Ideas on Transporting "school Luggage" long distance

<p>I thought I would throw out the question on what are some Ideas on transporting "school Luggage" long distance. We are from NY and my son is going to Texas for school. We are renting a car one-way and driving out (my "father" idea, so I could spend time with son in car over several days, and we get to be there to drop him off and say good bye). This isn't the only way people will be tackling this, and I have seen some really clever ideas on CC, so I would love to see how others are dealing with this.</p>

<p>If you are taking a car I don't really see the difference between driving 2 hours or driving 2 days, other then you'll need a bit more luggage for the non-college students. </p>

<p>The one piece of advice that pops up on this subject every time is to go to your local Bed, Bath and Beyond with as many coupons as you can (they never expire) get a scanner and scan everything you will buy, pay for it and arrange to pick it up at the BB&B closest to your child's college.</p>

<p>I suggest that you consider sending your heavy stuff via FED EX ground (cheapest, and you might get extra discount if you and/or spouse have a discount program with FED EX) to your child's dorm and fly to TX. If you want to spend time with your child before starting school, take a fun local trip in TX-there is plenty to do there. Cost of car to TX, chances of flat tires, accidents, gas, etc. is not worth it unless you LOVE to drive.</p>

<p>We did NY to Chicago last year and my husbands big objection to driving was not the drive there but the one coming home minus one kid! He didn't think he could handle that so we shipped cartons to school, arrived one full day early to check out the neighborhood one more time, and then get her in early to her dorm room the next morning. We unloaded her, did some last minute school and dorm supply shopping, had an early dinner and left. </p>

<p>It's funny, I'm crying now writing this but the truth is, she was so happy when we left her that the only one crying was my husband and that passed pretty quickly. </p>

<p>At the end of this school year we asked if she wanted one or both of us to fly out and help her pack and bring her home and she was like, "NO WAY!" Fine, when should I book your flight, "Don't know." Okay, why don't you just do it yourself, you've got a card. Two days before her last final she calls and says, "You guys don't love me, I'm the only one who's supposed to book her own flight and we can't figure out how to do that!" The more things change....</p>

<p>Oh and most colleges have well organized package room where you pick the boxes up when you get there and also have companies that are on campus in the spring to sell boxes and go right to the dorm room to ship them back home. It's a big business.</p>

<p>If you are driving out and have a minivan size car you should be able to fit everything in it. If you can't, you have too much stuff. Having driven across the country three times in my 20s I wouldn't recommend this unless you have plenty of time to stretch the trip with some sightseeing stops. I really hated driving more than four or five hours a day.</p>

<p>We always took the plane and our advice would be to take only what you can't buy on the ground in the college town. But if you are driving, you can pack the car with stuff like lamps, TV, fridge, etc. </p>

<p>Road trips are fun (it'll be a great memory for the two of you). I'd definitely plan out sightseeing fun along the way. Also, unplug his iPod--not a lot of point to a trip like this if all he is going to do is sit in his seat and veg out on his music and not interact with you.</p>

<p>Also plan a little vacation/sightseeing for yourself after the drop off. Nothing as depressing as dropping the kid off and then having to come straight back. We always planned a little fun for parents after the drop off so that we could take our minds off the fact that we just dropped junior off.</p>

<p>My SIL packs all of my neices clothes, bed linens and towels in space bags. She says it really helps with the start and end of year transport. Everything gets packed for the entire year, winter coats, blankets etc so it does not have to be shipped midyear.</p>

<p>I agree with the sightseeing. If you are a baseball fan, see if there are any games scheduled for when you will be dropping him off.</p>

<p>"Also, unplug his iPod--not a lot of point to a trip like this if all he is going to do is sit in his seat and veg out on his music and not interact with you"</p>

<p>I tried this once with my D on a trip. I still have the marks on the back of my head where her intense glare burnt holes. So if you do this, put him in the front.</p>

<p>Or if you don't unplug the ipod, get an adapter so you can both listen to his music. While I don't like everything my son likes, it improves with repeated hearings. We had fun figuring out what we both liked and with me trying to be able to tell the various Finnish metal groups apart. (I've heard them all in concert at least once, so really I have no excuse!)</p>

<p>I second FedEx Ground as being the cheapest means of transport BUT definitely ship out media materials (books, CDs, etc.) by USPS media mail.</p>

<p>We went as a family by plane (at that time airlines still allowed 2 pieces of luggage per person free, so that was plenty of space). Luggage still flies free on Southwest.</p>

<p>Boys don't seem to need nearly as much stuff as girls, so you are in luck there.</p>

<p>I've done the long distance college move both ways:
1. I went to college in Michigan from Texas and my mom and I loaded up the car and drove the first year. My mom stopped and visited friends and relatives on the way home to help break up the drive.
2. When my d went to college we lived overseas so it wasnt even an option to drive! We mailed a few things (paid for by the company since she was "repatriating") but we picked up most of the things when we landed. We got there a few days early and had a very detailed shopping list then after the move in we added items and returned items to adjust what she needed. We even stayed near shopping areas the first few nights instead of staying near campus - cheaper and easier to get everything needed. </p>

<p>Keep in mind that everything you take/buy will need to be stored each summer. When I was in college it was a major pain to find someone with a car -esp after freshman year. My things went in various basements on campus over the years and I lost quite a bit of stuff - including a typewriter but thankfully that was the year that the PC arrived on campus and all my papers were written in the lab using the Apple Lisas.<br>
My d used the Box My Dorm service after her freshman year which was expensive but worked well - they sent boxes, she packed it all up, they picked it up for storage then delivered it in the fall to her new location.</p>

<p>Driving 1,800 - 2,000 miles may sound like fun on paper but it gets old fast. I think a better idea is to fly in a day or two early and explore the area around where he'll be going to college. </p>

<p>Have your son work out with his roommate who's bringing what. Remember, a huge dorm room might be 12 X 15 shared with another person; the last thing you need is too much stuff. Once he and the roommate have worked out a list and once you see the room, then go to the local BB&B/Target/Walmart for whatever supplies you need. My rule: If it can't fit in two suitcases, you don't need it.</p>

<p>No matter how much you bring, it'll always be too much. As the weather changes you can ship him appropriate clothes (or he can pick them up at Thanksgiving). If he "has to" have a large, unwieldy item, (e.g. lacrosse stick or whatever), ship it to the hotel where you'll be staying, just arrange ahead of time for them to hold it. </p>

<p>Lastly, remember that ultimately all this stuff has to be stored or brought back home, so unless you want to reverse the road trip in May keep chanting, "less is more, less is more".</p>

Keep in mind that everything you take/buy will need to be stored each summer.

Very true. Most schools do not provide storage space, so unless your son makes some good local friends, it can get expensive!</p>

<p>My husband, myself and son moved my son to Chicago from New Jersey using Southwest. Flights gave us two free bags each for a total of 6 suitcases. Also used space bags and everything went with us. Only thing I shipped was his printer. </p>

<p>And also, you may be bringing WAY more than you need. Most times boys wear the same clothes over and over again - so no need to pack up his whole closet.</p>

<p>A northerner will be shocked at how few clothes are needed in a place like Texas. We are used to having a dozen sweaters and sweatshirts, but they aren't needed in the south for most of fall. Pack twice the shorts and flip flops and half the sweaters; keep the quilt, just send a blanket and a bedspread.
While it's great advice to go off to Target, etc. for a the last minute items, these places are mobbed on move-in day. Get there early!</p>

<p>Last year my husband and I drove our daughter from Kansas to Massachusetts. We visited friends and relatives along the way and had a wonderful trip out and it was a very special time together.</p>

<p>Since then she has flown home at Christmas break, spring break and at the end of the school year. She arranged for the summer storage of all her stuff (they get some storage, plus she went in with some other students on a summer storage unit). She has also mailed herself boxes home and back to school to supplement what she can take on the plane. </p>

<p>I am very glad we had the road trip - her younger brother was already in school, so it was just the three of us. We have family in Ohio (approximately half way there) and friends in New York along the way so it worked out well for us.</p>

<p>Amtrack Express Shipping is a great option if there are Amtrack stations near you and near the college. Cost is very reasonable compared to some other options.</p>

<p>I strongly recommend the idea of driving out and flying back. If driving, there should be no problem with luggage, just choose your rental car accordingly. S2 chose a school that is 900 miles from where we live. Year 1 we rented a van (lots of large musical instruments) and H & I drove out and back with him. It was a really nice time, although the drive back was pretty gloomy. At the end of the year, we flew out and rented a smaller van (one way) to drive back (he left some stuff in storage in the dorm. Soph year, he wanted a car, so we wedged everything in a Corolla with just enough room for me and a large purse with toiletries and a change of clothes. We drove together (he didn't have much highway driving experience), but he dropped me off at an airport an hour before his destination. He drove home this spring by himself with no problem.</p>

<p>Good plan, tango14. I know one way rentals for moving vans exist. Is it also common for cars?</p>