Every year, millions of college students head out for the spring break, a peak travel period that poses many serious risks for college men and women. Truth be told, the spring break, however, fun it may seem to be, can result in many unpleasant consequences such as poisoning, alcohol and drug abuse, injuries, sexual assaults, and more.
Spring Break Safety Tips for College Students
Spring Break Safety: Relaxation and Danger
Most college students like traveling a lot during the spring break, and that’s fine. Eventually, they look to kick back and spend time relaxing, hanging out at the beach, visiting family and friends back at home, and studying.
However, it’s uncommon to meet students who tell horror tales about how they faced the darker side to spring break. Worse still, a good number of ambitious college students lose their lives in traffic accidents, or in unclear circumstances. Also, other students drink alcohol to the point of passing out.
This frightening truth is why this article is distributing Spring break safety tips for college students. Specifically, you should:
Never Share Too Much Information
Refusal to protect your location is one thing that can put you in grave danger. It may seem difficult for most of us to resist the temptation to post everything on Facebook or Instagram, especially in the age of social media where everything revolves around “likes” and “comments”. This is not to mean that you should seek approval on social media, but be warned against disclosing your location to the world.
The thing is, not everyone loves you. Some people are out to harm others, and we all know that. For example, you may post a picture of yourself resting on the sandy beaches, unaware that someone will start figuring out how to break into your lodging and steal your stuff. In fact, you can consider saving your photos and posting them when you return from spring break vacation.
Stay with Friends
Unity is strength, and then there’s more safety when you’re in numbers. This statement is especially true if you’re heading out for spring break. To that end, make sure to arrive, stay and leave with friends.
When you are visiting new places, ensure your safety by tagging along a few friends, especially those that you feel more comfortable around. You can always agree on a gathering point, just in case you’re separated. Additionally, you can come up with unique signals and codes for use whenever you feel uncomfortable.
Not Forget Vaccination Dates
It’s fundamental to stay up-to-date on vaccination dates. If you need to be vaccinated after a certain period of time, make sure to not forget that routine. Mind your health even when you’re enjoying yourself.
Be a Smart Driver
Safety experts encourage spring breakers to always strive to arrive safely. You see, many spring goers like driving through nights to make it to their favorite destinations, which can, unfortunately, end up tragically. It’s important to know that a person who drives at night is three times more at risk of traffic deaths than one who drives during the day. If circumstances can’t allow you to do it during the day, make sure to tag along one person to keep talking to the driver.
Also, make sure that you and everyone in the car has a valid driving license and that you have copies of insurance and registration in the compartment. To avert driver fatigue, make sure to change drivers every few hours and have the person sitting in the co-driver’s seat act as the chief navigator. Still on safety when driving, always carry a map in case you find yourself in an unfamiliar place with no phone reception network.
Also, never drink and drive. And, plan to make stopovers at gas stations to stretch your legs a bit and fill up the fuel tank since there may be many miles between fuel stations.
Before heading out for a destination, do your homework well- read up on it well. Choose a good area for accommodation once you reach your destination. If you don’t have your own car, research the safest taxi services around that area. No matter what, never accept free rides or rides from unapproved cabs. You can always talk to the hotel concierge ahead of your trip. Look, the more information you have about a particular destination, the less the probability that you’ll end up in unsafe areas or situations.
Be Aware of Spring Break Scams
No matter the tips you have about ensuring your safety during spring breaks, you can fall victims to scams if you’re not more careful. Be aware of some clever scams that target unsuspecting revelers, who are mostly college students. Even falling prey to the simplest scam can ruin your experience big time. If you don’t know the various scams that one can fall prey to, you can always educate yourself before heading out for your destination.
Know Your Surroundings Well
Whether you’re travelling through the Americas or on a flight to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings. While avoiding getting extremely personal with strangers, guard your belongings well, and make sure that you stay in well-lit areas.
Keep your mobile phone fully charged and have numbers of your close friends and that of the hotel manager, just in case. In fact, you can write down these numbers in the event your phone battery dies. Also, stay close to your friends as much as possible, making sure that you’re their keeper. Above all, obey what your instincts tell you. If something doesn’t feel alright, it’s probably not right.
Mind What Your Drink
This is yet another great safety tip. You see, spring breaks are always punctuated by excess drinking, or binge drinking with friends. But you can always practice safe drinking to avoid poisoning. If you can’t locate a drink after visiting the bathroom, ask for another one. Don’t accept offers from strangers or people you don’t trust.
Don’t Forget Yourself in the Ocean
Being stupid at the beach can cause you grave danger. Or maybe cause a tragic end to your spring break. If you’re not good at swimming, educate yourself about rip tides and currents. Do you know what those are? Well, they are truly strong ocean currents that can carry you out into the waters if you’re not able to swim well. Talk to the lifeguards at the shores to get tips and conditions before diving into the waters.
Obtain a Good Insurance Policy
Unfortunately, most student travel insurance policies don’t cover students once they leave for other countries. But it’s recommended that you obtain a policy that covers everything from injuries, illnesses, emergency evacuations, and more.
Bring Along a Copy of Your Passport
Figure out this: ending a vacation well and then discovering that your passport is missing or has been stolen. It can be a worse way to end your spring break. That being said, always take copies of crucial documents such as your passport.
Avoid First Floor
You may have realized that rooms on the first floor of hotel buildings are soft targets for get-away thieves. If you have a laptop or expensive electronics such as a digital camera or binoculars, make sure to store them in a safe hotel room. And if you can, request to be given a room away on other floors other than the first floor.
Always Carry Phone Numbers and Cash
How would you handle a situation when an emergency comes your way while you’re on spring break? Well, for sure, it would be a difficult experience especially if you don’t have money in cash, or your phone has died. Keep in your wallet numbers of immediate family members and those of friends and the hotel manager as well. Also, you can always have a number of a taxi service.
Protect Yourself from The Sun
Don’t forget to bring along your sunglasses to your destination. Pack spare pairs of contact lenses and sunglasses. Also, you can also carry a copy or two of your formulary, in the event you’re lost without them. And then, take out your glasses before swimming or going to bed. When you’re hanging out around sunny areas, choose ones that are not exposed to harsh sun rays. It’s all about protecting your eyes.
Eat Healthy Food
Being on spring break doesn’t mean that you should abandon your healthy eating habits. In real terms, this is the time you need to increase your intake of veggies, whole grains, fruits, lean steak, legumes, poultry, fish, and dairy products.
Drink plenty of water for extra hydration. Still on this, only go for bottled or sealed water. Then make sure to limit your intake of salt, saturated fat, sugar, and alcoholic products. For foods, eat those that are cooked and served hot. Then wash veggies and fruits before eating. Finally, choose to eat your food from hygienic places.
We’ve already talked about food hygiene a few seconds ago, but experts say that you should stop germs in anything you do. For example, you’re 113 times likely to suffer colds on planes than when you’re at home. That said, avoid airline catalogs and magazines.
Remember to wash your hands using sanitizers after visiting the bathroom and always cover your mouth when coughs come knocking. Instead of using hotel-provided bedding, carry your own blankets and pillows. Also, wear socks when walking to avoid the risk of fungal infections.
Blend in with Locals
If you’re heading out for spring break to a place with a different culture than yours, learn how to blend in. Walk like the locals are walking- briskly and with purpose. Research about the local dress code, norms, and beliefs of people in that area. You know, what is acceptable in your hood is necessarily what is acceptable in other areas. Do you get the idea? Well, dress and act conservatively. Leave all that flash at your home.
Another way to blend in easily is to learn a few phrases in the local dialect. Memorize the obvious phrases in the local language. We’re talking about phrases such as “Please,” “Thank You,” “Slow Down,” and such jokes.
Not Be Reactive
Be the one to choose who to converse with-don’t let anyone choose you. And then, listen to what your instincts have to say. Along the same lines, get rude if at all that is what it will take to get your point across. If a polite “NO” isn’t effective, get rude for your safety, at least.
Hole Up in Your Hotel Room
Sometimes, it helps to be a safe hermit, especially when you’re travelling solo or when you want more privacy. If this rings true for you, tell the receptionist that you don’t want anyone to know your hotel room number. Or yet still, ask who it is whenever you hear a knock at your door- don’t always accept uninvited guests that easily.