Here you can find handy resources, a step-by-step guide to smooth out the booking process as well as FAQ’s and useful tips to make the process of organising and promoting your trip that much easier.
Make this your first port of call for pointers when launching your tour within your establishment, whether it’s your first school trip or your tenth. We can’t cover all of the hurdles you may encounter, but we have endeavored to provide answers for the most pressing questions we commonly hear from our Party Leaders, as well as providing materials that can help to save your time.
If you have any other queries, please make sure to contact your Sales Specialist or Tour Coordinator.
Party Leader Resources
We understand that in the early stages of booking a trip with a tour provider, it’s key to drum up interest for your trip within your establishment; first to be given the go ahead and then to get the numbers necessary to make it viable. Here you have direct access to Letter templates, Savings Cards and Forms, as well as links to promotional materials to help advertise your tour to pupils.
- Download a Template Letter to Headmaster >>
- Download a Template Letter to Parents >>
- Savings Cards – Manage receipt of payments from your group
- Download our Health & Safety booklet >>
- Download our Before you Go booklet >>
Download a Promotional Poster
Download a poster to advertise your trip. We have left areas for you to add in information about where you are going and when!
Download a Promotional Presentation
Click to download the Powerpoint suited to your trip. We have left areas for you to add in information and have added all popular subjects so you can delete the slides that are not applicable to your tour.
|General Presentation||Barcelona Presentation|
|Battlefields Presentation||Berlin Presentation|
|London Presentation||New York Presentation|
|Normandy resentation||Rome Presentation|
|Opal Coast Presentation||Paris Presentation|
7 Steps to a Successful Tour
Contact us to discuss your exact tour requirements with one of our Destination Specialists. They will provide you with a quotation – please be sure to check this thoroughly and ensure it meets your exact needs. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you require any amendments to be made.
Call on 01273 648 248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you are happy with the price and tour inclusions, we will make a no-obligation Provisional Booking. Depending on your destination and how far in advance you are planning, we will hold hotel beds and flight seats if necessary. Please allow us to reconfirm the cost before launching the tour to your students.
Next, gain approval to run the tour from your Head / Governors / LEA. The process will vary between establishments but in addition to our detailed quotation you will have be asked to provide Health & Safety and Risk Assessment information.
Equity is proud to be a member of the School Travel Forum, which regulates school tour operators for Health and Safety. We also hold the Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge.
Visit our website for full safety information and contact us regarding any questions you may have. Download our latest Health & Safety booklet now >>
It’s time to promote the tour to your students and to collect their first deposits. We usually require these within 2-3 weeks of the Provisional Booking date – if this is not feasible for you we will do our best to request an extension from our suppliers. Our Destination Specialists are happy to answer questions at any stage and we provide the materials to support you through the booking process. Check out Party Leader Resources for links to posters, template PowerPoint presentations and Savings cards.
Send us your initial deposits by cheque or BACS transfer. This must be accompanied by a completed electronic booking form – this form is the contract between the establishment and Equity and is essential for the administration of your booking. Please return this to your Sales Specialist by email when first deposits are sent. If we are booking flights with no-frills airlines we will also require a full passport names list with dates of birth at this stage. The required forms can be found on our website here or just ask us to email you a copy.
Your tour file will be passed to a specialist Tour Coordinator, who will guide you through all of your itinerary planning and assist with any your queries. They will send you a Confirmation Pack including full Health and Safety information and recommendations for your trip preparation. See alongside “Dates for your diary” – we will require timely payments and various items of documentation by specific deadlines to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of your tour. Your Final Itinerary and Tour Pack will be sent to you 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
Your Final Itinerary and Tour Pack will be sent to you 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
Dates for your Diary...
2-3 weeks from date of Provisional Booking
First deposits* and Booking Form to be received
8 weeks from date of Confirmed Booking
Second Deposits* to be received
16 weeks prior to departure
Final Numbers, Final Names Lists, Itinerary Requirements to be received
12 weeks prior to departure
Final balance* to be received
*If these dates fall within school holidays you must make provisions for advance payment. Any promotional offers may not be valid if payments are made after these due dates.
Depart on your tour! We are confident you and your students will have a superb and educationally enriching trip. Should you need emergency assistance whilst away, we are available on-call 24-hours a day.
Peace of Mind
ABTA (no. V5376)
Equity is a member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) which is dedicated to raising standards of quality, safety, service and financial security. You can be sure that when you book with us all of your arrangements will be in the best hands and you are protected financially by our ABTA bond.
ATOL (no. 2680)
For your complete peace of mind the air tour and flights are arranged by Equity are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. All our air tours and flights are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. If you are abroad with your party and an airline fails, our ATOL bonding ensures that we will get you home as quickly as possible.
Member of the STF (School Travel Forum) All full members of the STF adhere to a rigorous Code of Practice and Safety Management Standards that are extremely verified each year. Teachers using an STF Assured Member can be secure knowing that their travel partner:
- Understands and facilitates the needs of educational travel
- Manages safety effectively
- Offers fair terms and condition, and the best financial security
- Fully inspected every year by independent expert
The STF is the Awarding body for the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge for study, sports and cultural trips. The LOtC badge enables schools and youth groups to have confidence that the services offered provide maximum support and minimal paperwork.Read more about STF and the LOtC badge >>
Today, IATA's mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. Its members comprise some 240 airlines - the world's leading passenger and cargo airlines among them - representing 84% of total air traffic. The IATA accreditation means that we are allowed to issue tickets on behalf of scheduled airlines.
Who is eligible for concessions, and what do you offer?
Eligibility for concessions varies depending on a number of factors; including group size and destination - please ask your Sales Specialist / Tour Coordinator for specific information about your particular entitlements.
My payment due date falls in the school holidays, can we extend the deadline?
In order to ensure the smooth operation of your tour it is essential that all payments are received by the stated deadlines. If any due date falls within school holidays it is important to inform parents that payments will be collected before you break up.
What are your cancellation fees?
Please see the table below:
|Period before departure within which written notice of cancellation is received by us of your Travel Agent||Amount of cancellation charge shown as % of holiday price|
|More than 84 days||Full 1st and 2nd deposits as per schedule|
|35 - 84||70%|
|15 - 34||80%|
|8 - 14||90%|
|7 - Departure day or afterwards||100%|
What happens if my group numbers decrease?
Depending on the date of the cancellation, you will be charged the relevant cancellation fee as per the table above. If numbers fall below the quoted minimum group size, a small party supplement will apply.
What happens if my group numbers increase?
We will always endeavour to accommodate increases in group size. Please be aware that adding extra passengers may have overall cost implications, e.g. if additional flight seats are more expensive, or if a larger coach is required.
Can I bring extra adults, in excess of my free place ratio?
You are welcome to bring extra adults if you want to. Either these adults can pay for their place separately as paying passengers, or the cost can be divided across the students, increasing their overall tour price. Extra adult supplements may also apply, in addition to the basic tour price.
What is the difference between a Standard and Executive coach?
An executive coach will have a DVD player and W/C on board for emergency use; standard coaches do not normally have these facilities. Air conditioning will always come at a supplement regardless of coach specification, unless specifically included in your quote.
Can we use our coach whenever we like?
Yes, as long as the required coaching is in accordance with the driver’s regulated hours (which must be followed by law) and is as per your itinerary. Although most drivers are flexible to some degree, unplanned trips or stops are not always feasible, so please discuss your itinerary requirements thoroughly with your Sales Specialist / Tour Coordinator prior to departure.
I’ve found some cheap flights on the internet, can you buy those?
Group air fares differ from individual air fares. It is always much cheaper to buy one ticket individually than multiple tickets at once, and the cost of the tickets increases as more space on an aircraft is filled. This is why ticket prices which can be found online for individual travellers do not match what we are quoted for group travel. Any additional costs, such as booking fees, are also factored in to the overall tour price.
We’re departing in the next few weeks, is my rooming confirmed?
We always endeavour to inform groups of their rooming arrangements as soon as they are made available to us. Most accommodations are not able to finalise rooming arrangements until relatively close to departure, and in some instances stipulate that rooming will be allocated on arrival. In these cases we can usually provide a provisional rooming list, which may be subject to change.
There is a sample itinerary in my quote letter. Are all these excursions included in my quoted tour price?
A sample itinerary is our template, provided at the quote stage, which shows the potential structure of your tour. Excursions from sample itineraries are not included in the tour price, unless otherwise stated under the ‘inclusions’ section of your quote letter. If you do want specific excursions to be included in your tour price, please speak to your Sales Specialist.
What is meant by the term ‘bed share’?
In certain destinations, particularly America, the standard rooming arrangement is 4 people per room, sharing 2 double beds. Therefore, the default allocation is for people of the same gender to share a double bed. Although opting for bed share does minimise expense, we understand that it is not a suitable option for some schools and are happy to organise alternative rooming arrangements at a supplement.
Our breakdown of staff includes one male and one female. Will we be charged extra for single rooms?
Supplements always apply for single rooms. However, if you do know in advance that you will have a gender mix requiring single rooms then the cost can be incorporated into your tour price at the provisional booking stage. Please discuss this with your Sales Specialist.
My Local Authority has given me an External Provider form to complete. Who should I send it to?
Equity Tours are accredited members of the School Travel Forum (STF) and holders of the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge. This means that we are not required to complete individual County Council / Local Authority External Provider forms. To find out if your Local Authority accepts the LOtC badge, please visit the following website: http://www.oeap.info/find-an-adviser.Only in the event that your Local Authority does not accept the LOtC Badge will we complete individual forms. For more information, please contact your Tour Coordinator.
What free place ratio do you offer?
We offer standard free place ratios of 1:10 on air tours and day trips, and 1:8 on coach tours. These can be adjusted to suit your requirements.
What is meant by the term ‘bed share’?
n certain destinations the standard rooming arrangement is 4 people per room, sharing 2 double beds. Therefore, the default allocation is for people of the same gender to share a double bed. Although opting for bed share does minimise expense, we understand that it is not a suitable option for some schools and are happy to organise alternative rooming arrangements at a supplement.
What happens if another company offers me a cheaper price?
We offer ‘price matching’ and ‘price beating’ on like-for-like quotations, so if you send us the full quote we will match or beat any competitor’s price.
I am planning my tour more than a year in advance, will my price change?
We quote responsibly and always endeavour to ensure that the price you confirm on is the price you will pay. However, the price for any air tour that is quoted in advance will be subject to change until flight prices are released, approximately 11 months before your departure date. Where applicable, this is always stated clearly on our quote letters. For further information please refer to section 4 of our Terms and Conditions. .
Not what you were after? If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here please speak to your Sales Specialist or Tour Coordinator who will be happy to help.
The pitfalls of planning a school trip – our tips on how to avoid them
Struggling for numbers? How to increase your group size
1. Open the tour up to more year groups - lack of interest from one particular year group does not mean the trip has to be cancelled!
2.Cross Curricular tours – why not combine two or more subjects with a cross curricular itinerary and boost your numbers.
3. Promote your tour - we provide free promotional posters to advertise around school and powerpoint presentations to show in assemblies and at parent’s evenings, to show what the pupils will be getting for the money.
4. Join together with a school nearby – maybe a neighboring school is struggling with numbers or looking to save costs. Why not join forces and run a tour together?
5. Include a sample itinerary in your letter to parents – A sample itinerary brings the tour to life by listing your day by day activities, please ask your Sales Specialist who will happily provide this for you.
6. Add a city stopover to your ski trip – including a visit to these popular destinations is always a surefire way of pulling in bigger numbers. On a Ski Tour to the USA, stopovers in Boston, New York and San Francisco are very popular.
7.Add a day at a theme park to your tour – including a visit to these popular attractions is always a surefire way of pulling in bigger numbers.
8. Re-advertise the tour – you might find that some parents are in a better financial position than when the tour was originally launched, aim to launch the trip round your local areas pay days.
Check out the Party Leader Resources section of this pack for links to posters, template PowerPoint presentations and Savings Cards.
Is your price an issue?
1. We can reduce the tour by 1 day to avoid any disappointment and make the trip viable.
2.Take out an excursion and replace with a free or cheaper alternative, your Sales Specialist can provide you with expert advice and suggestions.
3. Travelling by coach rather than by air can sometimes reduce a tour price and cut out any extra coach/public transport costs in resort.
4. Change dates - if you are travelling by air, have your Sales Specialist check alternative departure dates or an alternative departure airport to see if this reduces costs.
5. Increase free place ratio by taking fewer free staff members and have 1 or 2 pay for the trip.
Anything else we can help you with? Call us on 01273 648 248 or email email@example.com