Learn From My Spring Break Mistakes!

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Spring break can be a carefree week of fun in the sun…or two days of fun followed by five days of waiting for your flight home. Make sure you make the most of SB 2009. And don’t do some of the stupid shizz I’ve done on March and April vacations past.

1. Don’t book your flight for an hour after your last class of the week ends.

Well, technically, my mistake was agreeing to drive my friend to the airport. Not only were we racing against time, but my car decided to act up as soon as we hit the highway. It started shaking and rattling when I tried to go over 60 mph, and, for fear of our lives, I was forced to drive in the slow lane as the clock ticked on. We made it, barely, thanks to the fact that our local airport takes about five minutes to clear security, but my friend was a bundle of nerves before she even took flight. Yeesh.

2. Don’t pregame at the airport.

We had an 90-minute layover at a small airport, so my friends and I plunked ourselves down at a bar just outside our gate. We had assigned seats anyway, so we figured we could pound a few brews and waltz onboard just before they closed the doors. Well, apparently, we couldn’t hear our names being paged over the airport intercoms, and walked up just before the door was closed on our flight (literally, airline personnel had their hand ON the latch). Again, we JUST made it, but had to face down evil looks from the rest of the passengers.

3. Don’t jump on the first “Spring Break Partayyy” you see.

My very first day of my very first spring break, my group of friends and I were solicited on the street by a party promoter. He was selling tickets to what he claimed was the wildest party of the week. You had to buy your tickets ahead of time (for like $75 a pop), but it was totally worth it (or so he said). Open-bar, all-night dance party? I couldn’t understand how the whole group didn’t jump at the chance! One girl and I were suckered in, and on our last night of vacation, we had to separate from our group. The party was fun, but we could have drank just as much and maybe even saved a few bucks if we had gone on the bar-and club-crawl with the rest of our friends. The next day, as we all nursed hangovers, everyone else had way better stories than I did. Oops.

4. Don’t start boozing too early.

That’s what spring break is all about, right? I knew a guy who was going on the same trip as me, with a different group of people. We were vacationing on a gorgeous island off the coast of Spain. My friend came back to the states with tales of daytrips, including visiting volcanoes. I came home with tales of drinking until four or five p.m., napping, and starting over for the night. Sure, it was relaxing, and it was a party. But I totally took Spain’s potential for granted.

5. Be sure you can spend seven days with the people you’re vacationing with.

If you and your roommate have been joined at the hip 24/7 all semester, and the “little things” are starting to get on each other’s nerves, you might need a (spring) break from each other. This isn’t always the case, of course, but it’s important to know that you won’t be at each other’s throats by the end of the week. Likewise, if you are a sightseeing kind of girl, and your cohorts are all about tacky tourist shops, you might not agree on each days’ agenda. The upside is that you might be pleasantly surprised- I did take a trip with a group of people I was friendly with, but didn’t know very well. We all had a blast getting to know each other, and though we all went back to our separate groups of friends when we returned, we all shared a special bond that lasted through graduation.

6. Be careful who you talk to.

Whether it’s a distant city or a foreign country, the possibilities are endless on spring break! I figured there was no harm done in flirting with a dude at a bar in a bustling city. We were having a great time- until the creep announced that I could buy his next drink, and reached into my purse for my wallet! I snatched it back and ran out of the bar, but it could have been worse. A LOT worse. Strangers + booze + unfamiliar turf = one more reason to stay on guard.

7. If you have a budget, stick to it.

I’m notorious to running out of cash and convincing myself it will be okay if I just charge everything for the rest of the trip. Not only am I prone to returning from a vacation to find myself overloaded catching up on work I didn’t do over the holiday, but I’m also super stressed to pay my bills on time, and usually have to pick up extra shifts at work that I just don’t have time for. In a foreign country? Freaking memorize that exchange rate!

8. Drunk dials from abroad= bad news.

I was in Europe. I was having soooo much fun. I wanted all of my friends back home to know it. So I called them with a calling card from various payphones. A calling card that wasn’t prepaid; it just went straight to my phone bill. Seriously, a postcard will suffice.

9. Don’t challenge the bartender.

Especially not a Spanish bartender, or waiter for that matter. In Barcelona, we fell in love with Sangria and thought we were hotshots when we ordered another jug at dinner. Little did we know that it’s customary in Spain for a restaurant to give you some dessert wine. The waitress laughed when we looked quizzically at the funny little pitcher with a long spout that she placed before us, then threw her head back and poured a perfect stream down her throat. We were toast.

At another Spanish restaurant, the waiter asked me how I liked my daiquiri with a huge smile on his face. I called his bluff: “It could be stronger,” I said. He returned with another drink that nearly made me choke. I swallowed, hard, and said, “It’s okay.” The waiter pulled a bottle of rum from his apron and free-poured into my glass. This cautionary tale also goes along with my suggestion that you don’t start drinking too early in the day.

10. Don’t overdo it on your last night.

The reasons? You oversleep the next day. Because you’re still drunk when you wake up, and in a rush to make your plane, you run out of your hotel room and forget a bag full of souvenirs and cute clothes you bought during the week. Oops. Because you’re late, you have fork out an unnecessary amount of cash to pay for a cab in order to get to the airport on time. Double oops. Oh, and did I mention flying hungover is a bitch?

I ask you, fellow CC’ers. What are some of your biggest spring break regrets, and how do you avoid making them this year?

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