You’ve been working hard this semester and now you may be thinking, “Hey, I deserve a break!” Right when you need it most, Spring Break appears around the corner! Instantly, thoughts of palm trees, sun, and surf flicker through your mind… but before you toss your rainbows in your suitcase and say, “Bon Voyage,” let’s take a moment to think about making the most of your break. These tips will help make your Spring Break sweet and safe. Let’s create good memories!
Know Before You Go
If you’re planning to travel, organizing and mapping out plans can be very helpful. Rather than being stressed about how to get from point A to B the day before school lets out, consider setting aside some time beforehand to make a game plan. This doesn’t mean you have to plan every single detail; just ironing out pieces like how much money you plan to spend, what transportation you will use, hotel costs, and meeting places can help a ton. One of my personal favorite apps is Yelp, which gives peer reviews of restaurants and even occasionally has coupons! Trust me, your sanity will thank you for all your prep work. If you’re traveling to a foreign country or unfamiliar area, make sure you have a general sense of the lay of the land. Pay attention to traffic signs and familiarize yourself with the basic road laws. Research local emergency contacts and save them in your phone.
Planning to use a ride-sharing app? Pay attention to the rating of the driver and be sure to verify their identity and the car before getting in. Also, wait inside for the app to notify you that the driver has arrived rather than waiting in an unsafe area. Finally, share your location with someone you trust!
Take Turns Behind the Wheel
If you will be driving for long periods with other people, try rotating drivers to keep everyone fresh and alert. Speaking from personal experience, I can devote myself to about two hours of quality driving. Fun tip: try letting the person driving at the time choose the playlist, this way you get an awesome mash up of songs to make the time fly by!
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Many Spring Break plans involve some serious time in the sun. Avoid ending up with a bad sunburn and the harmful effects later on by protecting yourself! Wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and seek shade or cover-up as much as possible. Time in the sun is fun, just be careful as excessive sun exposure puts you at risk for serious skin conditions. Don’t forget your favorite shades – your eyes need protection, too!
When you’re busting out the Whip and Nae Nae on the dance floor, it’s best to have some pre-performance fuel. Honestly, it’ll make for better dance moves. Instead of stopping for fast food on the road or before you go out to explore the town, try considering some healthier options. Bring fruits and vegetables along with you or maybe even pack some items like nuts or a turkey sandwich for snack time; it’ll be healthier and your wallet will thank you. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated with lots of H20!
Keep an eye on your friends and form a buddy system. If one goes, you all go. Whether you’re relaxing at home with family and friends, or traveling to a new place, it’s important to keep track of everyone’s location. It’s easy to lose track of someone in the chaos of the dance floor. I get that no one wants to be a babysitter, but do you really want to be the one to explain to your friend’s parent how they ended up stranded?
Take it Slow
Spring Break is a time to have fun and relax – alcohol does not have to be involved. If you do choose to drink, however, be smart about it. Rather than chugging unidentified liquid from a sketchy looking water cooler, consider the safer alternatives. Be sure to make your own drinks, that way you know how much and what alcohol you’re consuming. Also, determine the number of drinks you want to have over the course of the evening in advance and stick to your plan. Finally, alternate alcoholic drinks with water or non-alcoholic beverages to allow your body time to process the alcohol and stay hydrated. It’s all about being responsible and encouraging your friends to do the same!
Know When to Get Help
It’s okay to call in for some extra support when a situation gets out of hand. The most important thing is that everyone stays safe. If you feel you’re in a dangerous situation, call for help. If you are traveling internationally contact the State Department or the American Embassy of the country to get in contact with special services for American victims of crime abroad. Also, know that USD’s Student Wellness resources, including the counselor-on-call and CARE Advocates, are available 24/7 for students on or off campus by calling Public Safety at (619) 260-2222. The National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) is also available for anyone impacted by sexual violence.
Spring break should be rejuvenating, fun, and a memorable time in your college experience. Get back in one piece, well rested enough to pick up where you left off, and ready to crush those finals!