Spring Break is on the way and that means thousands of college students on the roads and traveling overseas to let off some steam before going back for final exams. But, unfortunately, Spring Break is always the glamorized parties of television and film. Instead, it can turn very deadly and tragic for those who go into the trip unprepared. In order to stay safe this year while traveling, be sure to check out these important travel tips.
1. Travel in groups
Whether you are just heading out to the beach or overseas, it is always a good idea to travel in groups. If you do, make sure that you stay together. If you all go out to a club or a bar together, make sure that you all leave together so that one person doesn’t become the victim of a crime.
2. Stay awake!
Driving while tired is almost as bad as driving drunk. Be sure to work as a team to stay awake. This way, you can rotate drivers and make sure that one person is always fresh and ready to go. In addition, whoever is riding shotgun should stay awake to make sure the driver doesn’t get sleepy. Only let the folks in the backseat nap so that they can be refreshed when their driving shift comes up.
3. Have a back-up map
Many of us have become reliant on cellphones and GPS to get us from point A to point B. But remember that cell service isn’t everywhere and if your battery dies you could also be left with no way to navigate. That’s why it’s so important to have a road map in the glove compartment as a back-up. Also, if you are going overseas, make sure to take a travel book with you that includes detailed road maps so you don’t get lost.
4. Be alert
Always be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to anyone who may be there to try and do you harm. When checking into your hotel, only share your room number with those who are traveling with you. Never give it to someone else as this may be setting you up for an attack later.
5. Be safe/use the safe
If your hotel offers a safe (either in-room or at the front desk), be sure to use it. Secure your valuables such as jewelry or electronics, but also be sure to lock up things like your passport or important paperwork.
6. Stay in the middle
When you book your hotel room, don’t go too high. If your room is above the sixth floor, firefighters may not be able to reach you with the fire ladders. But also, don’t stay on the first floor because these rooms are typically easier to break into.
7. ATM safety
If you need to get money out at an ATM, always be sure to go as a group. A robber could still hold you all up, but it is less likely to happen with multiple witnesses. Also, be sure to scan the area for anyone lurking about. Finally, if the machine doesn’t look right or appears to have been tampered with, don’t use it. Scammers are using a technique called skimming to steal your debit card number and PIN information.
Always be responsible when drinking alcohol. Know your limits and don’t push it. Also, be sure to have a designated driver or pre-arranged taxi or Uber pick-up. You should never, under any circumstances, drive if you are impaired.
9. Don’t leave your drink lying around
While we are on the subject of alcohol, always keep your drink in your hand or visible. You don’t want anyone to be able to slip a drug into your drink leaving you incapacitated and the victim of a horrible crime such as rape.
10. Stay hydrated
One of the most dangerous things that can happen on Spring Break is becoming dehydrated. A mixture of a scorching hot beach with a few cocktails can wind up severely dehydrating you so that an emergency room visit may be necessary. Drink plenty of water.