After almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that students are starting to get anxious for a spring break spent on sandy beaches. Last year, only 12.4% of American travelers planned a trip to a vacation destination for spring break, according to destinationanalysts.com.
With the slowed travel rates over the past couple of years, many college students are travelling without their parents for the first time this break. When travelling over break, keep in mind that your safety is of the utmost importance. There are many ways to ensure that spring break plans are safe, while still having plenty of fun.
Students planning to travel this spring should plan to use social media lightly. Social media is great for sharing adventures. However, it is in the best interest of safety to hold off on posting those photos until travelers return. Public social media profiles can be viewed by anyone and if a location is tagged in a post, a stranger could find a travelers exact location.
Travel in packs. Lone tourists can be easy targets for theft and assault. Identify the emergency numbers used in the vacation area (911 for the United States). Staying in groups creates strength in numbers. Watch over groupmates while at bars and parties to keep an eye on drinks or for behavior consistent with someone who has been roofied.
“Signs of being roofied include extreme drowsiness and even amnesia, meaning the person will not remember what happened during the time they were under the influence, depending on the amount consumed,” drugabuse.com explains.
If a student’s spring break plans include alcohol consumption, be sure to do so responsibly. Travelers can look out for their health by remembering to drink water in between alcoholic drinks and pacing themselves to avoid alcohol poisoning or hangovers. When going out with others, travelers should watch each other’s backs and keep an eye on their surroundings, whether it is walking down the street to the next bar or getting into an Uber.
Despite the appeal in movies and other media, it is not healthy to consume alcohol while in the hot tub. Because alcohol can dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure, mixing that with the extreme temperatures of hot tubs can be extremely dangerous. Drinking in a hot tub can lead to dehydration, dizziness and even loss of consciousness, according to aquatechutah.com.
If spring break plans include traveling to a beach location this spring such as Florida, beware of the ocean and the sun. Staying hydrated is incredibly important. Make sure that you drink plenty of water and not just soda or alcohol to beat the heat.
If traveling close to the equator, prepare for lots of ultraviolet rays. Travelers should wear sunscreen to avoid the most damaging rays of the sun. Most dermatologists recommend 30 SPF (sun protection factor), according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
When traveling this spring break, practice coronavirus safety. COVID-19 vaccinations are recommended by the Center for Disease Control for those who plan to travel. Additionally, if leaving the United States, individuals should meet with their doctor to see if they need any other vaccinations before entering other countries.
Upon returning from spring break festivities, travelers should keep an eye out on their health. Watching for symptoms of coronavirus or other illnesses can help an individual get early treatment and can help keep those around them safe, so that you can keep those around you safe as well.
Whether spring break plans include traveling the world or staying at home, be sure to think ahead and stay out of harm’s way.