Pupils at Balshaw's Church of England High School in Leyland, Lancashire, are planning a week-long 'cultural experience' trip that includes visits to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakenhurst, Bakersfield and Las Vegas.
However, some parents are aghast because of disappointing their children over such an expensive trip.
A letter to parents from the school says the aim of the trip is to "not only encourage your child in their academic studies, but also to develop their social skills and understanding of different cultures as well as to enable them to experience environments outside their normal day to day lives".
That may be so, but some people suggest these expensive overseas trips for students are just money-making exercises for tourist companies.
I only ever went on one school trip. I lived in a built-up suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as a child. My father had abandoned my mother for another woman, but still visited us regularly.
Here's an excerpt from the memoir I'm writing at the moment.
I led my sisters to the mint garden. We picked the best shoots, and then made mint sauce by smashing up the herb in a bowl with a pinch of sugar. Mother splashed boiling water onto the mixture and then a dash of vinegar to eat with our roast lamb. In summer, we climbed the apricot tree dominating the back yard to harvest the wonderful apricots. My sisters and I spent hours cracking the stones with an old brick for Mother to use the kernels in apricot jam. Bread and jam—my favourite afternoon treat. On each trip to the market, we shopped at local stores for a chat. I tried delicious roll-mops, sour olives and pickled cabbage. Continental shop owners told Mother how to make 'ossobuco' or 'bone with a hole' made from a cross-cut shank of veal and 'beef olives' which are slow cooked, rolled beef steaks stuffed with mushroom and bacon. But these were for special occasions.
That year, I went on an excursion away from my family to a cow farm, arranged for city children by my primary school. There, I remember the good woman who hosted about three of us using the boil and settle method for separating milk. A day later when the mixture had cooled, the cream formed a thick, sticky topping over the milk. We watched her turn some into butter by beating it by hand. That's real food. None of the modern margarine for the olden-days farmers.
What do you remember about your school trip away from home?