College is an important milestone that is meant to prepare you for the professional world, and while it is tempting to imagine a college life that is focused solely on studying to get good grades, maintaining a social life is also just as important. A study shows that focused socialization activities helped 88% of students overcome challenges and adjust to college life. Moreover, having a good social life during college helps you improve your social skills, enabling you to become a well-rounded adult.
One excellent way to spend time with your peers during college, especially during lengthier breaks in between terms, is to go on a road trip. Not only will this broaden your perspective, but this will also give you and your peers a chance to get to know each other outside of an academic setting. Before you embark on a road trip, here are some things that you need to prepare.
Schedule and Itinerary
Trips done out of impulse or that are minimally planned are quite common among college students. On average, college students only spend 46 minutes planning their trips using travel websites. 55% of students also do not have experience in planning a trip using travel websites. While spontaneous getaways might indeed seem exciting, they can also have pitfalls. You tend to spend more money during unplanned trips, you may end up with long wait times, and you may miss out on things that you might have experienced if you planned your trip well.
When you embark on your road trip, due planning is highly encouraged. Make sure that you and your friends have no prior commitments on the dates that you plan to travel. Also, engage your peers when planning. For example, all of those who are going on your road trip should have equal say on which sites to visit. Proper planning that involves the entire group ensures that you do not have unnecessary arguments in the middle of the trip itself.
Mode of Transportation
One of the best ways to have a successful and enjoyable road trip is to ensure that the vehicles you’ll use are in good condition. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 44,000 of 2.2 million accidents are caused by vehicular issues, such as faulty accelerators, electrical system problems, and problems with fuel system components. Making sure that your mode of transportation is in good shape ensures that you and your travel buddies are safe while on the road.
As such, make sure that all electrical components of your car are in good working condition. Your tires should be properly inflated, and your exterior lights and horn should be working well, too. Another important thing to know is the condition of the gas in your car. If it’s been sitting in your vehicle for months, it may be time to replace it since gas has a shelf life. Checking if your car still has good fuel is important to avoid operational problems.
Money and Other Matters
While it’s the experience that matters most during a college road trip, it doesn’t hurt to have sufficient funding for your entire trip. This is easier when you’re going on a trip alone, but planning out your finances for a trip that involves several people, college students at that, can be challenging. Things are bound to get awkward, and disagreements are bound to happen.
You and your peers do not necessarily have to have too much money in order to have a comfortable trip. The first thing that you need to agree on is that for group expenses, everyone should shell out the same amount. As well, booking your lodging ahead of time increases your chances of snagging discounted rates. You can also check for available travel programs that your school offers. These are just some possible ways to save money on your road trip. In turn, you can allot more funds to expenses that you can actually enjoy.
Going on a trip with college friends is a worthwhile experience. As long as it’s done with proper planning, you’ll find that this journey is something that will not only strengthen your social bond with your college peers, but it will also make for a more enriching college experience.
SEE ALSO: The Importance of Keeping Up a Social Life in College