Spring Break Safety Tips
It's that time of year again- spring break! It doesn't matter if you are traveling abroad, staying in state or relaxing in your backyard at home. Every student looks forward to this week all year long to relax, soak up some Vitamin D, and mostly have fun. Whichever way you chose to spend your spring break, there are certainly many do's and don'ts for you to remember. Here are some basic steps to ensure you have a safe and memorable spring break.
Tips for Home:
- Always close and lock all doors and windows (even upstairs windows) to your residence if you will be leaving-even if only for a brief period of time.
- Do not pack your vehicle and leave it overnight prior to your departure.
- Secure your bicycle inside your residence while away for an extended period of time.
- Make your home appear occupied while you are away by placing a lamp or radio on a timer.
- Avoid posting vacation and trip information on Facebook and other social media websites.
Tips for Travel:
- Stay alert to your surroundings; avoid carrying large amounts of cash and wearing expensive jewelry. Don’t make yourself a target.
- For international travelers get information in reference to your destination. The U.S. State Department has Consular Information sheets for about 170 countries as well as travel tips written especially for students. This site also posts warnings and public announcements detailing any serious crime, terrorism, health risks, natural disasters or other dangers for specific countries. Information can be viewed at the following link: http://travel.state.gov/content/studentsabroad/en/embassies.html
- American students planning to travel to Mexico may want to review the following link: http://travel.state.gov/
- Arrive safely - Driving through the night to make it down to Florida or other sunny destinations is common for spring breakers. But the National Safety Council says traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day. If you can’t avoid night driving, have at least one person stay awake to talk to driver and rotate drivers frequently.
- Don’t take chances at your hotel. Lock the doors, and secure important belongings like passports and wallets in the safe.
- Note where the nearest fire exits and stairwells are in case you need to evacuate. Have an exit strategy before the emergency happens.
- Be smart about who you give personal information out to - don’t tell new acquaintances your hotel or room number. You never know who has innocent or dangerous intentions.
- The Buddy System - it works! We do NOT recommend you leave a party with a stranger, it’s always best to take a friend with you. If for whatever reason you do leave without your friends, give them details about where you’re going and when to expect you back.
- Upon arrival determine how to contact emergency responders, especially if you travel outside the United States. If there’s an emergency don’t rely on a bystander to call for help. Call for help yourself to be sure first responders or police gets the message.
- Hydrate & wear sunscreen! Heat stroke, serious sunburn and melanoma aren’t happy spring break thoughts, but too much time in the sun can leave you dehydrated with an increased risk of sun burn. Use waterproof sunscreen at least SPF30 and reapply often.
- When using a taxi, their credentials will be posted in plain sight. When using Uber or Lyft, check your phone to make sure the driver's name, license plate number and photo on your phone all match the vehicle that arrives.
If traveling outside of the country, be sure to look up the address or contact information for the American consulate or U.S. Embassy in the country where you’re headed. Be sure to tell friends and relatives in the U.S. of your travel itinerary and try to check in with them often. Also, take a copy of all credit cards and your passport with you in case they are stolen. Call your credit card and cash cards in advance to let them know you’ll be out of the country so they won’t put a stop on your account. Plus, the best exchange rates are with these cards, not in exchanging dollars for the local currency. Find more information at:
For further information on crime prevention, contact Officer Scott Curry, Crime Prevention Specialist at Baylor University Police Department at (254) 710-4254.
BE SAFE AND HAVE A GREAT SPRING BREAK!