The Forgotten Thrills of School Trips

You reach a certain age in life where you become accustomed to traveling. Whether it’s different cities or locations in your own country, or even going abroad, the novelty of visiting places starts to wear off with experience and factors brought on by adulthood e.g. actually having to pay for it; booking holiday at work; having to deal with moaning children (and partners…); etc.  

But let me take you back to a time when the excitement was fresh; when four days away from your parents was the biggest adventure of a lifetime; when getting on a coach was like jumping into a space rocket bound for mars. I am, of course, talking about the forgotten thrills of school trips.

No Parents

“Hopefully, you were fortunate enough to get on with your teachers and the next week would be a breeze.”

Organised trips, in general, are had quite early on in the school experience, but for the sake of this post, we’re going to be focused on the residential trips that are had between the ages of eleven to sixteen. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of these trips? No parents for four whole days!

Sure, there were teachers and assistants, but they aren’t your parents; you know, the people who probably paid for this trip and will get nothing except a keyring they’ll never use in return? Yeah. 

Hopefully, you were fortunate enough to get on with your teachers and the next week would be a breeze. If not, well, some might say that your parents would have been a preferable alternative.

All you needed was your friends and the prospect of adventure.

4 Days With Your Best Friends

“… and the potential to make incredible memories.” 

This was your chance to explore the world outside of your hometown.

If going away without your parents wasn’t at the top of your list, that’s probably because spending the next 4 days with your best friends was. It was quite likely the first time you’d all spent time away together from your everyday life; your boring hometown; your nagging parents; the monotony of school. It was a big deal and the potential to make incredible memories (and as much lawful trouble as possible).  

In retrospect, it’s actually a little sad to think that many of us are no longer in contact with the people, who at one time, we considered our closest circle. This is the perfect time to dig out the old photos, share that life-changing story on your Iternal timeline and reconnect with your long-lost friends!

Traveling To A New Place

“Your real objective was to sit next to your crush…”

Nothing got you excited for a school trip like hearing the stories from the older students about the place you were going. Whether it was a different region of the country or a new country altogether, for many pupils it was their first real time away from home and the excitement of experiencing something entirely new was enough to keep you up all night the night before you left. 

The first mission of any school trip traveling experience? Securing the back of the coach for you and your gang of friends. It was a first-come, first-served kind of service and was only really vital for the initial voyage; after that your real objective was to sit next to your crush…

If you had a similar view, you were officially one of the coolest kids on the trip.

Sitting Next To Your Crush Whenever Possible

“… and that first kiss; well, you might as well be married now”

I think we all hoped for a scene like this…

Speaking of crushes; there truly was no better way of getting a budding teenage romance off of the ground than a secondary school residential trip. True, you could also spend 4 days desperately trying to get your sweetheart’s attention and fail miserably while attempting to compete for their affection; but this was the worst-case scenario.  

The novelty; the excitement; the potential of some sort of fairy tale love story; all these factors fed into the success rate of your potential getaway romance and why you just HAD to sit next to your prospective girlfriend/boyfriend at ANY and ALL available opportunities. Handholding was essential in making your mark and that first kiss; well, you might as well be married now.

Deciding Who You Were Going To Room With

“What if the teachers chose your rooms for you?!”

Now of course this should be easy, but what if you’re in a big friend group and couldn’t fit everyone in? What if the teachers chose your rooms for you? How close were you going to be to your crush’s room (not that anyone dared to actually leave theirs)? What if you were so popular that you had warring factions both pushing you to room with them? 

Nine times out of ten, however, everyone was happy with the result and the late-night chats, plans for the next day, and talking about each other’s crushes helped cement these friendships for what could have been a lifetime.

Who you chose as your room mates was a true test of friendship.

Planning To Sneak Away (And Never Doing It) 

“It’s safe to say that these master plans were very rarely executed”

The day trip to the zoo was the perfect place to base your ‘plan’ around.

No residential trip was complete without some completely flawed plan to escape the general population at some point of the trip. This could take place in many forms: you might decide to break away in a museum or guided tour; you could devise a way to leave the hostel and galavant for the day; you might even get brave enough to visit the other dorms during the evening. 

It’s safe to say that these master plans were very rarely executed. If it wasn’t the pure fear of being caught and sent home, it was that the teachers were actually more vigilant than we probably gave them credit for. Getting caught in someone else’s dorm – especially one of the opposite gender – was a sure-fire way to be tied to a teacher’s hip for the remainder of any trip.

Nostalgia sure is sweet and the memories of youth it brings back are even sweeter. So, what do you think? Did this post flood you with memories of your own experiences? Let us know on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages, and give us a follow while you’re there. Remember to check out our blog for more nostalgia trips!

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