TRAVEL SAFE THIS SPRING BREAK
Each year, thousands of students travel abroad for fun-filled Spring Break trips to warm-weather destinations without incident. The experience of visiting another country can create lifelong memories. One of the key elements to a successful trip abroad is safety. Our STS on-site staff provides assistance to all travelers, including: meeting travelers upon arrival in country; providing orientation to the destination; and being readily available 24 hours a day for travelers throughout their stay.
Additionally, making educated decisions in booking your Spring Break trips will help to ensure hassle-free travel. Some tips include:
- Book Early! This will give you access to the hotels and flights of your choice. In most cases, you will save hundreds of dollars through early booking discounts and lower airfares.
- Use a tour operator that understands your travel needs. STS works with hotels that understand the student market and the needs of young travelers. Be certain that your tour operator has representatives available at your destination.
- Make sure you have all of your necessary travel documents. Passports can take up to 6 weeks to obtain. Do not hesitate and apply for your passport now.
- Purchase travel protraction. This will protect your travel investment and make life easier should need to cancel your vacation.
- Establish your boundaries with your friends before you travel. Going with the flow can get crazy very quickly and if everyone has an agreement on boundaries prior to travel, you can avoid getting into unsafe situations.
Below are some more tips to help ensure a safe and successful Spring Break trip
Spring Break Travel Tips:
When driving to Spring Break destinations:
- Make sure to buckle up. Not only is it the law, seat belts save lives plain and simple.
- Take turns behind the wheel for long trips. Whoever sits shotgun should also stay awake to keep the driver company.
- Make sure everyone who drives has a valid driver's license and the vehicle registration is in the car before driving off.
- Be cognizant of changing speed limits when crossing state lines.
When flying to Spring Break destinations:
- Arrive to the airport early enough to allow time for check-in. Different airports have different check-in procedures, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to make your flight.
- Take check-in procedures seriously and respect the authority of the Transportation Security Administration Agents. Nothing will ruin your Spring Break trip like being placed on the "No Fly" list.
General Spring Break Safety Tips:
- Go to the ATM in groups, during daylight. Be aware of those hanging around and if someone is being suspicious, go to another ATM.
- Stay alert! Scam artists and thieves prey on people in airports and tourist destinations. Do not leave your luggage and carry-on items unattended at any time. Do not check valuables (i.e. cameras, jewelry, cash, etc) in your with your luggage. Do not give strangers money or go anywhere you wouldn't go at home (i.e. stranger's car, dark alley, deserted park, etc.).
- Never get into an unlicensed/unmarked taxicab. Negotiate the fare before entering the taxi and always travel with a buddy. Remember, safety in numbers.
- Only purchase side excursions and party programs from STS approved vendors or ground operators. We cannot help you if you have problems with side excursions not purchased through STS.
- Use your hotels safety deposit boxes. Store your money, passports, airline tickets and other valuables in the hotels safety deposit boxes or in-room safes. A little precaution will go a long way in making your trip hassle-free.
- Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and reapply often. Pay extra attention to your ears, nose, face and shoulders. Remember, the sun is stronger in tropical areas closer to the Equator. Avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours of the sun's rays and remember you can burn even when it's cloudy.
Spring Break Etiquette:
- Be Polite! Everyone is on Spring Break to party and have a good time, but please be respectful to those around you, especially the people of the country you are visiting. You are a guest in a foreign country that has a different way of doing things. Be patient. Respect others and they will respect you back.
- Stay out of Jail! Foreign countries have different laws and a different legal system. A general rule of thumb is if you wouldn't do it in the US, don't try to do it in a foreign country.
- Tip 15% on all bills.
Partying Safety Tips:
- Drink responsibly if and when you choose to drink and know your limits.
- Follow the party schedule. If you are looking for the place to be at any time during your Spring Break, you only need to look at your STS Party schedule. This will save you money off cover charges, get you free drinks, and put you in the middle of the action.
- Do not accept drinks from strangers. Be on the lookout for signs of predatory drugs: extreme wooziness, confusion, difficulty standing and slurring speech. If you notice these symptoms in yourself, find your friends immediately and tell them to get you out of there. If you see these signs in a friend, do your friend duty and take them back to the hotel, or to a hospital if symptoms are severe.
- Don't use, sell, or buy drugs. Drugs are illegal in every country and such laws are strictly enforced.
- Drinking, plus the sun can equal a bad sunburn and an even worse hangover. Sun exposure can maximize the effects of alcohol so keep this in mind if you party on the beach. Take it slow and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you start feeling faint or light headed, get shade and water immediately.
- If you do decide to drink, know the liquor laws of wherever you'll be vacationing.