Tips for a Safe Spring Break

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University of San Diego Tips for a Safe Spring BreakSpring break is finally here!

You’ve been working hard this semester and deserve a week to yourself to recharge, relax, and reset this spring break.

Maybe you’re going on a road trip with your best friends, flying to new countries, or stay-cationing right here in San Diego.

Whatever your idea of the perfect spring break is, don’t forget to be mindful of your health and take care of yourself.

Make this year’s spring break memorable with friends and family, but also remember to be safe along the way.

Have a Plan

As difficult as planning the details of a trip can be, it can really help to have a general idea of where you want to go, what you want to do and see, and how you’re going to do it.

You don’t have to plan every second of your trip, but a game plan will alleviate travel stress, especially if you’re going to a new place or country. Plan how you’re going to get there, where you’ll stay, what tourist attractions you’ll want to see, and about much money you plan to spend.

Take Care

Spring break is a time for carefree fun and complete relaxation, but you can’t neglect your overall health and wellbeing. If you’re planning on spending extended amounts of time in the sun, don’t forget to wear sunglasses and sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.

It can also be difficult to make healthy eating decisions when you’re on vacation, so consider packing  an assortment of healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, and nuts before you head out.

Stay Mindful

It’s important to remember that alcohol does not have to be involved in order to have a good time. However, if you do choose to drink, make sure you’re making smart decisions. Go into an event with a set number of how many drinks you plan on drinking and stick to that plan.

Make your own drinks so you know how much alcohol you’re consuming and don’t accept drinks from strangers. Remember to alternate your alcoholic beverages with water so that you stay hydrated. Also, make sure to stick with one or two close friends when you go out.

Be Present

Being caught up in the fun and excitement of adventure can sometimes lead us to being less focused on our  surroundings. If you’re traveling to a new place, it’s important to remain extra vigilant.

Stick with friends and determine a meeting spot in case you do lose each other. If you have to withdraw money from an ATM, scan the surrounding area before going up to the machine. Also, have a list of taxi numbers stored on your phone before you go out.

Slow Down

Don’t forget that a vacation should be a vacation. A time to slow down and relax so that you can finish the semester strong. As much fun as hiking, biking, swimming, flying, and any other “ing” can be, it doesn’t hurt to have some down time.

In fact, your mind and body will thank you. Self-care should be a major part of your break, just as it should be in daily practice. Try listening to some guided meditation. Youtube, Spotify, and phone apps like Headspace and Calm, offer short meditations that can be done in any quiet space. Take time to read that book that you’ve been wanting to finish for so long.

Know When to Get Help

Before you go, make a list of numbers that you could call in the case that you find yourself in a dangerous situation. If you are traveling internationally, contact the State Department or the American Embassy of the country.

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.