HARLINGEN – Every year over a million students go on spring break, a peak travel season that poses many risks for teens and young adults. The truth is that the spring break environment – however fun – can lead to negative consequences such as sexual assault, alcohol poisoning, serious injuries and more.
The following tips are offered in an attempt to reduce safety and health risks this vacation season.
• Arrive safely – Driving through the night to make it to your destination is common for spring breakers. If you can’t avoid night driving, have at least one person stay awake to talk to driver.
• Don’t take chances at your hotel. Lock the doors, and secure important belongings like passports and wallets in the safe.
• Be smart about who you give personal information out to – don’t tell new acquaintances your hotel or room number. You never know who has innocent or dangerous intentions.
• Make sure you know the name and address of your hotel or take a hotel business card out with you so you can give to a cab driver.
• The Buddy System – it works! We do NOT recommend you leave a party with a stranger, it’s always best to take a friend with you. If for whatever reason you do leave without your friends, give them details about where you’re going and when to expect you back.
• Practice safe drinking – take turns so that one friend in the group per night can look out for everyone else and serve as the designated driver if needed. Other good habits – watching your cup or glass, and only accept drinks that you’ve watched get made or poured in front of you.
• If you need help ask for it. If there’s an emergency don’t rely on a bystander to call for help. Call for help yourself to be sure first responders or police gets the message.
• Hydrate & wear sunscreen! Heat stroke and melanoma aren’t happy spring break thoughts, but too much time in the sun can leave you dehydrated with an increased risk of sun burns. Take your SPF and a bottle of water to the beach!
• If traveling outside of the country, be sure to look up the address or contact information for the American consulate or U.S. Embassy in the country where you’re headed. Be sure to tell friends and relatives in the U.S. of your travel itinerary and try to check in with them often.
Also, take a copy of all credit cards and your passport with you in case they are stolen. Call your credit card and cash cards in advance to let them know you’ll be out of the country so they won’t put a stop on your account.