|Spring Break safety tips|
|Written by The Vidette Editorial Board|
|Monday, 04 March 2013 12:00|
With Spring Break just around the corner, many last-minute purchases and work-out plans are in full force. But even with this planning, a lot of traveling college students forget to think about safety while they’re away. While many of these tips can (and should) be employed anywhere, it is best to stay extra cautious when visiting somewhere new.
Some people are lucky enough to avoid burning while out in the sun, but others sizzle after just five minutes. Whatever your situation, it is always important to lather on sunscreen before extended exposure. Putting it on once in the morning is not going to cover it, either. It is imperative that you reapply often, even if you don’t feel the burn. WebMD recommends using SPF 30 for protection because it “blocks 97 percent of UVB rays and an SPF 45 product blocks around 98 percent of rays. After that, it just gets silly.”
Use the buddy system
No, this isn’t third grade Girl Scout camp. But the buddy system is always useful. Whether you’re just going shopping or to a club, having a friend with you at all times is important. This greatly diminishes the chances of you or your friend being a victim of a crime. The buddy system should be used everywhere when on vacation, including in your hotel.
Limit alcohol consumption
Or eliminate it altogether. Even if you are of legal age to drink, each year, too many accidents occur due to an overuse of alcohol. Some students drive to their Spring Break destinations, so if a car can be easily accessed, the chances of drunk driving increase. A few years ago, a 17-year-old high school student went to Florida on Spring Break and fell off of a balcony in his intoxicated state. This sort of accident can happen to anyone, so making sure that you can handle yourself is important.
Watch your drink
This age-old rule is one that especially needs to be followed anywhere and everywhere. While many people need to remember not to take drinks from strangers, it is also important to watch your drink at all times, and keep your hand over the top of it to avoid any drugs being slipped into it. And now, it is becoming apparent that you should also be watching the bartenders make your drinks as well.
According to an article on naplesnews.com, bartenders at Blue Martini in North Naples, Fla. had been slipping drugs into customers’ drinks while working. This incident is not isolated. A similar story was published in Cosmopolitan last month.
Bartenders may seem trustworthy because they are working for you, but in any profession, there are always a few bad apples. Just be sure to watch your drinks while they are being made.
While you have most likely been saving up for this trip for months, don’t carry around all of your money at once. It is important to only carry what you will likely need at the time and to carry your debit or credit card. Be sure to let your bank or credit card company know ahead of time that you will be traveling so that they can watch for suspicious activity. And when using the ATM, use your hand to cover the pad when you type in your PIN.
All of that being said, this Editorial Board believes you can have a safe Spring Break if these tips are followed and common sense is used. You’ve been waiting months for this trip; don’t let a few stupid mistakes ruin the entire vacation!