Stress-free Graduation Travel

group of graduatesThis is the moment you’ve been waiting for: your son or daughter is finally graduating from college and will soon be a wage-earner! So pack your hankies and get ready for one of the most memorable trips of your lifetime: college graduation. Here are a few tips to make this weekend easy and stress-free.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for:  your son or daughter is finally graduating from college and will soon be a wage-earner! So pack your hankies and get ready for one of the most memorable trips of your lifetime: college graduation. Here are a few tips to make this weekend easy and stress-free.

  1. Book your room far in advance.  Graduation dates are set years in advance. You can’t go wrong by booking your hotel room as soon as you are sure your child will graduate (usually the semester prior).  Large, state universities will graduate 5,000+ students and hotel rooms fill up quickly.
  2. Make your celebration meal special. Of course you’ll want to have a special graduation meal, but with hundreds, or even thousands, of families with the same thought, you might find restaurant reservations a bit difficult. Consider doing something different (a picnic on campus!) or eating out in a near-by town.  You might spend 20 minutes driving, but you won’t be waiting in a queue for an hour waiting to eat. And don’t forget breakfast and lunch are great celebratory times, too.
  3. Late arrivals happen. When you book your hotel room, make sure to ask for it to be guaranteed for a late arrival.  Even
    if you plan on arriving in plenty of time, there’s no sense in adding that worry to your list if there’s a traffic jam or road-work.
  4. Take a walk. Everyone and their great-aunt Martha will be vying for the closest parking space. Do you really want to be part of that? Instead, park in a remote lot on campus and take a leisurely stroll with your soon-no-longer-to-be-a-student through campus. They might appreciate the quiet time to tell you about their campus experiences and it will create a lasting memory for them.
  5. Graduation = Hectic. If you plan on giving a graduation present that is large or expensive, think through how that will affect graduate on this hectic, emotional day. Will they need to make room to pack it? Could it easily get lost or misplaced or broken in a move? A card with a picture (and a promise of shipping to the new home) could be just the ticket instead of Grandmother Myrtle’s Stuben vase ending up in pieces.

You’ve raised a great kid – who is now entering the adult world.  Celebrate and show them how to travel stress-free. You’ve all earned it.

Author: Gail

Gail Billingsley is a world traveler writing frequently about travel, technology, and getting along in life.

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