As a teacher, I remember a field trip during summer school. I taught third & fourth grade students. We spent a great amount of time planning the trip. Everyone wore matching bright gold tee shirts. Small groups of students were divided among the staff. We rode the bus half the way then stopped at a rest stop for a picnic lunch consisting of bologna sandwiches made by the teachers earlier that morning. After three hours travel, we arrived at the zoo. We spent the day taking the students to as many exhibits as possible. At every stop we counted the number of students in each group, making sure we didn't leave behind stragglers. Of course we're exhausted at the end of the day. No parents went on this trip. Later parents were usually invited and given a group to lead.
My husband and I attended a few field trips with our son during elementary school. We explored with him and his friends, carefully watching them to make sure they stayed together and were safe. It was not nearly as stressful as being the lead. We enjoyed the day, finding little difference in taking him with a group of friends in our personal vehicle.
More recently I have been responsible for setting up the field trips for school groups. I was responsible for the planning, scheduling, pre-trip details, and presenting to the groups. Evaluations afterward helped with improving the experience for the next time. Some schools have policies that do not allow parents to ride the bus to attend field trips. I have seen an increase in parrent attendance at field trips.
I value the learning that occurs during field trips. Students are given opportunities to interact and grow in ways they otherwise could not. Successful field trips require much planning that does not end until the trip has ended.