It’s that time of the year again. College students all over the nation are taking to the roads to enjoy the pleasures and relaxation of spring break.
We want you to be safe and take precautions, for your safety and the safety of your pockets. Check out our tips!
On The Road
There shouldn’t be a need to state the obvious, but we will. Don’t drink and drive. It’s dumb. Not only are you putting your life at risk, but you are also putting the lives of hundreds around you at risk too. If you’re caught driving under the influence, your reputation, future opportunities, and a ton of your cash is flushed down the drain immediately. Our advice here is simple: Don’t be dumb.
When traveling, take turns driving if possible. This allows everyone to get some rest, and helps to ensure you make it to your destination safely. It also ensures that you don’t have to listen to the same playlist for hours. Remember, when it comes to music, whoever drives gets to decide. Riding shotgun is an important duty as well. If there are three or more travelers, whoever rides in the passenger seat should stay alert and keep the driver company – especially late at night or early in the morning.
Obviously, everyone needs a valid driver’s license and clean driving record to make the most out of the trip. Make sure that you have updated proof of insurance and your vehicle registration before hitting the road. Also, keep a few phone chargers for the car handy. Remember, utilizing map apps can drain a lot of battery juice. If you want to save some cash, keep a paper map on hand. Riding old school when it comes to navigation will keep you from burning so much data during the trip.
Once you settle at your destination, you may find that it is cheaper to utilize a car-share service like Lyft or Uber. Stay awake, alert, and aware anytime you use a taxi, Uber or Lyft. It’s smart to follow alone during the drive with your own navigation app. This helps you ensure your driver is staying on route and taking the quickest way possible. When using a taxi, this can be especially beneficial since some cabs charge for both distance and time. And remember, all services have an official badge or ID of some kind. Ask for this before accepting a ride – it lets the driver know that you’re not one to play games with. Also, always keep your phone handy. Avoid giving your phone to the driver to charge for you. You want your phone at your side in case you need to make a call during the ride. If you feel unsafe or suspicious for any reason, ask the driver to stop and let you exit. It is completely within your rights to abandon a taxi or any other ride service at a safe stop. Leave money behind on the seat and get out of there if you don’t feel safe. Of course, never get in a car with someone you suspect is intoxicated. There is always a safer alternative.
At The Hotel
If possible, avoid staying on the first floor of your hotel. First floor locations are easier to break in to from an outside window. Also, avoid providing your room number aloud in public spaces. You never know who can be taking note and what intentions they may have. There’s no reason for anyone outside your group of friends to know your exact location. Be sure to note where the nearest fire exits and stairwells are located in your hall. This will make it easy for you and your friends to evacuate safely in the case of a fire or other emergency.
As always, double check your doors to ensure they are securely locked when leaving your hotel room. Some hotel doors utilize slow-release functions to minimize hall noise. These doors can remain open and accessible if you do not make sure they are shut. Also, utilize the safe offered in your hotel room. Storing your valuables in the safe will help to ensure your valuables are secure and out of sight.
In The Water
Once again, remember to be responsible. The effects of alcohol consumption are magnified by the sun. Swimming at the beach under the influence of alcohol is a horrible and deadly idea. In any natural body of water, be aware that you can’t always tell how deep the water is. Don’t dive if you don’t know for sure how deep the water is. Pay attention to the flag system for water safety at beaches. Red flags typically mean to stay out of the water. Yellow flags are used for caution. Blue flags typically mean that the water is calm and safe for the casual swimmer. It’s smart to ask a lifeguard about the flag system at that local beach before entering the water. Also, drinking in a hot tub can be dangerous as well. Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The effects of alcohol are felt sooner and stronger in a hot tub. It can lead to unconsciousness and drowning. The same applies to swimming pools. If you must drink, avoid the water.
Stay hydrated, but make sure someone is always keeping an eye on your drinks. If you feel like walking the beach or leaving the pool area, take your drink with you. Date rape drugs can be put into any drink, including water, without detection. Do not drink from open beverages, punch bowls, pitchers, or tubs for this reason.
Also, be sure to use a buddy system when swimming and traveling throughout the beach scene. Someone should be responsible for keeping an eye on you at all times. And, of course, you should be returning the favor. If possible, never split up from your group of friends. You should all agree to plan and make moves as a unit.
Since it can be difficult to keep a cell phone handy when swimming, make sure there is at least one person who remains on the beach with everyone's valuables. Simply take turns dipping in the water and trading responsibilities. The ultimate goal is to remain safe while having fun. Remember, when the beach or pool is packed, it’s harder for lifeguards to keep an eye on everyone. Only swim with people you trust, and be sure to establish a watch system among your friends that keeps everyone safe. Also, know your limitations. Don't push beyond your swimming abilities. Mistakes in the water are often mistakes that can never be corrected. Be safe.
We hope these simple tips will help you enjoy a safe and memorable Spring Break trip.