College Road Trip: What to Bring With You

College Road Trip: What to Bring With You
  • Opening Intro -

    As a rising high school senior you are just one year away from heading off to college.

    This summer can be a good opportunity to check out several of those campuses on your list.


Some families tie in their vacations with campus stops and you can too. No matter how you approach your visit, the following are some things to bring with you on your next college road trip.

1. Obtain appointment information.

Sure, you can visit many colleges without an appointment, but why do that? Throughout the summer many colleges provide tours to prospective students and their families.

Even so, you may need an appointment to get both the guided tour and a chance to speak with a staff member who can answer your questions. Make that appointment now.

2. Bring along a campus map.

Some college campuses are easy to navigate with the teaching buildings and dorms in proximity to each other. Larger schools are much more spread out and may have disconnected campuses especially in an urban setting.

Campus maps can come in handy, but there are also apps that can help you find your way too. For example, the CampusNav app will help you find your way around the campus of several schools including the University of Virginia, Northeastern University and the University of Texas at Austin. Contact your college to find out if there is an app for that.

3. Wear excellent walking shoes.

Small or large, the campus tour you make may be on foot as well as on a cart or a tram. Still, you will want to navigate much of the area on foot, just as would if you were already enrolled. That means wearing the most comfortable footwear you own. No hard shoes and certainly no flip flops.

You will be standing, sitting, walking and may find yourself running if a sudden cloud burst takes place. If you have family members with you, each person should have comfortable footwear too. Bring an umbrella with you too — just in case.

4. Consider some questions to ask.

What about the college do you know? What questions about the school remain unanswered even after perusing the website? Go to the information session armed with a few questions and be prepared to add fresh ones if one comes up while you’re being escorted around.

Questions about student aid, class schedules and majors may need to be answered. Take note of the answers. If the representative says that they will get back to you, then obtain a name and phone number to follow up in the event that they do not.

5. Give your siblings the ditch.

Your campus trip can be fun, but not so enjoyable with younger siblings with you. Especially bored siblings. If you find that your brothers and sisters are too much of a distraction, then have a meeting with your parents.

An excellent solution is to have one parent accompany you and the other parent to keep your siblings entertained by taking them to the pool, to a show or keep them otherwise engaged.

Road Trip Considerations

Always allow enough time to visit the campus of your choice. That can mean taking the tour, visiting the campus on your own, sitting in on summer classes, and coming back the next day if you want.

No visit to a college campus should be rushed especially if a school is high on your list. You may have only one chance to visit, so make it a good one.

If you are planning visits to several campuses, allow time in between to regroup, take notes and to enjoy yourself. That extra time will also allow you to take in other sites, including places of interest in and around the campus.

See AlsoMake the Most of Your College Campus Visit


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Categories: Education Tips