Road Trip Ideas for College Students: 5 Must-Have Items!

With Spring Semester starting your brain is probably reeling with ideas on what to do for spring break! We all want to have a good time, but a lot of us are on a budget and a plane ticket to Mexico is out of the question.

How about a road trip?!

Last year my roommates and I decided to take a road trip down to Southern California, we made hotel arrangements and roughly planned out an itinerary. As our break started approaching we realized that since it’s a road trip we were going to be sitting in the car for quite some time and we should probably start building an artillery of road trip ideas for college student to entertain us during the drive.

There are 5 items that we brought and proved most entertaining and most useful.

Item 1: Mixed CDs

Our home made mixed CDs turned out to be the soundtrack to our vacation. We made a bunch of themed CDs that we could obnoxiously sing along to. The first CD was our “Little Bit of Everything” CD. Since we all have differing opinions when it comes to music we made an album that had a little bit of everything in it, we had some rock songs, rap songs, pop songs, and country songs.

Some of the other CDs were 90’s boy bands, today’s hits, Britney Spears, Spice Girls and Disney Movie theme songs. The best kind of songs are the up-beat ones that you can all belt out at the top of your lungs!

These CDs make the time pass by but it’s also guaranteed fun. If you have a little trouble coming up with great road-trip songs there are plenty of websites that provide you with popular road-trip songs.

Check out The Jetpacker’s 50 best road trip songs for some ideas.

Item 2: Car-Friendly Snacks

When going on a road trip one thing is  give in, you’re going to get hungry! Even though your car is going to be filled to the brim with suitcases and people you should always make enough room for snacks, they won’t take up too much space, you’re going to end up eating it anyways!

Here’s something to consider though, make sure your snacks are “car-friendly.” If you don’t know what that means here are a couple examples of snacks that are a “car-hazard,” powdered doughnuts and corn nuts. These are two items I will never allow in my car because powdered doughnuts shed their powder all over the car and is a pain to wipe up when it has embedded itself into the floor carpet, corn nuts for some reason are just one of the worst smelling snacks I’ve ever encountered, they just remind me of bad breath and I don’t want my car smelling like stanky breath.

So be sure to pick out snacks beforehand that everyone in the car is okay with, the biggest issue is just making sure that the snacks you bring don’t leave a mess behind.

Item 3: Road Trip Games

The best part of going on a road trip is the inevitable road trip games!! You might think they are childish now but as children we played these games because they were and still are fun! The good old alphabet game is an awesome go-to, or the license plate game.

My parents banned my siblings and I from playing the “slug bug” game because we always slugged each other way too hard! Another awesome thing to do is play “mad libs,” now that we actually know what an adverb, pronoun and adjective is we can make mad libs pretty entertaining.

One thing that I want to try out on my next road trip is a scavenger hunt! Everyone gets a list of items or landmarks or really anything! The driver gets to make the list since they won’t exactly be able to play, once you get to your destination everyone goes through their lists, the one who found the most things gets a prize paid for by the one who found the least amount of things!

If you haven’t plaid the duct tape game, you should!! Four people get a piece of duct tape, they each write their name on the tape and put it on a tire. At the next place you stop, the person with their piece of tape closest to the ground  wins!

There are so many great game ideas out there!!  Fox News and Vagabondish also have some great road trip game ideas! 

Item 4: Camera

A camera is a give-in! The best road trips are the ones that you remember! So take pictures of everything! You can always delete pictures you don’t want, but you can’t snap your fingers and make a picture appear if you never took it!

Take turns being in charge of the camera, or just have everyone bring their own camera and take even more pictures! When you all arrive back home from your trip, download all the pictures onto one persons laptop and run it as a slideshow, it’s a lot of fun to look through all the pictures and laugh at all the great times you all just had.

Item 5: GPS

This day in age we are blessed with having smartphones and navigation systems. But even though we have Siri to tell us when to turn and what road to get on, we still find ourselves getting lost! Make sure you have a GPS or Navigation system when you go on a trip, nothing kills the light-hearted mood of a road trip more than getting lost and not being able to quickly find your way back on track! Googlemaps has saved me more than once!

If you haven’t taken a road trip with your friends yet then I highly recommend you do! Especially if you are attending a college out of state from your hometown. These experiences are the ones you will remember forever! If you do decide to go on a road trip then I help these items will be along for the ride, if they are then I can pretty confidently say that you are going to have a blast!

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Bryanna Maty

Bryanna Maty

Bryanna Maty is a Senior at the University of California, Davis. After graduating in June she hopes to find or invent a career that will utilize her love for writing, spending money and making people laugh. In her spare time you can find her crafting things off of Pinterest, swimming, line-dancing or watching re-runs of “Friends.”