Important Spring Break Safety Tips
The University of Louisville's spring break is in March every year. Many students go home, work, or stay on campus. A number of students choose to participate in our “Alternative Spring Break” (ASB) programs which offer students an opportunity to serve others during spring break. For info about our ASB programs, go to http://louisville.edu/leadership/service-opportunities/alternative-spring-break
Other students traditionally travel to beach destinations such as Florida, Virginia or Myrtle Beach, Cancun, or South Padre Island. Because these trips to beach destinations frequently involve the combination of large crowds and alcohol, it is particularly important for students to be aware of their own safety and the safety of their friends. In many spring break situations, alcohol is known to be a major contributing factor for injuries and other related problems.
Here are some safety tips to consider:
- If you use a travel agency, be sure they are reputable. Know what kind of transportation, housing, food and beverages are included in your travel package. If you don't know anything about the travel agency call the State Consumer Protection Division to find out if there are any complaints against the agency.
- If you plan on drinking as part of your spring break experience, consider the following:
- Know the alcohol laws at your destination. Ask your travel agent for information on age of consumption and local laws regarding alcohol use. Some areas will ticket for open intoxicants, while others may have stiff penalties for public inebriation.
- Don't drink and drive or get in the car with someone who has been drinking.
- Plan ahead on how much you plan to drink. Talk with a friend about when the friend should intervene and make a plan for how you will return to your hotel. Stay with someone who knows you when you are drinking -- don't wander off alone. Make sure that someone in your group is not drinking or is drinking responsibly so that they can get everyone home.
- Only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or drinks that you pour yourself. You put yourself at risk for receiving an altered beverage if you don't know the source of the drink.
- Don't assume that someone you've just met will look out for your best interests. Keep in mind that more people are sexually assaulted by acquaintances than by strangers.
- If a friend feels sick, don't leave them alone. If you feel sick, ask someone to look out for you.
- If a member of your group passes out, turn them on their side to prevent choking and call 911 immediately.
- Don't horseplay or climb on balconies. Never sit on railings and always keep both feet on the floor at all times. Falls from balconies, even those on lower floors, can be fatal.
- Don't carry all of your credit or bank cards in your wallet or purse. Carry the minimum amount of cash that you will need, including a little backup. Traveler's checks are your best bet when on vacation. If you have extra cash, leave it in your hotel room, hidden from sight.
- Make sure your parents, guardians, friends and relatives know where you will be vacationing, when you will depart, and when you expect to return. Call friends or family members to let them know that you have arrived and returned safely.
- Don't take more documents than you need . Plan to travel with the minimum necessary for your trip (driver's license, passport, and one credit card.) Additionally, know the 1-800 number of your credit card company in case you need to immediately report the loss or theft of your credit card.
- If you are robbed, don't resist -- give up any money, jewelry, or other valuables. You can always replace material things. Call 911 as soon as you can.
Borrowed and Adapted from the University of Wisconsin–Madison