Planning your school trip to New Zealand


Organising a school trip overseas is a huge task, even if you do intend using the services of a local specialist once you get to your destination. The following suggestions will make your job easier and less stressful, especially if you've never run your own school trip before.

  1. Begin your planning in plenty of time: six months is the suggested minimum. Decide where you'd like to go and what you'd like your students to gain from the experience. Run the idea past your colleagues, principal and school board as necessary to see if the idea has their support. Discuss your approximate budget, target group, which subject areas to address, type of accommodation you'll use (We recommend hostels as being great value for money and more student friendly. Teachers are accommodated in separate twin rooms with en suite bathrooms where available.) Ask for an indicative quote from us and find out what airfares are likely to cost.
  2. Talk to the student year levels you'd like to join the trip, mentioning dates and approximate cost to gauge the level of interest. Remember that initial enthusiasm doesn't necessarily translate into signing up, but it at least signals that you should go further. Choosing dates that don't clash with exams or other big school events is self-evident, but it's also worth checking what other overseas trips your school might be planning during the same period. Groups of 25 to 35 gel well on tour and are easier to manage while also costing less per head than small groups. Price per head reduces up to a group size of 45 including teachers after which there's no budgetary advantage to making the group bigger. Let us know if you want us to build all accompanying teacher costs into the pricing. Typically schools send up to 1 adult per 10 students on tour.
  3. Once you've got this far, set up a promotional evening for parents and students. We can provide a presentation with details of Learning Journeys as a company and New Zealand and lots of photos to whet their appetite. At the same time, hand out copies of the itinerary and a letter summarising key details with a request for expressions of interest and a deposit (say 10 to 20 % of the total cost) and a timeline for the payment of the balance of the trip cost. Your letter should also mention any need for clothing or equipment the students may not possess: good walking boots for example or a warm, seriously water proof jacket.
  4. Once you have enough deposits to be sure the trip will go ahead, confirm your booking, which will generally involve paying a deposit to the company who will run your tour. We ask for 10% at this point or 25% if your departure date is less than 3 months ahead.
  5. Having confirmed your booking, you can now expect to receive more planning paperwork: more detailed destination information, gear lists, RAMS forms, worksheet drafts... At this stage you can fine tune your itinerary: the first cut may have include optional or alternative activities and the educational programmes are also likely to include a choice of activities. If your school is a state school, your choice of adventure activities may depend on running these past government departments who will approve them or otherwise.
  6. Now it's just a matter of building anticipation among the group, addressing relevant curriculum related topics in class, collecting further payments as deadlines draw near. We'll ask you for student details, including dates of birth, heights, shoe sizes if they'll be hiring, say, ski equipment. We'll provide finalised itineraries with times and details of activities. You'll receive a master copy of the worksheets (if you want them) with as much or as little input from you as you want.
  7. Students, as you're sure to know, will need frequent reminders about all aspects of their preparation for the trip. Suitable clothing is key. Teenagers who live in warm countries, or even colder ones, are likely to need convincing that they really do need that warm, waterproof jacket to ensure that they'll still enjoy what they're doing if the weather turns bad. Preparation for physically demanding aspects of the tour - hiking or even skiing/boarding also requires lots of reminders. Every communication with students needs to be copied to parents, especially meeting times and places for your final departure.
  8. Once you're on the plane, your biggest challenges will be complete. Once you reach New Zealand, we'll meet you as you come through the arrivals gate, then, apart from your supervisory role with the students, you can relax and enjoy yourself.
  9. Throughout this build up period, if there's anything we can do to make your job easier, just ask. Our role is not just to provide you and your students with a fabulously memorable and educational experience, but also to make your role as teacher in charge as painless as possible.
School tours to New Zealand  .
  1. Making Booking Easier

    Making Booking Easier

    We recognise the level of commitment and the hours of work involved in planning, organising and taking a group of young pupils or older students away on an educational visit. 

    That’s why our aim at Learning Journeys  is to provide you with the very best service available, to make your life as easy as possible. 

    In this section of our website, we’ve included lots of information we think you will find useful when planning your next trip. If you have any questions at all about please contact our friendly and helpful team. 
    So firstly, where exactly is New Zealand, how big is it and how do you get there? Some basic
     facts about New Zealand. 
    Before you decide to request a quote, you need to do some basic planning and make some decisions, then... Getting the Best Quote
    Finally you know when you want to come to New Zealand, what you want to do and who's coming with you... Booking your Trip  

    Contact us - Student tours to New Zealand

  2. New Zealand - Basic Facts

    New Zealand - Basic Facts

    A brief overview for visitors

    Getting there – New Zealand has excellent connections to the rest of the world with many major airlines providing direct or code share services (including Air New Zealand, British Airways, Qantas, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Air Canada, Continental, United, American Airlines). Most of these flights terminate in Auckland but some connect to Wellington and Christchurch

    Getting around – New Zealand is about the size of Great Britain (though it only has about 4 million people) so distances must be considered when planning your trip. The country has two main islands, the North and the South Island. The largest city, Auckland is in the north of the North Island, and Wellington, the capital is in the south of the North Island. Christchurch which is about the same size as Wellington is about a third of the way down the east coast of the South Island.

    Both islands have an excellent road network and most travel between towns is by coach. Air New Zealand provides a regional air service linking most provincial centres. There is also a ferry service between the Wellington and Picton (at the top of the South Island).

    Medical facilities and emergency help – All main centres have excellent hospitals and emergency facilities. For serious conditions, patients are likely to be transferred by road or air to the larger hospitals in the main centres. All medical care as a result of an accident is covered by ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) but you are strongly recommended to take out travel insurance.

    Safety – By international standards New Zealand is a safe country to travel in. There is of course crime, like any place in the world and it is important to look after valuables, especially in hostel type accommodation. The country side is very safe as there are no dangerous animals such as snakes.

    Climate – New Zealand is a long skinny country with the Pacific to the east, the Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean to the west, the Antarctic Ocean south and the Coral Seas some way north. The climate is generally temperate and mild, with winters in the South Island generally being colder than in the North Island. Citrus fruit and grapes are grown on both Islands, and both Islands have glaciers. Summers are very pleasant and the winters provide ample opportunities for skiing on both islands.

    Population – There are just over 4 million people in New Zealand and of these about 3.2 million live in the North Island, mostly from the Central North Island north to Auckland. Of the 900,000 who live in the South Island, almost half of them live in the Christchurch area. 

  3. Getting the Best Quote

    All you need to do to get a quote for your group is 
    Contact us today

    We are experts in educational group travel and confident that you’ll find our service and our prices hard to beat! We are also Qualmarked and a member on ITOC (Inbound Tour Operators Council)

    If you haven’t yet decided on exactly what you want to do or achieve whilst you are visiting New Zealand, talk to us first. We’ll help you consider the alternatives, give useful advice and compare likely costs, so you can make an informed decision. 

    Help us to help you! Student tours to New Zealand - Mirror Lake, South Island Here’s some pointers on what information to have at hand when making your enquiry; 
    Preferred trip (if known)
    Preferred departure dates and duration
    Likely group size    
    Approximate ages of the group
    Purpose of your visit including subject focus.
    Date when you aim to get approval for your visit
    Approximate date when you want to start promoting to your students
    These will help us better meet your needs and speed up the process to getting you just what you want for your group. 

    A little flexibility can save £$£’s 
    If you’re at all flexible with your travel dates, you could save your pupils £$£’s on the cost of their visit. Depending on your destination and time of year, moving your travel dates to a different week, or in some cases by a day or two, can reduce the cost of the different components that make up your overall trip. 

    Please ask us for advice and details on how we can help you. 

  4. Booking Your Trip

    Booking Your Trip

    Quick Guide 

    Booking with Learning Journeys is easy and hassle free. 

    We are with you every step of the way, providing advice and making all necessary arrangements whilst you are in New Zealand

    1. Get Your Quote 
    Please contact us initially using our contact form and we will then get back to you to discuss your requirements. We will then send you a full quote to consider plus lots of useful information on arranging your group visit. 

    2. Make a Provisional Reservation 
    Once you’re happy with an agreed itinerary and without any obligation on your part, we will create a provisional reservation for your group. This means we will hold all necessary transport and accommodation giving you time to promote the trip, firm up on actual numbers and collect deposits. 

    3. Confirm the Booking 
    When you’re ready to commit, you send us your booking form and deposit of 25% for the group. We will confirm all arrangements back to you. In liaison with you, we will book and arrange every aspect of your itinerary in as little or as much detail as you wish. You will also receive a payment schedule for the remaining balance. 

    4. Final Payments 
    The final balance is due 30 days prior to your arrival in New Zealand.