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Drive or fly?

FossanaFossana Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
I'm from Minnesota. If I flew down I would most likely go by myself, and I would only be able to bring a couple of suitcases with me or whatever. If I drive down I can bring my computer and two monitors, comforter and sheets, and that kind of stuff. I haven't visited yet so some of my family would be able to see the area and take some vacation time down there. I'm not sure which would be cheaper since gas and hotels cost something. I need to be there by the 13th for orientation, and then my move in day is the 14th.

Replies to: Drive or fly?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,543 Senior Member
    I think you need your family to come. If there are several drivers, you can take turns and eliminate hotel stops.

    I think the drive from Minn is about 16 hours. If the family were to leave very early in the morning, say 4 am....and then minimize gas/potty/food stops. You'd be in Tuscaloosa by 8-10pm.

    You're going to need your family for a couple reasons...one, you'll need their car so that you can shop and get some stuff that you didn't/couldn't bring. If you flew, you'd bring few/no toiletries, and have to shop here....two...since you haven't visited, it will help to have others help navigate everything...it's going to be overwhelming by yourself for the first time.

    How many family members want to come?
  • kjcphmomkjcphmom Registered User Posts: 1,091 Senior Member
    We are from southern WI and it takes us 12 hours to get to Alabama so depending on where you are in MN, it will take 16+ hours to get to Tuscaloosa. It will be a long ride, but for your freshman move-in I would definitely say drive. First of all it would be wonderful for your family to see the school so they can picture your there. Second its much more convenient to bring what you need with you, rather than trying to figure out how to pick it up from the store and get it to your dorm. Third, its so nice to have "help" actually moving in the first time. At the end of the year you can rent a storage unit and put most of your stuff in there so you can fly in for your sophomore year.

    Although we have a shorter ride than you, my husband doesn't like to drive the 12 hours straight by himself. What he usually does for moving in/moving out is drives 8 hours to Nashville, gets a hotel room, and then drives 4 more hours to campus. He then helps move in/move out our son(s), stays for a little while, and then drives back to Nashville and stays in the same room. Next day he drives the rest of the way home. Not sure if this would work for you, but it has worked well for the last 3 years for us. (P.S., if your family needs a hotel in Tuscaloosa for move-in, try to book it now. You might not find something in the city, but you would find something between Birmingham/Tuscaloosa.)
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    It would be great to have 1 parent with you (or an older sibling?) to help, yes, but if the entire fam (of 6?) wants to come, I think that would be stressful, IMO.

    Plenty of kids move in all by themselves and do just fine. While it is nice to have the help, it is not the end of the world if you are alone. There are many tips elsewhere on here about how to ship things (if needed). Southwest Airlines is generous with luggage (even if you have to pay for extra pieces), if you are able to use them. There are shuttles to Target from UA specifically for students to go shopping to get stuff. And, re 'stuff': we all brought way too much stuff as newbies that freshman year...and less really is more, is my advice. While we think our kids need all this 'stuff' around them to feel like home, they do just fine without it, imo. Having to store it all over the summer is such a waste of money (despite what some have reported, I find summer storage expensive). A cheap sublet at the same location where you will move into off-campus (assuming you do) for the summer between FR and SO years may be an alternative to moving everything back and forth three-four times.
  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,507 Senior Member
    Drive. Logistically it will be easier. You're gonna need a car on the ground anyway, I guess you could rent one, but still.
  • SEA_tideSEA_tide Registered User Posts: 3,877 Senior Member
    Personally, I find flying a lot easier than driving 8+ hours nonstop, but a lot of people prefer driving for the initial move-in. I lived in the dorms all four years and flew down each fall as driving from Seattle would take a few days. The first year I moved in with two family members and a rental car. Later years I shipped a couple boxes down and checked a couple suitcases. I'd land in Birmingham, take a shuttle to my dorm room, check in and drop off my bags, go get my boxes from the mail room, make my bed, and then fall asleep as I had been up for 24+ hours. Publix and Rite Aid have all of the essentials and the Week of Welcome and Sunday shuttles to Target are great for picking up larger items.

    Amazon Prime is your friend. Students get a free trial and then a discounted membership ($49 per year).
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Registered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    Yes it's easier to load up all your bulky stuff in a car. But remember that at the end of the school year, ALL that stuff has to come OUT of the dorm room. Summer storage exists, but it can be costly.

    Less is more.

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,543 Senior Member
    Typically, after the first year, many students move into off-campus apartments to eliminate the need to repeatedly move in and move out their stuff.
  • sunshine341sunshine341 Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    Drive! That way you can bring everything you need and not worry about anything important getting lost/damaged while traveling. Plus checking baggage and shipping can be pricey, plus then you'll need to hire a shuttle from the airport to campus. It's not fun moving in by yourself. Plus, you might need a car to go purchase things you forget
This discussion has been closed.