Whether you are heading to Costa Rica for spring break or just staying close to home, it’s important to review some steps you can take to prevent your safety from being compromised.

 Before you leave town for Spring Break.

  • Leave an itinerary with someone. This should include travel routes or flight numbers, dates of arrival and departure, a list of accommodations and any planned activities.
  • Call your insurance company beforehand to make sure that you will be covered where you are going.
  • Do your homework beforehand, keeping in mind that you are subject to the laws of the place you are visiting.
  • Know your currency.
  • If you are driving with others, rotate drivers and have whoever is riding shotgun also stay awake. Make sure everyone has a copy of their license, and that the vehicle registration and proof of insurance are on hand.

 While on spring break.

  • Don’t bring flashy valuables, and dress conservatively so that you don’t stand out.
  • Stash your cash in a few places. If your hotel has a safe, use it. When carrying cash, keep it as close to your body as possible and don’t flash it around. Bring only one or two credit cards.
  • At hotels, try to secure a room between the second and sixth floors, keep your door locked, and make a mental note of where emergency exits are.
  • At an ATM, look around to see if anyone suspicious is lurking nearby. When punching in your PIN, use the other hand to cover the keypad.
  • At the beach or on the ski slopes, make sure to use plenty of sunscreen.

When going out or partying.

  • Go out with your friends, stay with your group, and go home with your friends. Last year, more than 70,000 college-age women (18-24) reported being raped or sexually assaulted after consuming alcohol. It’s a lot harder to be preyed upon if everyone is watching out for everyone else.
  • Eat before you go out, and alternate alcoholic drinks with water or non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Consider using a mobile device such as B4UDrink.mobi for Android-type smartphones and the B4UDrive app for iPhones. By entering your gender, weight and the number and types of drinks you are consuming you can keep an objective measure of what your blood alcohol count (BAC) is. Of course, as these apps will tell you, these are just guides.
  • Be familiar with the signs of alcohol poisoning and predatory drugs. A person who is acting confused, cannot be roused after passing out, has slowed or irregular breathing, has pale or blue skin, or is having a seizure needs medical attention immediately.
  •  Avoid alcohol use when sunbathing or using the hot tub. The heat accentuates the effect of alcohol. Instead, concentrate on staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

What tips do you have so that others can have a fun and safe spring break?

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