55 Spring Break Safety Tips
It’s Spring Break and we’re ready to hit the road!
Spring Break usually conjures up images of drunken college students behaving badly; however, in the last few years, trends have changed. More and more travelers this year are seeking out new vacation spots that focus on experience and adventure. The American Society of Travel Agents reports an increased interest in family-friendly, culturally-enriching, authentic, less crowded, and off-the-beaten-path destinations that offer stimulating experiences that connect people with nature such as scuba diving, white water rafting and trekking. STA Travel with 200 branches in 12 countries reports that they have seen a 25% increase in camper rentals since 2016.
Spring Break is the perfect time to take a traditional road trip, go camping, trek or hike, climb a mountain, explore a national park, ski, travel to the nearest theme park, hit the beach or the lake.
Click here to learn how to pack like a prepper.
No matter the destination, or who you are traveling with, its never okay to let your guard down—especially when you are in an unfamiliar place. Whether you’re flying solo, gathered with a large group or traveling with the family, follow these 55 rules of safety while on vacation.
Before You Go
- Know your essential medications and dosages. Inform your traveling companions of any serious allergies, chronic illnesses or reactions and how to treat them.
- Spring weather is unpredictable. Pack a jacket and warm set of clothing. You do not want to be stuck in Disney World when the temperature drops to 50 degrees and the kids are wearing shorts.
- Prep your house before you leave to make it look like someone is home. Leave a car in the driveway and put your lights on timers.
- Leave your plans with someone back home. Let them know when you leave, where you will be traveling and when to expect you back.
- Get AAA or roadside assistance through your insurance, especially if you are traveling alone.
- Know the self-defense laws in the states you are traveling in and transport weapons according to the law.
- Do not post your travel plans on social media or check in at out-of-town locations.
- Back your phone and photos up to the cloud. Use all safety, lock and find features your phone offers in case it gets stolen.
- Learn basic first aid and CPR and know how to respond to a medical emergency.
- Don’t take anything irreplaceable with you.
- Don’t drive for more than eight hours at a time. Switch drivers on longer trips. Sleepy drivers cause 100,000 accidents annually.
- Every time you stop for gas or the bathroom, stretch or do light exercise.
- Take maps just in case you lose cell service.
- Don’t leave valuables that are visible in the car.
- Don’t use cruise control at night.
- Keep your gas tank at least 1/4th full.
- Take breaks at gas stations and restaurants, not rest stops
- Wear tennis shoes or boots, not flip-flops when driving or in the car. This is safer in case of an accident.
- Keep an emergency vehicle kit in the car:
- Bottled water
- Spare tire
- Tire jack
- Spare batteries
- First aid kit
- Phone charger
- Wet wipes
- Snacks/energy bars
- Jumper cables
- When getting a hotel room, stay above the first floor where it’s easier to break in, but under the sixth floor, where fire ladders may not reach.
- Store your valuables in the hotel safe.
- Take copies of your passport or ID and keep them in the hotel safe.
- Keep a flashlight by your bed in case the power goes out or you must evacuate.
- If you lose or misplace your room key, immediately request a new room.
- Secure coolers and food containers from bears and raccoons by keeping them in a locked car or suspending them from a tree.
- Never go to bed without fully extinguishing a fire.
- Use official taxis or rideshare company’s that are clearly marked only.
- Cover the number pad on the ATM when entering your PIN.
- Hand your driver’s license or ID to the bartender instead of shouting your last name when opening a tab.
- Keep emergency phone numbers, the hotel address and some cash in your wallet.
- But don’t carry a huge amount of cash and all your credit cards.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry or carry a designer purse.
- Keep your camera hidden until you are using it.
- When traveling out of the country, don’t eat fruit and vegetables that have not been cleaned properly.
- Be prepared and develop emergency plans for bad weather, natural disasters, if one of you gets lost, and if someone has a serious accident or medical emergency.
- Avoid overly-crowded markets, buses, trains and other mass transits where pick-pockets get rich quick.
- Don’t go anywhere with a stranger and don’t let any of your group leave with a stranger.
- Hanging the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door won’t guarantee hotel staff won’t enter but hanging out “Clean Room Now” is a sure sign you are away.
- Book adventures, excursions and tours only through legitimate companies.
- Crossbody bags and purses are less easy to steal when worn in front of your body.
- Put a small lock on your backpack zippers.
- Wear your wallet in your front pocket.
- Know exactly where you are going when you head out. Study a map and plan your route.
- Do not engage street hawkers. Many of them are running scams.
- Carry a decoy wallet with a little cash and expired or fake credit cards in it. That way, the only thing your losing is $10 if someone demands it.
- Do not carry all sources of money on your person.
- Ask your hotel if there are any areas you should avoid when sightseeing.
- Reapply sunscreen often.
- Use the buddy system when swimming.
- Stay off your phone when watching children swim.
- Use insect repellent that repels mosquitos that carry Zika virus.
- Know how to identify rip tides and rip currents. If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out, then swim at an angle toward the shore. If someone else is stuck in one, do not go in after them—get a lifeguard or call emergency response.
- If camping, hiking or backpacking pack a small survival kit with a fire starter, first aid kit, knife or multi-tool, whistle or signal mirror, water filter straw, emergency blanket and an emergency fishing kit.
- If you can’t clearly see the bottom of a pool—don’t get in. The CDC reports an increase in illnesses from bacteria due to unclean swimming pools.
- Rent equipment like surfboards, skis and snorkel masks from reputable companies or your resort or hotel. Don’t trust some random guy on the street who offers you a great deal.