Tell your roommates you’re going on a trip. This is one of those things that is just so obvious, that sometimes it can go overlooked. You don’t want your roommates to start worrying when they realize they haven’t seen you in a couple of days. Even if you already left for your trip, just send a quick text, “Hey, sorry I forgot to mention that I’m going home for a couple days. Just fyi.” This is just a common courtesy when you live with someone.
Communicate with your professors. If your travel plans have you missing any of your classes, be sure that you reach out to your instructors by their preferred method of communication (IE office hours, email, text). Let them know the dates that you will be absent. Also, be able to demonstrate that you know what is going on in class for the days you are missing. If you aren’t missing any class because of the holiday, it might be a good idea to talk with professors about what you should be working on or studying over the break (especially if you are worried about your grade).
Arrange transportation. Once you know your travel itinerary, make sure that you arrange what you need transportation-wise. It’s fine to ask a friend or close acquaintance for a ride to the airport or bus station, but remember to offer them some cash too. If you are driving, make sure you take into account gas money or money you will need to pay for parking. Some schools offer shuttle services to the airport, but take into account how much time you will need before your flight if you use this option.
Have the correct paperwork and identification. If you’re flying, you will need your boarding pass and driver’s license or passport. Many airlines now have smart phone apps so that you have digital boarding passes (make sure you charge your phone though). If you’ve been at school for awhile, make sure that your id hasn’t expired. Also, if you are traveling to Mexico or Canada you will likely need a passport.
Clean out your baggage before you start packing. This is an important step to travel if you are flying because you want to make sure that you don’t accidentally take something through security that you shouldn’t. This is a good tip even if you aren’t flying because it’s nice to not haul around stuff you don’t need. Empty out your purses, wallets, backpacks, carry-ons, and luggage. Dig through all the pockets.
Leave things tidy. Don’t be that roommate you left their disgusting dishes in the sink for a whole week while they were gone. Wash your dishes, take out the trash, and put your clothes away. If you have things that you don’t want people to mess with while you’re away, find a good hiding place for those items or make sure to lock them up somehow.
Check the weather. Spring is known for unusual weather. If you’re driving over mountains, be prepared for a late snow storm (tire chains, boots, DE-icer for you windshield). If you’re flying, be prepared for some delayed flights. Remember too if you’re traveling far that parts of the country are basically in summer-mode, while others are still in winter. Pack clothes accordingly.
Be realistic about how much homework you plan on doing. Textbooks are heavy and you probably have some fun things planned over break. It’s good to pack your computer, planner, and some smaller books. Bringing ALL your school stuff is overkill because in reality you probably won’t end up using all of it anyway.