotel rooms suddenly become unavailable. When these changes happen, you need to be able to tell everyone involved—and fast. Unfortunately reaching everyone involved can feel like a never ending task. Not only do you have to inform the staff, but also the parents, students, and anyone else involved.
If the change happens very suddenly, there may not be enough time to contact everyone via conventional methods. A quick update to the booking website however, and everyone involved can be immediately notified. This can be the difference between students and their guardians missing an important event, and just another delay on the way to achieving greatness.
Mass communication also makes it easier to announce the upcoming event in the first place, giving everyone on a mailing list the chance to participate, without relying on fliers or signs easily missed by weary parents.
4. Helps make booking the field trip easier
Before parents are ever notified of a potential field trip, school staff have already been doing their best to find and book the event. Large museums, historical sites, and other places often host field trips. Unfortunately, those field trips have to be booked weeks in advance, and require reams of paperwork all their own.
Tour booking software can help make field trips easier on everyone, by allowing clear communication between staff and the site the children will be going to. That means fewer mistakes on dates and times, and less scrambling to get parent volunteers for a sudden change of dates.
If something does go wrong, communicating with the site hosting the children is direct, and all of the information and paperwork can be seen at a glance by both parties. This smoother experience may not be directly seen by parents, but it still makes the field trip an easier and better experience for everyone.
5. Keeps track of payments for everyone involved
Field trips are often heavily discounted, either by the site itself or through group purchase of tickets. Even so, some money still needs to transfer hands. It’s easy to lose track of who has made a payment, who hasn’t, and any problems such as bounced checks or declined cards.
Fortunately, online booking software has once again been put in place at some schools to make payment easier. Parents and staff can quickly see if the excursion has been paid for, and that payment is no longer dependent on a check managing to get from backpack to school office. Payments can be made outside of office hours, at the convenience of parents, and with a variety of payment options.
These options make it more likely for parents to pay for the field trip, and enables more children to go on trips that otherwise might have eluded them. With the cuts to education funding getting sharper every year, assuring funding for these trips has become more important than ever. Preparing easy ways for parents to support their child’s field trip makes it less likely that schools will have to reach into their slush fund to pay for a child who unexpectedly forgot their field trip money.
Treating a school excursion like a tour company might seem a little odd, but it is working throughout the world for many schools. The convenience and organization that this software provides is unrivaled, and is allowing more children, parents, and staff to enjoy school events than ever before.
Adding an online booking option to schools everywhere is the next step of the future, and a logical choice for easing the burden of communication between parents and staff.
Click here to find out how to get an A+ on your next school excursion with TourTools, package tour & travel management software: http://tourtools.com/