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Albright College

TIP OF THE MONTH
March

Tips for a Happy and Safe Spring Break
by Nora Hassan ’11

This month will concentrate on tips to have a safe and happy spring break.  As spring break approaches, many college students are making plans to travel with friends, usually to warmer climates, to enjoy a week of stress-free relaxation.   Whether traveling around the U.S. or even internationally, there are so many things that can go wrong.  That’s why with a bit of pre-planning, college students can have a fun and exciting spring break making good memories that will last a lifetime.  Below you will find a few ideas to keep in mind while getting ready for spring break as well as while you are on your trip.

\ Before you travel: Make a checklist of important items to bring along so that you don’t forget them.  In addition to bathing suits, sunglasses, flip flops, and beach towels, some other items may have slipped your mind.  Carry an ID such as a driver’s license. Apply for a passport early if you are leaving the country as it could take some time.  Bring more than enough money and do not keep it all together just in case baggage is lost or stolen.  Always check travel warnings, especially when leaving the country and visiting unfamiliar destinations. 

Protect against harmful rays:  The sun’s rays are stronger in warmer climates, so protect your skin and eyes from the sun.  Bring a pair of sunglasses that have UV protection, and do not forget sunscreen to protect the skin against harmful sun exposure. If you are going to a beach or if you will be swimming, get sunscreen that is waterproof.  Remember that you need to reapply often or else you might be sorry by the end of the trip if you get burned badly.  In this case, aloe vera is a great natural remedy to soothe the skin in case of overexposure to the sun. 

Stay safe at the beach:  Your skin is not the only thing at risk from the sun.  The sun actually worsens the effects of alcohol, especially in the heat, so remember to keep hydrated.  Remember that swimming in the ocean can also be dangerous, so try to stay in groups when going into the water.  Riptides are very dangerous and can pull anyone out into the ocean because they are very strong currents.  If you get caught by one of these, do not try to fight it by swimming directly back to the shore.  Instead, swim parallel to the shore in order to pull yourself away. 

Drink Responsibly:  Most people immediately think of alcohol when the thought of spring break crosses their minds.  Although many people make the choice to drink over spring break, remember to be familiar with drinking laws of the destination to which you are traveling.  It is important to go out in groups and make sure to keep track of everyone you are traveling with, so that everyone leaves and comes back together.  Also, most places have public transportation such as trolleys, buses, and taxis, so be responsible about using these if you are under the influence since drinking and driving is always a dangerous situation.

Hooking up:  Spring break is a time that is also associated with high sexual activity.  It is important to keep in mind that although one may attribute spring break to this, it is not necessarily true and not everyone is participating in sexual activities.  However, if you do make the choice, remember to be safe and use protection.  It is a good idea to be prepared, so you do not find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.  It is also important that if you are not comfortable with going further, to be upfront with the other person when it comes to setting boundaries.

Alternative Spring Break:  There are so many ideas for what to do on spring break, and going to the beach is not the only option.  Check out ideas for alternative spring break options such as volunteering at a camp for a week, helping out with disaster relief, or even doing community service in any town in the U.S.  Not only is it a rewarding opportunity, but it is a great experience to meet other college students who are devoting their spring break for a good cause.  Not to mention, it looks great on resumes and it helps with finding summer jobs and with networking for careers!

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