SPRING BREAK SAFETY TIPS
Spring Break safety may not be on top of your mind when deciding whether to catch a few rays or go road-tripping, but following a few simple Spring Break safety tips will make sure everyone has a great time.
Here’s how to ensure that your Spring Break trip is safe and fun.
PROTECT YOUR LOCATION.
Sharing too much information on social media may endanger your safety. Don’t broadcast your location on Instagram; in fact, you may want to save your photos and post them after you return.
BE SMART ABOUT THE OCEAN – AND WATER IN GENERAL.
According to studies, 70% of deaths from recreational water activities involve alcohol, so don’t drink and swim. Good water safety starts with everyone knowing how to swim. Parents and families should also:
- Stay within arm’s reach of young children in the water, and never leave them unattended near water.
- Swim where there’s a lifeguard – ideally more than one. Some hotel pools may not have lifeguards, and even if they do, they may have a lot of kids to keep their eyes on.
- Watch for waves; Notes that waves can come out of nowhere and easily knock kids or adults off their feet and rip currents can carry them away from shore.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while swimming or boating.
- Wear life jackets while boating.
- Complete a boat-safety course.
- Check over a rental boat thoroughly before heading out.
- Know where you’re going when boating and ask about areas to avoid.
UP YOUR AWARENESS LEVEL.
This applies whether you’re in a city or at a theme park. It’s not easy when you have to keep track of your kids and their stuff, but don’t lose the instincts you have during everyday life just because you’re on vacation.
TALK ABOUT STRANGER DANGER.
Talk to your kids about stranger danger before you leave and when you arrive. Teach your children never to talk to strangers, particularly at night, and to report suspicious behaviors to an adult.
EMBRACE THE BUDDY SYSTEM.
When traveling with a group, it can be easy to lose track of each other here and there, especially in active spring break locations. Setting up a buddy system of sorts with your friends will help make sure you’re all accounted for at all times. Stick with at least one other person throughout your trip, whether you’re at a pool party, swimming in the ocean, or out at bars. Tempting as it may be to go off with a new friend or fling, it’s not worth it to risk your safety. Come with your friends and leave with your friends. We need to look out for each other and if you see someone not in your group in a potentially bad situation, look out for them too. Being an active bystander is the best way we can work together to end the violence of all kinds.
PROTECT YOUR ASSETS.
Leave your flashy jewelry at home: Not only can it be threatening to keep track of those things when traveling, but you also don’t want to draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. Spring break destinations can be a pick-pocketers paradise, so be extra vigilant of your belongings. When you’re out and about, keep your money, camera, and ID as concealed as possible — make sure you have a purse that zips shut, and keep it on you at all times. If you want to be extra safe, consider something like this bra pouch for discreetly and securely carrying your hotel key, ID, and money, or a small lock for your backpack zipper.
When you’re in an unfamiliar location, or out partying with hundreds of other spring breakers, it’s crucial to be alert and aware of yourself, your friends, and your surroundings. In general, stick to well-lit, well-populated areas, whether you’re sunning, partying, or getting from point A to point B. When you’re in a cab, we recommend following along with the navigation on your phone to make sure you’re going the right way and to the right place. And if you use any transportation app, double-check that the license plate of the car you’re getting into matches the one on your app, and the driver matches the photo. When you’re out, keep an eye on your friends, especially for signs that someone has had too much to drink, or that they might be getting too close for comfort with strangers. During the day and at night, keep an eye on your belongings and on the people around you — if anyone or anything makes you feel uncomfortable, relocate.
KEEP YOUR ADDRESS TO YOURSELF
When checking in or out and about, avoid saying your address out loud. No one outside of your group of friends needs to know your exact location. If you and your friends want to hang out with other people, we recommend doing so in a well-populated place like the pool. And if those other people aren’t your close friends, don’t bring them onto the property — stick to public places like restaurants for your get-togethers.
Always keep an eye on your drink, whether it’s alcoholic or not. Don’t put it down and turn away, don’t leave it on your table when you go to the bathroom, and don’t accept drinks from strangers — if it didn’t come directly from the clerk or a definitively sealed bottle or can, don’t drink it. Know your limits when it comes to alcohol, and don’t feel like you need to “keep up” with anyone, or give in to the pressure of spring break boozing. Also, consider delegating one member of the group to be sober each night so that there’s always someone with their wits about them to make sure everyone gets home safely.
Before you go out for the day or night, have a plan for where you’re going, how long you’ll be out, and how you’ll get back to the hotel. Make sure you and your friends are all on the same page and agree on check-in times and meeting places in the event you get separated. We recommend creating hand gestures or code words that you and your friends can use if you’re uncomfortable or need help. If you are staying at a hotel, ask your hotel concierge for a business card with the address and phone number; show your taxi driver the card and he or she should be able to get you back.
KEEP YOUR GUARD UP.
It’s easy to get swept up in the surreal, almost fantasy-like feeling of spring break, but it’s important to keep your wits about you and not put your trust in strangers. If you’re talking to someone who makes you at all uncomfortable, use any excuse you can to get away — even if it’s a lie. It’s better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse. Many spring break destinations foster a hook-up culture but know that you have every right to say no and get away from anyone who pressures you or makes you uncomfortable. Just because you’re flirting or dancing with someone does not give them the right to take it any further. Consent must be given verbally. Silence NEVER equals consent… consent should be clear and that applies to all kinds of contact. If it’s not a definite yes, it’s a definite no.
Keep your phone fully charged at all times, and carry a back-up charger in your bag just in case. Download the app Leelou that lets you discretely notify your emergency contacts if you find yourself in trouble. Provide someone at home with your hotel information and ways to reach you if your phone dies or you have bad service.
You can download LEELOU for free at Apple AppStore and Google Playstore HERE
What are your tips? Share it with us!