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The Prospector

Your guide to staying safe and prepared this spring break

Adrian Broaddus, Web Editor

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Whether you’re off twerking to “Bad and Boujee” at South Padre Island, hitting up the gigantic clubs in Cancun, where bottles of tequila are way underpriced or taking off to a more relaxed place for spring break, safety precautions should be maintained throughout students’ designated spring break trips.

Let’s be frank, spring break brings out the animal in the typical study-sleep-work-repeat college student, which makes them way more vulnerable when traveling or vacationing.

Traveling on the road

Here are some safety precautions to remember while on your spring break:

If it’s behind the wheel or on a plane, some of the worst travel accidents or thefts come from simply getting to or coming from their destination.

When driving, it’s important to take turns behind the wheel. Rotating driving responsibilities keeps everyone rested while the other passengers can man the aux cord. The shotgun rider must be the eyes and ears for the driver as well, so dozing off is not an option in the front seats. Even though the driver could be one of the safest drivers out there, it’s always good to have two alert drivers who watch out for everything.

One important pre-driving measure is to ensure everyone in the car has a valid driver’s license and the vehicle’s registration and insurance are all up to date. This is especially true when driving in another country. Passports and birth certificates are also something important to haul along and should always be kept in a safe place.

As dumb as it sounds, buying a map would be an added plus because something could always happen to a GPS device or phone, and it can be utilized as a sensible backup. It would also be smart to download an app that doesn’t require internet such as Sygic GPS Navigation, Navmii, CoPilot Premium or Navigon.

Obvious precautionary tactics when driving are stashing valuables away from plain sight in a car. If it’s that valuable, it might be a good idea to lock it up in the trunk.

Traveling by plane

Planes and airports are also a prime spot for vacation spoilers to occur. Never leave your baggage unattended when waiting around, and if need be, take your baggage with you to eat or the restroom at the airport.

Taxis, subways or metro stations are also prime places for pick-pocketing, so it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. When using taxi alternatives, such as Uber or Lyft, make sure to watch the maps and if anything goes wrong or something suspicious happens with the driver, try to get out of the vehicle or call the police.

For those who have travel anxiety, a bad stomach or get motion sickness, one of the best supplements to bring along is Dramamine. Dramamine will not knock you out or make you feel euphoric in any sense, instead it simply calms you down and stabilizes all the movement going on.

Hotels

When checking into a hotel or an Airbnb, it would be wise to be as discreet as possible to avoid any sort of problems. Refrain from saying room numbers out loud for anyone to hear to avoid anyone knowing your exact location. 

Another thing to note is to make sure all valuables are out of plain sight to avoid any theft.

ATM’s

When pulling out money at the ATM, make sure to travel in groups to avoid any type of theft. A quick 360-degree scan can save you from being robbed or allowing your pin to get stolen. Always cover your pin number when putting it into the machine to avoid any identity theft. Bringing along an unfashionable fanny pack would also be a fun and easy way to carry around cash. 

Drinking

Simply saying “drink responsibly” is like telling a baby not to poop its diapers—you hope they don’t do it, but eventually they will.

Make sure to go with a group of friends, who will have a sober monitor or someone who will minimalize their drinking to watch over the group. Planning how much you will drink could save you the eerie and troublesome feeling of losing bodily functions or making poor decisions. Maintain awareness of the liquor and alcohol laws wherever your location.

One of the most important things when drinking is ensuring the safety of a drink. Leaving a drink unattended could lead to date rape drugs being slipped into the drink or any other sort of drugs. In a 2007 study by the National Institute of Health, reported that 89 percent of female undergrad sexual assault survivors claimed to have been drinking before their assault. This is not to hinder drinking habits or blame the girl in any way; but to make sure people are aware that these occurrences happen.

At the end of the day, if all else fails, make sure to follow the “come with your friends, leave with your friends” mentality.

In the water

What’s a worse combination than a Taco Bell beefy five-layer burrito and a Mountain Dew for your stomach? Drinking, sun and water.

Drinking and sunshine and/or heat can lead to worse sunburns and an even worse hangover. Make sure to time your drinks and stay hydrated with water. Waterproof sunscreen can be your best friend, but apply it often.

Sex

It would be easy to say don’t have sex, sex is bad, m’kay, but it just sounds like a dad talking to his daughter.

Our society’s hookup culture puts peer pressure on individuals to feel they need sex, and can influence someone do something they don’t want to. Nonetheless, ensure that you and your partner are 100 percent consenting to this activity. Silence, a belligerent drunk answer, or a no is not a yes. Consent must be a verbal commitment and can never be assumed.

Next up, it’s extremely important to stock up on protection before going off on spring break trips. Ensuring the protection is properly intact is very important and can prevent STDs, pregnancies or any other diseases. Always carry condoms just in case.

The best way to go about this is by planning ahead. Know what your sexual boundaries are and make sure to stay true to those plans and ideals.

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Assayer of Student Opinion.
Your guide to staying safe and prepared this spring break