By Lauren Haines
Spring break. No school. No work. No responsibilities. Does it get any better? It’s a time to relax, catch up on sleep and have fun with your friends. The most grueling decision you’ll make is where to go for dinner.
The last thing you’re worried about is remembering what your parents lectured you about as you left the house. Something about applying sunscreen or being aware of your surroundings? Not sure. Doesn’t matter. Not worried about it.
As much as we hate admitting our parents are right, staying safe on spring break vacation is one instance that you shouldn’t try to fight them on. They’re right on this one. Spring break is supposed to be fun. However, if you aren’t careful, one wrong turn and fun turns into a bad situation that can get out of hand quickly.
Take it from Kathryn Farmer of Atlanta, Ga. Farmer is a senior at Auburn University and has spent the last three spring breaks at the beach. Last year the 22-year-old student and her friends chose Destin as their getaway spot.
“It was a blast until one day when I walked over to talk to a different group of friends on the beach,” Farmer said. “When I got back, everything that was in my beach bag was gone.”
One of the most important things on vacation is to be aware of your surroundings. Making sure you are in a safe place at all times will minimize the chances of things getting lost or stolen.
If you are going to the beach or mountains, a great way to keep your belongings safe is to empty out a sunscreen or lotion bottle to store your keys, money and ID. It’s more discreet than a wallet, and the chance of someone stealing a bottle of sunscreen is slim to none.
With that being said, don’t forget to bring actual sunscreen! Exposure to intense, direct sunlight calls not only for sunscreen application but also plenty of water. Whether lying on the beach or snowboarding in the mountains, it is easy to forget that your body needs replenishing. Keep a water bottle on hand at all times to avoid heat exhaustion and dehydration.
Preparedness can make or break a vacation. Weather can be unpredictable, so always bring an umbrella or raincoat. It’s also a good idea to pack a pair of tennis shoes. Regardless of whether you have plans to run or hike, in case of an emergency or unexpected adventure, you’ll be glad you brought them.
A quick packing tip for beach goers: pack baby powder in your beach bag. Rub it on your legs, feet and wherever there may be sand when you leave the beach, and the sand will disappear. This saves you from having sandy shoes, cars and hotel rooms. Because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than sleeping in sandy sheets.
Finally, make sure you bring your cell phone charger. It sounds simple but is easily overlooked when packing a million other things. Even if you charge your cell phone every night, it’s smart to keep a charger in your bag during the day in case your battery runs down.
These quick tips will ensure that you not only have fun, but also stay safe on your vacation. Spring break should be something you look back on and remember the good times you had with your friends—not all the things you wish you’d done differently. Plus, nobody wants to hear their parents say those four dreaded words: “We told you so.”