10 Safety Tips for Spring Break Safety
Spring Break is that magical time of the year when college students exchange the drudgery of the dorm room for the debauchery of somewhere warm and sunny. But Spring Break is also full of danger. These 10 Safety Tips for Spring Break safety can help keep you and your friends safe hundreds of miles from home. For additional help, check out my Spring Break Safety Infographic.
Spring Break Safety #1 – Know the Dangers
Every year a lot of students get injured, hospitalized, or arrested. But not so many die. In fact, after diligent research I couldn’t find a single comprehensive list of Spring Break deaths, so it can’t be that bad.
But I also found tons of reports of injury and arrest. Usually related to alcohol. So lock it down and don’t be a hot mess all over town.
Spring Break Safety #2 – Practice the Buddy System
Always travel with a friend. There’s safety in numbers. But don’t just travel with your friend to the destination. You need to stick together throughout the trip. Don’t leave anyone behind at a bar or club. You never know what could happen, and it’s probably not good….
Spring Break Safety #3 – Check in With Home Regularly
Keep your parents posted on your travel plans. Establish a schedule for checking in on a regular basis. That way, if your parents don’t hear from you by the designated time, they can alert the authorities (unless your parents are super hypochondriacs, in which case they might alert the authorities anyway!).
If you think your cell phone won’t work or there won’t be wi-fi, be sure to bring some pre-paid calling cards with you so you can make affordable calls from the hotel, cabin, airport, or pay phone. Check out Rebtel – The New Generation of Calling Cards.
Spring Break Safety #4 – Learn the Rules
Every city in the U.S. has a different set of rules. In Las Vegas and New Orleans, you can walk around drinking alcohol. In Washington, D.C., on the other hand, they will lock you up in a heartbeat! Here is a list of the open container laws in the U.S.
If you’re traveling abroad, you need to be even more careful to learn the rules. What you can get away with in Amsterdam is a little different than in Saudi Arabia. Or maybe you like spending your Spring Break in prison?
Spring Break Safety #5 – Don’t Binge Drink (too Much)
It would be foolish to presume that you won’t drink. It would be foolish to presume that you won’t binge drink. But don’t binge drink too much. Don’t get so drunk you might need to be hospitalized. Don’t get so drunk that you’re going to make a horrible life decision. Know your limits, and respect them.
Also, as Duke University points out in their guide to Spring Break Safety, only accept drinks from a bartender, a friend, or drinks that you’ve made yourself. Otherwise, some asshole could slip a date rape drug in your drink.
Spring Break Safety #6 – Use Safety Gear
Whatever you’re doing, be sure to do it with the same level of care you would use in “real” life. If you’re taking part in water sports, wear a life jacket. If you’re driving, don’t do it drunk. And probably no matter what, wear plenty of sunscreen.
Spring Break Safety #7 – Traveling Abroad? Do Your Homework
The State Department offers a lot of good tips on the particular factors you need to account for when traveling abroad. A lot of these risks are something that just wouldn’t occur to a normal American. A couple of the best bits from State Department’s Spring Break Safety Tips are:
- Don’t participate in political activities
- Don’t purchase, posses, or distribute drugs. Seriously, have you ever seen Midnight Express???
- Only use licensed taxis
Spring Break Safety #8 – Bring Protection
Boys will be boys. And girls will be girls. And the birds will be birds. And the bees will be bees. I’m not so sure about the flowers and the trees though. Be safe on Spring Break. Even if you’re not planning on hooking up, things just get crazy. Guys and girls, be sure to bring protection. Whether you bring a Trojan Sensitivity 12 Pack, Durex Pleasure Pack, or The World’s Best Condom Sampler, bring something! You don’t want to make a mistake that could haunt you your entire life.
Spring Break Safety #9 – Get Tested (aka Check yourself before you wreck yourself)!
We all know people like to go a little crazy on Spring Break. Between all the hormones, alcohol, and thrill & adventure, hook ups are gonna happen. A lot. While you should always use protection, sometimes people forget. Sometimes it breaks. Plus, it’s just a good idea to get tested from time to time. And there’s no time like after Spring Break for an easy, online STD test.
Personalabs.com offers quick, affordable, and discreet sexually transmitted disease testing. Plus, get 5% off with coupon code HEALTHY.
Stay safe. Just get tested.
Spring Break Safety #10 – Know the Number for 911!
It sounds like a joke, but 911 isn’t always going to be the right number to call. If you’re on the water, it may be the Coast Guard. If you’re abroad, who knows what number they might use? Review this information before you head out! H/t to Felix for this great advice.