How To Plan a Safe and Comfortable College Road Trip

Student driving car

In college, you often have the desire to experience new and exciting things. If a road trip is on your agenda, it’s important to plan sufficiently beforehand so that it goes off without a hitch. Whether you’re taking a day trip with your roommates to a neighboring town or traveling cross-country over winter break, consider the following tips to stay safe and comfortable along the way.

Prepare Your Transportation

There are several modes of transportation that you might consider for a college road trip. If you’re traveling by bus, plane, boat, rental car, or using any ride-sharing service, make sure to do your due diligence. Research the company you are traveling with to ensure they are accredited and have solid reviews. Read the fine print. It will be worth it once you’re on the road without worrying about a bad transportation experience. 

For Safety

If you are taking a personal vehicle, like a car or RV, there are steps you should take to ensure it’s safe for your road trip. Schedule any maintenance far enough in advance to resolve it in time. Check your oil level, brakes, lights, and tire pressure. Also, consider any possibilities for adverse weather. Think about the locations you’ll be driving throughout the trip, and plan accordingly—for example, strap on some snow tires before heading to a ski resort. 

You should also make sure you have adequate insurance for the trip. If anyone else plans to drive your vehicle, they should be insured. Check for any student discounts to get the best deals. Consider other types of insurance for a traveling student, such as health, renters, and travel insurance. Health insurance can give you peace of mind if you run into any medical issues or need to fill prescriptions during the trip. Renters insurance can protect your belongings at home if you are a renter. Travel insurance can protect your baggage, cover additional medical procedures if injured, and protect you against identity theft. 

For Comfort

In addition to staying safe during your travels, you’ll also want to be as enjoyable as possible. Especially for long drives, there are things you can do to make the trip more comfortable and minimize the risk of any health issues. Equip your vehicle with some of the following:

  • Food and drinks to stay nourished and hydrated;
  • Pillows;
  • Moisturizer and eye drops to avoid dry skin and dry eye from AC or different climates;
  • Comfortable clothing layers to take on and off with temperature changes;
  • Extra pairs of socks and shoes;
  • Sunglasses and hats;
  • Umbrellas and ponchos;
  • Car games;
  • Music, audiobooks, and podcasts. 

Think about what you would do if you couldn’t access your mobile devices, computer, or typical hobbies and had several hours to burn. Of course, you can talk with your college travel buddies to pass the time, but having some media to listen to, games to play, and items to keep you warm, dry, and nourished will make the experience even better.

Pack an Emergency Kit

In case anything goes awry, you should have an emergency kit ready to go that includes things like: 

  • Water;
  • Nonperishable food;
  • Flashlights;
  • Medicine;
  • Bandages;
  • Blankets;
  • Flares;
  • Pepper spray;
  • Whistles.

You should also learn some valuable skills and techniques for survival on your college road trip, like:

  • Changing a tire;
  • CPR;
  • Jumping a car;
  • Starting a fire;
  • Self-defense moves;
  • Skills for any leisure activities you have planned.

Anything you can do to be better prepared is worth it. This includes having backup plans in case yours change. This can include:

  • Directions without GPS, like maps or printed instructions; 
  • Communication without internet connectivity or data, like radios and walkie-talkies;
  • Destination backups, just in case something is unexpectedly closed or, worse, not as cool as you thought;
  • Resting and breaks, including a map of all the rest stops and accommodations, just in case you become tired.

It’s not advisable to drive when you are tired. Take plenty of breaks to stretch and rejuvenate. If plans change, try not to let it derail your whole trip. After all, you have several backup plans in place just for this purpose.

Get Ready To Go

Before you head out, make sure to lock up valuables, tell someone where you’re going, and ensure any pets and mail are taken care of in your absence. Above all else, remember that the point of your college road trip is to have fun.

Author: Sam Bowman

Why Students Need GradGuard

When students go on a road trip, it’s essential to ensure they have the right insurance coverage. Renters and tuition insurance can help protect them in case of any unforeseen events.

Renters insurance can cover personal belongings such as laptops, cameras, and other valuable items in case they get damaged or stolen. Tuition insurance can help students if they have to drop out of school due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or injury.

Having GradGuard can give students and their families peace of mind while they are on the road and help to ensure that they are protected if anything unexpected happens.