Spring Break is an important mile marker in the school year for everyone to get out of town, relax, have new life experiences and make lasting memories with friends and family. Traveling and visiting new places both domestic and abroad has always been a passion in our family, in order for us to show our children life outside of our hometown.
As a college freshman, our daughter went on spring break with our family because I did not feel she was quite ready to fly far from the nest. Of course, we live on the Gulf Coast of Florida where most people spring break, so she was able to experience a little taste of college spring break but come home at night, where I knew she was safe.
The following year, she rented a house in Destin, FL along with 20 other girls, thankfully they had an amazing house mom who kept them all fed and hydrated. They were about thirty minutes away from me, so I was able to check in and help them safely get to and from the beach where the college kids hung out in crowds. Additionally, the night life would take them to bars and clubs where they could dance the night away and meet new people.
Her junior year at Ole Miss fell on the same week as our younger children’s so we opted for a cruise. Our daughter and some of her friends booked the same cruise as us; however, in order to have some independence, they stayed on a different floor, went on their own excursions and had the absolute time of their lives. The memories they made that spring break were some of her most memorable throughout her whole college experience, and all I had to do was make sure no one got left in a foreign country!
As a Senior, our daughter and her friends were finally all 21 and wanted to cruise again on their own. My husband and I decided it was time to let her go, after all, she had proven to be responsible up to this point. I knew they would be posting on social media, so I could follow their trip from home. Once again, the life experiences they were able to have were incredible.
Whether you decide to go along with your college student on spring break or not here are some tips I recommend:
Set them a budget! There are awesome opportunities to travel for all budgets. Make sure they know what fits in theirs and they stick to it. Additionally, all inclusive (like a cruise) ensures they will not starve or spend their money on something other than food!
If you don’t already, follow your student and their friends across all social media platforms. This way you are able to see they are ok and if you cannot get in touch with your child, you can reach out to one of the friends who are with them. (There may not be cell service where they are going, but getting the WIFI package is worth the extra cost!)
Make sure your child has their location services on and you are able to track them through apps such as “Find My Friends.” I know this helicopter parent takes it a little too far, but this is for their safety and your sanity! I even screen shot her location randomly just in case…you can never be too careful especially when abroad!
Invest in a GoPro video camera or something similar like a waterproof phone case! The videos documenting their trip will become some of the most treasured memories, whether it is jumping off waterfalls, snorkeling or relaxing poolside. Your child will thank you!
Whether your student is going to stay domestic or go abroad, make sure they stay with their group! Emphasise this to them over and over! We will not allow ours to travel in anything less than groups of 3’s!
Our daughter that went to Ole MIss is our oldest so experiencing college and spring breaks were all new to us. I did not know what to expect or how to go about it, however, we were extremely thankful she had fun and safe trips each year. I hope this helps in preparing for the upcoming Spring Break trips and that your student, their friends and your family have a fun and safe experience! Whether it is a stay-cation or traveling somewhere; be sure to take photos and videos of the memories that you will be talking about for years to come.