As you embark on a parent-teen college tour you may want to keep the following suggestions in mind:
Keep a positive attitude
- Stuff happens! You’re the adult and you know your teen best. Do some prep before the trip, speak with your teen about expectations and trip goals. If your teen starts to act up on the road, evaluate the situation; maybe they are tired or hungry. Maybe they are upset over something they heard about their dream college. Take a break, do something fun, eat, sleep, then move on.
Information sessions start to sound similar awfully fast
- If you are dozing off during information sessions, take notes, ask a relevant question, engage in active listening, look for the gem in the presentation that you can discuss with your teen.
- Cute, uncomfortable shoes or high heels are not advised–you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
- Comfortable clothes are a must, but so is being prepared for unexpected overly hot or cold weather. It’s best to dress in layers.
- Be ready for “blister care.”See #3 and #4. Detouring to Walgreens or CVS can throw off the schedule, and if the blisters appear on day one, you may be in for a miserable week.
- Don’t forget your meds! Getting a refill or emergency prescription on the road may be difficult. Also, for over-the-counter meds, try not to frequent the hotel shop as it probably is overly expensive.
Keeping track of your observations
- Write notes down right away (use your phone or bring a small notepad). You can request our College Visit Journal.
- Many colleges have been moving toward Green campuses. Do you understand what they are speaking of? Green means the college is working towards being a sustainable and environmentally friendly institution.
- Confirm, and then recheck all travel info. If you are using a travel advisor or agent, review the arrangements with them.
- Add in sightseeing excursions (ask your teen what they would like to do) to balance the time on the road.
- Dining is important. Schedule food stops to keep your teen’s sugar level balanced.
- Check out the dining halls, taste the food, check out their special menus.
- People watch. Dining halls, student unions, bookstores, quads are great places to see how students interact.
- Read our e-book: College Road Trips, A Parent’s Guide.
Have FUN! Let me repeat that Have Fun; both parent and teen.
- This might be your last one-on-one trip with your teen before they head off to college.
Please contact us if you questions about college visits and tours.