Spring Break Tips

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How can I keep my valuables safe while on spring break?

Keep your identification and valuables safe on spring break.

Spring break is often characterized by throngs of people, many at least slightly inebriated, and glowing from days in the sun and surf. As much as this revelry creates a sense of camaraderie, it can also distract you from the chance that your valuables could be stolen or lost. Losing your ID and/or credit card is a great way to ruin your vacation. Keep your passport in a safe, and keep your ID and credit cards with you when out at clubs or on the beach. Bring along discreet, waterproof wallets so that you don't have to leave valuables unattended while on the beach. Use a buddy system so that you don't become a target for petty criminals.

   
Are spring break sweepstakes any good?

For fun, take a chance and enter a spring break sweepstake!

If you're particularly adventurous and would like to have a shot at a free spring break, consider checking out various sweepstakes conducted by tour operators and student travel groups. You'll risk not getting a package, of course, and you can't pick where you go or what the accommodations are, but tour groups generally put together very solid spring break packages as sweepstakes prizes, since winners will generate a lot of word-of-mouth advertising, and sponsors want them to have had an excellent time. For 2005, STA and Breakaway Tours are just two of the companies sponsoring contests for spring break packages to Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.

   
What should I ask when I am planning a spring break vacation?

Plan your spring break strategically to have the most fun once you're on vacation.

You have the most fun when you are not worried about details, so find out the details on your spring break package before you go. Read the fine print on what spring break packages include, and request specific information - in writing – about what happens in case of cancelled or delayed flights or overbooking, for example. Make sure you ask about and understand what will happen if your plans change for any reason. Watch out for hidden costs, such as airport taxes and other resort fees that can make your costs skyrocket. Finally, remember that it's better to safe than sorry: buy travel insurance that will let you change your plans or cancel your trip at any time without penalties.

   
What should I do to plan a spring break vacation?

Make sure you buy your spring break package from a reputable establishment.

People looking to make quick money often think of young people as naïve, and will try to take advantage of college students' desire to have a fun spring break. Everyone should do a fair amount of research before choosing a vacation package, but spring breakers should take special care to find out about what the lodging is like, what transportation is available, and what amenities and services are included in the cost. While on spring break, make sure that any activities that you participate in are licensed – don't rent equipment from unlicensed vendors, and make sure that any guides you employ are reputable.

   
What should I avoid when I am on spring break?

Respect the law and yourself to ensure a safe and fun spring break.

Spring break is always highly anticipated, but all too often, this vacation can go from a time to kick back and have fun to a week ruined by drugs, alcohol, and/or disorderly behavior. Spring breakers can avoid legal and medical trouble by keeping a few things in mind. First of all, know what substances are legal for whom, and where. A medication or drug that is legal in one country may not be legal in a neighboring nation, leading to unaware young people being subjected to prosecution by laws, customs, or standards of the country they are visiting. In and outside if the United States, spring breakers should use alcohol responsibly, and respect local drinking ages and laws. Also, for your own safety and those around you, keep your wits: drunken, disorderly and violent behavior can cause injury or even death. Intoxication also makes one more vulnerable to sexual assault, theft and other opportunistic crimes. Have fun on spring break, but keep safe!

   
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Christina Chan