School trips

Types of trips

There are many options when planning a school trip but there are common elements to each one.

The main costs for a day or evening trip is the cost of the activity itself and the cost of the transport.

For overnight stays, there is also the cost of the accommodation. And for trips abroad, exchanging currencies also needs to be considered.

A visit to the theatre


The English department plans to take the whole of Year {9} to watch a performance of 'Romeo and Juliet'. The theatre is in a town {45} miles away. Use the following information to plan the times and costs for the trip to the theatre:

  • There are {130} students in Year {9}
  • There must be at least one teacher for every {15} students
  • Each coach can carry a maximum of {50} passengers
  • The coach will take {1} hour and {30} minutes to travel to the theatre
  • The performance starts at {2.00pm}, and everyone needs to be seated {15} minutes beforehand
  • The performance, including an interval, is approximately {2} hours and {30} minutes
  • The tickets cost \pounds{9} per pupil (teachers don't have to pay)
  • The cost of each coach is \pounds{150} for the journey to the theatre and back
  • The price of the trip is to be shared equally between the students (into whole pounds)

Consider these questions:

  1. How many teachers will need to accompany the students on the school trip?
  2. How many coaches will be required?
  3. What time should the coaches depart from the school?
  4. When will the coaches arrive back at the school after the performance?
  5. What is the total cost of tickets for the performance?
  6. What is the total cost for hiring the coaches?
  7. What is the cost of the visit per pupil?
  1. For {130} students, the English department will need to ensure that {9} teachers accompany the students ({130}\div{15}={8.67}).
  2. With {139} students and staff in total travelling to the theatre, {3} coaches will be required ({139}\div{50}={2.78}).
  3. The coaches should depart no later than {12.15pm} in order to arrive at the theatre at {1.45pm}, allowing \frac{1}{4} hour before the performance is due to start for everyone to get off the coaches and into the theatre seats.
  4. The performance is due to end at {4.30pm}. Therefore, allowing \frac{1}{4} hour for everyone to get on the coaches, the coaches should arrive back at the school at {6.15pm}.
  5. The cost of the tickets for the performance is: {130}\times\pounds{9}=\pounds{1,170}
  6. The cost of the coaches is: {3}\times\pounds{150}=\pounds{450}
  7. The total cost of the trip is: cost of the tickets (\pounds{1,170}) + cost of the coaches (\pounds{450}) = \pounds{1,620}. The cost per pupil will be: \pounds{1,620}\div{130}={12.4615} =\pounds{13}

This is a case where we need to round up, otherwise there will be insufficient money to cover the cost of the trip if the answer is rounded to the nearest pound.

When attempting a solution to an extended task (such as the one above), remember to show all your workings and explain what you have calculated.

School trips abroad

Converting currencies

When changing from one currency to another make sure you know whether to multiply or divide by the exchange rate.

If you are given the exchange rate from pounds to euros:

  • you multiply by the exchange rate when you are changing pounds to euros
  • you divide by the exchange rate when you are changing back into pounds
Diagram of a pound coin, and an euro coin

Ali is going on a school trip to Paris. He needs to exchange pounds for euros before leaving.

When changing pounds into euros, the exchange bureau can only supply euros in notes. The lowest value note is the {5}~{euro}.

If the exchange rate is \pounds{1}={1.24}~{euro}, how many euros would Ali receive for \pounds{300}, and how much change will he get?

Value of \pounds{300} in {euros} ={300}\times{1.24}={372}

Ali will receive {370}~euros.

This will cost: {370}\div{1.24}=\pounds{298.3871}

Ali will pay \pounds{298.39} for {370}~euros, and will receive \pounds{1.61} in change.

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