Packing for a D.C. student trip is important to ensure the safety of the students. Here are five things not to pack for student trips.
1. NEW SHOES
It may be tempting to pack a brand new pair of shoes in your luggage, but your traditional D.C. student trip requires an immense amount of walking. The new shoes that look great with your outfit at 7 am are likely to be causing you substantial discomfort by noon. Stick to shoes you’re comfortable walking long distances in and leave the flip flops at home unless you will be going to and from your hotel’s pool. Bring a second pair of comfortable shoes in your luggage just in case the first pair gives you unexpected blisters on day one.
If you’re traveling to D.C. during “busy season” (April – June), leave the umbrella at home. The crowds are large and a school group of 100 plus students all carrying umbrellas just doesn’t work. Opt instead for the disposable plastic ponchos. You can buy them ahead of time for $1 – $3 and they will fit inside a small bag or even your back pocket.
3. LARGE PURSE OR BACKPACK
You will need to enter through a security screening at almost every destination in D.C. If each member of your group has a backpack, it will take your group substantially longer to enter each building. Wear shorts/pants with pockets and slide your cell phone, ID, and money into the pocket or place those items in your ID lanyard provided by your tour operator.
4. JUNK FOOD
You will have plenty of opportunities to eat junk food during this trip. At almost every rest stop and cafeteria food stop, you will be able to select pizza, fast food, candy bars, etc. If you’re going to bring some snacks from home, toss a few healthy food items in there. It may be hard to believe right now, but by the end of the week, you will be craving this type of food.
5. ANYTHING EXPENSIVE
Students often choose to dress up for one night of their D.C. trip. Dressing up is great, but be sure to keep any expensive jewelry at home. Bring fun costume pieces of jewelry that you will not be upset about losing. Student rooms often get incredibly messy when four teenagers are all getting ready at the same time and are both sleep deprived and excited. Items get lost easily. You should also keep your Xbox, Playstation, or any other gaming console at home. Students often try to hook their gaming systems up to the TVs in the room and are often unable to do so. This means that you just transported a $300 plus piece of equipment around for no reason. Finally, it’s not advisable to bring a great deal of spending money on the trip. In most cases, $25 – $50 is adequate. If you would like to purchase a few souvenirs, I would bring no more than $100.