If homeschool days are not offered, group field trips are the next best thing to getting discounts! Majority of establishments will offer group/field trip discounts, and many have specific guidelines/requirements for homeschoolers. Some places you need a group for a trip, such as Pizza Hut or your local grocery store field trip program! Many places offer classes or other benefits when booked as a group.
First, you should join a local homeschool group or create one! Facebook is a popular way to have homeschool groups, you can share ideas, local events, form co-ops, and book group field trips!!!
Second, you will want a PayPal account. This just makes it THAT much easier to collect funds for field trips. I HIGHLY recommend collecting fees in advance!! At the very least collecting deposits! I don’t know what it is about homeschoolers, but is seems many have commitment issues! I’m not saying that to be mean or as an insult (I mean I am a homeschooler as well), but there is very little follow through without payment! (At least this has been my experience). This is especially important in cases where there is a minimum number of participants required, or if falling below a number will raise the price for others.
Sometimes it’s good to gauge interest before starting a reservation just to make sure that there is enough prospects. Keep in mind probably only 50% of those that say “YES, I’m interested” will actually follow through to the next phase of the planning. Because everyone’s schedule is different, many people can’t attend the scheduled day even if they showed interest in attending. I typically just aim to schedule the trip when it’s best for me…may sound selfish, but I am the organizer. If there is more than one day/time that could work, ask to see what others prefer. Doing so will increase the number of interested parties that will actually be able to attend.
Make payment deadlines, make sure to notify if no refunds or only partial refunds will be given. A way around this is for people who have paid to sell their spots if they can no longer attend. I know sometimes there are extreme circumstances and people can’t come…as intended…but if you had to pay a deposit, pay in advance or other similar situation you do not have the funds to give back. You have to be strict about this, or it can end up costing you! If you are upfront about this, people will understand.
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These FREE Group Field Trip Organizer sheets I made have all the details you need to organize a successful group field trip! You can share the first page with those attending so that they can have all the details in one spot as well (if you so wish).
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