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10 Field Trip Tips for Teachers

Destination Education by Watermark loves working closely with teachers to plan successful field trips for their students. With thousands of students joining us annually for field trips, we've developed a list of 10 tips to make the planning process easier and ensure the field trip is a big hit with students and parents!

  1. Transportation reservations typically require at least two months notice. Even if your choice in field trip is available for your preferred date, your buses might not be. It's important to allow plenty of time to reserve your buses.
  2. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Do your best to remind your students to eat breakfast before they venture out for their field trip so they can stay focused on the experience and not their lunchtime.
  3. In the weeks leading up to a field trip, get permission slips from every student’s family. Be sure that it includes a telephone number where guardians and parents can be reached on the day of the field trip.
  4. Solicit the help of parents and grandparents to be chaperones well in advance. Working parents will need advanced notice to request the time off of work. We suggest at least one chaperone per group of 20 students. Provide them with a checklist if possible and tell them about specific rules or expectations for the day. Give each chaperone your cell phone number.
  5. Notify your Group Tour Specialist or Field Trip Coordinator of any special needs including wheelchairs, disabilities and hearing impairments.
  6. Ask your field trip site if they have pre or post field trip activities that can connect classroom learning to the field trip content. The value of a field trip grows when the students can correlate it to their lessons at school.
  7. If students are bringing their own lunches, collect all lunches in a box or bin so students do not have to carry their lunches during the field trip. Be sure to coordinate lunch drop off with your field trip site in advance.
  8. Long bus trip? If you think your students will need a bathroom break immediately upon arrival, discuss this in advance so there is plenty of time for a bathroom stop before the field trip begins.
  9. Photos and phones. If you're planning to ask your students to take photos during their field trip, discuss this with your Group Tour Specialist first. Depending on the logistics and security restrictions, taking photos during a field trip may not be possible or may become distracting. A suggestion: ask the tour guide to point out a few key times for photo ops; phones stay put away the rest of the field trip.
  10. If the trip is outdoors, make sure students know to dress appropriately. Regardless of location, students and chaperones should wear comfortable clothes and shoes, weather appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Bonus tip: Choose a field trip that is educational and fun!

Learn more about preparing for a Destination Education by Watermark field trip in the Learning Tools section of our educational website,