Taking a group of students away on a trip can be a daunting prospect. Without the watchful eyes of parents and the disciplinary structure of their school, a sense of freedom can prevail. This freedom can lead to exciting new discoveries about their own abilities and personalities.
But being away from home and school can also lead to a pushing of the boundaries and some pretty foolish behavior. Here are seven foolish things your students are likely to do during travels, and what you can do to prevent them happening:
- Blow Their Budget on the First Day
This could be the first time that your students have ever been in charge of their spending money away from home. The less responsible among your group may end up blowing their budget on their own body weight in chocolate before the first day of your trip has even ended. If your students have brought money with them to spend on extras such as snacks and mementos, consider keeping hold of their cash in sealed plastic bags. That way you can offer your advice should they wish to spend it all at once.
- Lose Their Passport
A chaperone should keep all student passports in his or her possession. Copies should be made prior to travel and left with either the student or a second chaperone.
- Stay Up All Night So They’re Exhausted All Day
So you have a whole day of exciting activities planned for your school group but find that they’re all more interested in napping on the tour bus than engaging with the new destination they find themselves in? The novelty of sharing a room with friends can lead some students to spend most of their nights talking rather than getting some decent shut-eye. If your budget allows it, booking individual rooms or dorms with fewer beds can encourage a more restful night for your students.
- Get Lost
Make sure all students have the cell phone number of a chaperone and the address of your accommodation. That way they have a few ways to find your group should they get lost.
- Be Reckless With Their Internet Security
We all know that teenagers these days are glued to their smartphones. As a result, they’re likely to be looking for Wi-Fi connections wherever they find themselves. Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network can lead to smartphone viruses and even identity theft. Try to educate your students about internet security before you leave for your travels. Or consider signing them up to a VPN, an encrypted internet connection that will keep your students and their data completely safe.
- Make a Cultural Faux Pas
Cultural expectations vary from country to country. If you’re traveling abroad, teach your students a few basic phrases and educate them on the cultural norms of the country you will be visiting to avoid an embarrassing or offensive faux pas.
- Get Drunk
For some students, a school or group vacation without parents is seen as an opportunity to experiment and break the rules. This could mean getting hold of alcohol. Set up a meeting with students and their parents before you embark on your trip. Use this opportunity to lay down the ground rules for the vacation including the rules around alcohol consumption. Establishing the punishment for this kind of behavior at this point may also help to prevent it happening in the first place.
It’s impossible to prepare for every eventuality when you’re traveling with a group of students. However, a little forward planning can go a long way in protecting your students and their belongings in a new and exciting destination.
Sienna Walker is a staunch supporter of traveling and a huge fan of self-improvement literature. Working as a blogger and currently supporting BizDb, Sienna is always happy to share her thoughts and suggestions with others online.