College Road Trip? Take These Tips Along for the Ride

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When parents wave bye-bye to their college-aged kids for a summer weekend or when September comes, little do they know they neglected to warn Junior about a big rite of passage among young adults: the road trip.

Road trips reached mega-status in the U.S. culture through the 1978 movie Animal House, in which fraternity house misfits loaded up a Lincoln Continental with beer and hit the open road.

But for parents these days, it's safety first. Loading up any vehicle with beer is low on the list of actions mom and dad want their kids to take when away from home.

That's not going to stop kids from embarking on road trips, so parents would do well to arm them with some tips on how to get the most out of a road trip in a safe, practical way. Fortunately, Royal Purple, a Porter, Texas, synthetic oil products and services firm, is ready with some tips.


"With any road trip, the journey itself is part of the adventure," says the company's marketing director, Randy Fisher. "We put this list together because we wanted to make sure that college students get the fullest experience from their time on the road, and most importantly get to school safe."

Here is what the company advises before backing out of the driveway:

Give yourself some time. Royal Purple says having an extra day of travel will add some relaxation on a road trip. "That allows you to drive rested, get some sightseeing in and arrive early to your destination," the firm says. And drivers can save time by using a travel planning website such as Furkot.

Know your travel goal. Road-trippers have to know what lies ahead on that open highway, especially if there are delays, road closings or construction along the way. "Before you leave, make sure your GPS is updated," the firm says. "Many state DOT systems have online resources to alert drivers." For example, the state of California maintains a database on the Caltrans website, on which travelers can check out current road conditions on major highways anywhere in the state.