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Keeping Isle of Wight School Trips Affordable

ED Squirrel worried about rising prices
"Cost of Living Crisis"

Keeping Isle of Wight School Trips Affordable

There's a lot of worrying news just now about the so-called "cost of living crisis" as the UK endures the uncertainties of a period of high inflation and probable recession.

We understand how important residential school trips are, and we're working with all of our partners and suppliers to ensure we are offering the very best value for money experiences here on the Isle of Wight.

If you'd love to visit but are struggling to justify the cost, talk to us and let's see what we can come up with together. Every single trip is 100% flexible and bespoke, so challenge us to meet your budget!

Coach trip of smiling school children in uniform on their way to the Isle of Wight
Accommodation and Meals

Easily the biggest element of a residential package, here's some of the things we're discussing with our accommodation providers to help keep a lid on cost increases:

  • minimising the number of occupied rooms
    • by (safely) increasing the number of students sharing bedrooms through the introduction of bunk beds or moving furniture around, we can limit the number of rooms needing heat and light
  • reducing the laundry burden
    • by asking visitors to bring their own towels for instance, we can reduce laundry costs for the provider
    • some lower-cost providers are asking students to bring pillowcases and/or duvet covers too
  • looking at ways to reduce catering costs
    • simple changes such as introducing more ambient and chilled options reduces the amount of cooking and reheating required
    • considering moving some or all meals to a "buffet-style" service reduces the number of waiting staff hours
    • swapping breakfasts from hot to cold items
    • asking visitors to bring reusable water bottles instead of requiring individually packed drinks in lunch boxes
    • improving ways of pre-ordering food options to reduce potential waste

Not all of these measures are being adopted by every provider - we will tell you in advance of any changes affecting your chosen hotel, campsite etc.




Transport

Coach and ferry operators have seen large increases in input costs due to the volatile price of fuel, so apart from lobbying government to help out, we're looking at:

  • utilising more coach providers that are based locally to our schools
    • this helps us reduce mileage costs and driving hours which should in turn result in lower coach costs
    • quality and safeguarding are our top priorities, so this expansion will be gradual and careful
  • timing departures to miss rush hour
    • where feasible we may ask schools to consider an earlier or later departure time to help avoid standing traffic, thus saving fuel and time
  • optimising ferry crossing times
    • ferry operators stagger their pricing based on demand; by being more flexible we can take advantage of cheaper crossing slots and pass on these savings to you



Activities

Many of our activity providers are also seeing large increases in costs such as staffing and energy. We want to continue to offer the broadest possible range of options however we are mindful that even just a couple of pounds increase here and there will soon add up to a big chunk of your overall budget. We are:

  • actively seeking out new low-cost opportunities
    • much of the Isle of Wight is an area of oustanding natural beauty (AONB) and we are surrounded by gorgeous beaches
    • nature is free, so we're expanding the range of outdoor activities that we can recommend for school groups and backing these up with learning materials such as our Coastal Trail, Arts & Literature Trail, Church Trail and Myths & Legends pack - all of which are free
  • working with providers to improve value-for-money
    • we're always talking to our partners about ways to make the most of what they already have
    • we have an annual face-to-face review process with our activity providers where we encourage them to provide special offers such as early booking discounts, free adult places and the bundling of optional extras in the ticket price
    • we're more likely to recommend activities that offer the best value for money in our opinion - they know this, and they want our business, which puts us in a good bargaining position!

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