Ways to Stay Safe on Spring Break

• Guard Personal Information

• Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption

• Research the Area Before Arriving

• Use the Buddy System

• Have a Backup Plan

Spring vacation is a time when everyone can relax, explore, and have fun. But it can also be a time of heightened risk—personal or physical—especially for those relishing their new adult freedoms. Universities and public health organizations often attempt to advise individuals of how they can remain safe, but their efforts can overwhelm those seeking succinct guides to personal safety during the break from academic pursuits. Here are five invaluable ways everyone, irrespective of age, can ensure a fun, safe vacation.

1. Do Some Homework

Whether spending the break in the mountains, on a road trip or taking in fun and sun by the sea, it’s important to know the area. Depending on location, a little light research about tidal patterns, safe campsites, or the best highways to take to a destination can save time and make vacation activities that much more enjoyable. Once there, following up with a knowledgeable local expert can help students or families make the most of their time away from daily life. This expert might be a park ranger, a lifeguard, or a regional tourist bureau.

2. Protect Your Social Media Presence

It seems that every activity is advertised via social media these days. However, when young adults and teens are on Spring Break adventures, many authorities and groups concerned about their safety echo each other. Checking In on apps such as FourSquare or with other social media sites can advertise social and sexual predators. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) advise the young to adjust their privacy settings while on vacation and be mindful of when and how they post. Communicating with friends shouldn’t be done in an unprotected venue.

3. Mind Those Ps and Qs

The full saying is “Mind Your Pints and Quarts,” and is a time-worn admonition against overconsumption of alcohol. While enjoying an adult beverage or two won’t ruin the experience, consuming too much can render anyone sick and miserable. Go slowly and remember to eat, and stay hydrated. However, it’s just as important to keep watch on a beverage, whether it’s alcoholic or just something fizzy. A CBS News report advises that one should always keep their drink in sight. If they misplace it or leave it unattended for any reason, they should order a fresh one, because predators can and often do tamper with these abandoned beverages.

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4. Friends are the Best

While solitude is a fantastic way to recharge, most groups, universities, and organizations advise against it while vacationing. Even a single travel buddy can save a life. While one naturally thinks of unsafe social situations in which friends protect each other, this also extends to physically dangerous situations. Camping or taking a long road trip alone can present some sticky cases, ones easily avoided by taking along a buddy.

5. The Power of the Pen

Write down emergency contacts, taxi company phone information, and even the address of vacation accommodations. As well, stash some cash—whether that means dollars, an unsigned Traveler’s Check or a bit of local currency. Keep these items safely tucked away in a purse or backpack. While cell phones can do amazing things, they can also break, or their batteries lose charge at the least convenient moments. Having a rescue pack, with relevant info and emergency funds, can save trouble and potentially help avoid injury or danger.

It’s a time to cut loose from the worries of the semester, a much-needed respite from the daily grind, but it doesn’t need to be less safe to be a release. Young adults can travel, explore, socialize, and push a few social boundaries while still making memories they’ll treasure for years. By following some basic self-care tips for safety, every Spring Break can be one for the books.