What to Pack for Your School Trip

Resource added: 03 December 2021

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Bombarded by questions from parents and students about what to pack for a school trip? We have everything you and they need to know, right here.

What to pack for an overnight school trip

Travel documents

If you’re going abroad, it’s obviously really important to make sure that everyone has their passport and any visas required.

We’d also strongly recommend that everyone carries their EHIC/GHIC with them, as this will allow them access to the same rates as locals should they require any medical assistance during your trip. You’ll then be able to claim those costs back through your travel insurance.

Health and hygiene items

Of course, if you require any medication, you must make sure you take enough of this with you on your school trip. However, you will need to check that you are able to carry your medication with you, as some medication that’s available over the counter in the UK is restricted in other countries – please see our Know Before You Go resource for further information.

You’ll also want to make sure you pack your toiletries too – this includes your toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo or soap if your accommodation centre doesn’t provide this. And don’t forget your hairbrush!

Protection from environment

If you’re going somewhere very hot or very cold, you will need to make sure that you pack some essential items to protect you from the environment.

If you’re going somewhere hot, you’ll want to pack your suncream (waterproof is always a good idea), sun glasses and sun hat. And, as hot countries often have more biting insects than here in the UK, insect repellent is a good idea too.

If you’re going somewhere cold, you’ll need to think layers when it comes to clothing. Remember to pack hats, gloves and scarves, as well as a warm and, potentially, waterproof jacket or coat.

And don’t forget, even when it’s cold, the sun’s rays can cause serious damage, so you may still want to pack that suncream!

Clothes

What clothes you pack for your school trip will largely depend on where you’re going and what you’re doing but, generally, you’ll need to pack comfortable clothes that will allow you to take part in the activities included in your itinerary.

We would recommend taking a jumper, hoodie or sweatshirt with you even if you are going somewhere hot as evenings can be chilly. And a waterproof jacket is never a bad choice!

Of course, you also need to make sure that you pack enough underwear for the trip, including enough pairs of socks! And make sure you pack your pyjamas for night time.

You may also want to pack swimwear if your hotel has a pool or you have a swimming session booked into your itinerary.

And make sure you take appropriate footwear. Again, this will be dependent on your itinerary but you will almost certainly be doing a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes, such as trainers, are essential. And if you’re heading out into the countryside, some sturdy walking boots may be required).

Miscellaneous items

Absolutely essential items for a school trip include your mobile phone charger, plug adaptors and spending money. A refillable water bottle and a backpack are also essential.

Other things you may need include a notebook and pen, torch and towel. A bag for your dirty laundry is also a good idea, so that this can be kept separately from your clean clothes. And may need to pack a towel too, as some accommodation centres don’t provide these.

We would also recommend that you pack a book or some other form of entertainment for the journey.

What do Group Leaders need to take on a school trip?

There are also a few things that we would recommend you to pack for your school trip if you are the Group Leader. This includes your final trip pack, which will include the list of emergency contact numbers, boarding passes, visit vouchers and maps.

You’ll also need to make sure you have your mobile phone or other device with the Vamoos travel app downloaded on to it.

We would also recommend that you take a list of all passengers, preferably on school headed paper. And a list of any medical conditions, dietary requirements and allergies is also very useful to take with you.

Finally, if you’re travelling by coach, we would recommend taking a bin bag so that you can keep the coach tidy, and some emergency snacks and water, just in case of delays on your journey.

School trip packing list

So, for both students and staff we recommend packing the following items for your school trip:

Travel documents

  • Passport
  • Plus any required visas
  • EHIC/GHIC

Health and hygiene items

  • Any required medication
  • Toiletries, including toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo, soap, sanitary products

Protection from environment

  • Waterproof suncream
  • Sun hat
  • Sun glasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof jacket

Clothes

  • Underwear (including plenty of socks)
  • Pyjamas
  • Swimwear
  • Comfy clothes that will allow you to take part in the activities on your itinerary
  • Sensible shoes for walking (trainers or walking boots if you’ll be going into the countryside)
  • Jumper/hoodie/sweatshirt for cool evenings

Miscellaneous

  • Spending money
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Plug adaptors
  • Refillable drinks bottle
  • Backpack
  • Notebook and pen
  • Torch
  • Towel
  • Bag for dirty laundry
  • Entertainment for the journey

And for Group Leaders, we recommend packing all of the above, plus the following items:

  • Final trip pack
  • Mobile phone or other device with Vamoos app downloaded
  • Passenger list on school headed paper
  • List of medical conditions, dietary requirements and allergies
  • Bin bag to keep coach tidy
  • Emergency water and snacks

Downloadable packing checklists

To make this information easier to share with your group, we’ve created some downloadable packing checklists.

Please feel free to share these packing checklists with your group, either as a handout, in an email or via your school or trip’s social media accounts. We hope that you all find them helpful and that they help to ensure no-one arrives at your destination missing any of the essentials.

On this page you can download a general packing checklist for students and one for group leaders.

And if you are travelling a little further afield, you may be interested to learn that we have special packing checklists for school trips to Iceland, India, Japan and Vietnam.

We hope you’re looking forward to your school trip abroad!

The Halsbury Difference

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Originally founded by teachers in 1986 and with several former teachers in our team, we understand the pressures on you as Group Leader and work hard to relieve them.

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We’ll design your trip around your specific learning objectives and curriculum, to ensure it meets your particular requirements.

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