Custom College Visit FAQ’s
We’ve got answers!
With so many decisions to make we know you have a lot of important questions. Our College Visit FAQ’s are based on years of experience helping students and families make the most of their college search.
How many colleges should we visit on our trip?
It’s really up to you! Each family is different, and at the end of the day, you know your teen best. We will, of course, offer suggestions based on the amount of time you have to travel, your teen’s college preferences and other factors that may be involved. Together with you, we will figure out exactly how many colleges is the right number for your trip.
How much lead time is necessary to plan a trip?
The more time the better! Longer lead times allows Custom College Visits to work with you to iron out all the details big and small, and increases the likelihood of preferred travel and on-campus visit dates being available. With more planning time, your family is also privy to better air and hotel rates and more travel choices as well.
On-campus visits book up very quickly, especially during peak visit season from February through April. Additionally, because of Covid-19, colleges are limiting both the size of the groups and the number of visits being offered. Planning in advance allows you to reserve space on the days you prefer.
Of course, regardless of when you reach out or when you need to travel, Custom College Visits will work with you to the best of our ability.
How does Custom College Visits determine their planning fee?
Custom College Visits charges a package fee for multi-day, multi-campus visit and trip planning services. If you choose to work with our exclusive travel partner we do not charge additional fees for travel and hotel planning services.
Are the tours escorted? How do we know what we’ll be doing every day?
The tours are not escorted. That’s why we plan every detail — to ensure that your trip will be worry-free. Before you depart, you will receive a detailed, daily itinerary via an app that you can access on your cell phone, iPad, laptop or other device.
For each day’s activities you will know exactly where to go, what you will be doing, how you will get there, how long it will take to get there and any other necessary information.
If you have a car, it will also include parking instructions! Your itinerary will also include any necessary contact information — for hotels, meeting contacts, admissions offices and more. The app also allows you to receive any changes or updates to your trip in real time. Every detail will be taken care of!
Has the Covid-19 pandemic changed the way that colleges conduct on-campus visits? If so, how does Custom College Visits accommodate those changes?
Yes, since opening their campuses again for prospective students, many of the colleges have offered fewer information sessions and campus tours each week, and the sizes of the groups are smaller–so they tend to fill up more quickly. There are also some colleges that still do not allow campus tours inside classroom buildings and other facilities.
When planning each customized tour, Custom College Visits advises families to plan as far in advance as possible, so we have ample opportunity to reserve campus visits on the dates they wish to visit. If some colleges have not yet posted their campus visit schedules when we begin planning, we monitor their websites so we can register students for visits as soon as possible when they become available.
While groups may not be allowed inside the buildings, some of the colleges do allow individuals inside. When planning one-on-one meetings for students, we check to make sure we are following the college’s protocol. If visitors are not allowed inside, we try to schedule meetings in public places.
Although Covid-19 safety requirements have been relaxed at most colleges, Custom College Visits will include in your itinerary any Covid-19 protocol information provided by each college, to ensure that all parties are safe, comfortable, and prepared.
Can I get in touch with Custom College Visits while we’re on our trip?
Janice never sleeps, and will even answer calls during Grey’s Anatomy! She’s there for you until you’re home safely.
Kirsten, our travel advisor, is also available 24/7 while you’re away, as she knows that sometimes flights are missed or canceled, or luggage may go astray.
Our family wants to travel and do tours with another family. Is this possible?
Yes! For tandem visits where all the colleges visited are the same, we charge a minimal additional fee. Both families will take tours together, and Custom College Visits will work with each family to schedule individual and relevant meetings for each student who is traveling.
How is a Custom College Visits tour different from just touring colleges on our own?
You know how it’s always easier to clean out someone else’s closet than your own? This is kind of like that.
By working with Custom College Visits, you’re guaranteed efficiency, thoroughness, and a tried-and-true process. Students and their families will receive intimate and customized attention to their needs and interests, coupled with years of experience. Our goal is to have everyone –not just your teen — obtain valuable information during this trip, so we make the college planning process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Once you arrive home, you and your teen will feel more confident about the colleges they will be applying to, and more ready to take on each step of the application process.
I travel all the time. I want to work with Custom College Visits, but do I need to use your travel partner?
Custom College Visits offers travel services as an additional benefit to our clients. You do not need to work with our travel partner, but we do highly recommend it for several reasons:
- Many moving parts go into planning a college visit itinerary. It is very different than your usual business or vacation trip. Janice and Kirsten have worked together for over six years and have developed a proven process of planning and communication that ensures no important detail will be forgotten. This includes making sure that the timing of your on-campus arrangements coincides with your transportation logistics–so you don’t miss your on-campus meetings–or your plane or train to your next destination.
- There are dozens of options when choosing flights, accommodations, room categories, rental cars, travel insurance and more. If you work with Kirsten she will make arrangements that work best for your family.
- If Kirsten makes your arrangements and there are any cancellations, changes, problems or emergencies, she can support you and advocate on your behalf.
- As a travel agent, Kirsten has access to travel amenities and upgrades that she can pass along to you–often at no cost. These might include larger rooms, upgraded rental cars, complimentary breakfasts and more.
Will there be any time for sightseeing while we travel?
If you would like to include sightseeing in your itinerary, we will work with you to include time for that when planning your route. Our travel partner will then work with you to help plan the details. She can plan whatever you have in mind and also make suggestions such as city tours, dinner reservations, tickets for shows or sporting events — all depending on your particular interests. She will advise you up front of any fees that may be incurred for these additional planning services.
I live overseas. Can I still work with Custom College Visits?
Custom College Visits has years of experience working with international students and their families. We are happy to work with you, regardless of where you are located. We have created personalized college visit itineraries for families from many parts of the world. Should you need individual car service, translators, guides or any other services to make your trip run smoothly, we are there to help.
If you are not able to travel, we can work with you to create a detailed daily virtual visit itinerary. Note: We plan virtual college visits using the same or similar process that we use for in-person visits. While some of the activities may be different, we try to schedule all of the events for each college on the same day, to maintain the flow and feel of the visit.