How to Plan a College Tour Road Trip

The fun you get from a college tour road trip becomes exquisitely evident when you plan and go for such a tour with friends and family with whom you share similar interests. However, it is essential to understand how to plan a college tour road trip to ensure you and your friends make the most of it. This article will equip you with the necessary information you need, including transportation planning, packing tips, and where you can stay.

1. Transportation and the Route

One of the toughest challenges you can face when it comes to how to plan a college tour road trip is developing a clear plan on hitting the road. Several road trips have failed simply because the planners did not make appropriate transportation arrangements. Therefore, you should go through the following tips keenly to get a clear picture of how to ensure the transportation part of the trip is well planned:

Choose a Vehicle

A road trip means you cover some substantial distance on tarmacked, rough, or all-weather roads. Getting the right vehicle is among the first and essential tips on how to plan a college tour road trip. If you already have a private car that you can use, your planning process is immensely reduced. However, if you consider getting a car for rent, you need to find a reliable one. A van is enough for you and a few more people. A truck or a bus would be appropriate if the number of attendees is large.

Ensure the Vehicle’s in Good Condition

If you want to know how to plan a college tour road trip, you should understand the essence of using a vehicle that is in perfect condition. This is something that should not leave your mind, whether you will be using a private or hired car. Issues with the machine can cost you a lot out there, especially if you are in a new town or far from a town. That is because it can be challenging to find the best car repair services in a different place.

Most road trips are faced with this challenge, especially for those who use private cars because they assume it is in good condition since they have been using it every day. One of the advantages of considering hiring a vehicle is that, in most cases, the rental company will handle the necessary checkups, maintenance, and repairs. Nonetheless, it would be best if you also took it upon yourself to ensure the wheels, engine, and other motor parts are checked before you head out.

Decide On the Route to Take

Deciding on the road to take is among the best tips on how to plan a college tour road trip. You may know how to read a map, which you may have learned in high school. Maps come in handy in helping you decide which roads are the best and safe, depending on the colleges you will be visiting.

Bring Extra Fuel

You may know the route to take and your destination, but how sure are you there are gas-filling stations along the way? One of the best tips on how to plan a college tour road trip is ensuring that your vehicle is well-fueled. Besides the uncertainty of the presence of gas stations, you cannot be sure of fuel prices on the road you choose to take and at your destination. Carrying your own fuel is a technique that can save you a substantial amount as you hit the road.

2. Packing

You are going on a road trip, not a complete holiday vacation. Therefore, you should understand some of the necessary items you need to bring along for the journey. Since you will not be alone on this trip, it is advisable to communicate with anyone accompanying you and inform them of the essence of bringing light luggage. This will ensure that the vehicle you use is not overloaded. The list of items is long, but here are some of the ones you should not forget to pack:


The best way to create memories is by taking pictures while on the road and at your destination of choice. Fortunately, smartphones have become life-savers in this aspect. However, you can decide to bring your digital camera along.

Driver’s License

If you are driving yourself, ensure that you carry the necessary paperwork, including licenses, insurance, and vehicle registration, to avoid getting into trouble with the traffic authorities.

Emergency Kit

Anything can happen while you are out there. As such, having a fully-packed emergency kit is critical in case one of you needs first aid. You need to ensure you also bring along some sports medicine for emergencies if you will be participating in any games at the colleges you will be visiting.

Personal Items

These include vitamins for dry eyes, soap, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreens, hand sanitizers, tissue rolls, and shampoo. However, some of these items are only necessary if the trip takes some days, a week, or more, depending on the time you will spend at the universities you visit.

Phone Chargers

Phones come in handy because you have to maintain communication with the people you leave behind. Therefore, you should not forget they need to be charged when their batteries run out. Cutting contact with the rest of the world can spell disaster for the entire team.


Tents are temporary shelters that you can bring along during your college tour road trip. This is especially important if the schools you will be visiting are located in a distant place. The good news about these shelters is that you can fit them comfortably in the vehicle’s boot.

A Backpack

This is where you store some or all your essentials, including the few clothes you might be carrying, such as custom shirts. Backpacks come in different sizes, but some are lightweight, yet they have a large capacity.

Pens and Notebooks

Touring different colleges is an opportunity for you to expound your knowledge. Taking notes helps you remember the key things you learn while on your college visit road trip. That is why you should bring along a pen and notebook.

3. Lodging

When it comes to how to plan a college tour road trip, you also need to figure out some of the welcoming places along the way where you can check-in before you get to the college or colleges you are visiting. This is where the internet comes in handy, especially Google Maps. This mobile app has extensive information on global geographic appearance, and finding a great place is just a click away. However, you must make some considerations, as explained below, to ensure that you land in the right place:


You will find many hotels, restaurants, and motels along the way that can offer accommodation, but not all of them are safe for a day or night stay. This is especially true for those places that are isolated. Fortunately, most of these places have websites which you can access and read customer reviews. Such reviews will tell you the experience of previous visitors.

Food Offered

Since you are on a journey, you should be concerned about what you eat en route. You may find a friendly and welcoming sushi restaurant, but your somtach may not agree with such meals on the road. In such a case, when thinking of how to plan a college tour road trip, you need to decide on which foods auger well with your stomach in general.

The Charges

The amount you are expected to pay in the place you will be staying during the journey also matters when planning such a road trip. Expenses can escalate really fast if you make a wrong choice. It is best to have a set budget, which you should never forget when it comes to how to plan a college tour road trip. Again, you can check out different restaurants, hotels, and motel websites to find one that is within your budget.


You take along a vehicle that also needs some time off the road as you get your rest in a motel, lodging, or hotel. However, how safe is the parking lot in that area? Do they charge you for parking your car? Answering such questions will give you clear guidance on what kind of a place you can stay along the way.

4. Food and Drink

You will require food throughout the journey, considering that your body needs nourishment. Bringing some food is a wise idea, but that is only applicable if it is a single-day road trip, such as visiting the local private schools. Nonetheless, if you will be traveling for some days, you need to understand how to pick the best places to eat throughout the road trip. Here are the best tips to help you achieve that:

Consult With Locals

Every stopover you make on the way, you will find some native residents. The most probable thing is that, since it is a road trip, you can fumble your way through any language barrier that may arise. You can even research for a few basic phrases that apply in the places you intend to make a stopover to make work easier for you and your guide. The locals will help you find the best places to enjoy whichever meal you fancy while avoiding any tourist traps in that particular place.

Leverage the Internet

Chances are, the eateries you meet along the way have been reviewed and critiqued by people who have been there before. Using the internet, you can find such comments and reviews that will help you identify a place to eat with a positive reputation. Besides the reputation, such reviews and critics can give you a clear picture of different menus and even images of the food and location of the various eateries.

Keep Things Simple

You don’t have to go crazy over food just because you are in a new place – you might get disappointed. It is essential to stick to what you are used to consuming to avoid issues during the college tour road trip.

5. College Visits

Since you will be visiting several learning centers during your road trip, it is essential to understand some of the vital areas to keep an eye on. They include:

Courses and Programs Offered

Different colleges have varying programs in their curriculum. When it comes to how to plan a college tour road trip, you also need to include a list of relevant questions you should ask, especially on what courses different schools offer.

The Meals

Nutrition is essential to every college student. You need to get a clear picture of the kind of food that learners in different colleges consume to help you understand more about their nutrition.


It is also crucial to visit the students’ sleeping areas and assess their condition. If you are a parent taking your child for the tour, you need to know the state of the accommodation in different institutions. That will help you choose the best place to take your kid if they are yet to join college. Check the beds, bath furniture, mattresses, and the rooms’ conditions in general.

Additionally, it is vital to ask about what is and is not allowed in the dorms. Most institutions do not allow certain appliances in their students’ quarters, including hotplates, thumbnails, and microwaves.


A majority of schools allow students from all religions. However, you may notice that some do not follow these. For instance, they may only allow Christians. If you are Christian, you need to understand how church services are conducted in different institutions.

Taking a college tour road trip can be fun, considering all the diverse places you will visit and the people you will interact with. However, things can go haywire if you do not make the necessary and appropriate arrangements, as explained above. You also need to gather information about the places you can stay and eat along the way.