It’s getting to be that time of year again! The snow is melting, the sun is shining, and if you’re still in school it’s time to break out that bikini for Spring Break! Each year, thousands of high school and college students make the trek to United States and International hotspots for some well-deserved fun in the sun. Before you go though, make sure you can make some educated decisions about how to have a safe and fun vacation.
On the Road
If you’re driving to your destination, make sure you set up a driving rotation within your group of vacationers so that everyone gets a break and isn’t driving for long stretches of time. Whoever sits shotgun should also have the very important job of keeping the driver company, and taking over all other basic “co-pilot” duties so that the driver can concentrate. Also, make sure that everyone has a valid driver’s license, and that the vehicle registration is in the car before you take off.
Keeping Your Belongings Safe
· Always, always, ALWAYS lock your hotel room door. This sounds like a “duh”, but it’s an effective way to keep you and your belongings safe
· Try to book a room between the first and sixth floor. You want to try to avoid rooms on the first floor if possible because they are more susceptible to break-ins, and sometimes fire ladders are not tall enough to reach rooms above the sixth floor.
· Look for hotels that have a safe in the room that you can keep your most valuable belongings.
· If your credit cards are lost or stolen, call the company as soon as possible so that they can cancel your cards.
· Leave your valuables at home. Between the transit, the packing and unpacking, and going out and about, your most prized possessions are at a higher risk of getting lost or stolen. It’s always better to play it safe and leave expensive jewelry and designer brands at home rather than losing them forever on Spring Break.
Alcohol consumption has become a notorious aspect of Spring Break. In a study done by the University of Wisconsin, 75 % of males and 43.6% of females reported being intoxicated daily while on spring break. More than 40% of the females, and nearly half the males said that they were to the point of passing out or vomiting at least once during spring break. This kind of binge drinking is what contributes to alcohol poisoning, car accidents, and arrests for things like destruction of property, drunk driving, and public intoxication.
You should not drink if you are underage, but if you are of age and decide to drink:
· Know your limits and decide when you are going to stop drinking.
· Don’t drive. Use a designated driver or use public transportation.
· Use the buddy system. If you go to a party, never go alone. Stay with people that you know, and then leave with those same people. Remember: a stranger can be someone you have only met once.
· Do not accept a drink that has been opened, or that you did not see poured. Date rape drugs are rampant on spring break, and they are usually colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
· If a member of your group becomes intoxicated, do not leave them alone. If they pass out, make sure to lay them on their side to prevent choking, and if they become unresponsive call 911 immediately.
Fun in the Sun
Chances are, you’ve spent a lot of time picking out the perfect bathing suit, and chances are that that bathing suit will be bearing lots of skin as you’re spending hours at the beach or pool with your friends. We know you’ve heard it all before, but the sun’s rays can be damaging to your health now, and in the future. So here are some simple tips that can help prevent some damage:
· Hydrate! Even if you’re not thirsty it’s important to drink plenty of non-carbonated and non-alcoholic drinks to keep from getting dehydrated in the sun and heat.
· Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, paying special attention to the face, nose, shoulders, and ears.
· Wear a hat and sunglasses with UV protection. Both are trendy. So no excuses.
· Believe it or not you CAN get a sunburn if it’s cloudy, so watch your exposure time no matter what.
Most importantly, have fun! Spring break is meant to be a break from the monotony of your day-to-day and a time to relax on the beach or with your friends. Make the most of your spring break by making smart decisions and making memories that will last a lifetime!