With school districts tightening their budgets and cutting back on extras, it can be difficult to plan for a big group field trip. But with some money-saving tips, you can give your students the chance to learn outside of the classroom without a big price tag.
1. Look for locations that offer discounts
Many museums, national parks and historical landmarks offer discounted rates for schools and large groups. Not only will you save some money on the cost of admission, but you will give your students the chance to see things that they wouldn’t be able to experience at school or online.
2. Take advantage of local businesses
While traditional field trips always provide great learning opportunities, thinking outside of the box can be a great idea. Why not call around or have your students write letters to local businesses asking for a private tour? Who knows, you might even be able to walk there and skip the expense and hassle of finding transportation.
3. Explore nature
Local nature preserves and outdoor areas can be a great place to explore and learn about the flora and fauna that is specific to your geographic area. Often groups are only charged a rate per vehicle, which would help to keep field trip costs down. Park rangers and other nature guides are usually on hand to offer facts and information about what the students are seeing. And when you’re finished looking around, you can set up a picnic.
4. Visit local farms
If you live in an area where there are ranches, farms or agriculturally-based businesses, it might be a good idea to consider setting up a tour of their facilities. Not only would this be an inexpensive field trip, but it would also offer students the chance to see how food and goods are created and distributed.
While field trips are often thought of as a chance for students to be entertained while getting hands-on learning experiences, these outings can also give kids the chance to contribute something to their world. Consider bringing a group of children to a local food pantry or nursing home. The students will love getting out of the classroom and the community will benefit from their kindness.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.