Keeping Trip Costs Low

May 9, 2023

We know student travel is well worth the cost, but that doesn’t mean we want our students to pay premium prices.

Student travel should be accessible, whether it takes fundraising for families who can’t afford it or doing what you can to keep costs down—we suggest both. At a time when prices for just about everything are rising across the board, travel is no exception.

So to make sure your trip can still happen, let’s take a look at a few top tips for keeping costs low.

Plan early as possible. While no one can forecast exactly how inflation is going to affect things, we can be pretty sure we’re not going to see those prices drop dramatically in the near future. If you book early, your rates for flights, motorcoaches and hotels are going to be locked in with your tour operator and other suppliers. Booking earlier also means a better selection for everything from rooming to transportation, and the assurance you’ll actually be able to get the dates you need, since demand is so high.

Communicate with parents early. With all the new concerns the pandemic brought, including inflation outpacing wages, parents need time to get comfortable with a trip mentally and financially. If they can start paying in small amounts months (ideally a fully year or more) ahead of time, it’s much more manageable.

Travel off-peak. Just like getting married on a weekday, prices are always going to be lower when you do it in a time when demand is lower. While spring and summer are often peak travel times, fall trips are a great way to welcome students back from break, and tend to see more participation alongside the lower prices and wide availability. Not to mention smaller crowds everywhere you go!

Carpool as much as you can. Especially when it comes to motorcoaches, you’re not paying per seat filled (like a plane), but for the whole bus. Every person you have on that bus is another person to help split the bill. If your student group isn’t large enough, consider inviting more chaperones/parents—or better yet, try to reach and invite another group from the school. If you want, you can open the trip to any student who wants to join.

Work with a SYTA Tour Operator. When you have a company that’s been in the business for years and has developed real relationships that lend credibility, they have leverage in the form of both influence and buying power. They can work with suppliers and attractions to get you lower prices, better accommodations and even VIP treatment. A trusted tour operator will help you find the best prices across the board.

This story originally appeared in the May 2023 issue of Teach & Travel.