A student trip to Washington, DC is an exciting prospect for any young person. Inside the Beltway is the heart of international power and the mechanisms of the United States government.
From the White House to the Supreme Court to Congress and the Senate, Washington, DC is a singular experience, promising a firsthand look into the very heart of what makes our country tick.
But Washington is also a city of the arts, culture, monuments, memorials and museums, offering any visitor something of interest. That’s especially true of students.
But what to pack? The rule of thumb for things to pack for a student trip to Washington, DC is – expect the unexpected. Let’s look at some key items.
Neat and Casual
Because of the nature of this city (which is not stuffy, but somewhat formal), it’s imperative that students understand that their dress can be casual, but not slovenly. They’ll be visiting important national landmarks which command respect.
Even in summer, at least one pair of trousers (not jeans) is recommended for boys. Girls have a little more latitude but should be aware that revealing clothes are inappropriate (mini-skirts, low necklines).
If you’re planning an evening at the Kennedy Center or a visit to a Representative of Congress, then be sure to tell your students to plan for it by packing something more formal.
Students should leave fashion items like shredded jeans at home, as these send the wrong message in some of the austere sites they’ll be visiting.
Plan for Cool Nights
Even in the heat of summer, Washington, DC’s nights tend to be cool, so every student should be packing a lightweight jacket.
Rain can happen at any time, so a waterproof jacket is recommended (one with a hood is best). Winter weather, of course, demands that students come prepared for the cold, so mittens or gloves and winter headgear are important to bring along.
Important to Note
Many of the sites on any Washington, DC itinerary will require that guests pass through a metal detector. Students should be made aware of this and be counseled as to what’s appropriate to put in the bag they’ll be caring their day trip items in.
Be aware of any sites which ban liquids, food or cameras with flashes. This is down to the teacher, to ensure they’re prepared with all the information their students need, so they don’t run afoul of site regulations (or lose something they care about – like lunch).
Travel Light and Smart
Rule one for any journey is to pack light. Students should be made aware of this and be coached about smart packing. Things like tucking underwear and socks into shoes or in the corners of their suitcases is helpful information, especially for first time travelers.
Peak Performance Tours
Peak has been taking students to exciting destinations like Washington, DC for over 20 years. We plan itineraries to educator vision, ensuring curricular requirements are met, while making sure your students have a great time.
Ready to go? Contact us!