10 Jun Traveling with Your Teen

Unique Lodging Adds a Special Touch to College Visits

Planning college visit trips consists of a combination of many tasks, including arranging personalized on-campus arrangements, figuring out the best dates and routes, and taking care of logistics such as accommodations and transportation.

When making lodging arrangements for college visits, many parents automatically think of the usual chain hotels as the best alternative. But as I have discovered over the past few years, with a bit of searching, there are some wonderful alternatives that can add a nice touch to your college trip experience.

When planning our recent visit to Skidmore College, I shared with my son that I thought the beautiful and historic town of Saratoga Springs would be a great place to find a unique hotel. I did some research and happened upon the Inn at Saratoga I was not disappointed!

Inn at Saratoga NYOnly 1.5 miles from the Skidmore campus, the Inn at Saratoga is not your average hotel. What we found on check-in was a mix of old world Victorian charm and all of the modern conveniences we desired after a long day walking the campus. Our guest-room featured antique-style dcor and the most amazing pillow-top beds! We enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast in a cozy atmosphere with a warm fireplace. I had specifically searched for a hotel within walking distance of the many restaurants, shops and other venues on Broadway, Saratogas downtown and we were just two blocks from the action.

Be adventurous!

You do have to be somewhat adventurous when deciding on these lodgings; unless you know someone whos been there (while many schools do have travel portals on their site listing available accommodations in the area, they do not offer actual recommendations), you are dependent on online reviews, websites and/or travel brochures. Before arrival, I always warn my son or daughter that it might be an adventure and I cant guarantee the level of accommodations.

We’ve had great experiences in most places. And there are other options besides hotels. We’ve stayed in wonderful bed and breakfasts, including the delightful The Welch House in Clinton, NY when visiting Hamilton College. I’ve stayed in the home of an empty-nester couple in Northampton, MA when visiting Smith College; it was just a few blocks walk from the campus, which meant I did’nt need to rent a car while in town. Access to websites like homeaway.com and airbnb.com have expanded the possibilities for all types of accommodations from single rooms, to apartments, to single family homes.

If you’re up for something different, you’re willing to be somewhat adventurous, and willing to give up your preferred traveler points, think about making alternative lodging arrangements for your next college visit trip.


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custom college visits

Beginning the college search with your son or daughter?
Wondering where on earth to start?

familyThat was me, seven years ago. Janice Caine, a mom, just like you, losing sleep about my then 16-year old daughter Brittany’s college search. Wanting her to take initiative in the process and to ultimately choose the right college, but worried that without my support it would be a rough journey.

It was only when I started to do the research to plan our road trip to visit a number of east coast colleges that I realized just how much work was involved. It was a massive learning curve and extremely time consuming. For first-time moms like me it was a whole new and confusing world. Not to mention the fact that, because our daughter’s entire future could hang on us getting a college tour exactly right, it was more than a little daunting, too.

But somehow we did it. And, once we’d done it, the next group of college visits was easier to put together. By the time we toured college #8 we felt like old hands! Which is probably why friends and family called me in to help them to organize their teen’s college tours.

Using my personal experiences and my existing business skills as an international meeting and travel planner, I was able to fast-track them through all the dizzying research and frenzy to focus on what really mattered:

Targeting and visiting schools up close so that they could be 100 percent certain that their teens could make informed decisions.

This is how Custom College Visits was born. Simply talk to me about what your family wants to achieve from a college visit and I’ll do the same as I did for my own friends and family. I’ll do all the research and liaising. I’ll organize tours, fix meetings, arrange for you to talk with current students and key services and make sure your visit includes all those little but important aspects that can so easily be overlooked by first-time parents. Basically, whatever you need from a customized college visit that runs without a hitch, I can organize it.

Sound good? Then please do talk to me without obligation to go ahead and use my services. I promise it’ll be a weight off your mind.