College is a monumental time for self-discovery and new experiences. It isn’t surprising that many students use their semester breaks to travel – some even take the opportunity before enrolling to go on a road trip with their family in the search for the best university. However, road trips taken while being an undergraduate have been proven to be rather life changing in the sense that students will need to learn to navigate certain things which will instill priceless life skills – how to plan, where to source for information, what to do in the event of an emergency, and there will be plenty of situations where you will need to learn to think on your feet.
Furthermore, traveling by car forces us to be present, rather than simply enjoying ourselves and letting our minds wander (plus, it’s much more economical too, which is easy on a student’s budget). This is a great experience for all and comes highly recommended. There are a few things that you should prepare for before you set out on your journey.
Plan your trip but make allowances for spontaneity
One of the best things about road trips is that you don’t have a fixed schedule to follow. There isn’t another flight at the end of the line where you must take in order to go home. A three day road trip can easily end in five, so allow concessions for adventure.
Learn the law because every state comes with their own set of driving regulations
Do you know the seat belt law in the state you are driving to? Whether you’re coming from east to west or planning to cross the border to see Niagara Falls, the same thing remains: read up on the regulations in each state you will be passing through. This doesn’t mean the beginning and end of your journey, but for the entire journey. Some states allow you to use the rest lanes for a quick nap but others will hit you with a heavy fine. If you are driving a campervan, find out in advance where you are allowed to camp overnight because you can’t just park anywhere.
Aside from official sites, you can also utilize road trip planner apps and forums to give you the best guidance. Learning how to find the necessary information needed in order to execute a smooth trip will save you a lot of trouble down the line.
Choose your companions wiselyIf your travel buddies are just along for the ride and don’t plan to contribute, you might find yourself stressing out half the road trip away. Alternatively, if you have good travel partners who take on certain responsibilities, you can expect smooth sailing ahead. You also want to make sure that you and your friends share the same interests. You don’t want to have a tagalong spoilsport who demands that everyone does things his way and isn’t open to any of your suggestions.