How to Prepare for Student Group Travel

Spring time is an exciting season for student travel and it’s almost here! Class field trips to Washington, D.C., outdoor science adventures to Costa Rica, and senior class trips to Europe most often take place during the months of February through June. We’re ready to go and know our thousands of travelers are as well. So what can you do to prepare for your trip? Read below for just a few helpful tips regarding our American Heritage and International travel programs.

American Heritage

Our #1 packing tip? Travel light. Pack clothing that allows you to dress in layers. Check the weather for your destination during the weeks leading up to your departure. Pack a rain jacket and small umbrella. Leave expensive jewelry at home. Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Umbrella? Check! Rain jackets? Check! Prepared 8th graders in Washington, D.C.? Double check! โ†ด

Regarding baggage, we recommend one carry on bag and a backpack as the second carry on, which can also be used for touring. Check with the airline for baggage costs (if you want to check your bag) and regulations regarding luggage. For information about what you can bring through airport security, like liquids, visit the website.

We recommend putting the following items in your carry on: medications, change of clothes, money, chargers.

The only expenses you will have while touring are snacks and souvenirs. Travelers are responsible for handling their money. We strongly discourage bringing large amounts of cash.

Safety is our number one priority! Prepare to always be in small groups of three or more during free time. Students will be assigned a chaperone to whom they will report. Room checks will be done each night. Once all students are accounted for and instructions for that night and following day are given, students must remain in their rooms. A private security guard will monitor disturbance and prevent entrance/exit from rooms.

In order to get the maximum learning experience, participation in all group activities is required. We don’t want you missing out on any of the fun!

Do your comfortable walking shoes look this cool? โ†ด


Traveling overseas means you’ll need a passport. Passports should be valid for at least six months after the date of departure.

Same packing tips as our American Heritage program! See above.

Electric adapters are necessary for some international destinations.

Extra money is recommended for soft drinks (water is provided with your meals), snacks or meals not included in the tour, souvenirs, optional activities, and gratuity for the tour guide(s) and bus driver(s). ATMโ€™s and bank/credit cards are the best way of money exchanging and making purchases. Visit with your bank or credit card company to make sure that you will be able to use your card while traveling overseas.

Travelers should be aware of pickpockets. Keep a few small bills in a front pocket to pay for small purchases like drinks/snacks so you donโ€™t have to open your wallet in a busy place.

GTrek (Domestic Southwest)

Similar packing tips as our American Heritage and International programs! See above.

Spring weather in the Southwest is highly variable, so remember to pack clothing that allows you to dress in layers. We recommend you bring along a hat with visor and a waterproof jacket – umbrellas or water resistant jackets are not advised. Hiking socks are helpful as is a sturdy pair of walking shoes – boots are best. Flip flops are not allowed but water shoes like sport sandals or sneakers (that are okay to get wet) are recommended. Bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a reusable water bottle will also come in very handy at these exciting destinations.

These backpacks are filled with all of their vital adventure science gear! โ†ด

Behavior Expectations

We expect all of our student travelers, no matter where they’re going, to be respectful of each other, their leaders, other travelers, and our vendors at all times. This includes using appropriate language, courteous behavior at hotels, and wearing generally accepted school attire while on tour.

Another important note regarding hotels is that students are not allowed in any other studentsโ€™ hotel room aside from their assigned room. Most hotels have a common area where they can gather during hotel free time, if allowed by the group leader and chaperones.

We hope you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime! Stay tuned for more information from your group leader regarding your trip and how to prepare for it as your trip approaches.