Spring Break Safety Tips

Spring Break is approaching quickly.  Soon a number of the nation’s college students will be basking in the warm sunlight and frolicking in blue-green waters of the tropics. But before you pack your bikini and tuck your passport safely into your Longchamp, take a minute to think about safety. Like, really think about it. Between the daily violence in Mexico and the general safety issues that could arise by merely being away from home in a foreign country, it’s important that you take your safety seriously.
I know, I sound like a helicopter parent and you’re probably all, “Oh, that would never happen to me!” But girl, you aren’t invincible!
I can’t help but think about Natalee Holloway. She was a regular girl on a senior trip and just like us, heading off to Aruba for a vacation with her friends. And then tragedy struck. Contrary to what you’re convincing yourself, it could happen to any one of us, so now we must learn from her tragic incident and take some safety precautions to stay safe abroad.
There are many safety tips we learned in elementary school—don’t trust strangers, always travel in groups—that still hold true today. So let’s brush up on those rules to ensure a safe and memorable Spring Break trip.
I don’t think I’m in Kansas anymore!” You got it, Dorothy, you’re no longer in the good ole’ U.S. of A.  You don’t know a soul, besides your friends or your Spring Break group, and everyone (the cab driver, the guy selling knock-off purses on the corner, the bartender) seems like someone you can trust.  While there are many trustworthy people abroad, there are also many who prey on college Spring Breakers. And why not? Drunk, stumbling and toting expensive purses full of cash, we’re easy targets. Stay on your game, be aware of your surroundings and take precaution. This includes everything from zipping your bag when you carry it to not walking home alone.
Speaking of which….
Go out together, come home together. Yes, it’s understandable that you may want to deviate from the group because you met a cute guy, or you want to check out a cool club you discovered, but you should NEVER go places alone.  Yes, you do it all the time on campus, but this is not your campus. You do not know these people and you do not know this place. If you want to go somewhere, suggest checking the place out with your group of friends; I’m sure they would think it’s just as cool. And if you’re tempted to cab it back to some rando’s hotel for a night of fun, well, don’t.
Control your drinking. You’re in the Mexico and you’re 18.  Score! But just because the drinking age is lower, doesn’t mean it’s time to get crazy.  It’s fine to have a couple of drinks and enjoy being able to drink legally, but try not to take the celebration too far. Intoxicated girls are easy targets, so limit your alcohol intake and be aware of who’s around you.
Mexican Drug Wars. Although this does not really pose a threat to spring breakers who stay in the resort areas, it still an issue that needs to be brought up.  The bottom line: the Mexican Drug War is a huge problem in Mexico; so don’t travel too far from the touristy hot spots in resort towns.  The further you travel inland, the more risk you bring onto yourself.
Know the Laws and Customs Abroad. Every country has it’s own laws, oftentimes ones you wouldn’t even think of. An example: in Mexico, you cannot shout offensive words in public.  If you’re traveling to Mexico, watch your language—it could put you in jail. (Which, by all accounts I’ve heard, is not a pleasant place to be, nor is it easy to get out of.) To check out if there are any strange laws in your spring break destination, go to the country’s government website and look under “Laws and Customs.”
Spring Break is a time to let loose, have fun and get a little crazy – I get that. I’m not trying to rain on your beach party, but there’s a way to do all that and still stay safe. Remember, you’re not in your campus bubble so stay aware and stay in groups and you’ll have one kick ass Spring Break.

The Biggest Trends from Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week
The Biggest Trends from Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week
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