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Tips and Tricks to Prepping Your College Kid’s Car

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By Elijah Cleary on July 23, 2020 in life hacks

Packing your kid’s car for college can be both exciting and stressful. We want to make the transition from high school to college as easy as possible, so we have some tips to help you pack efficiently!

1. Make sure your GPS is set and ready to go.

Most college students have to travel a significant distance to reach their destination, and we don’t want them getting lost along the way! Depending on the length of the drive, you may want to consider sightseeing during your trip. Having a bit of fun on this last pre-college adventure together will help relax your student and soothe some of those pre-move jitters!

2. Use multi-purpose boxes.

Do not overstuff your vehicle. You still want to be able to see out of all your mirrors (safety first). Tote boxes are an excellent way to transport items and save space. Plus, they can be turned into a storage unit for the school year to help make the most of the tiny new space.

Even if your child won’t admit it, a nightlight may be necessary until they get used to their new surroundings – opt for a plug-in instead of a candle since most dorms across America don’t allow open flame.

3. Prepare for tight quarters.

Dorm room spaces are often small, so bring only what is necessary. This can be done many ways! If possible, have your new student coordinate with his or her future roommate and decide who’s bringing each large item. For example, if the roommate plans to bring the T.V., your student might decide to bring the mini fridge. After the basics are taken care of, channel your inner Marie Kondo and bring only what is truly needed.

Leaving sentimental items behind can be tough, but will they really use them before next summer? College freshman will get homesick. This is the sad reality of leaving home after so many years, but a simple family photo can go a long way! Need a million-dollar idea? Pack a little goody bag with your teen’s favorite snacks and beverages, this may just be the boost that they need to make it through that first week!

4. Pack strategically, not heavily.

Contrary to popular belief, less boxes won’t make the trip easier. Larger boxes usually mean heavier boxes, and this can make the move a lot more painful. Getting to the dorm will most likely mean you’ll climb one or more flights of stairs, so avoid the back pain, and pack smaller boxes!

We realize some heavy items are necessary. When loading these into the car, remember to put the items toward the middle of the car. This will help distribute the weight evenly and avoid unwanted sagging in the back of your vehicle.

5. Last-minute shopping trip, anyone?

As you help unload boxes, make sure nothing was left behind, and don’t forget the school supplies! In college, school supply lists usually consist of a notebook and pen for each class, nothing major, but you want your child showing up prepared for day 1! If your student forgets anything, don’t be afraid to run with them to Walmart. It will help you both get the lay of the land in a new town!

Our final piece of advice? Don’t forget the shower shoes. These are essential to avoid foot fungus from the shared shower--EW!


Transitioning from high school to college is an exciting time in both you and your student’s life. We hope these tips help make the transition smoother. Before you hit the road, make sure your student is covered and get a quote!

Share your child’s first day back with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

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Elijah Cleary is Say's Digital Content Intern. He will graduate from the University of Missouri in the fall of 2020 with a Bachelors of Journalism, emphasis in Strategic Communication. He is learning and developing skills in both writing and digital media. Elijah loves using his knowledge of cars to create and design content for Say!

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