Washington D.C School Trip Guide

Washington D.C 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.

  • Plan
  • Plan
  • Plan

Why should my student group visit Washington D.C?

A trip to Washington D.C 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 Washington D.C 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.

Arts – Fill your itinerary with museum and gallery visits, theatre performances, live music and more.

History – Focus on discovering and appreciating some of the U.S’s most treasured monuments and historical sites.

Community Service – Want to make an impact with your travels? There are a number of destinations throughout Washington D.C 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 entertainment.

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

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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 Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. is mostly reliable all year round. Summers get hot – winters get cold! Prepare for some rain in spring and fall, and snow in Washington’s winter months, from Dec-March. Be mindful to dress for any high intensity or outdoor activities that your itinerary may have as well.

General Packing List 
• Socks, underwear, bras
• 1 pair of jeans
• 1-3 t-shirts
• 1-3 long sleeve shirts
• 1-2 light sweaters or sweatshirt
• Jacket (check seasonal recommendations below)
• Hat
• Shoes – Bring shoes that are comfortable and supportive for hiking or for walking in the city.
• Flip flops / waterproof sandals
• Sleepwear

• 1-2 Warm sweaters
• Warm Jacket
• Toque or warm hat
• Long pants
• Warm socks
• Water/Snow proof shoes or boots

Spring / Autumn:
• Long, breathable pants / skirts
• Waterproof jacket
• Warm sweater
• Long sleeve shirts
• Waterproof footwear
• Small Umbrella

• Light jacket
• Shorts
• Hat

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


Washington D. C. Fun Facts 

  1. Washington DC is technically named for George Washington, but also for Christopher Columbus (The District of Columbia).
  2. Washington DC was actually built on a mosquito-infested swamp.
  3. The Library of Congress is the biggest library in the world.
  4.  There is an empty crypt beneath the Capitol building.
  5. More wine is consumed in Washington D.C., than any state in the United States.