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AIBU to not want to pay £5k for a school trip?

(446 Posts)
Lincspeeps Tue 08-Oct-19 14:54:11

In short, DD's school are running a trip to South Africa in 2021 - safari, time in Madagascar, trekking, social responsibility work etc.

Problem is, its £4.5k plus spends and optional extras - the safari being one. So, with insurance, visas, inoculations etc it'll be five grand and more.

DD's three best friends are all going and we, at a massive stretch, could probably afford it BUT in reading where they stay etc it just seems like such a rip off. I want her to do something exciting but £5k just seems a ridiculous amount.

She's not spoiled and completely understands the value of money but she'll be devastated if she can't go and I'll feel like a demon by preventing her (she's 15 now, will be almost 17 when trip takes place). I just feel that £5k could be spent in a much better way where travel is concerned - I'm sure you can buy a round the world plane tickets for a couple of grand, for example!!


seaweedandmarchingbands Tue 08-Oct-19 14:55:05

Insanity. Don’t even think about it. 5k is a car.

Lincspeeps Tue 08-Oct-19 14:56:13

Should have added that the trip is for a month, but a lot of that time appears to be trekking (so staying in a tent) and doing social responsibility work (also, potentially camping) - deffo not 5 star luxury!

Finfintytint Tue 08-Oct-19 14:57:58

That’s insane. Is it also one of those trips where you pester friends and family to “sponsor” the student’s good cause when actually you are just paying for holiday for them.
I have annoying colleagues who ask this.

seaweedandmarchingbands Tue 08-Oct-19 14:58:06

I don’t see anything socially responsible about jetting a gang of well-off teenagers to Africa. 🤷🏻‍♀️

ZorbaTheHoarder Tue 08-Oct-19 15:00:31

Could you get her to do some part-time work over the next 2 years to contribute to the cost of the trip? That might help her understand the value of 5k, while enabling her to join her friends on the trip.
Just a thought!

CecilyP Tue 08-Oct-19 15:01:44

YANBU. She will not be devastated; she wil be disappointed, that is all. You could all have a fantastic family holiday for that money that may make up for the disappointment.

FizzyGreenWater Tue 08-Oct-19 15:02:43

Jesus, no.

You'll really regret that after the trip is done and it's just a fairly nice memory of a cool trip.


AiryFairyMum Tue 08-Oct-19 15:05:43

Two years to plan - can she work and put £50 away a week?

TeenPlusTwenties Tue 08-Oct-19 15:06:35


This is the kind of trip that I would only even vaguely consider paying for if a) the teen has shown a long standing interest in the things being covered (eg in this case conservation and wildlife) and b) they are willing to contribute (eg Xmas and b-day, summer job etc). And only then if I could afford it anyway.

Peridot1 Tue 08-Oct-19 15:09:40

DS’s old school do trips like that. Some parents paid outright but some of the students contributed.

Both the head and deputy head’s children were at the school and I know their children worked to pay half. The head said he knew it was a lot of money and his dc wanted to go so was told that they would need to pay half.

flowery Tue 08-Oct-19 15:10:19

Nothing socially responsible about voluntourism

PocketMoneyMonster Tue 08-Oct-19 15:12:50

Yanbu - that's an insane request.

School trips seem to get more and more ridiculous every year. I'm sure when I was in secondary school (97-2004) there was a French trip to Paris and a Spanish trip to Madrid. That's all.

It would be an expensive trip to DIY so I don't actually think the price is too outrageous for what it is, but if anyone's going to Madagascar, it's me! I don't think schools should be putting parents in this position.

minipie Tue 08-Oct-19 15:12:57

No. Even leaving aside the money, if you’ve had the trip of a lifetime age 17, every trip after that will be a disappointment! Better to wait and have several trips for that price (for example she will probably want to backpack in university holidays, £5k buys a lot of backpacking trips).

I have to say I would be seriously pissed off if DCs’ school organised something so expensive. Not really on to wave that in front of kids and make them ask their parents. Even at private schools with high fees there is a big range of how much people have going spare. Very divisive.

ILoveAllRainbowsx Tue 08-Oct-19 15:13:22

It is ridiculous that the school is putting you in this position. Is it a private school? It is very unfair on families with normal incomes.

It is a shame that her best friends are going. It will be very difficult for her to be the one left out.

I don't envy your dillemma. I think it depends on how much she really wants to go if you can afford it.

BlockedandDeleted Tue 08-Oct-19 15:13:39

social responsibility work

No no no no - I thought that this "privileged Western saviour voluntourism" bullshit had been exposed already?

GetUpAgain Tue 08-Oct-19 15:14:11

I have a child at a school that does this sort of thing. I can imagine them really wanting to go and I can imagine me scraping the money together. It's all well and good criticising these trips but very hard to change the culture of a school and very hard to block your DC from doing something you technically could afford and they would enjoy...

If you do agree to her going , don't be hard on yourself over it!

TerribleCustomerCervix Tue 08-Oct-19 15:14:33

Fucking hell- I remember my dad spitting feathers about my school ski trip costing £600 for a week in 2006, he’d have had a heart attack if I broached this with him!!!

If she has two years to plan and save, I’d agree to cover half the cost as long as she puts her money where her mouth is and pays for the remainder herself from a summer/ weekend job.

The voluntourism would massively put me off though- I’d want to know more about that before I made any promises.

ibanez0815 Tue 08-Oct-19 15:14:38

Jesus. we never even had a family holiday at such a price. What kind of school is it? I guess private but that is still unbelievable.

Itsjustmee Tue 08-Oct-19 15:14:46

My son did a similar trip several years ago
I think it was 10 days working in a local village that the school supports and has links with
Then 10 days on safari and 3 days in Cape Town
I told him if he got a job I would pay for it thinking he’s so lazy he won’t
But he did 😂 in Macdonalds
I think the trip was around 2.5k plus his spending money
5k seems an awful lot even for a month especially if camping

Marylou2 Tue 08-Oct-19 15:14:57

If there are 2 years to go I'd offer to go halves so DD would have to work and save. Plus it would include Christmas/birthday presents and asking grandparents/relatives for money towards the trip if they ask for gift ideas. My DDs getting a ski jacket for Christmas for a school ski trip. She's also taking her own spending money. The Africa trip is really expensive but it does sound a fabulous opportunity.

coconuttelegraph Tue 08-Oct-19 15:15:43

I don't know if that's good value for what they'd get but you don't need to justify not wanting to spend that amount to anyone.

Linning Tue 08-Oct-19 15:16:09

I would not do it and as someone who was in South Africa for a month not too long ago and have plenty of South African friends, you would have to pay me to send my teenager there.
It’s incredibly unsafe right now since Nelson Mandela’s death especially for white foreign women (I am not white in case that’s relevant and so it’s clear I am not making a racist point against South African), most locals I met there were planning on leaving the country and most locals who couldn’t afford to leave told me how scared they were of raising their children in current South Africa along with stories of how they had been attacked/robbed/raped at gun point.

Even I got attacked with knives while in one of the most famous place in Cape Town and it was clear that race played a big part in their attack because they barely touched me but my poor gram who is Caucasian (and was very complying) had to deal with their violence and humiliations, it was absolutely awful, police is corrupted and scared so will do nothing and locals will tell you that it’s nothing because wait until you hear what happened to them/their mum/daughter/son/grandma etc...

I would not expect 17yo girls to be as cautious as they should be in a country like South Africa when in a massive trip. (Who didn’t sneak out at nights during a school trip etc...?) and I speak as someone who has been living abroad on her own since the same age.

For me 5k to go on a school trip would be a massive no, but even just a trip to South Africa would be no in the current state of the country. Not worse the risk for me.

(Also would you be able to afford similar trips for your other kids if you have any? I couldn’t justify spending 5000 pounds on one child, especially not every few years!)

HairyToity Tue 08-Oct-19 15:17:42

Is 5k trips a private school thing?

Angrybird123 Tue 08-Oct-19 15:18:11

This is a world challenge trip I assume? I agree that the volunteering bit is tokenism. You can volunteer at the local care home but funnily enough teenagers don't do that. They are fabulous trips.. The cost is high due to guides, insurance, flights etc. I don't think it's wrong that they are offered.. Only a very few kids in any cohort do it so your DD wouldn't be the only one not going. Part of the point of the trips is that they at least partially self fund so I would personally say yes if she agrees to raise a % of the cost.

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