Road Trip Tips for Student Groups

Whether your group is taking a road trip purely for the sake of enjoying a road trip or your group is undergoing a long journey on their way to a specific destination, there are many components that go into planning and executing a successful trip outside of the destination(s) itself.

Between gas prices, bathroom breaks, and overly bored students, sometimes it seems that road trips are more hassle than they are worth.


At Adventure Student Travel we have gotten hassle-free student group road trips down to a science, from in-bus games and sightseeing entertainment to budget-friendly gas and food suggestions.

*Note. Since we deal with student groups mainly, we typically use motorcoaches or buses for road trips, not cars or vans.

When it comes to road trip basics, there are 4 main components you need to be aware of.

The 4 Main Components of Student Road Trips


  • Limit In-Car Bags
    • While your students may think they need two backpacks, a gym bag, and then some, try to limit each passenger to one small draw-string bag. Tell them to include essentials only, like phone, charger, snacks, headphones, medicines, and similar items.
  • Blankets and Pillows
    • Blankets and pillows do take up a lot of space if the motorcoach is overly crowded, but if you are going on a long journey and know your students (and yourself) are going to want to take a nap, be sure you bring these for your own comfort's sake.
  • Stretch Legs
    • Be sure to make plenty of bathroom breaks or rest area stops to stretch your legs and get some fresh air, it will make the trip much more enjoyable! Not only will it help you physically, but you will clear your head of all the various travel stresses inside the bus and be able to observe and enjoy your new surroundings.


  • Gas Budget
    • Before you embark on your road trip journey you need to be well aware of current gas prices in the areas you are traveling and plan your budget accordingly. You certainly don't want your only road trip hang-up to be an issue with gas funds.
  • Consider a Cooler
    • Instead of stopping at various fast food eateries along the way consider packing a cooler (or multiples), and stock them with drinks, sandwiches, fruits, and other various snacks of your choice. Another good way to save money on food is to eat local, most local mom and pop shop eateries being much cheaper than chain restaurants.
  • Be Aware of Tolls
    • Try and plan out any tolls you may run into along the way and budget accordingly. This is another financial pitfall you don't want to be unpleasantly surprised with.
Road trip Tips for Student Groups

Road trip Tips for Student Groups


  • Trunk Kit
    • Get together a trunk or under-bus storage kit of the basics of roadside assistance: First Aid Kit, Jumper Cables, Extra Motor Oil and/or Coolant, Water, Blankets, Tire Gauge, Flashlight, Duct Tape, Ice Scraper, and anything else you can think of needing.
  • Spare Tire
    • This plays in with the point above; to be on the safe side be sure to have a spare tire(s) just in case.
  • Make Location Known
    • This is especially important with student groups: be sure to make parents, chaperones, and friends aware of your road trip destination and route if possible. If an accident does happen, you will have plenty of people alert and ready to help.
  • Vehicle Maintenance
    • Get all the proper vehicle maintenance done before the trip so you don't run into any unexpected and unwelcomed break-down events. Oil change, fluids checked, tires rotated, etc.


  • Be Spontaneous
    • Did you just pass the world's largest ball of yarn? How about a local roadside market stand or museum? Take some time and stop at these locations and sightseeing, make some memories. Remember, the half the fun in traveling is the journey itself, so make the most of it!
  • Print Maps
    • Instead of relying on your bus driver or cell phone GPS system print out a few maps and see what's around you on your journey. There is something extra exciting about using a print map during your road trip, it's classic!
  • Gas Station Souvenirs
    • When you make your gas station stops try to pick up a small souvenir or knickknacks to remember the area you stopped in. Oftentimes there are postcards, mugs, and T-shirts representing the location in these stations.
  • Photo Challenge
    • Create a photo challenge with the students and see who can get the best or most unique picture along the way.
  • Get Lost
    • Well, not literally, like we said before you want others to know your location and route along the way for your student's safety, but in theory getting lost and exploring an unknown small town or attraction on the way is a great way to add excitement to your road trip!

Traveling with mostly younger children? Here are a few extra road trip tips:

  • Bring Movies and Music
  • Create a Scavenger Hunt
  • Play the License Plate Game
  • Bring Plenty of Snacks
  • Sing!