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Bus rentals for Washington, DC K-12 field trips

Washington, D.C. school field trips are one of the highlights of many children’s education!

A trip to the nation’s capital, usually by charter bus rental, combined with overnight stay and immersion into the rich history of the United States. How can any student forget their Washington, D.C. trip? From the array of museums within the Smithsonian Institutions, to the famous theaters, such as Ford Theatre, or to trips to the monuments, the opportunities to visit historical locations and experience firsthand what was being studied, are endless. For those interested in government, make sure to visit the White House, Supreme Court, and the Capitol Building. 

Why Bus.com?
Safety
When you transport a large group of students to the capital of the United States, you want to make sure that they are safe. All of the drivers and vehicles in our partner network are vetted to ensure that they pass rigorous safety and professionalism standards.
Price sensitivity
The last thing you want to worry about is going over-budget because your transportation for a field trip was too high. We have affordable, budget-friendly options that can match every class’s needs.
24/7 customer support
If something goes wrong with your transportation during a school field trip, you want to know that it will be quickly resolved. Our 24/7 customer care team is here for you whenever you need them.
Which bus is right for me?

When you’re considering which charter bus rental best meets your needs, there are several options you can pick from.  Here is an overview of the three most commonly selected charter buses. Click here to see a complete overview of our bus options.

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Coach bus
Coach buses often include amenities like AV equipment and restrooms. They’re ideal for school field trips taking more than three hours. Most of our coach buses can comfortably fit up to 55 participants.
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School bus
A school bus is nostalgic for so many because they made great memories on it. Your students can make their own on this affordable charter bus. Most hold between 47 and 52 people. They’re ideal for trips that are not too long or too far. School buses don’t have bathrooms, or any extra storage.
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Minibus
A minibus is very similar to a school bus in its makeup: you get standard bench seats, no extra storage space, and affordable pricing. The minibus usually can seat around 21 students. They’re compact and more suited for short distance trips. Wheelchair-accessibility is not standard, however it is available.
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A word about the benefits of field trips

It’s a challenge to schedule a field trip these days: budget cuts, a focus on testing, and a shortage of chaperones are just some of the barriers. However, field trips are not only relevant to educators and students, they are critical.

  • Studies have shown that students who participate in field trips display, “stronger critical thinking skills, higher levels of social tolerance and greater historical empathy than those who didn’t.
  • Field trips provide opportunities for students to engage with the curriculum in a student-directed manner, where their learning is interest driven with a pinch of structure from the educator.
  • Aside from student-led discovery at the location, downtime on the bus is one of the best benefits of a field trip. Teachers can connect with students and chaperones. Students can connect with each other.
  • Some of the best learning occurs in that unstructured free time, especially when it comes to social skills or memorable moments.

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Field trip ideas in Washington DC

Here, we’ve gathered several field trip ideas for Washington D.C. If you’re looking for a science field trip, D.C. has many spots to choose from. There’s also an abundance of locations where you can study history and government. To help you start planning your Washington D.C. field trip itinerary, we have several popular destinations and a brief overview.

Air and Space Museum

Perhaps what’s most important to know about the National Air and Space Museum, is that it has two locations! One is in D.C., the other, in Virginia. Both facilities offer free field trips. The museum offers tours, imax movie exhibitions, and specific-topic focused presentations where students can get hands-on experience with things like flight, telescopes, and STEM activities. Top flight exhibits to watch out for include an Apollo lunar module, the 1903 Wright flyer, and the Spirit of St. Louis. The museum does have very specific chaperone requirements, based on the students’ age, so make sure to check that out.  

Einstein Planetarium

The Einstein Planetarium is part of the National Air and Space Museum. While admission to the museum is free, there are priced tickets for the movies that the planetarium shows. The planetarium has a 77-foot domed theater screen and the 8k screen is one fo the most advanced in the country. Students can experience an immersive 360 degree experience of the world and the stars. Individual tickets are $9, usually, however there are discount rates for field trip group sizes. It is currently closed until 2022 as it undergoes revitalization and transformation.

Natural History Museum

The National Museum of National History is part of the Smithsonian museum system. It was founded in 1846 along with the Smithsonian Institution and the first exhibit hall was in what is now known as the Smithsonian Castle. The museum is located on the National Mall, at 10th and Constitution Avenue. Admission is free and they are open every day except for Christmas Day. When you go, you can’t miss the giant African Bush elephant when you first enter. Make sure to check out the gems and rocks hall, where the Hope Diamond is on display, as well as the Ancient Egypt exhibit, also on the second floor.

The White House

The White House tour is free of charge, however it can be a challenge to obtain tickets. If you’re bringing a class, your best bet is probably to visit the President’s Park, where the White House Visitor Center is located. President’s Park is through the National Park Service, and they offer several school programs. Most of them last between 1.5 hours and 4 hours. Your students can learn about past presidents, as well as develop some critical thinking skills. These programs can accommodate up to 60 participants, including teachers and chaperones. There are also online lesson plans, if you would like to prepare your students ahead of time.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in September 2016, nearly 13 years after it was first established (December 2003). The museum, like all Smithsonian museums, is free to visit. However, due to its popularity, tickets for entry must be acquired ahead of time. It is the only museum that focuses solely on African American life; their collection exceeds 36,000 artifacts, although only about 10% of that is on display at a time. The museum features exhibits that explore African American contributions to music, the history of slavery, the history of the Civil Rights Movement, and other rotating special exhibits. Currently there’s an exhibit, “Chez Baldwin”, featuring James Baldwin’s home in the South of France.  

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The perfect field trip awaits you