Security Tips for Spring Break

Spring break is a rite of passage for many college students. You want to make these spring events to be memorable rather than having tradegic consequences.

Here are some basic security tips for spring break from “safespringbreak” and Fastweb college life.

Travel Safety
Make sure that whoever will be driving has a valid driver’s license. Be sure you are aware of exactly how to get to your destination and how to get back. Do you have a map if your cell phone is not working? Whoever sits in the passenger’s seat should stay awake to keep the driver company. Accidents are very easily caused by the driver falling asleep at the wheel.

If you’ll be traveling out of the country, you’ll need a passport and possibly a visa. Make sure that you know exactly what documents you’ll need.

Money and Valuables Safety

If you can, always use the ATM at the hotel where you’ll be staying. If there isn’t one available there, always choose one in a well-lit location and go with a group. You’ve heard this a million times, but always cover your pin number while you type it in!

Make sure you check your bank account regularly. You never know who may be lurking nearby waiting to try to take advantage of you. Check all the charges on your statement for legitimacy.

If you’re going to be traveling overseas, tell your bank at home where you’ll be going. If you don’t, they may see foreign charges and shut down your card, which leaves you in another country with no money.

Don’t wear or bring a lot of flashy luxury items. Especially overseas, lots of jewelry and expensive things attract attention. Anything valuable should be locked in a hotel safe during the day. Never leave your purse unattended.

Beach Safety

Make sure you know the flag system used by beaches. A red flag means you need to stay out of the water because of rip tides and dangerous currents. Yellow means to use extreme caution because there could be dangerous currents present, and blue means that the water is safe (but definitely doesn’t mean throw caution to the wind) Swim only in designated swim areas.

As much as you hated hearing this from your mom as a kid, you really do need to wear sunscreen and reapply every couple of hours. Believe me, vacationing stops being fun if you fry yourself.

Drinking

Do everyone a favor, especially yourself, and party smart. Be responsible. Decide before you go out what your limits should be. When you are sober making clear-headed decisions is the best time to consider what you feel your personal boundaries should be. Do I want to drink tonight? If so, how much? Deciding up front will make it easier for you later to make choices that you will be happy with after the party is over.

Sexual Activity
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First, don’t believe the hype about our hook-up culture. Not everyone is hooking up. Choices to have sex or not to have sex are extremely personal and shouldn’t be influenced by anyone’s mandates but your own. Know what consent is and respect it for all forms of intimacy. Silence NEVER equals consent. Consent can never be implied or assumed regardless of any previous history of sexual contact. No matter what a person verbalizes, consent can never be given when a person is severely intoxicated or impaired or at any point in the encounter after the person has said NO.

Conclusion

Always know where you and your friends are going and how you’re going to get back safely. Stay in a group, and always walk with purpose. People who look lost are easy targets. Most of all, be smart and have fun. Safety isn’t about being paranoid your entire vacation, it’s about having the best time possible while staying out of trouble. Odds are, you’ll return home with a load of great stories and be excited to do it all over again next year!

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