It may not be on your mind, but NOW is the right time to start making travel plans for Family Weekend!
Whether you’re still occupied with orientation, move in, and how in the world you’ll fit all the things your student wants to pack into your tiny car, or your son or daughter is home for the summer and you’re focused on enjoying your time together, it’s worth taking a moment to plan your trip.
Many colleges ask parents to register online or through their parents’ association. At universities where parents pay to attend Family Weekend, registering early can mean significant discounts. If the university does not require registration, check the website to confirm dates.
As Family Weekend gets close, parents will swarm the city; in many cases the hotels closest to campus will be completely booked. Making your travel plans this summer not only ensures you’re not spending an hour driving in from the next city over, it also allows you to shop around for the best deal while there are still choices to be had!
Purchase football (or other sports) tickets:
Family Weekend is often planned to coincide with a big game, sometimes even the Homecoming Game. In the latter case especially, you’ll want to book early if you’re interested in attending!
Look over the event schedule:
Have a conversation with your student about what their availability will be, and which parent-student events interest them. You don’t have to go to every event the university offers. Your student also may not be able to entertain you the entire time. Come up with a few things you can do on your own so your student doesn’t have to feel guilty about slipping away for a couple of hours to finish that lab report.
Make a dinner reservation:
Ask your student if they would like to invite any of their friends who are “Family Weekend Orphans” (students whose parents were unable to make it). Their friends will appreciate being included — and the free meal — and you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of your student’s new group. It makes it much easier to follow your student’s phone conversations if you have at least a couple of faces to put with all the names!
Ask your student what they need or miss from home:
Family weekend is a great time to bring any small items they forgot at home or didn’t realize they would need. Make sure your student is ready for late fall weather, and consider leaving your student with a gift card or two when you leave.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Sign up for UniversityParent’s weekly eNewsletter and purchase the Guide to Supporting Your Student’s Freshman Year for additional tips, insight, and to help your college student succeed. You may also add to the discussion and get feedback from fellow college parents by joining our College Parents’ Facebook group.
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