Out of State Students and Personal Items

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>Just curious, if your student is attending an out of state school must they pack up each and every time there is a break, and if so, how are they transporting their personal items?</p>

<p>Not out of state, but when our oldest came home from college the first time his freshman year he came home with his backpack and laptop, no clothing, no deodorant, nothing. He kind of forgot all of his clothes were at school. Had to do a quick run to the store for him. :).</p>

<p>For me if my student was flying, I would keep a few changes of clothing at home along with personal care items so he or she didn't have to bring all of that on an airplane. If he or she is driving, I would have them pack like they were going out of town to visit a friend or relative (clothing, personal care items, etc.).</p>

<p>DD attended school 3000 miles away. DS about 120 miles away. Both out of state. They were able to leave things IN their dorm rooms during regular school breaks (fall break, thanksgiving, christmas, spring break). When summer came, DD rented a storage unit with friends and left all of her college "stuff" there (I loved it..it was NOT in my living room) and flew home with a suitcase and a computer bag. DS also left his stuff in the dorm during breaks but when summer came, he moved it all home for the summer. </p>

<p>The one thing I would strongly suggest...your student should bring ALL valuables home on ALL breaks. DD had some mighty expensive musical instruments that traveled across country with her many times while she was in college.</p>

<p>This very subject has involved us in a different kind of strategizing than we were used to doing. This will be compounded if your child is going to be doing internships in a THIRD location.</p>

<ol>
<li> Where/How to store stuff over the summer</li>
<li> What to pack to come home for breaks</li>
<li> What to take and how to get it to your internship</li>
<li> What to do with all of it when you graduate</li>
</ol>

<p>My kids were able to leave anything they wanted to in their rooms over the breaks during the school year -- but for the five-week Christmas break, they brought a substantial amount of clothing and other possessions home with them to use during that period. </p>

<p>My son, who attended school an hour away, was picked up for breaks by a family member, so he could bring anything he wanted in the car. My daughter, who traveled by bus from a school seven hours from home, had a significant challenge in deciding what to bring home for Christmas break because there was a 45-pound luggage limit. Because of that limit, if she did any shopping during the break or got any Christmas presents that she wanted to take back to school, we would have to ship things to her when she went back to campus. </p>

<p>Everything came home during the summer (by car), except when they moved off-campus and had 12-month leases. </p>

<p>My daughter had a moderately expensive musical instrument, which was stored in the music department's locked storage area. She did not bring it home during breaks during the year.</p>

<p>Both of my kids brought their laptops home with them always (in fact, neither would dream of going anywhere overnight without their laptops), and they kept some changes of clothing at home. They had two sets of bedding -- one for home and one for school. They either brought personal care items home with them, left some at home, borrowed mine, or forgot them and had to go shopping after they got home (except for my son who, when he forgot his razor, simply didn't bother to shave).</p>

<p>I would also strongly suggest that any items of value, computers, musical instruments, etc. get listed on your homeowners insurance policy as a specific personal item. There is SOME coverage for these in a standard policy but it's never enough. It's an inexpensive add on usually and in most states, a zero deductible option is available for scheduling these things on your policy (meaning if they are taken from their dorm rooms, you don't pay a deductible to replace them).</p>

<p>And if your kids are not experienced travelers, you and they may want to brainstorm a list of absolute essentials that must travel with them during breaks -- like their driver's licenses (which they may not carry at school if they don't drive when they're there), prescription medications, contact lens stuff, and that most crucial of all items -- the cell phone charger. (The phone, obviously, is in their backpack or pocket, but the charger could easily be left in the dorm room.)</p>

<p>With our kids, it's the laptop charger and/or spare battery that tends to be forgotten at one location or the other.</p>

<p>D can keep anything in her room over school breaks. She take the expensive stuff (computer, violin) home because she wants to use them. During the summer there is storage at her school for boxes. She does have a bike, and I think they have storage for those too.</p>

<p>My H drives her in the fall with the car loaded, then she comes home with a suitcase on breaks. She doesnt take all her clothes to school, in march she switches out her summer clothes. Then H picks her up in the spring.</p>

<p>Problem becomes where to store everything during summer break, when kids must leave their rooms. Good reason not to purchase big bulky items, like refrigerators, chairs, trunks, etc. so that you can still load-up the family wagon and go.</p>

<p>My college had limited storage over the summer for out of state students. Those that couldn't use that rented a storage garage near campus.</p>

<p>Do most LACs in the NE or Midwest have some sort of winter storage for bikes? My D would like to take her bike to school but during the winter I would like to see that it stays indoors.</p>

<p>Also if D attends somewhere in a rural area do these college towns tend to have some sort of storage units? I know I'm not being college specific and we will ask those questions of each college when time arises but I would hate to pack up for a three day drive with everything for each summer.</p>

<p>SweetTea-it depends on the school. My son's school did not. Kids just left them in the bike racks over the winter. Many kids still used their bikes through the winter so keeping them in storage was not an option. Also, do not send a nice bike, get a Walmart bike to send if she is just going to use it to ride around campus. If she is a serious biker and has a $5000 bike, keep it in the dorm room any time of the year.</p>

<p>SweetTea, even in little towns you can generally find a stroage unit, though it may be expensive. I seem to recall calling around for a unit in our area and the prices were higher for their "summer special" than the regular rate the month earlier.</p>

<p>Often a group of kids will get together and rent a storage unit over the summer. I haven't heard of colleges having their own storage space--my guess is not many provide that. For breaks, my kids tend to bring home only a backpack if they're flying (there seems to always be plenty of clothing around the house to get by while they're here), or all their dirty laundry if they're coming home in a car.</p>

<p>My d is 1200 miles away so always flies home for breaks. She keeps a bare minimum of clothes at our house, and just ends up doing laundry a lot while she's home. Since we won't pay checked luggage fees, she carries any books, toiletries, etc. in her carryon.</p>

<p>And my d's college is in a tiny town but they have two storage unit facilities. They're on the outskirts of town, but very accessible (10 minutes away) since the town is so small.</p>

<p>My daughters college (17 hours from us) did have limited storage for kids and an additional bike storage room, but I think that's the exception. For many kids you only have to worry about that for the first two years and then they move off campus with year round leases. We never did the pick 'em up and drop 'em off. Our daughter left her stuff at her college and our oldest son packed his car to the brim and brought it home. The first parents weekend we did bring some unused bulky stuff back. </p>

<p>For our youngest, I'm going to strongly encourage that he go in with other students and rent a storage unit but I may still have to go up because he has an enormous computer and two monitors. If not for that, he could just take the train with laptop and some clothes. He has bedding and stuff at home - no reason to haul all that both ways.</p>

<p>Our D had to get everything out of her dorm after her first year, find a place to store it, and then figure out how to get it to her new apartment for her second year. She had no car (not allowed freshman year) so doing this was problematic. Furthermore, we're 1,500 miles away. We found a student-based company that picked all of the boxes up, stored them over the summer, and re-delivered them to the new residence in the fall. The process went smoothly, and the company was bonded and friendly. Her current apartment requires 12 month leases, so we don't have to worry this year. You might investigate and see if the town where your child is attending college has a company that offers similar services.</p>