Summer vacation is right around the corner and for many college students that means checking one thing off of their graduation bucket list – a road trip! A road trip doesn’t necessarily have to be a cross-country trek – a tour of the states surrounding your hometown will provide the same memories and amount of fun. Planning a road trip can be tricky – but with these simple steps, you will be able to plan the best college road trip to enjoy with your buddies.
This is probably the most important step in the process. Sit down with your friends and decide where the heck you even want to go. Make a list of about 10-15 places you want to visit. Or, print out a detailed map of the United States and flag destinations and attractions with different colored pushpins.
Once you have a list of all of the places you want to visit, decide how long you want to stay in each locale. Plan smaller attractions as stops or day trips between bigger cities to optimize the time you budget for your trip. Make your halfway destination a big city and plan to stay there a few days to experience everything there is to do there. Plan about two weeks for a bigger road trip, such as an East Coast to West Coast tour. Traveling up the coast (say from San Diego to Seattle or Miami to Maine) will benefit from at least seven days.
Split it up.
After you have your final list of destinations and the time you will spend in each one, split the list up between everyone going on the trip. Each person should then look deeper into additional attractions or local must-see secrets that may not be as well known. This will also make it easier when it comes to finding accommodations and local cuisine in which to indulge. Since college students usually operate on a shoestring budget, look into sites such as Airbnb.com or hostels.com to find lower cost accommodations that in some cases are comparable (if not nicer) than some equally priced hotels.
Make a detailed itinerary with your stops, lengths of stay, accommodations and other important contact information or confirmation numbers. Include a map of each city you will visit, as well as a map of your route. Make sure to leave a copy with your family members in addition to each of your road trip companions.
Rent a car.
Unless you have access to a relatively new and reliable car, skip the potential stress of breaking down in the middle of nowhere and just rent a car. A compact car will get better gas mileage, and will ensure that you can safely get from point A to point B in each leg of your trip. You will also not have to worry about putting too many miles or wear and tear on one person’s car. The cost of renting a car for your trip might add up, but the peace of mind that you have reliable transportation will be worth the extra expense. If you insist on taking your own vehicle, make sure you have some form of roadside assistance – whether it is through your insurance company or a company like AAA. If you are an AAA member, make sure to take advantage of their travel assistance while you are planning your road trip.
Cramming into a car with your best friends is almost a rite of passage for many college-aged kids. If you are keen on traveling and love exploring new places, consider a career in the hospitality industry. Programs such as the ones at Star Career Academy will teach you the hands on skills you need to land a career in this booming and rewarding industry.