You’ve just been put in charge of organizing a class field trip. Are you filled with panic? Don’t be! With a little preparation and plotting, you can ensure the entire trip goes off without a hitch, all while keeping your students entertained, educated, and safe. If this is your first time as a trip organizer, here’s a selection of the best tips for orchestrating a field trip to help you get started.

1) Fill Out (and return) the Field Trip Paperwork

Even if your trip has been approved, there’s still paperwork you’re going to need to fill out and get approved by school administration. Students should have received and returned their parental consent forms. While paper forms are still in use, more schools are using digital forms and waivers, is yours?

2) Draft an Itinerary

Draft a trip itinerary outlining where you’re going, how you’re getting there. Typically you’ll travel by charter motorcoach, but if by chance you are using individual parent or chaperone cars, how will the vehicles be organized and assigned? , and is any equipment being brought along?), where the students will eat, the location of restroom facilities, and an hourly schedule. Leave a record behind to inform the school and take one along to ensure the itinerary is followed.

3) Do Field Trip Reconnaissance

Whether you’re visiting a museum, library, historical site, or nature preserve, go into the trip forewarned and forearmed. Visit the site a week or more in advance so you have a better idea of how to connect the event or exhibition with a lesson plan. If there are tours, take advantage of them, but imagine activities and conversation-starting questions that tie in with what you see and hear there. Ask the people in charge if they have preplanned lesson plans and activities you and your students can take advantage of.

4) Review Trip Details and Timing Before You Go

Students will be understandably excited to visit a new place, not to mention going somewhere new for the day. But make sure they understand that the school’s rules apply to the trip. Remind them to mind their manners, not to bring any unnecessary items, and to respect the rule and regulations of wherever they’re going. Be sure to explain how the trip addresses what they’re currently learning in the classroom.

5) Pack Smart

One of the last of the best tips for orchestrating a field trip is to build a field trip kit. Pack a first aid kit for minor bumps and scrapes, of course. Bring along contact information for each student and any administrators you might need to reach in case of an emergency. Also, name tags and markers, a walking rope for younger students, wet weather gear, trash bags and cleaning wipes, and a notebook pre-filled with questions and comments you can bring up during the event are all helpful items. Naturally, let your imagination soar and pack anything else that you think will add to students’ opportunity to learn something new.

Being put in charge of organizing a class field trip can be a nerve-racking experience. But don’t fear—follow these quick tips for orchestrating a school field trip.