How to choose the right provider for your school trip

Choosing a school trip provider for your school residential can be daunting, especially if you have never organised a school trip before. Over the last thirty years, lots has been done to make this easier for teachers and Acorn has been at the forefront of driving up standards and communication in the industry so that schools can make the best choices for their pupils.

Read on to see our top tips...


  • Choose a provider who has the LOtC Quality Badge. This accreditation has been carefully designed to help schools identify quality and safe provision, and to reduce red tape when planning educational visits. It incorporates existing safety standards for all types of activity and combines learning and safety into one easily recognisable accreditation for all organisations providing learning outside the classroom experiences. It ensures that the company you choose has strict risk management and child protection procedures in place and that there are clear learning objectives- to name but a few of the benefits. 
  • Consider whether you are getting value for money. Price has been voted one of the top considerations when selecting a school trip, with most keen to make trips affordable for all. However, the cheapest price isn't always the best value so it is always important to look at the price quoted and check there are no `hidden extras`. Some providers like to quote a cheap price to make the trip look attractive, but it may exclude some key features you would expect to be included. Sometimes a price may seem cheap when looking at alternative options, but it may mean you are getting less, such as fewer nights, less activities, no organised evening entertainment. There may be extra meals to budget for and your price may or may not include transport. Also, accreditations cost a lot of money. Make sure your provider has all the necessary accreditations to give you the quality you expect as well as the price.
  • Consider the type of experience you are looking for. There are many providers out there, but what type of experience do you want for your group and what kind of service would you like to receive? Choosing a reputable company with experience is always the best option as you know they will have been working with and listening to teachers for years and can offer you a service you would expect. But also think about the type of activities on offer and the locations they take place in.
  • Choose a company that is ABTA and ATOL bonded. Taking other people's money for a school trip is a big responsibility. Choosing a provider who is ABTA and ATOL bonded means that their money is protected from moment you send the first deposit. This peace of mind takes all the financial concerns away from the school. There have been cases where schools have booked trips with companies who don't have this in place and have had to refund parents out of school funds.
  • If you still aren't sure, ask the provider you are keen to book with, if you can speak to someone who has travelled with them recently. This means you get to find out about the actual experience of another school and consider whether this is the type of trip and service you would like for your school. Recommendation is reassuring and any company who has confidence in their delivery will happily give you this opportunity. 

We hope this has helped you plan your next school trip! 

What Acorn offers:

  1. Acorn is an LOtC Quality badge holder.
  2. We publish all of our prices and clearly communicate what's included and what isn't. There are no hidden extras. Acorn is widely known as one of the best value providers in the adventure industry, with many booking because the prices are so attractive and then re-booking because the trip itself is such great value. 
  3. Acorn is a small, teacher owned company with 35 years of experience. You will have one contact in the office who will support you all the way through your trip and a Village Manager during your trip taking care of you throughout. We offer 24 hour telephone support throughout your trip and work hard to provide a personal service, tailored to you. Our centres are small and friendly, with each group having their own living and dining space to create a real sense of community. Our programmes take place in mainly real environments to heighten the adventure experience and promote the outdoors to young people in the best possible way. We are fully accredited and have an excellent reputation.
  4. We are ABTA and ATOL bonded, meaning your money is always secure.
  5. We are happy to put you in touch with any of our customers so you can have full confidence that our trips are right for you.