Plan Your Parents’ Visit to College

You’re parents’ visit to college is coming up, and you could not be more excited to see them. You’ve been a little homesick, and know that seeing them will brighten your weekend. But now that they’re coming…what do you do with them? You want them to have fun, but really don’t know that much about life off your campus.

If you’ve had this problem before, I have some great advice for getting started on planning the perfect weekend with your parents.

Figure out hot spots to eat around town

I always start with TripAdvisor. It is a great place to see where people are eating—and enjoying their food— around town. This tip is especially helpful if you are a freshmen and haven’t had a chance to explore the town very much. I personally, always choose a trendy place that seems to create a lot of buzz. It normally isn’t the fanciest place in town, but it will definitely be a yummy experience!

Find local attractions that you don’t normally explore

Chances are, regardless of where you go to school, the town has something unique that locals love! Be it a winery, farmers market, or museum, your parents will love it. For you, they are visiting. For them, they are not only visiting, but also on vacation. Showing them something cool and unique to the area will make for a memorable parents’ visit for everyone.

I attend school in Upstate New York, so when my parents visited last weekend I took them to the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. Even if you are underaged, wineries are a great place to take parents. You can have an outside picnic, and they can enjoy a wine tasting of local varietals.

Plan an active activity you can do together

Whenever my parents come visit, I feel like we constantly eat. In order to make for a better trip, and to ease my guilt, I plan something active to do mid-day. This makes it so we don’t feel like all we’ve done is eat, and is a great way to bond. Last time my parents visited, we went golfing. Another time, we went hiking. Anything you can think of is a great way to enhance a trip!

Plan things they can do alone while you study

They are your parents. They know you are busy and know that school work has to happen. If you have group project meetings that you need to schedule, the best thing to do is to give your parents a list of things they can do while you are gone. I looked up cool hiking destinations in the gorges to give my parents a fun activity that they could easily do during my busier times of day.

Give them a tour!

Last but not least, make sure to give them a tour! No college visit is complete without a long tour of where you go to school.


As always on Sophistication and Sparkles, my goal is to help you get great deals and manage your college life! With these planning tips, I show you how to have an amazing college visit with your parents. As a college student, I know the budget struggle, so I always want to share options that are fabulous, yet affordable for your lifestyle. I aim for things to be well below your average price range, so you too can be like me—ballin’ on a budget. These ideas will make for a memorable and affordable weekend!

~Alana Robin

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