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College Series: Preparing Teen for a Solo Road Trip Home FROM College - #BeThereMoments



Have you been keeping up with our college series? I hope you have, because it continues right now! Your teen has been at college for a while now, living their adult life and working hard to get their degree. Time has passed and your teen has matured a lot but now they are ready to drive home from college on their own to visit the family.  You are having a bit of nervousness because this will be the first solo road trip for your teen and you are fearful of what could happen. Today we will share with you some tips on how to prepare your teen for a solo road trip home from college in collaboration with Michelin.


Instruct your teen to check all fluid levels, gas and tire pressure on the car they will be using to drive home from college.

Make sure your teen has ample cell service and time on their cell phone to ensure they can call if an emergency arises.

Remind your teen the safety of wearing their seatbelt, driving within the speed limit and to take a break anytime they feel remotely tired.

Discuss any concerns your teen has regarding their first solo road trip home from college, address their concerns openly and honestly.


Once you have taken time to discuss the necessary safety items and addressed their concerns about driving solo home from college, it’s time to make sure they pack necessary items in case an emergency arises while they are on this road trip.

If cold weather is in session, have them pack hand warmers and a small emergency kit meant for people to stay warm & safe when their car breaks down in the middle of Winter.

If warmer weather is in session, have them pack some bottled waters and a cooler with ice to ensure they have enough to keep them cool if they break down.

Show your teen how to change their own flat tire and provide them with the tools necessary in case they get a flat tire on the solo road trip home.

Make sure your teen knows how to handle a situation if a stranger approaches them while they are in the middle of unknown towns on the road trip.

Discuss any concerns your teen has regarding preparation or anxiety of driving alone as a means to come visit you after being away at college.


There may be many mixed emotions from both the parents and the teen when it comes to trudging cross country to return home from college for the first time. Remember, we all learn from experience and this solo road trip will allow your teen to gain a lot of experience while enjoying a scenic trip home.

Remember to be there for your children, no matter where they go. Do you have a student headed off to college either this year or next? Read more stories from parents like me on betheremoments.com and join the conversation by using the hashtag #BeThereMoments.

Let's discuss: What other ways can you prepare your teen for a solo road trip home from college?

Annmarie John
70 Comments
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70 comments:

  1. These are great ways to prepare a teen for their first solo road trip. Every teen should be taught how to check their fluid levels and change a tire. I love how you included how to handle safety issues with strangers.

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    1. Thank you Alli, you'd be surprised at how many people don't know how to change their tires, even adults. :)

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  2. I never went far off to college but my babysitters go so far away they have to fly home. I can't imagine that!

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    1. My college was a bus ride away but my daughter isn't close by so she has to drive. I had friends who went out of state so I totally get that.

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  3. Love this, and I must say, these are useful reminders for grown ups as well as teenagers!

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    1. Hi Tania, that is true indeed. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. These are all great tips. The only thing I would add is maybe some mace in the purse and an emergency app in case of trouble.

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    1. Mace and Pepper Spray would be ideal but it's illegal to have them in some states so you may want to be sure that it's legal where you're at before having it. :)

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  5. There are so many things to teach your child before letting them go off to college. I never even thought about preparing her for the long drive.

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    1. And you should, especially if your teen is driving.

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  6. Great tips! My son will be road-tripping home from college in the fall for break. He goes to college about five hours away.

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    1. Five hours isn't that bad but when you're a teen all alone driving on the highway, you want them to be as careful as possible.

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  7. For me I loved the adventure of moving away but I know it is harder for others. Taking a road trip though is another story and as you quite rightly pointed out, reminding them to fill up fluids is important .

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    1. I didn't move away when I went to college but my daughter did and I think it was tough for both of us. These are tips that I also shared with her.

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  8. My college was 3 hours away and I swear my mother had a fit whenever I had to leave to go back to school. If I had to stop we planned out where to stop and to always have my phone on me at all times.

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    1. Sounds like you have a mother that cared because I'm very much the same with my own daughter.

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  9. Oh this is really good advice. I think a lot of teens are going to be doing this over the course of the school year.

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    1. Yes quite a few of them will most certainly be doing this.

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  10. My kids are still very young, and I don't want to think about all the worry I'll have when they're driving alone to and from college. These are great tips on making sure the car is all set for the road trip.

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    1. Well they do grow up so be sure to keep this advice handy.

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  11. These are definitely some great tips a teen should be aware of before going on their first solo road trip. I need to share with some of the people who would be interested.

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    1. Thank you for sharing and thanks for stopping by.

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  12. You made a really good point. This is very important post, fantastic tips! Me, myself and I are going on college next year, so this was helpful.

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    1. Have fun in college but not too much fun.

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  13. It can be quite intimidating for them especially if it's the first time that they're driving alone. No matter how short or long the travel time is, it's also still very worrying if you're a parent. I appreciate all these pointers, it's good to be on the same page with your teen. Good to know you have a support group for parents going through the same thing! That's awesome.

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    1. Oh it most certainly is and it can be worrying for parents too because we are always worrying about our kids.

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  14. These are some really great tips for preparing teens for solo road trip from or to college. I really never thought of the hand warmers or any type of warmers for that matter but that is a great idea especially here in Upper Michigan. Thanks for sharing the tips.

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    1. You're very welcome Rebecca and happy I could share something with you.

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  15. Great post! My oldest is almost in the same situation. I am going to be so freaked out but I'll remember these tips.

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    1. Don't freak out please, she's going to need your support and strength so even if you're freaking out don't show it.

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  16. This is a great list. I could have totally used this when I went to college!

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    1. Well it's not to late to pass the knowledge around since other are also going to college.

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  17. It does seem quite hard to let the teens go on their solo road trips. It's really good to remind them of their safety advice and remind them to call in case of emergency.

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    1. It can be hard but its something that we have to do. And we should always remind them of what to do in the event of an emergency.

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  18. I'm a few years away from this just yet, but these are all great tips. I would say for anyone in general who happens to be driving alone.

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    1. That I have to agree with. It's not just for teens heading to/from college.

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  19. These are really useful tips! I never learned to change a flat tire though...never too late to learn!

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    1. You're absolutely right. It's never too late to learn.

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  20. These are all great tips for sure, thank you for sharing them! I know I would have done well with these tips heading to college or home from college on a solo road trip!

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    1. Well they're handy for any road trip that you may decide to take, not just for college.

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  21. Brilliant ideas and tips! I could use these smart tips when my son heading to college.

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    1. Be sure to save them for when he does. Thanks for visiting.

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  22. Lots of tips and great advice. Very thoughtful post indeed.

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  23. Such a helpful post with great tips, also applicable to any other trips like going to the beach for the day or visiting friends and family a bit further a field.

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    1. That is very true, you don't just need to be heading to/from college. These are tips that everyone should include in their everyday life.

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  24. This would be as scary for the parents as it is for the teen as well. I am over this phase and I have only one more child in college who stays with us instead of the dorm. (His university is very close to home). Thank you for these tips. It can apply not only to teens but to every one driving solo as well.

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    1. Yes it can be scary, especially if your child is many hours away, and you're absolutely right, these tips can be relatable to anyone traveling.

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  25. wow!! i would be needing all these tips in a few years from now...when my daughter grows up!! nice post!

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    1. Thank you Suchitra, guess what? It's never too early to start introducing these tips one by one.

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  26. Oh, nice tips. I will share this to my mom, my sister is going to college soon.

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    1. Thank you Nikki, you should share them with your sister instead.

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  27. Aside from the emotional separation from home this is a good knowledge that teenager can learn. As they face the real world of being a grown up adult. I'm definitely sharing it to my family and friends who had their children moving out to College.

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    1. Thank you Farrah and you're right. They're adults but they're still learning what it's like to be an adult. :)

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  28. These are all good points! They need to go out there and explore things by themselves as we all have done but it's important to let them know they can always count on us.

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    1. And that's teaching them independence Tiina, because they won't always be at home with us forever.

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  29. Something like this is what tore me about my daughter wanting to attend the college that I did. It's in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, and it gets very bad there weather wise in the winter. I wanted her to attend the same school as me, but I was scared for her making that drive to come home in the winter.

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    1. That is understandable but maybe you could have done the drive with her and that might have put you at ease.

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  30. Lovely article and fun. And I love your hair too. So cute. :)

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    1. Thank you but that's a photo of my daughter who is actually in college and not me.

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  31. I didn't think that there were so many points to check. I don't drive yet (I'm not a teen either), but I think this list can be helpful for every new driver, as I bet it's very anxious to get int the car alone, after you've passed your driving test. Especially if it's a long trip.

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    1. I remember when my daughter got her car. She had just graduated college and I was scared for her to be on the road, not because of the way she drives, but because of the way the other drivers drove on the road.

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  32. These are such good and important reminders for a teen! In today's world you can not be too safe!

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    1. Yes you can never be too careful, you can't even be too careful as an adult either.

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  33. I certainly drove when I was a teen, but I never had to drove from college to home since it was accessible by train. I usually go home on weekends to bring my laundry. But these tips are really helpful for American teens. Anyway, your hair looks absolutely fabulous. -Me-An Clemente of http://yogoandcream.com

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    1. My daughter does the same thing. She does however drive but she comes home every other weekend because it's along drive from home. She likes bringing her laundry home when she does come. And that's her hair, not mine. :)

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  34. These seem like great tips! I don't drive myself but when I do I'll definitely consider these :)

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    1. Once you start driving please do. Thanks for stopping by.

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  35. My kids are still young but these tips are wonderful. Thank for sharing it :). Cheers from NYC..

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    1. You're very welcome Indah and thank you for stopping by. I do miss my hometown of Brooklyn. :)

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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