More and more high school seniors are looking to save money when it comes to prom. Tuxedo rentals, dresses, manis and pedis, shoes, and other material items can be expensive enough. This is leading to a number of teens choosing to forgo the traditional limo for the family sedan instead. To some, driving yourself to prom may seem like driving to the corner store, only with fancy clothes on. However, the prom is no small event and this isn’t just any driving trip.

Here are some simple tips to help make the drive to prom a success:

  • Schedule your time – You might think of time management as a total buzzkill on your prom night, but it’s important to have time parsed out. Don’t just take into consideration the travel time either. Mom might snap a few extra photos, dad might extend his man-to-man talk, or your date might realize moments before leaving that her hair needs more hairspray. Life happens, and it’s better to have time to spare than to be running late and driving under pressure.
  • Check out the venue – Picture this: You’re so excited on the days leading up to prom that you don’t bother looking up the location until the day of. With nothing more than Mapquest instructions, you headed out and discovered that the prom is in some crazy downtown-like metropolitan location. It takes you, your date, and your friends about an hour to maneuver the streets and somehow find a place to park. Don’t let this happen to you. Take some time before the prom to pay the venue a visit, find out how parking will be arranged, and see if there are factors that might affect your drive (construction, detours, etc.).
  • Drive a safe car – If you thought your mom’s goodbye kiss was embarrassing, it doesn’t compare to that nasty buzzkill stomach cramp you get when you get pulled over or your car breaks down. You might have done nothing wrong. It might be something you had no knowledge of, such as a broken tail light, which is why it’s important to give your car a good check-up at least a few weeks before prom. That way, if you discover a problem, you have plenty of time to get it fixed. Don’t get stranded on the side of the road or pulled over because your car is unsafe or unreliable.
  • Plan your route – A lot can happen after prom (get your mind out of the gutter!). Maybe the cordon bleu served at dinner wasn’t filling, and you and your friends want to plan a fast food run. Maybe you want to drive your date past a beautiful nighttime scenic route. Maybe you just need to stop for gas. Although these things aren’t always planned, it’s good to have an idea. The road might have been calm when you first got there, but when you’re leaving, it will be midnight and the roads will be much darker. The last thing you need on such a special night is to get lost. Have possible destinations and their respective routes in mind before you go.
  • Don’t forget the basics – Wear your seatbelt. Don’t drink and drive. Use your blinkers. You’ve heard it all before, but for your safety and that of your fellow passengers, don’t forget these things when you drive.