The blight of school trips


Just as I was walking out the door of a museum on Saturday, a huge group of school children walked in. There had to be 50-60 of them, plus the inept chaperones. Since when do schools have field trips on the weekend? That mystery aside, I was very glad that I went to the museum exactly when I did, rather than an hour later.

Whenever I have encountered or read about large groups visiting a museum, aquarium, or other attraction, the result is always bad for the regular visitors. The big group is loud and obnoxious, and somehow manages to seep into every inch of the facility within minutes. Normal visitors who are unlucky enough to be there at the same time get a vastly worse experience, yet still pay full price. This clearly isn’t right.

To correct the imbalance, venues that sell big group packages need to post a schedule of these group visits in advance. Let the other patrons decide if they want to be there during that time, rather than being ambushed. I doubt that overall ticket sales would change, but more people would choose to go during non-group times. Sure, these periods would be more crowded than before. However, visitors would be surrounded by their peers, rather than fighting for air within a giant horde of school children.