Help! What To Pack For A School Trip

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Help! What To Pack For A School Trip
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Two children walking with rucksacks and sticks.

Waving your little ones off as they head out for a school trip can sometimes be a nerve-wracking experience. How will they get on with the other children? How will they cope with staying away from home? Will they behave well for the teachers and stay on task, or will they be causing mischief?! At the end of the day, parents just want their children to enjoy themselves and to benefit from educational trips, but it’s totally out of parental control once they’ve boarded the bus, so we just wave them off and hope for the best!

One thing which we can do as parents is to make sure they have everything they’re going to need. While adventure holidays with kids are action packed and full of fun, it’s essential their kit bags are appropriately packed, or they may not be able to join in and get the most from their school trip. We’ve compiled a list of essentials for school trips throughout the year, which should hopefully be handy whether you are packing for a kids summer camp, skills day trips, or sports camps.

Essentials – a decent backpack

First things first they will need something to carry their belongings in, so a lightweight backpack is top of the list when getting organised for a school trip. Make sure the straps are fully adjustable so it can be worn comfortably – remember they might need to wear it all day and packed full! A well-fitted backpack should fit up to four inches below the waist and two inches below the shoulders. To work out the right size – measure from the shoulder line where the straps will rest, to the waistline or belly button, add two inches on to that measurement and you have the maximum height for your child’s backpack. Make sure the backpack is at least water resistant, if not waterproof.

Reusable water bottle

Keep your child hydrated by encouraging them to use a water bottle. Some bottles fasten easier than others and some are more prone to leaking so you want to make sure you buy something durable which can handle a bit of impact, with an easy to use but leak-proof lid such as a screw top. Ideally you should look for a material that is BPA and toxin free! If your little one is forgetful when it comes to hydration, before they set off on their children’s learning adventure you could encourage them to personalise their bottle say with stickers or paint pens, maybe even marking out ML markers so they can set themselves a daily drinking challenge – remind them it’s to help keep their brain fully powered and in drinking lots of water they’ll have lots of energy and super star thinking power!

Suitable clothing

Of course, packing for school trips will depend on the time of year. Spring weather can be temperamental so pack plenty of spares for those April showers. As the weather gets warmer sunblock, sunglasses and a sun hat or cap will need to come along for the adventure, you’ll need to look for a pair of polarised sunglasses and any with a strap and a carry case will help your child not to lose them!

As the weather gets colder think layers, layers, layers! Children become cold much more quickly than adults, they have a higher ratio of surface area to mass, meaning they are more exposed to the cold, and chances are if they’re out at a children’s adventure centre they’ll be using lots of energy and getting sweaty which can then quickly lead to becoming cold. Make sure to pack: long and short sleeve t-shirt options; comfortable walking trousers (think tracksuit bottoms, not jeans!); a fleece and/or a jumper; waterproof breathable jacket. There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing!

Winter Clothing

If your child is off to a children’s adventure centre they’re likely to be spending the majority of their time outdoors, and anyone who’s been on an adventure holiday with kids knows that can lead to a lot of grumpy faces if everybody’s not wrapped up enough. In colder weather, you might want to pack some thermal base layers, and you need to really protect the extremities, head, hands and feet. A nice warm hat and a snood will help keep their face cosy, and a lip salve to keep away chapped lips. Gloves are an essential, you might want to consider getting gloves with grips on the fingertips depending on what activities are on at your children’s adventure centre. Mittens are also extra cosy so great for sitting around a campfire at night, but they are not ideal for most activities at school holiday camps because the children are usually busy and need their hands for the activities. When it comes to socks, pack plenty of pairs as they might wish to double up, and make sure to buy some childrens walking or hiking socks for extra comfort.


Blisters are no fun on school trips so make sure your child has a comfortable pair of walking shoes or trainers. Wellies are also a must for wet weather, it might be mud and puddles galore and trainers or walking boots might not be enough!


A simple toiletries bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and soap should be all the basics your child will need, and maybe a towel.

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