Taking your group abroad can seem daunting but with lots of time to plan and plenty of resources at your fingertips, it really doesn’t have to be.
Here are our top tips for planning your international trip:
1.Start planning early
We suggest planning your trip a good year in advance. Not only will it mean we can help secure availability for your group in the destination you wish to visit but it will also give your group plenty of time to plan and fundraise; the earlier you get the dates out, the more people you’ll get signing up and the more time you’ll have to plan successful fundraising events!
It also means you can work with us at a nice and easy pace to get all of the elements of your trip in place. We know that as volunteers, your time is precious and so we suggest you make it easy on yourself and spread the planning out as much as possible!
We will send out key dates when we require various pieces of information so make sure that your group are aware of these so that they can plan their bit – there’s nothing more stressful than a passport that may or may not arrive in time!
2. Ask, ask, ask!
We are a resource to be used, so don’t feel that you’re on your own. We are always more than happy to discuss your tour at any stage and we can also arrange to come out and see groups who may have questions.
3. Get your Risk Assessments underhand
We have generic risk assessments but we recommend that groups also do their own risk assessments. These should be regularly reviewed, even on the day of the activity. All of our adventurous activities have been audited in line with national guidelines but remember that some countries have different levels of health and safety than we do in the UK. We have some great resources on our website to help with this: https://www.ventureabroad.co.uk/risk_assessments.php.
4. Read the insurance policy
We include insurance as standard in our tour prices (which means no hidden costs!). We make sure that the policy covers most people’s needs but everyone is different so we recommend you read the policy to check you are happy with it!
5. Use the resources to hand
Your International Commissioner should be able to support you with your planning. If he/she has any questions, then we are more than happy to help!
6. Communicate well with parents
Getting parents on board early on will make your planning journey a whole lot easier. Make sure parents are well informed by holding a parent’s evening to launch your tour. We can happily come out and help with the presentation! It might be a good idea to set up a social media page so you can easily share trip updates with parents.
7. Involve your members in programme planning
Get the input of your group so that it doesn’t feel like it’s just you making all of the decisions! When it comes to activities, ask your group what they’d like to do on their trip. They’ll be excited to have a say and it will drum up more enthusiasm for their fundraising efforts if they know the money is going towards their favourite activities!
8. Share your experiences
Share your experiences with others so that you can become a source of advice, inspiration and support for them! Post about your trip on social media, send out press releases to local newspapers and submit your story to Scouting Magazine or Girlguiding Magazine. Leaders may then come to you for advice and no doubt it’ll encourage new members to join your section when they read all about the exciting adventures you do! It’s great to share best practice with other groups and help others to have similar experiences.
For more advice and support, contact our team on 01332 342 050!