Spring Break will undoubtedly be one of the most memorable vacations you take during your tenure at school. Think about it, you are hanging out with your best friends, there isn’t a professor in sight and your books are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, how can it not be fun? Drinking (responsibly), partying, clubbing, meeting new people while away from home and school and creating lasting memories is what makes up Spring Break. However, not to be a buzzkill, you need a plan in order to survive. Listen to these 7 tips and learn to get through your once in a lifetime (until next year) trip.
1: Drink Safely
Saw some people in the movies, drinking and having a blast in the hot tub, right? Well, alcohol dilates blood vessels and lowers your blood pressure to dangerous levels. These effects are felt stronger and faster while soaking in a hot tub. It may look cool, but it is not good for your health. Make sure to know where your drink is and have it in sight. Don’t drink what a stranger gives you unless you see it being poured and passed over from the bartender. You never know what someone will place in your drink. So be safe!
2: Protect Yourself
We are living in the Age of Information. Most people have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Instagram. Status updates and Tweets go out with pictures and hashtags and geotagged locations. This can be bad for a few reasons. 1) Locations and personal information out there for anyone to see can directly impact your safety. People will see where you are and if you are alone, the wrong people can find you. 2) Your family (mom, dad, grandma and grandpa) will see what you are doing. You would not be the first person to get busted posting to social media what should have been left off. Besides legal ramifications, it can also hamper job placement after graduation. Prospective employers or places you will be interning take a look at your profiles before considering you.
Wait, isn’t that why you went on Spring Break to begin with? Make sure to bring your relaxation music, a good book (not a textbook), or whatever helps you get to that happy place. Going to clubs, getting dressed, surfing the waves and laying out on the beach is all well and good, but when you aren’t doing those things you need something to chill out with. Don’t let boredom get in the way of relaxing either. If you are by yourself exploring the world, or with your BFF’s make sure to have some semblance of a plan from day to day instead of just winging it. That will help fill in the day so you can enjoy the down time kicking back and relaxing. Know in advance that s*** happens. The best laid plans will not survive contact with the enemy. Something will inevitably go wrong on your vacation. This can be not sitting together on the plane, places are way more expensive than you heard, the weather goes awry, etc. Relaxing will help all that slide off so you can still enjoy your time.
4: Emergency Money
This goes with #3. It is always good to have extra cash when away. Who knows why you will need the money, maybe your friends drank way too much and got busted, or you see some souvenirs that you MUST have, regardless of the reasons, give yourself some wiggle room. Best case scenario you go back home with more money than you thought, so it’s a win/win.
5: Water Is Not Always Your Friend
Captain Ahab can certainly tell you about the dangers of the ocean. When you Google the ocean you will inevitably read about Jellyfish, Sharks or strong currents. Do you know what rip currents and rip tides are, or what to do when stung by a Jellyfish? No one says not to go into the water, but just make sure you are careful. Learn when it is safe to be in the water and make sure to pay attention to the signs on the beach. Some people might even suggest speaking to a lifeguard before swimming. Finally, as Douglas Adams mentions in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, bring a towel.
6: Safety Contact
Who remembers phone numbers of friends now that we all have cellphones? Write a short list of numbers on paper that you carry with you. These numbers should be the people that are with you and parents back home (cell, home and work numbers). This will be a lifesaver if your phone dies out on you, gets broken due to water damage, falling or is stolen. Coded messages are not only for spy movies. When you travel with friends it is a good idea to have code words to get out of things. People you met at the bar seem a little suspicious to you? Have a code phrase or word that you can work into the conversation that will help you get out of there. This can also help you if someone says that your friend sent them to get you. No code = No go!
7: Be You
Above all else, just be you. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t do it. Follow your own intuition and your own conscience. Peer pressure shouldn’t phase you. If the people with you are your friends, then they will understand (maybe after sobering up) if imbibing copious amounts of alcohol for 5 days straight isn’t who you are. Just be yourself and have fun and you will survive Spring Break wherever you are.
Now that you have the tips it is time to board your plane and experience life away from school. Be safe and have fun. Years from now while sitting with your family or co-workers you can reminisce about how you survived Spring Break!