Spring break is right around the corner and it’s never too early to start preparing. Even if your son or daughter is well traveled, spring break can bring different challenges. Scammers know there are young people visiting a destination under the influence, and they are skilled in taking advantage of them.
This year will be my fourth college spring break, and along the way I have picked up tips and tricks that I have had to learn the hard way. I’ve put together a list of my best advice for you to pass along to your kiddos that will ensure a fun, yet safe trip. Following some of these tips could be the difference between having an amazing trip with your friends and ruining the trip from doing something stupid.
1. If you are going to Destin or anywhere that has a no open container policy, ADHERE TO THE RULES. Seriously – there are too many people that get arrested over spring break for carrying a beer on the beach underage when that could totally be avoided. Don’t. Risk. It. If you must drink, go somewhere that doesn’t have that policy, or drink at home.
2. Write down the numbers of your friends, the hotel you are staying in, and a trusted cab company on a piece of paper. Keep this along with some emergency cash hidden on your person and this could be a total like saver. My friend became separated from us one year while we were in Gulf Shores, and the only number she had memorized was her friend’s number from home who wasn’t on the trip with us. Not very helpful right? It took hours for her friend to get into contact with us and for us to retrieve her.
3. Do not advertise where you are staying. Have you ever seen the movie Taken? Don’t split cabs with strangers and if you have to ask for directions, ask an official.
4. Share your location with your friends on your phone. This way your group can check Find Friends and know exactly where you are. If you lose your phone, this can also help in finding it.
5. Never agree to meet up with someone that has “found” your lost or stolen belonging. Notify police and let them handle it. This one may sound odd, but trust me. I’ve had my phone stolen and the person claimed that he found it and he made me pay him before he would hand it over.
6. Be weary about leaving your belongings out in the open alone, even for a second. I was on spring break in Cancun my junior year, and we were on a booze cruise. We piled all of our belongings on a table and because the bar wasn’t too far, we thought it would be okay to leave it unsupervised. While we were away, a man casually sat down at our table and subtly started to put his hands in our bags. Luckily, I noticed and ran over there before he could take anything.
I know some of these tips may seem completely obvious, but being caught in the moment or under the influence of alcohol can alter one’s judgment. Do you have any other tips that you feel like I missed? Please feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts with our other parents!