Visiting Campus? Why Not Take the Bus!
Jul16

Visiting Campus? Why Not Take the Bus!

Visiting campus can be the most important part of the college search. Join our Twitter chat for ideas to ease the process and expense, including an innovative approach from CoToTravel.

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Plan Your College Visit – Avoid Surprises
May31

Plan Your College Visit – Avoid Surprises

Keep in mind that some colleges do close for a day, a week, or more — and often these closures fall right when you happen to have time off to visit (major holidays, for example). Don’t waste a trip. Plan ahead!

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Visiting College Early – Where To Start, When To Start?
Mar03

Visiting College Early – Where To Start, When To Start?

Recently we noted that juniors, and even sophomores, in high school can benefit from college visits prior to the senior year. If your schedule and budget allow, visiting the very high-on-the-list colleges early on can take a little pressure out of the over-scheduled senior year. Be warned, however, that it can also restructure your list.         There is no magic number of colleges to visit (or apply to, for that matter). A general guideline for visiting college is that one visit is not enough, and more visits than you can afford – in time and money – would be too many. Where and when to visit As with all things college-related, there is no “one size fits all.” When you travel depends on why you travel. Are you looking to shorten your list before submitting applications? Or are you so certain of your future university that you feel comfortable not seeing campus until new student orientation? Even if you’re positive that visiting college isn’t necessary, at minimum you should visit your Plan A and B schools before time to put down a deposit. What if Plan A doesn’t pan out? There simply is no substitute for being there to make a truly informed decision. For more on this, read Don’t Skip the College Visits for insight from the Parent College Coach and her own experience. Quick start Start with a list. For some, this will be a spreadsheet that can be sorted by distance, current tuition, and one’s own ranking system. For others, it might be hastily scrawled on the back of PTA minutes. (That may or may not be a personal example.) You could begin with your top few choices, or colleges within a five-hour drive, or even a national ranking site.  (National rankings are fine, if that’s something you seek, but be sure to do some reading on their methodology if you’re going to use them to slash your list. Don’t risk eliminating what could be perfect for you based on someone else’s criteria.) Before you travel Do your homework.  (Wow – don’t you wish you had a dollar for every time you heard that?) Add “have-to” items and “nice to have” items to your checklist and be sure anywhere you plan to visit meets the minimum. Take a look at the school’s site for information you need, such as whether they have adequate workout facilities, or offer your intended major. No sense wasting time and money on something that will simply not do. But wait! Don’t completely discount a university based on something that could, in the end, be negotiable. You may find an absolute fit...

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Your Travel Bill of Rights: The Video
Jun28

Your Travel Bill of Rights: The Video

You know, you really do have choices when it comes to not only choosing your hotel but where you stay within the hotel. Check our video travel tips before your next college visit!

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Stress-free Graduation Travel
Apr29

Stress-free Graduation Travel

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.

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Travel Bill of Rights
May22

Travel Bill of Rights

With campus tours and college visits upon you, there are sure to be several nights spent in hotels. Travel has changed so much over the years and hotels, in general, are well run and efficient, but sometimes there is a glitch in the system.  Know your rights so you can sleep soundly. 1. Request the room you want. When you check-in at a hotel, your room is typically assigned automatically by a computer which makes tracking efficient for housekeeping and maintenance. If you like staying near a stairway instead of the elevators, speak up before a room is assigned.  Request a room above the 2nd  floor (since lower floors are easier targets for theft) and below the 6th or 7th floor (to make exiting easier in case of fire). 2. Be aware of your surroundings. If you get off of the elevator  and some of the hallway lights are out or if anything seems amiss, return immediately to the front desk and either request a different room or ask that a staff person accompany you to your room.  3. Don’t sacrifice your health. If you arrive in your non-smoking room and there is an overpowering smell of smoke, don’t “buck it up”.  Return to the front desk and explain that someone has been smoking in the room or perhaps bedding from another room was mistakenly put in yours.  Mistakes happen and the housekeeping staff may not notice the odor. 4. Do a quick “sanitary check”. Before you unpack, do a quick sanitary check of the bathroom (at the very least, check to see that the toilet bowl and sink are clean). Pull back the bedspread and inspect the sheets to see if they are clean and fresh. 5. What’s outside the window? Again, before you unpack, take a quick look out the window. If your window overlooks the garbage dumpsters, you can pretty much guarantee that they will be emptied very loudly at 4am.  Likewise, if you are planning to get to sleep early and your window overlooks the outdoor party area, you might consider requesting a change.  Give the hotel staff as much notice as possible should you need to request a new room. 6. Overbooked? Unfortunately, hotels do sometimes overbook and they will “walk” you.  This simply means they have made arrangements for you to stay in a similar hotel in the same town. It’s legal and not uncommon.  Push back gently (and politely) to ask if there are any other options. (Sometimes being a AAA member or certain credit card holder is an advantage.)  You’ll get much further being polite than trying to argue. 7. Looking...

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