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School Washington DC Trip

May 17th, 2013 at 07:18 am

My daughter desperately wants to go on the school Washington DC trip next April. The school just yesterday sent home registration information. Total cost of the trip is about $1300 + refund insurance of $139 for three nights and four jam packed days of touring.

This price seemed less expensive than our other school district, but they may have been gone longer. And I don't specifically remember the price.

I'm leaning towards letting her go, as long as she puts some skin in the game. I think she could save her own money for souvenirs, and help with school fundraising efforts. It sounds like the fundraiser is an easy sell of a coupon book to one of the big grocery stores here in town. It cost's $10, and the buyer gets plenty of coupons that guarantees their $10 back and more. Not sure what the return is to the fundraiser.

First hesitation is that we have to register with a $49 down payment by June 6. Talk about fast decision making! Can make payments but there are additional charges and the price can go up if you don't pay in full. Not sure how likely that is to happen or how much that would be.

Second hesitation is that this is one trip my husband and I really want to take our whole family on in the next two years. So it seems slightly redundant.

We'll be discussing that here at home this weekend! Would you send your child on this type of trip? Have you already? Was it worth it?

14 Responses to “School Washington DC Trip”

  1. SecretarySaving Says:

    Our district also plans the same trip every year. When the information sheet would come home, I'd see the amount and trash it. Like you, this is a trip that I would like to take as a whole family so that we can experience it together. Somethings moms just don't want to miss out on.

  2. Momma23 Says:

    My oldest went to DC with his school and had a blast. They did several fundraisers, one being selling candles. My hubby and I paid for the trip but any extra money was up to him. Honestly, I think it is totally worth it. It is something that they will never forget.

    We could make payments without additional charges.

    Same son also went to New York but said wasn't near as good as DC.

    I am already making payments for daughter to go to DC in January. 3 nights/$1000. $100/month for 10 months.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    It just depends. If the price was a deal, then sure. If we were going anyway, the thing is often these things are not very well planned financially and we could just do cheaper ourselves. If we were going anyway I'd probably skip it. I'd factor though the friend factor and if everyone else is going (only because we could easily afford it and would not want to deny child the opportunity. It's just if no one else is going what is the fun really...).

    On the west coast we always did Disney trips. It seems to me that they were extremely inexpensive for what they were. In a household where I was taught to pay for things I wanted this is the one item my parents always splurged and never made a big deal about. Which makes me wonder about the cost, but there is no way they would have said yes *every single year* if it wasn't a good deal.

    I am not comparing DC to Disney - it was just the only school trip I was ever offered as a child, being on the west coast. SO is just my frame of reference.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    We can pay for it outright no problem. And, I did go on a school trip to Orlando Florida, which included some nature thing, NASA and Disney World. Had a blast! My parents paid and didn't make any issue of it either. I think she might actually see way more than we would ever pack into a trip that short. So that really adds value, too.

  5. jolie Says:

    I am all for family trips but I have nothing but good things to say about the benefits of taking a mom and dad free trip. It gives them such a measure of independence and confidence. Having them involved in the fundraising helps them to see what kind of work it takes to make those special trips (family or otherwise), happen.

  6. snafu Says:

    Another voice in support of the trip to DC. When we lived in the USA DS1 went on two school sponsored/organized trips. It was a very positive experience and he still mentions it from time to time. He learned so much more than the planned curriculum including points mentioned like planning, fund raising, getting along with contemporaries with different beliefs and values, coping with new experiences and consequences of poor choices. I agree DKs need to have 'skin in the game.' We paid for chores that were never part of household/family tasks. I don't know DD's age but you could both draw up a list of age appropriate tasks for pay or jobs for gran if practical. Gifts for birthdays and Christmas could be partly cash towards the trip from all who are close.

    When we all went to DC the following August [terrible time to go - it was sidewalk melting hot] DS1 was our tour guide and knew the most important highlights at places like the Smithsonian Museum which would need the total vacation to see all the important displays. He made up a 'highlight' booklet which is still part of our memorabilia box and knew the best places to eat for the least cost since DC is very expensive.

  7. starfishy Says:

    i don't have kids, but this line sold me on hoping that you make it happen for her: "My daughter desperately wants to go on the school Washington DC trip next April." i can imagine the memories that she and her friends will create! also, my family went to DC several times when i was a kid and i loved it every time, even visiting the same monuments and exhibits. So, if she goes again with your family in two years, i don't think it would be redundant, just different. DC is such a great place! good luck with your decision. Smile

  8. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    OH ----- PLEASE LET HER GO -----
    This is one of the coming of age trips that make young people more into adults. It is one of the few things she will have as a life long memory.

    ESPECIALLY IF $$ IS NOT A PROBLEM

    Our oldest has done it, and our 2nd will do it next year.

    AND WE WENT AS A FAMILY THE YEAR BEFORE!!

    THere is sooooooo much to see and learn going twice is not bad!! The teacher's perspective is going to be incredibly important as this is EXACTLY what they are reading and trying to convey in their class.

    THE TRIP IS WAY MORE THAN JUST WASH DC!
    Our school spent about 1/2 the time in Virginia and other very important environs. My son's favorite place was Gettysburg!! I was surprised, as that is a fairly low key spot, but the explanation on the spot really hit home for him.

    OK, nuff shouting Smile

  9. creditcardfree Says:

    @PCJ, Most likely she will get to go. I like hearing that your son had such a good time, I also like thinking she would be a good tour guide when we all go together. She would love that!

  10. scfr Says:

    Well, I don't have children, but it seems like a great opportunity. In addition to the trip being a great opportunity, it also seems like a great "teachable moment" where she can get a lesson about finances and opportunity cost. An agreement seems to be in order ... something like (just for example): she works over the summer to earn 1/3, mom & dad put up 1/3, and she gets the final 1/3 in exchange for foregoing birthday and Christmas presents in the next year. Basically you'd be telling her that if it's something she really once you will help her as long as she is willing to work for it and give up something.

  11. LuckyRobin Says:

    If we could afford it, I would definitely do it. I had so much fun our choir and orchestra tours in high school. They were real highlights and we didnt even go anywhere fancy like DC. I had to work hard on fundraising to go and use money I saved from babysitting and berry-picking. My parents paid half.

  12. Looking Forward Says:

    Yes - we would send our kids if it was reasonable to afford it. And I would expect the kids to work on paying for a portion.

  13. My English Castle Says:

    I say yes too. And I like your idea of "skin in the game." Extra chores? Birthday money?

  14. littlegopher Says:

    A little late on a reply but......Yes, it was definitely worth it!

    We sent all four of our girls, and they learned so much about what they were seeing and about themselves. This trip was the first time in an airplane for each and the first time far away from us for a period of time. They learned to keep track of their belongings, parcel out spending money, get along with a variety of other kids in group situations, and made new friends (none of the girls had any of their friends group on the trip.) And they really visited a lot of places.

    While we covered camping trips across the US for the family, my husband and I hoped the DC trip would lead to future travels afar for the girls, and it has! Lots of band-related trips, girl scout trips and trips with friends. The latest send-off was last Saturday, sending my oldest on a college study abroad to Italy and England. Smile

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