Spring Break Safety

Abby Martin, Writer

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As the spring break countdown progresses from weeks to days, the anxiety of reaching the spring break destination becomes almost tangible. As the clock runs out, most of the city of Martinsville instantaneously funnels out to find a warm destination. Groups of families and children head to the more popular places that should really be renamed “The Ville”, like Panama, Fl.; Ft. Myers, Fl.; and Cancun, Mexico. The excitement of warm weather and the promise of a good time can potentially make spring breakers naive to the possible dangers of people profiting off the weak-willed wallet, or being taking advantage of in a sexual way. As the embarkment of fun under the sun takes place, just keep a few tips in the back of your mind to keep your vacation safe and pleasurable for everyone

First things first, always stay together. If the group is doing something, stay with the group. If you chose to part from the group, take at least one other person with you, and notify the group where you’re going. This will help prevent getting lost or being robbed. Never go meet someone that you met on the beach alone. No matter how “cool” they were that day, you do not really know who that person is or what their true intentions are. Also, always keep track of those around you. People have a tendency to wander off, and nothing ruins a vacation more than a missing persons case.

Money is an important part of vacation, and going on vacation is expensive no matter how thrifty you try to be. So why would you not try to protect your wallet this spring break? Going to places with a high concentration of people entices thieves. Always count your money, know how much you bring with you from place to place, and how much you spend. When keeping money in the room in a safe that is there which is suppose to be “safe”, remember that someone in the hotel, including maids and hotel managers, have a key to open the safe. To prevent money from disappearing, keep a piece a paper on the money with the amount that is in there to discourage someone taking money right out from under your nose. When taking money to the beach, keep it in a hidden place and never leave belongings unattended. Then when you leave the beach, do a double-take of your belongings to prevent something from being left behind. When buying items, save a few dollars by bartering. Bartering works well in foreign countries at markets. The locals push the price up to certain people depending on how they look. When they give you a price, come back at them with a lower price that seems reasonable for the product; this method can save you hundreds on items for you and souvenirs for loved ones.

The elephant in the room on spring break is alcohol, drugs and sex. Here’s my advice on this elephant: be safe about everything you do. No matter what I tell you, people are going to drink and party. I’m just saying to be careful and consider your options before you do anything irresponsible and dangerous. You aren’t invincible.

Obviously, never drink and drive. No matter where you want to go, it is not worth your life, the lives of those in your car, or in the other cars on the roads. Stay put or have a designated driver. It isn’t cool to risk lives because you didn’t think ahead, or are impatient on leaving. No matter how mad your family may be at you for having to pick you up because you are intoxicated, they will appreciate the maturity of calling them and not risking anything more than you already have.

Also, know the signs of alcohol poisoning. Never leave an unconscious person alone. If a person has consumed too much alcohol, look for excessive confusion, vomiting, irregular breathing and pale skin. Calling 911 to save a friend, even if you are intoxicated too, will not cause you to get in trouble. There are laws in place to protect you from getting in trouble because you were saving a friend from alcohol poisoning. You will feel better about getting help rather than telling family members of that person that you could have helped and did not. As a side note,, never accept an opened drink from a stranger, and never leave your drink unattended. There are people out that are looking for unsuspecting victims to take advantage of. Don’t allow it to be you.

Spring break is a time to let loose and have fun with friends, family, and significant others. Get crazy, let your hair down because that’s what spring breaks about. It has been designed for all ages to get away from the tedious day-to-day routine. However, do not be stupid about what fun you are having.. Take a lot of pictures, and always make memories that will last a lifetime.

The easiest way to avoid these pitfalls is to simply obey the law. Come back in one piece. Stay safe my friends.

 

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