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A Comprehensive Look at Planning One of Our Educational Travel Experiences

Organizing an educational CAS trip is no small feat. It requires meticulous attention to detail, a deep understanding of the relevant educational objectives, and a commitment to providing a transformative experience for students. As an educational travel company specializing in International Baccalaureate student trips, we take great pride in curating immersive and enriching journeys. 

Today we would like to share some insight from our Operations Manager, Kamila Repikova. Kamila is a hugely experienced member of the CAS Trips team, and her expertise and passion for understanding other cultures ensure our operations run smoothly. Her enthusiasm to ensure every CAS Trip creates an impactful experience is felt throughout our programming, and today we delve into the steps and details involved in bringing one of our trips to life.  

Plan early for the best results

Of course, every trip starts with an inquiry. As Kamila explains, the sooner we hear from you, the better positioned we are to provide the best possible travel experience. 

“The process of creating a CAS Trip involves initial communication with the school to understand their requirements and preferences. Accommodation is first secured, followed by detailed planning, logistics, and activities. We know that getting everyone organized well ahead of time is not always possible. Still, we suggest schools start planning as early as possible to allow for thorough preparations. Important components from several of our itineraries, such as visiting the UN in Geneva or Auschwitz in Krakow, simply cannot be arranged with little notice because they fill up in advance and require finalized name lists of the visitors.

Ideally, schools get in touch at the beginning of the school year to request a trip run at the end (or even next year). This is perfect because it gives us enough time to discuss all the details with the client and prepare everything needed.”

Last-minute inquiries can be accommodated, but early planning ensures more options and better quality service.

Tailoring the itinerary

Once the destination is determined, our team of travel experts sets out to create a comprehensive itinerary that maximizes learning opportunities. Each day is thoughtfully planned, balancing educational activities, cultural immersion, hands-on CAS experiences and free exploration. From interactive workshops and engaging seminars to meaningful community service projects, every experience is designed to spark curiosity and facilitate personal growth. A big part of what Kamila does is work directly with school representatives and teachers to understand how our itineraries can best serve them, 

“Every CAS Trip can be customized to meet each school’s specific needs and preferences. Accommodation, activities, and themes can be tailored, and special requirements, including inclusive trips, are taken into consideration.

When designing a CAS Trip, factors such as the school’s curriculum, learning objectives, and the age of students are considered. Flexibility is maintained to align with different approaches to the IB program and accommodate various educational needs. We have plenty of experience tailoring our plans to fulfill specific requests, such as service-focused trips, multi-city itineraries, theme-based programs, and accessibility for participants with mobility issues.”

Educational objectives and destination selection

In some cases, we also work with schools to help them select the perfect destination for their desired outcomes. By working with educators to identify learning objectives, we can ensure that the itinerary aligns with the curriculum and fosters holistic growth. As Kamila explains, “Each place we travel to naturally lends itself to various themes. Copenhagen is an incredible place to learn about urban sustainability, while Berlin is a remarkably vibrant historical destination. We incorporate a bit of everything on every trip, but, naturally, we highlight the strengths of each place.”

Expert local guides and educators

One of the hallmarks of CAS Trips’ educational trips is the inclusion of expert local guides and educators. These passionate professionals bring deep knowledge and firsthand insights, serving as invaluable student resources. They offer engaging commentary, facilitate discussions, and provide unique perspectives, enhancing the educational value of every experience. By fostering meaningful connections between students and local experts, we can cultivate a genuine appreciation for cultural diversity and global understanding. For Kamila and the rest of the team, this is something that sets our programming apart.

“I am really proud of how we collaborate with local experts and organizations to enhance the educational value of the trips. Local partners are selected based on their shared values, focus on positive impact and sustainability, and ability to provide unique insights. We have built robust ties with many incredible individuals and organizations around the world.”

Safety and support

Having local guides on staff for every trip also means that barriers to language, cultural customs, or local navigation never pose a problem if a hiccup occurs. Student safety and well-being are ensured through the presence of local trip leaders, reliable local partners, adherence to regulations and guidelines, and the availability of support from destination managers.

Kamila explains that it is normal to encounter unexpected situations when traveling with groups of young people, which is why we prepare for all possible outcomes. “We go above and beyond to ensure that comprehensive risk assessments are conducted for each aspect of the trip. From implementing strict safety protocols to providing 24/7 on-call support, we leave no stone unturned in ensuring a secure environment for students to learn and explore.

Reflection and post-trip learning

Another vital part of our approach is the understanding that the journey does not end when students return home. We have worked hard to emphasize the importance of post-trip reflection and learning. We provide tools and frameworks for students to process their experiences, encouraging them to reflect on their personal growth, share insights with peers, and take action in their communities. This reflection phase deepens the trip’s impact, empowering students to become active global citizens. Kamila and the team have worked hard to maximize this impact by developing CAS Trips-specific tools and approaches. 

“The impact of CAS Trips on students’ personal and academic development is evaluated through reflections during and after the trip. Feedback surveys and post-trip discussions with schools are conducted to gather valuable insights.”

Always evolving 

As we continue growing as a company, we are always looking for new places to explore with our student travelers. This tends to be a fairly organic process, and as Kamila explains, “It often happens that destinations choose us rather than the other way around. In general, though, destinations are chosen based on factors like potential, demand, and strong local contacts. We need strong ties in any place we visit to ensure all parties benefit. 

“I believe an important dynamic that sets us apart is the emphasis on the positive mutual impact between students and local communities,” she adds. “That is a huge part of what makes our travel experiences so memorable. Our commitment to curating exceptional educational journeys is exemplified through our attention to detail, collaboration with educators, and dedication to transformative experiences. By integrating educational objectives, destination expertise, logistical excellence, and a focus on student safety and support, we set a high standard for educational travel.”

Many thanks to Kamila for sharing her behind the scene perspective on how the magic of a CAS Trip comes together. Thanks to the meticulous planning she takes care of, along with the rest of the CAS Trips team, we are able to unlock the potential for students to gain profound insights, forge lifelong connections, and become inspired changemakers in an ever-changing world.

Get in touch to learn more and discover how we can help you plan a life-changing experience for your students in the upcoming school year!