5 Tips for Your College Move-In Road Trip

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It’s nearly time to send your kid off to college, but how can you get all of the things they’ll need into your car?

Before your grown-up kid finds new friends, starts classes, and makes college memories that will last a lifetime, you’ve got to get them moved into their new dorm on campus. College necessities today include more than just clothes and toiletries, your college student will most likely be bringing along electronics, furniture, and even small appliances. You’ll need to fit all of these college essentials into your chosen transportation, and you’ll need to decide whether you’ll be heading straight to campus, or making this road trip into a mini getaway.

Read on to discover our top tips for a smooth college move-in road trip!

1. Plan Ahead

When it’s time to drop your child off at college for their next chapter, you’ll need to be prepared for the journey. Whether you are road-tripping to a college just a few hours away or making a cross-country trek, planning your transportation ahead is the best way to ensure that you’ve set yourself up for the smoothest possible experience.

  • Pack the navigation necessities. Be sure that you have multiple phone chargers available for your passengers and the driver, and download helpful apps, like Waze, to avoid traffic jams or discover scenic stops along the way. National and State Parks and Monuments are great places for a scenic, educational rest stop.
  • Book your necessary accommodations. If you’re headed on an overnight road trip, it’s a good idea to book your hotel in advance. The last thing you want is to have to drive an extra 50 miles when you’re already tired to find a hotel with vacancy!

Between making lists, packing, communicating with the school and any roommates, and dealing with your own big emotions, prepping for move-in day is hectic, to say the least. Luckily, there’s one thing you can completely control — your college transportation method.

Sure, you could rent a traditional moving truck, but those trucks are outdated and uncomfortable. Legends Car & Van Rentals rents new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans so that you can travel in comfort. A Sprinter passenger cargo van is perfect for when you want a spacious, ultra-comfortable vehicle that can haul all of your boxes with ease. Our commitment to flexibility and convenience means that you can pick up and drop off your moving van anywhere, ensuring that your student can complete their ideal college road trip itinerary.

2. Know Your Vehicle’s Limits

Your child’s big move-in day is so exciting, and a lack of vehicle space shouldn’t get in the way of a road trip and a moment you’ll never forget. To avoid unexpected issues and delays, it’s crucial to know your vehicle’s limits in terms of space for packing, and the ability to handle a potentially lengthy college road trip.

If you’re looking to achieve the smoothest possible college road trip transportation, choose to rent a spacious passenger or cargo van. You won’t have to stress about a lack of space for boxes or people, and your van will be delivered to you freshly sanitized and in perfect driving condition. There is always the option to shop when you arrive, or ship items to your dorm, but it’s easier to get the job done all in one day by packing everything you need into a large van. That way, you know you’ll have everything you need, without worrying about out-of-stock items at stores.

As with any big move, getting all of your belongings packed into a vehicle for transportation to college is easier said than done. Pack productively with the following tips:

  • Place heavy items on the bottom of the pile. If something can tip over and potentially break other items, place it at the bottom.
  • Secure your bins and boxes. Although many of your items may be lightweight, you don’t want to experience an opened bin spilling items into your backseat or trunk.
  • Protect delicate items. Especially for your electronics, ensure that delicate items are wrapped in blankets, towels, or clothing to stay protected during the drive.

3. Don’t Skimp On Safety

When it’s time to embark on your college move-in road trip, it’s crucial to make sure that your family’s safety is never an afterthought. With the following safety tips, you’ll be setting yourself up for a smooth and safe trip to your destination.

  • Secure all loose items. Cargo can fly across the cabin if there’s a sudden stop, so pack smaller items into boxes and strap down larger ones using the car’s cargo anchors. Secure the boxes and larger items in the cargo section to prevent them from striking passengers.
  • Get your car serviced before the college road trip! The last thing you need is a breakdown en route.
  • Ensure your driving visibility is not reduced by boxes. If you have multiple drivers for the trip, make sure that all drivers are comfortable with the rear visibility and rearrange items if necessary.
  • If you’ll need to park overnight, use blankets to conceal the contents of your vehicle and bring expensive or irreplaceable items into your hotel room.

When you choose to rent a Mercedes Sprinter van or cargo van, you’ll be free from the responsibility and time commitment of prepping your transportation for a safe college road trip. Your van will be delivered to you in safe driving condition having undergone multiple safety checks, will be equipped with free 24/7 roadside assistance, and will be completely cleaned and sanitized.

4. Choose Your Move-In Squad & Prep Your Road-Trip Vehicle

Cardboard boxes leaning up against a wall

It’s likely that siblings and possibly grandparents or other close family members will want to accompany you on your college drop-off road trip. While space may be tight in a personal vehicle, a rental van can allow you to host many more passengers. Enlist your helpers and ensure that at least a few of them are willing to carry boxes up a flight or two of stairs!

In the hectic hours leading up to your departure, it’s easy to forget to prepare your college transportation for the best experience possible. In your packing frenzy, be sure to keep your essential items within reach! Pack a cooler with snacks and drinks and place it in an easily accessible area. Bring some activities for any younger children, and keep your electronic accessories and essentials like wallets and sunglasses within reach.

Pack a small weekend bag for your driver and non-student passengers with essentials for the trip, and choose your perfect college road trip adventure.

5. Choose to Reduce Your Driving Time or Make it a Road Trip to Remember

View of a paved road surrounded by red clay and rock

With a rental vehicle from Legends Car & Van Rentals, you’ve got options! We recommend packing all of your student’s belongings in plastic bins, completing your unpacking and dorm setup, and then placing your plastic bins in a self-storage unit near the college. Plastic bins are much easier to carry than flimsy cardboard or trash bags, and they’ll be ready for you when it’s time for another college road trip later in the year. With no college gear left in your rental van, you’ll be free to embark on an exciting, scenic road trip home, or fly directly home from the nearest airport.

Arrive to College in Style & Spacious Comfort with Legends Car & Van Rentals

Moving your child into their new home is stressful enough — there’s no need to add the extra hassle of packing all of their college possessions into one small vehicle for transportation.

With a Mercedes Sprinter van or cargo van rental from Legends Car & Van Rentals, you won’t have to worry about a lack of space or seating. You and your move-in crew will enjoy a feature-packed, comfortable, and spacious interior along with the ultimate flexible and convenient rental experience. Plan your route, load up the van, and hit the road. Whether you opt to make the college journey an extended road trip or drop off your van to quickly fly home, we’ve got your rental needs covered. Don’t forget to take photos! These are the special moments you’ll want to remember for a lifetime.

Contact us today by phone, email, or contact form to secure your van rental! We’re looking forward to helping you achieve a smooth, hassle-free college move-in road trip experience. View our fleet and get your custom quote today.

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