by Mary Dixon Lebeau
Recently, when it comes to scheduling our travel time, visits to colleges have become a priority. After all, we have two – count ‘em, two – sons who are making decisions about where to take their next academic steps. One, a high school junior, is looking for a college that will allow him to pursue a degree in law enforcement. The other recently graduated our local community college (Gloucester County College) and would like to complete his degree in a college close to home.
Sounds relatively simple, right? But then add to the mix two children who are years away from college age, but still want to go along on the getaway. What would work for everyone? How could we help our boys get the most out of our college visits – and still keep the younger kids entertained?
With our limited vacation time, my husband and I have been trying to make these visits into family vacations as well. While one of us accompanies the future collegiate to the open houses, campus tours, mixers and meetings at his prospective school, the other accompanies the other children (ages 14and 8) to local attractions and events. This way, we get to know the school while getting a real feel for the community as well. (And bonus – our college-bound son gets to take all the time he wants visiting campus, knowing his siblings are happily out of sight!)
This plan made sense. It also sounded like a headache. But then we found Goby.com. This new travel search engine allowed us to simply type in our destination and search through its menu of things to do locally.
Narrow down the search for “Family Fun,” “Sightseeing and Tours,” “Arts and Culture” andother areas of interest from Goby.com’s menu of choices. Then a slew of things to do – targeted to your requirements and preferences – appear magically on your phone or computer.
For example, my transfer student wanted to spend the afternoon at Rowan University. Rowan, noted for its engineering and education programs, is located in Glassboro, NJ, practically equi-distance between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. When we received his itinerary, I saw we’d have three hours to entertain the younger kids while he toured the dorms, visited an advisor, and attended a extracurricular activities program. I simply plugged “Glassboro NJ” into the Goby.com app on my iPhone. That very afternoon, the kids and I could:
- Attend the Arts and Music Fair at Appel Farm in Elmer, NJ.
- Cool down at Splash World Water Park in Clementon, NJ.
- Go bowling right down the street at the Glassboro Bowl and Recreation Center.
These were just three of the over 100 choices we had for that particular weekend. While my son and my husband explored Rowan, my kids and I were enjoying live music and perusing the vendors at the Appel Arts and Music Fair. Thanks go Goby.com!
Mary Dixon Lebeau is an employment counselor, freelance writer and the mother of five. Her weekly column appears on the West Deptford Patch and she blogs about destinations on the east coast at TravelingMom.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to watch a college visit video and to access travel planning tools for a college visit to Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ.