San Francisco School Trip Guide

San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It is also a very popular destination for school groups. Here’s a helpful resource for those interested in organizing a school trip for their students. Check out Plan for our guide on how to create the best trip for your students with important info on where to visit, eat and sleep for your groups needs and for tips on how to plan for insurance, accommodations and more. Read Pack for what to bring for specific regions and seasons and Prepare for language tips, facts and local know-how.

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Plan

Why should my student group visit San Francisco?

A trip to San Francisco can be a great way for elementary classes to experience travel, discover art, learn American history and visit one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Perfect for any age, from elementary school graduation trips to high school Drama or Music class trips.

As San Francisco has so much to offer, the best first step is to determine the intended focus of the trip. For example:

Educational Student Trip – Curriculum-related activities that bring to life the subjects of the classroom.

Biology – Show your science students the incredible biodiversity of this city, by having them participate in meaningful field research. The city has dozens of natural ecological communities, harboring a diversity of birds, mammals, and amphibians, rare  species, and over 450 native plants.

Outdoor Adventure – Do you want your students to experience some outdoor activities? Visit the Golden Gate Park.

Arts – Fill your itinerary with visits to stunning museums, famous landmarks, breath-taking sights, unique architecture and more.

Community Service – Want to make an impact with your travels? There are a number of destinations throughout San Francisco that offer a chance to put some volunteer hours to good use while being immersed in a local community.

Mixed focus – A balance of educational activities, outdoor activities, and cultural focus. The variety of geography, culture and history of within San Francisco makes for a well-rounded trip.

Download the link above to read the complete school trip planning guide!

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Pack

Luggage – Any seasoned traveller will tell you that the lighter – the better! When moving from place to place, don’t be weighed down by extra clothes, shoes or items. A small or medium sized suitcase or duffel will be perfect for your trip to San Francisco. For the organized packer, it’s very handy to have a couple spare plastic bags for wet clothes or separated laundry! For day trips, bring a backpack and a safe document or money holder that sits close to the body under a shirt or a fanny pack.

• Small or medium suitcase or duffel bag
• Backpack and/or purse for day trips and overnights
• Safe money holder or fanny pack
• Extra plastic bags / ziplocks

Clothing – Weather in San Francisco is mostly reliable all year round. In the summer months, the temperature can drop to the 50s (10C) overnight, going up to 75°F (25C) in the afternoon. The city averages over 320 days of sunshine per year, so you don’t have to worry about having your sunshine getaway rained out. Autumn weather is the most dependable.  Warm (80°F/25C in The City, 90-100°F/30-35C in the East, South or North bay cities) and dry “Indian Summer” days prevail in October, when there’s least likely to be any fog or rain. The rains can be heaviest in November-December. These are cool winter storms from the Pacific. The highs are around 50 F (10C).

General Packing List 
• Socks, underwear, bras
• 2 pair of jeans
• 1-2 t-shirts
• 1-3 long sleeve shirts
• 1-2 light sweaters or sweatshirt
• 1 Rainjacket/Raincoat
• Hat
• Shoes – Bring shoes that are comfortable and supportive for hiking or for walking in the city.
• Sleepwear

Accessories and Toiletries – Below are items for keeping you charged, comfortable and prepared. Before your trip, make sure you have spoken to a travel doctor about medications you will need and pack all necessary prescriptions.

• Daily Use: sunglasses, watch, compass, lock
• Entertainment: camera, phone, book, diary
• Waterbottle, sunscreen, hand sanitizer
• Toothbrush & toothpaste
• Soap, shampoo & conditioner
• Medications

What to leave at HomeCarrying around extra pounds of luggage isn’t worth those extra shoes or that shirt you wear just one time. If you need help eliminating an item or two, check out the list below:
• Less practical and/or fancy clothing
• More shoes than needed
• Many heavy books
• BIG bottles of toiletries – swap for travel sized containers
• Heavy towels

Prepare

San Francisco Fun Facts 

  1. Before it was renamed to San Francisco, this small city by the bay was called Yerba Buena. Yerba Buena means, “Good herb” in Spanish.
  2.  SF has the second largest Chinatown outside of Asia and it’s also the oldest in North America.
  3. The city is built on more than 50 hills.
  4. The locals love independent films. SF is home to more than 50 film festivals each year.
  5. It took only four years to build the Golden Gate Bridge (1933 – 1937).