Making school trips more affordable

Many children will miss out on school trips due to tightening budgets. Here are some ideas to help make residential adventures more affordable.

Cutbacks being made by many schools, due to the unprecedented rises in utility costs and tighter budgets, may deprive children of one of the most memorable learning experiences in their academic life: the school trip. In particular, the character development benefits and ‘rite of passage’ aspects of school trips are vital learning opportunities many children will miss out on. But that doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to make school trips more affordable and cost effective, here are some worth considering.

Kingswood’s bursary scheme and hardship fund

We recognise the difficulties some families and often entire school groups have in giving children the opportunity to go on a school trip. It’s so important to us that every child, regardless of their status or background, has the opportunity to experience a Kingswood residential and has the chance to access all the vital outdoor learning opportunities and personal growth benefits that come with it. We are proud to announce that financial support is available for entire groups of young people living and growing up in the most deprived neighbourhoods within England, and individuals who either face financial hardship or are affected by serious illness, either personally or through a parent or carer.

Contact a member of our team for further information, by making an enquiry here

Make the trip cross-curricular

By broadening the criteria of a school trip, head teachers can appeal to a wider selection of students and gain from larger group discounts. Having larger groups could also maximise coach space, which will reduce travel costs. It’s worth taking into account the group size needed to really make these savings and use that as a way of planning which school groups to invite to take part.

Kingswood brings to life many fields of study, for example, geography and orienteering activities; English and poetry/diary writing about experiences; maths and calculations around velocity of activities, and history with historic Kingswood destinations as sites of interest etc. Consolidating learning after a residential and utilising this for lesson planning throughout the year also extends the value of a trip, and really embeds learning.

Choose somewhere closer to home

With 11 centres UK-wide, there is most probably a Kingswood centre within a few hours of many schools. Saving on UK adventures rather than far-flung destinations, will certainly create savings. The all-inclusive aspect of residentials removes the need to spend on local restaurants and excursions. This will really save money in the long-run, as well as reduce hassle and planning time.

Coach travel and filling every seat will really bring a quote down. As we partner with Brittania Coach Services, their knowledge of our sites and range of coaches available are hugely beneficial, for example, providing smaller coaches to make trips as cost effective as possible.

Visit us off-peak

Our peak months are the summer months, when a residential adventure for many is also an end-of-year reward. As so many schools and groups visit us during the summer months, from the end of May to July, it’s typically our peak operating season. Considering an off-peak residential at the start of the academic year, for example, can create much-needed savings, and is also a great way to set the tone for the year ahead.

Read about the top five academic benefits of off-peak school trips here

Look for charitable donations

Organisations locally, such as, rotary clubs and parish churches, may have funds available to help contribute towards a school trip, particularly if there are children who wouldn’t be able to attend without financial support. For many, the trip must meet a range of criteria including proven learning outcomes and transferable skills that will contribute to a young person’s personal development/academic attainment. Evidence found with Kingswood’s confidence tracker, feedback and statistics – all accessible to support schools in their fundraising efforts.


Why not set the students a fundraising target to achieve, and provide them with some ideas to raise funds? For example, a sponsored silence, car washing, a school-wide cake sale/bake off event, running errands for friends and family etc. The target doesn’t need to be unrealistic but could add-up with lots of students getting involved. Larger events, such as, hosting parties through a Parent Teacher Association could also be a great way to raise funding.  

Get in touch

Our experience experts can provide date and destination recommendations to help keep costs as low as possible, and are able to provide further information about Kingswood’s bursary scheme. Get in touch for a quote here