Spring Break is officially on the horizon! Only a few more days of boring classes and dreary weather until freedom! Whether you’ve planned a Caribbean cruise with your gal pals, are traveling to another country, or you’re staying here in Tallahassee, it probably feels like March 9th can’t come soon enough. While Spring Break has a deserved reputation for fun trips and wild parties, it’s important to keep in mind that the fun needs to be balanced with a little bit of planning and caution.
We’ve all heard about that one friend-of-a-friend who came back from Spring Break with a regrettable tattoo, but in reality, a lot of other things can go seriously wrong. To stay on top of things and make sure that you and your friends have the best possible Spring Break, here are some ways to stay out of harms way:
1. If you’re going to spend all day out in the sun, most dermatologists recommend applying (and reapplying!) sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher. The last thing you want is bad sunburn keeping you on the sidelines.
2. Hydration is key! Not only is drinking tons of water good for you, it’s essential when you spend extended amounts of time in the sun. Make sure that you have access to plenty of clean, drinkable water. This goes double if you plan on drinking alcohol, as the effects of alcohol are heightened in extreme heat, leading to faster dehydration.
3. Keep an eye on your stuff! A crowded beach is the perfect cover for sneaky thieves to dig around in your beach bag, meaning that your valuables should stay back at the hotel room, preferably in a safe.
4. If you plan on making a long drive to your destination, remember to check the condition of the car before you leave. No one wants to get stranded out in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire!
5. Stay energized and alert by taking occasional breaks to stretch your legs.
6. When traveling long distances, relying on GPS or using Google Maps on your phone can lead to trouble if you hit a bad service area. Try and bring a physical map, even if it’s just for emergencies.
7. Before you leave, make sure all your documents are in order. Is your passport up to date? Are your plane tickets printed out? If you are traveling to a country that requires certain vaccinations, do you have the necessary documentation?
8. If you are traveling to a country with different currency, don’t carry around large amounts of cash. Instead, exchange a small amount before you leave (enough to cover a taxi ride to your hotel, for example) and use a debit card to withdraw money from ATMs as needed.
9. Double-check your reservations. Make sure that you have the right amount of rooms booked for the right days! Also, make sure you know how to get to your hotel from the airport so that you don’t waste precious vacation time being lost.
10. Pack wisely. Leave expensive jewelry and technology like laptops at home.
11. Stay connected to your friends and your travel buddies! Make sure your phone is charged, and that you will have access to a cellular network or WiFi service where you’re going.
12. Most importantly, stick together. Whether you’re traveling with a big group or it’s just you and your BFF, avoid getting separated and keep an eye out for each other.