Going the Distance
Meg Sondey P’15 offers tips on making the long drive to Boston and the move-in process.
Freshman move-in can seem daunting if you're attempting to drive your student, the half-truck load of belongings he or she just "knows" are needed, and yourself to Boston (perhaps a never-before-visited-city) with the intent to arrive within a very specific time slot. This can be especially true if your drive is six or ten or twelve hours....and you realize your budget allows for either the gasoline for your vehicle OR a hotel room in Boston...but not both. One option is to stay outside of Boston itself and to then drive the final one to three hours the next day.
STAYING OUTSTIDE THE CITY
Be well rested, fed, and awake
It’s best to drive in a potentially unfamiliar city when you are well rested, fed, and awake. This also helps with the unloading and settling in process! There’s nothing like a grumpy parent and student to ruin those last few hours together.
More hotel options
Outside the downtown area, you will have more hotel options—both location and price. I have driven from northeastern Ohio and have stayed in both Connecticut and Vermont before driving to Boston the next morning. Massachusetts (and the greater Boston area) also offers many possibilities.
Last minute route adjustments are much easier
You can check both the weather and traffic before you take off in the morning, adjusting your route as needed. Yes, you may still find a traffic jam or accident, but, again, you'll be better prepared for either.
Spend one last quality evening together
Depending upon the distance you are traveling and your arrival time the next day, you may also fit in some last-minute shopping or even some quick sightseeing.
Boston is easily accessible by public transportation
If you are planning on staying overnight in order to take advantage of Emerson College Parent Programs, remember that Boston has a fine public transportation system, and you can stay a bit farther outside the center of the city in order to save money on a hotel room. I have stayed several times in a hotel in the Dorchester area, hopped on a hotel shuttle, and then taken the Red Line to the Common. For public transportation information visit MBTA.org for subway, bus, and commuter rail.