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How to Plan a College Style Road Trip

Updated on May 15, 2017

A college style roadtrip is any young person's dream. Open road, companionship, freedom, all those cliches that make youth wonderful are present in a roadtrip. To properly prepare, first you need to make sure you have all the necessary items. Below is a check list of things you shouldn't even think of leaving for a roadtrip without.

Roadtrip Item Checklist

  1. A car--Okay, you're really going to want to get one of these if you want to travel via roadway. If you're going on a true college roadtrip (meaning you're in college) then renting a car will either be impossible or highly expensive because of your age. So, either you or one of your friends will have to volunteer their own car to take the beating of cross country travel.
  2. Several MP3 players/CD's--Unless you and your friends have identical tastes in music, you're going to want to bring your own. But don't listen to it with headphones. Take turns playing each other's music through the car radio.
  3. Swords--If you've ever seen The Hills Have Eyes, you should be able to understand the necessity of sharp weapons on a roadtrip.
  4. Clothes that will only last you four days--No matter how long you're travelling for, you have to conserve trunk space for souvenirs and booze.
  5. About $200 less than you need--It's just not a roadtrip if you do it comfortably in hotels. You have to experience the thrill of sleeping in a car

After you've amassed the necessary items and finances, it's time to hit the road. After a long night of packing and drinking, you get up and set out to explore beautiful America. As you read this, how do you envision it looking. What are the places you're headed to see. It's you're trip and you need to decide how it's going to be done, but below are some suggestions of must see places throughout the country.

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Click thumbnail to view full-size

Places to Go

  1. Las Vegas--Yeah, it's a bit of a cliché, and yeah it's not actually that fun unless you're good at gambling. But you'll never see more lights in one place, and you have to go if for no other reason than to prove to yourself that you can walk away from a slot machine after a few pulls.
  2. Winchester Mystery House--If you like architecture, history, or anything paranormal or if you just like to see the worlds little oddities, this is the place to go. The whole house was built over a period of 30 years by a women wishing to confuse evil spirits, making it like a carnival funhouse on steroids.
  3. Rural North East--Whether it's Valley Forge or Amish Country or the rolling slopes of Appalachia, the north eastern part of this country, for all it's development, still has some beautiful landscape in it. There's some good history there too.
  4. San Francisco--This town is just too awesome for a college aged student. All the libralism you could ever want is present here. Plus, since you're on a roadtrip, you are compelled to pay your respects at the Jack Kerouac museum.
  5. The Desert--You may be thinking that I should have the Grand Canyon here instead, especially if you're from the desert. But, if you weren't raised in a barren region, you will find that the desert alone is very interesting and beautiful, with the Grand Canyon topping it all off.

Once you decide where you want to go, you have to figure out what you're going to do on you're roadtrip. Remember, most of the fun doesn't come from what you see, but from the people you're with and what you choose to do together. Once again, this is something you need to decide for yourself, but I'll give you some suggestions.

Things to Do

  1. Take the Road Less Travelled--Just because you're hundreds of miles from familiar territory doesn't mean you shouldn't try a little exploration. You might find something off the beaten path that few tourists get to appreciate.
  2. Skip a Main Attraction--In the spirit of the previous piece of advice, you're too cool to be running around the country snapping pictures like you've never seen a building before. Take time to actually enjoy yourself, and if that means going to a restaurant and taking in the atmosphere instead of seeing the World's Most (impressive adjective)(noun) then do it.
  3. Have a Picnic--Pick a place you really enjoy, and have a picnic there with your friends to commemorate your good times.
  4. Get in Trouble--This is less a piece of advice and more an inevitability. At some point, on a long enough trip, you will encounter a custom or law that is different from the ones you're used to, and you will commit a faux pas. Don't worry, at worst the cops will only hold you overnight.
  5. Visit a Friend or Relative--Use the roadtrip as an excuse to drop in on someone you know who lives on the other side of the country. Just don't alienate the friends you're travelling with. Also, you might get a shower and a bed to sleep in out of it.

Thanks for reading!

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow, kmew all of this but didn't occur to me.. gracias. my trip will do just fine.........

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      haha best ever


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