Tuesday, March 19, 2019

20 Spring Break Tips

Spring break has already started for some students, for others, their spring vacations will be coming up within the next few weeks.  Here are some tips to stay safe on spring break:

  1. Avoid places that are overly dangerous (some parts of Mexico and the Caribbean have become quite dangerous these days).
  2. Bring a battery pack so your cell phone will always have a way to be charged.
  3. Leave an itinerary with a trusted person so someone will know where you are (and check in regularly!).  For even more safety, put a GPS tracker on your cell phone so people can find you and you can find your cell phone if it is lost or stolen.
  4. Save a copy of all of your documents/flight reservations/hotel reservations in your email so you can always access them even if your phone is stolen or dies.
  5. Be water safe.  Swimming in the ocean is often dangerous and drunk swimming anywhere can lead to drowning.
  6. Wear sunscreen.  Pale northern people get sunburned on their first day at a sunny destination and that pretty much ruins their trip so use sunscreen liberally.
  7. Stay hydrated.  Avoid dehydration due to being active in the sun, drinking a lot of alcohol, or taking certain drugs...this helps you avoid being hospitalized or worse.
  8. Consider not posting your every thought and movement on social media.  This help avoids stalkers and other criminal activity.
  9. Consider spending a bit more to stay in a safer hotel.
  10. Never leave your drink unattended, roofies are still a thing.
  11. Never drink and drive or ride with someone who has been drinking.  Opt for Uber or Lyft if you will be out partying, instead of driving yourself.
  12. Even if you are going out to party in a group, never leave anyone behind without some sort of back up plan (in some popular destinations sexual crimes and even kidnappings happen this way).
  13. Money belts that you wear inside your clothes are pretty unstylish (so I've been told) yet these are a great place to stash extra cash, written phone numbers in case you lose your phone, your room key card, and your ID, especially for women who don't want to carry a purse).
  14. Drinking and drugs are kind of the high point for many people on spring break but this can backfire spectacularly--from ending up in prison in a foreign country to blacking out to even death.  Prepare ahead of time to stay safe while drinking and skip the drugs all together.
  15. Prepare ahead of time if you will be traveling internationally.  Make sure your passport won't expire soon, get any necessary visas, get up-to-date travel vaccines, get travel health and evacuation insurance, etc.
  16. Bring more contraceptives than you think you will need, you don't want your spring break souvenir to be a baby.
  17. Don't have sex with someone who isn't reasonably cognizant; the second thing you don't want to bring back from spring break are felony charges.
  18. Use basic safety precautions like you would anytime you are in a city or in a crowd--be aware of your surroundings, stay with a buddy, watch out for pickpockets, don't fall for scams, be careful traveling especially at night, etc.
  19. Safeguard you stuff.  Ideally you won't bring expensive things with you that could get stolen but even phones these days can cost upwards of $1000.  Be sure to use the hotel room safe to store your valuables and don't leave you stuff sitting around especially if you are with people you don't know well.
  20. You do you.  People have a vision of what spring break should be based on heavy hype by the media.  If your idea of fun is hanging out in a dusty museum or visiting your grandparents, do the things that make YOU happy.

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