Getting there is more than half the fun

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Student LoanDown readers, let me introduce you to our newest blogger, Samantha Simon, who has joined us as an intern this summer as she gets ready for her last year as an undergraduate in Ohio. Welcome, Samantha! –DF

Going off to college and leaving the nest you’ve lived in with your parents for your entire life is undeniably exciting, nerve racking, but also completely necessary. Even if you are a commuter student living at home, attending college will open you up to many more experiences, adventures and freedom. Personally, I could not wait to leave my small town in Connecticut, and discover a new, maybe even smaller town in Ohio. One of the most appealing considerations was that the entire freshman class was embarking on a new adventure at the same time. Though my excitement to move on and meet new people was plentiful, I could not bear the thought of leaving my closest friends. We all wanted to spend a lot of quality time before leaving together, as well as have a taste of freedom before the big move to college.

A road trip was the perfect plan. And by plan, I mean we had to actually plan out a lot of details in advance, not to cramp any vision of spontaneity, but to ensure we had the essentials to have a great time. Any road trip needs some serious direction; and here are some of the most important things to consider:

Pick a plan: Choose where you want to go, and how many hours a day you want to drive. Choosing the final endpoint and calculating the hours will help you plan out your stops along the way, and figure how much time you will be gone for. You can search for online tools to help you map out the perfect route, calculate mileage and find destination spots.

Who: Road trips are made for adventure, freedom, and fun. A solo trip can be beneficial for yourself, and you can set your own agenda. If you choose to travel alone make sure you check in with someone along the way to ensure you are safe and well. If you are taking this trip with friends, you will want to consider all opinions and distribute driving so everyone can share responsibility.

Lodging: Where you stay may either be the determining factor of where you head or the biggest bump along the road. It is important to decide whether you would rather splurge and live in luxury for a few days before you move into your dorm room, or if you want to save money to have on hand while attending school. As a money saving tip, you may consider staying with relatives or friends. Another tip to save some money is to book early, and together. Some sites offer a discount if you put the entire reservation on one card.

Taking it all in: The drive itself can be the best part of your trip, so don’t rush! Plan car games, good tunes, and don’t forget a camera to document and preserve all the memories to be made. The photos will make for great decorations in your new dorm room.

A road trip is not only a great way to have fun before heading to college, but budgeting your trip will give you good insight of what you have to prepare for in your college years, and rest of your life. Considering all costs including gas, lodging, food, activity fees etc. will give you a good map of what is to come as you become financially independent.

But, if you want one last opportunity to relax and not worry about costs then take this time to enter for a chance to win The Take the Journey sweepstakes*. The grand prize winner will get to keep the ultimate road trip souvenir, an all-new 2013 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara 4-Door and $2,500 in gift cards to finance the road trip. Plus, 52 other lucky students will win prizes some of which include tablets, speakers, backpacks and sunglasses! Visit wellsfargo.com/takethejourney and enter for your chance to win. See Sweepstakes Rules for complete eligibility and prize award details. No purchase is required.

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 17 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER AND ENROLLED AS A FULL OR PART-TIME STUDENT IN AN ACCREDITED HIGH SCHOOL OR POST-SECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION OR PROGRAM. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes starts on 7/1/13 at 12:00 a.m. PST and ends on 9/30/13 at 11:59 p.m. PST. For Official Rules, to enter without signing up for a Wells Fargo College Checking® account, prize descriptions, to opt-out, and odds disclosure, visit wellsfargo.com/journeyrules. Sponsor: Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94104.

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One Response to Getting there is more than half the fun

  1. Kate says:

    hey Sam–awesome blog– See you at school in a couple of months.

The Student LoanDown

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