Thinking of immersive travel with your school?

If you are thinking about offering your students the opportunity to play their part in becoming a global citizen, or you yourself want to make a difference, here are five tips for finding the right school trip provider:


Make sure that you thoroughly research potential organisations and ensure that they are operating in an ethical and sustainable way.


Ensure that they have a strategic, long-term plan in place for creating positive change and that this is designed to deliver maximum benefits to the host communities and not just their commercial endeavours.


Do they work in an equitable way with their host communities, or do they simply offer ‘help’?


Many companies claim to be ethical but struggle to back up their statements. Make sure that there are proper procedures in place for measuring their positive (and negative) impact and that they can provide information on this. Check for external accreditations and endorsements.

5.Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something you are unsure about or would like further clarification. Ethical companies should always be forthcoming with information so you can make an informed decision.

Accreditations –  what to look out for.

Who doesn’t love a ‘seal of approval’, ‘quality badge’ or ‘certificate’? But when it comes to school trips, what are they really worth and what should you look out for? If you look at any travel provider’s website, you’ll soon spot the additional logos that highlight various accreditations.

Educational visit providers obviously want schools and parents to have confidence in their ability to provide an exceptional experience and they engage with external agencies to hold themselves accountable to the standards of quality and safety required. While some of the accreditations are broad and recognised globally, others are more specific to school visits, groups of people and even places, however they should all demonstrate a commitment to walking the walk, not just talking the talk.


The Student Educational Travel Organisation (SETO) Membership of SETO is a hallmark of competence and integrity for tour operators and travel wholesalers that supply product for Australian students travelling all over the world within the education sector. Its members include specialists who work in conjunction with education departments, schools and retail travel agents to make the student’s journey, no matter how big or small, a better and safer experience.

The World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) ‘Safe Travels’ badge shows that a provider adheres to a generic set of standards that are recognised as consistent with the wider industry’s best practice. These are informed by influential organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge for Overseas Expeditions, is an example of a more specific accreditation where providers are inspected by external, impartial observers regularly to ensure everything they do from point of sale to post-return conforms to best practice in the industry and specifically with school groups. While it’s a UK accreditation created by the Expedition Provider’s Association (EPA), it’s a reliable indication of a company committed to incredibly high standards. The inspection regime includes ‘corporate compliance’ with BS:8848.

LOtC Quality Badges can also be awarded for providers of all other types of school travel and visits, with the assessment criteria and inspection being performed by the relevant, representative trade association. For example, the School Travel Forum (STF) are responsible for setting the standards for ski trips amongst others.

BS8848 logo

British Standard 8848 (BS:8848) is a set of standards related to the delivery of specific types of educational visit. Providers and organisations can self-assess against the standards or achieve ‘corporate compliance’ via an external assessor awarding body.

Join Camps International in driving positive change, delivering learning opportunities and equipping impoverished communities with the tools they need to achieve long-term sustainability and prosperity.

You may also be interested in