You can only say you went on a British school trip if these 35 things happened

Sign my form mum you cow

School trips were some of the best experiences you could have as a child. Weren’t they just the perfect combination of drama, mischief and excitement? Whether it was waiting in the cold for your bags to go under the coach, buying absolute rubbish at the shop or exchanging rude MP3s at the back, the whole thing was seriously exciting from start to finish. It’s no wonder people are itching to do it all over again when they become pensioners, shuffling onto coaches to go to boring museums and events to relive that same thrill.

Anyway, there’s a very unique nostalgic aesthetic to the British secondary school trip which you’re about to rediscover – so sit back, grab a Capri Sun, and dive into the 35 things that everyone used to witness on the classic British secondary school trip.

1. You’d have to beg your mum for a fiver for the gift shop

How else were you going to waste any money in whatever gift shop you ended up finding?! What if they had wooden swords or those weird slippery rubber things that you can’t hold onto?!

2. Oh, and get her to sign a form in advance

This whole process really was harder than it should have been, and you’d always have to present your mum with a crumpled slip which had been in your planner for days.

3. You’d spend hours on your outfit the night before

Superdry hoodie: ✅
Jack Wills gilet: ✅
Beanie hat: ✅
Combination of bad necklaces: ✅

4. Before the bus left you’d wait in the cold whilst your luggage was loaded

This was only really for longer residential trips, but I would still always wonder what it would be like to get closed in there whilst the bus was moving.

5. Everyone would be super tired but the teacher would always be like:

Coach Trip's Brendan Sheerin says the E4 show is a hit in the Middle East

6. Someone would always turn up in their uniform and get rinsed

Even though it would always be a trip to the zoo or a theme park and the teachers would make it very clear in advance that you could wear what you wanted, people would still turn up in full uniform and get absolutely destroyed by everyone on the bus. You would wish you the earth swallowed you up if this happened to you.

7. If there was more than one coach you’d have to fight to sit with your mates

A two coach setup spelt disaster for any odd-numbered friendship group, so you’d have to make sure that you planned the seating strategy meticulously in advance.

8. The closer you sat to the front of the bus the bigger nark you were

The back seat Chads versus the front seat virgins, if you will.

9. If you were unlucky you’d have to sit next to a weirdo

Your group of five gets split into two twos and a one, and you happen to be that one. You know what that means? You’ll likely have to sit next to someone that nobody else wants to sit with.

10. You wouldn’t have breakfast because the coach was too early

And then your stomach would start making noises by 11am and there was no saving you.

11. That was fine though because you were always loaded up with Capri Suns

Or Lucozade sport. Or an old Nike sports bottle that made the water taste like cardboard. Whichever your preference happened to be.

12. You’d quickly have to learn how to rest in a seat that was pretty much a right angle

Seriously, have more uncomfortable seats ever been made?

13. You’d stare out of the coach window as the sun came up pretending to be in a music video

You wouldn’t understand what I’m going through right now.

14. And you’d also press your head against the glass

To feel the vibrations reverberate through your skull.

15. Seat belts, if there were any, were for absolute pussies

Wait for the teacher to come round and check, then take it off u fucking loser!!

16. Buses just smelt… grim

There’s something about covering up an already bad smell with a chemical cleaner that gave buses that horrible stale smell that much aided travel sickness.

17. You’d wave or put your middle finger up at drivers

Because nothing is better for a stressful commute than a load of schoolkids flipping you off. God, we were all so evil.

18. But lorry drivers got nothing but the ‘toot toot’ gesture

AS IF we were going to give someone driving a truck heavier than a house any grief. Try and get them to toot their horn and give them no hassle if they don’t, fellas.

BBC - Logan High, Series 1, School Trip

19. If someone fell asleep on the coach you’d take hundreds of photos of them

I mean, this was just peak comedy. It never seemed to transcend into complete Sharpie-induced chaos for fear of getting seriously told off by teachers, but it was still great craic to get a photo of your mate passed out.

20. Occasionally everyone would break into song

Whether it was Robbie Williams Angels or another classic of the time, it was guaranteed at some point that everyone would come together and belt out a big tune.

21. …unless it was The Wheels on The Bus, in which case you’d sing ironically

You’re cool and this song isn’t, so it’s your responsibility to let everyone know that this is a joke to you.

22. You’d get shouted at by the teacher for playing music too loud or standing up

How unfair it was that we weren’t allowed to move an inch from our seats but as soon as someone played Iyaz Replay too loud the teacher would get straight up and march to the back.

23. There’d always be some nasty little toilet that nobody would want to use

Some coaches were unfortunately fitted with a small bathroom halfway down to one side, but as if anybody would use that – absolute social suicide.

24. The travel sick kid would have to sit at the front with the teacher

It didn’t help that as soon as anyone sat around you caught wind of the fact that you didn’t feel well they’d be shouting MISS COME HERE!!!

Honestly, I’d rather sit with mates feeling awful than sit anywhere near the teachers at the front.

25. You’d swap all the funny ringtones you had with your mates over Bluetooth

The back seats of the bus were a cacophony of awful MP3s, ranging from “I’m playing with my nipples!” to “Ring ring ring ring banana phone” and every Basshunter track in between.

26. Once you got off the coach, someone always got lost at some point wherever you went

Which obviously causes a massive panic amongst all of the teachers.

27. The one thing you were responsible for was your ticket

And this proved too much of a task for some kid, who would end up losing his and a huge sweep of the bus would then ensue. They really ought to have kept them for us.

28. The jealousy you felt when people had pocket money to spend in the gift shop

AS WELL AS ON LUNCH?! Are your parents multimillionaires?!

29. Although those people who did buy from the gift shop would only get absolute tat

Hrmmm, what should I get from the museum on this school trip – the keyring that I’ll lose down the side of the bus seat or the big lollipop that is never as nice as it looks and will end up giving me a cavity?

We can all agree the Megabus is never worth it

30. There was always one person who was late back to the coach as the teacher took the register

Then they had to be humiliated by everyone already on the bus clapping.

31. You’d still try and convince the teacher that someone had been left behind

Just me?

32. The coach back was ALWAYS dead in comparison to the coach there

All the excitement leading up to the school trip and the actual activity left everyone feeling properly drained, and as such the coach back was always a much quieter affair.

33. The driver would look so done with everyone’s shit

By this point, the driver has had to sit on a bus all day while everyone else goes off and has fun, and it really was always written all over his face.

34. There’d always be a terrible film put on the tiny screens to round off the day

Was it too much to ask to put Shrek on? And every time they’d make people vote with a show of hands it was never anything worth watching.

35. Returning into the school bus park you’d see a load of parents waiting in a huge crowd

Just as the trip started, you were back at school where it was both cold and dark again. Day well spent.

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• The undeniable differences between going to secondary school in the North and the South