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School Groups to Washington DC

How to Plan an Affordable & Educational Trip to Washington DC

Washington DC/Our Nation’s Capital. A historic place with many things that any student from the 4th grade to the 12th grade may want to get to see & learn so much more about our Nation. Making Your Student Trip to DC Budget-Friendly One of the first things that student groups should always think about when they are beginning to plan their trip to Washington DC is what their budget is.

The budget should include everything from hotel rooms, the rental for a bus if travelling by charter bus, admissions to some of the places that may charge, and that all-important (food). One of the things that can take up a large portion of the budget is the price that the group pays for the hotel rooms. There are several things that we recommend every group consider when looking for hotel accommodations for students. Does the group need a hotel that will offer a complimentary continental breakfast? Having a breakfast included in the rate can save your group money and time allowing your student group to maximize their day and focus on sightseeing & other educational activities available in DC. What about a hotel that is an all-suite hotel that has microwaves and mini-refrigerators in the guest rooms? This could come in handy as the group could then have microwaves to pop popcorn, a fridge to store water/soda, etc. These types of hotels may be few and far between in the city limits of Washington DC, but slightly across to Alexandria, VA or Arlington, VA and even some areas a little further, the group may find several hotels that can accommodate them and also have breakfast included and/or an all-suite property. If travelling via a charter bus, staying at a hotel on the outskirts should not be an issue. When traveling via a charter bus, you want to ensure if the hotel has bus parking available or that is nearby. And most important for todays connected students, does the hotel offer complimentary Wi-Fi, and how many units can be connected via Wi-Fi to each room.


When is the Most Affordable Time to Take a Student Group to Washington DC? Now that we have some ideas of what to look for in the hotel, let’s talk about the best times to get the best hotel rates for student groups in DC. If the group has the absolute desire to stay in the DC city limits, where they get to walk to many places, or is flying in and will not have a bus to get around, know when Congress is in session, or if there are major events going on in the city. These two listed items definitely will have an impact on being able to get the best rates in the city. The annual blooming of the cherry blossoms is also an event that drives the occupancy levels higher for hotels in Washington DC, which could mean less rooms at affordable prices for groups. Know that during the summer months, the city does have warm temperatures, with the average high temperature close to 100 degrees. Our best recommended times to visit Washington DC are February through May and if in the fall, October through November. To secure the best rates and your preferences as far as connected rooms or having all students in the same floor it is a good idea to book no less than 4months in advance]. Best Activities for Educational Trips to DC While every student group will not want to miss visiting the National Archives, the US capitol, the Washington Lincoln and MLK Monument and the various Smithsonian Museums, do not forget about the Washington Zoo, home of the newest addition of Baby Panda Cub Bao Bao. If the group wants to tour a park, Rock Creek Park is a 2000-acre, which is the National Park Service oldest urban park. If planning to visit the Arlington National Cemetery, make sure that you plan on being there when the changing of the guard is taking place. For visiting the White House, make sure that you call and see if tours are being accepted/scheduled and we recommend doing this as soon as you know the dates of your trip. For a great understanding of our currency, be sure to visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where you can see money being printed. Lastly, don’t forget to visit the National Air & Space Museum. Below are the top activities that we recommend, in no particular order.


· The White House · The US Capital
· The Monuments (Washington, Lincoln & the newly installed MLK) · The National Archives
· The Smithsonian Museums · Arlington National Cemetery
· The Bureau of National Engraving · National Air & Space Museum
· The Washington Zoo · Rock Creek Park

Planning Your Student Trip to the Capital There is no unbearable feeling about going to a destination, and especially Washington DC without planning ahead. With so many things to do in the District, make sure that as soon as you have your dates confirmed that you call the major attractions and begin to work on scheduling your activities. The tours of the attractions can always take as long as you want, so make sure you are leaving enough time in between scheduling activities.


Fun & Free Things to do at Night with Your Student Group in Washington DC For that evening where the group does not have a formal event/plan, a great evening activity is to go to the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. Every evening at 6:00 PM there is a free 1 hour performance by a local, up and coming artist, national or international musicians.   Affordable Dining Options for Student Groups Visiting DC Now, we know that no matter what, the students will always need somewhere to eat that is also affordable. While to get a good flavor of what Washington DC has to offer, you can go the Adams Morgan area, and enjoy cuisine from various places around the world, you may opt to go to a place that has a great buffet for the kids after a long day of activities. Another area that would be a must for the students would be to go to Union Station. There, the students and adults can have a variety of foods to eat, as well as, great souvenir shopping for themselves and all the loved ones that have helped them to make the trip. There are not too many places in the Nation’s Capital that have buffet restaurants that can host a large group of students, however, go outside to Arlington, Alexandria or even Silver Spring, MD, and you will be able to find lots of restaurants that will feature buffets. Take Connecticut Avenue or 16th street and both will give you direct access to Silver Spring with many more affordable eating places for students.   In closing, there are three things that will make your student trip to DC a total success. Preparation, budgeting and have fun while learning. Doing these three things will ensure that the students come back with more knowledge about our nation than before they left. If you are ready to start planning your educational trip to DC click here to see our favorite group-friendly properties in the nation’s capital.


Ready to book that school group to Washington DC, Seattle, Washington or anywhere else in the world.  Just go to, select your city and hotels desired, and let groople do the rest for you.

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