RCTC Student Beehive – February 28, 2018
SPRING BREAK – NO CLASSES MONDAY, MARCH 5th – FRIDAY, MARCH 9th
You’ve worked hard – all that studying, all those papers. You deserve a break – to get away from it all and forget about everything but that great spring fling you’ve been dreaming about. Whether you’re cruising to the Bahamas, skiing the Alps, or hitting the nearest beach, personal safety is your responsibility.
The most important spring break safety tip is to use common sense. With the following safety tips in mind, stay safe, and enjoy your sun-filled spring break.
Before You Leave
- Pack Smart – Pack light and simple, bringing as few valuables as possible. Consider packing inexpensive alternatives to your daily items (sunglasses, clothes, jewelry, bags, appliances) so that if you do happen to lose them, it’s no great loss. Must bring items include: cell phone, identification, health insurance information, contact numbers, medication and for Spring Break beach trips, sunscreen (and lots of it). You might also consider packing a simple first aid kit.
- Broadcast Your Whereabouts – Short of implanting a tracking device, you should do as much as you can to let people know where you are at all times. Make sure someone back home has your contact information, contact information for every place you’re going to be, and as much of your itinerary as you can pre-plan. Also provide contact information for others in your group.
- Money Safety – Preplan your expenses, and don’t bring more than you think you need. Traveler’s checks are smarter than cash, and all plastic should be locked up whenever you don’t plan to use it in the immediate future.
- Customs – If traveling to a foreign country, familiarize yourself with the customs laws, including necessary identification and other border crossing-regulations.
- Home Security – If you’re leaving your home (dorm room, apartment, etc.) completely empty, practice some basic safety. Turn off all appliances, unplug everything (saves you on your electric bill, too), lock it up tight, and only give someone you completely trust the responsibility of feeding Princess Fluffytail. If you are renting an apartment it’s always good advice to have renters insurance. It’s inexpensive and can give you some peace of mind while you’re away.
- Sunscreen – The sun is an unfeeling monster that knows only suffering. Avoid it with the regular and ample application of sunscreen. SPF 15 is a bare minimum. If swimming, be sure to use water-resistant sun block, reapplied often. Remember that you can get sunburned even while it’s overcast, so there’s no excuse not to use sunscreen.
- Drink Lots of Water – Many Americans, especially those from northern states, tend to underestimate the danger of dehydration, but it can sneak up on you fast as a term paper. Force yourself to hydrate regularly, even when you don’t feel thirsty. By the way, alcohol and carbonated beverages don’t count. When traveling out of the country, never drink local water – DRINK BOTTLED WATER!
- Tattoos – Health standards in some foreign countries are lower than those in the U.S. Statistically, “parlor fear” is a little trumped up, but that wicked tattoo of Eddie Van Halen surfing a skull while flames erupt from his Flying V can wait until next week. Additionally you can be at risk of contracting incurable hepatitis C.
- Take It Slow with the Alcohol – According to a report by the Department of Public Safety, 98% of people injured during Spring Break activities are intoxicated. If you’re of age, then you have every right, but please proceed responsibly for the safety of yourself and others.
- Don’t Do Drugs – Do I really have to say it?
- Carry (and Use) Condoms – There’s one kind of souvenir that nobody wants to bring home, so both men and women should use protection.
- Buddy System – I guarantee you’ll see this on every list of Spring Break safety tips, because it is so important: never go anywhere Having an assigned buddy is a great start, someone to keep you in line of sight at all times and instigate a search party whenever something is amiss. Having three or four buddies is even better. Strength in numbers, you know.
- Water Safety – Riptides can condemn you to the briny deep faster than cement shoes, so never swim alone. If possible, only swim when a life guard is on duty. Never swim under the influence of alcohol. Obey all beach advisory warnings. Also, never pilot a boat while intoxicated. Not only is it illegal, it’s really, really stupid.
- Club/Bar Etiquette – Always be aware of your surroundings, monitor your drink carefully and never accept a drink from a stranger lest there be dragons lurking in the glass. Don’t leave with someone you don’t know, and be mindful of your possessions at all times. Most crimes against young adult Spring Breakers originate at the club.
- Your Room, Your Sanctuary – Don’t invite anyone you don’t know into your room, especially if you are alone. Always have personal belongings locked up unless you are using them at that moment.
- Avoid Reckless Behavior – Climbing things, jumping off things, lighting things on fire, listening to Jack Johnson … you’re just asking for trouble.
- The Airport Rule – Never leave your bags unattended in a public place, and never try to transport something into the country for someone else, whether you think it is illegal or not.
- Have Fun – And that’s not an option!
Follow these Spring Break safety tips and we’re sure you’ll come back home with a full supply of valuable memories and not an insurance claim.