School Trip Vs. Family Trip


Anika Seguin

Blood. Everywhere. My nose started gushing in the middle of a German subway station. Of course nobody in my school group had tissues, so I stood there with my viciously bleeding nose, just wishing my mom was there to help. The thought of not being with my mom repeated through my head throughout the trip. Even with the many positives of traveling with a school group, I still missed the feel of traveling with my family.


School Trip Activities

  In the months before our trip to Europe, my group of West Ottawa High School students spent many months together planning what we wanted to do. My group consisted of a combination of freshmen and sophomores who had taken at least two years of any foreign language, and we traveled to France, Spain, and Germany. Although we had input on the activities that we did, there were many activities planned that were not completely agreed upon by everyone in the group.

  The day arrived when we traveled to one my favorite places in the world: The Palace of Versailles. I had been here before in the winter with my family, but I was nevertheless overly excited to see the beautiful gardens in the summertime. By the time we woke up, the rain had already begun to pour. When we arrived at the Palace, the weather was still cold and raining. I was in a generally bad mood at that point, but I was still hopeful to see the gardens either way. We arrived at the Palace much later than anticipated; therefore, we had 15 minutes to ‘see’ the miles of beautiful gardens. Only a small fraction of the time that would be taken to even see half. Since we had our complete schedule planned far ahead of time, we could not just reschedule and see the gardens again the next day.


Family Trip Activities

  In November of sixth grade year, I took a trip to France and Prague with my mom and brother. In the days before my family left for our trip, we looked up specific activities that the three of us wanted to do, which was much less stressful than trying to agree with 25 other people. We chose to go to a few of the rather touristy places such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, etc. On the day that we were supposed to go up the Eiffel Tower, the sky was very cloudy, so we decided to postpone until next day. As we were walking the streets of Paris, we saw that there was an art show taking place the next day that sounded intriguing to us. So, thanks to the luxury of traveling on a loose schedule, we saw the art show the next day.  


School Trip Emergencies

  Days before departure for the school trip to Europe I acquired strep throat. I figured that my strep throat would be gone by the time I arrived in Spain, therefore I did not bring any medicine with me.  Once we arrived in Spain, we had a full day ahead of us, which consisted of lots of talking. After miles of walking and a nearly sleepless night, I woke up the next day without my voice. I figured that I should get cold medicine, which turned out to be much more difficult than I expected. Although my mother had given permission for me to buy and use medicine before the trip, obtaining the medicine itself was still difficult since we had to get permission over text for me to take any medication, which resulted to be difficult because of the five hour time difference. Therefore, I did not get any.

  Fast forward a few days when I was taking a peaceful nap in a park in Madrid. I felt myself getting bit by bugs but did not think anything of it. Later, I noticed a bump on the back of my leg that had escalated into a large bruise that would not go away. I was very alarmed by the bruise, but again I could not get any medicine that I thought would help. I quickly realized how hard medicine was to obtain without my mother being with me. Being with a school group means that if anybody needs to get/take medicine, we need permission. The five hour time difference did not help my situation much either.


Family Trip Emergencies

  When in Prague with my family, I got the stomach flu. Although I had been sick for a few days, we still got everything done on our list that we wanted to do. Since I was with my mother on the trip, I felt much more comfortable asking for help and telling her that I was sick, rather than telling one of the teachers in my school group. Being with my mother also seemed to be much easier to get medicine since we didn’t have to deal with texting and calling across an ocean to ask for permission.


School Trip Friends

  Before our school trip took off, I was introduced to the other travelers. We would be traveling internationally, so essentially we were all forced to become friends. Other than my best friend Soph. Collin Smith, I had made good friends with Soph. Paul Terhaar. The three of us spent most of our time together while in groups and doing activities. We had been told that we would be traveling with two other groups, one from Georgia and one from Kansas. In these two groups, I made friends with a girl named Laryn and a girl named Jessica. The trip was much more comforting to have more people in our group to talk to and have fun with.


Family Trip Friends

  During my trip with my family, I got rather sick of my brother.  The almost two weeks spent with the same two people was unbearable. I was walking in Prague a few nights before we were scheduled to go back home, and I was complaining so much about how I would rather be at home with my friends instead of with my brother.


Traveling with Friends

 Although I had not traveled with my friends on my trip to Europe with my family, I have many other times. In the past year, I’ve been on four trips with at least one of my two closest friends and their families. Being able to travel with your friends in one of the most fun opportunities to be apart of, especially when it’s with their parents as well. Being able to travel with friends is much better than traveling with just family or strangers because you already know everything about each other. Best friends create a comfortable and entertaining environment for any travel experience.

   Traveling has always been my favorite thing to do, so whether it is with family or school, I’ll take it.Being with a family creates an easier way around bad weather because of its generally lose schedule. The choice of what activities that look interesting on your own trip is another feature that is nice about family travels. Although both trips had their positives, taking a trip with your family is overall more enjoyable.