One of the most anticipated weeks of the college year, a week for fun, sun and parties, is just days away – Spring Break!
A longstanding American tradition, Spring Break got its start in Florida in the 1930’s, according to TIME. Fort Lauderdale hosted the College Coaches’ Swim Forum at the Casino Pool, drawing more than 300 college swimmers come 1938, and the tradition took off. MTV launched its first spring break special from Daytona Beach, Florida in 1986, and countless films have documented the spring break exploits of college-aged co-eds, from Where The Boys Are to From Justin to Kelly.
While Spring Break is commonly thought of as a time of fun and partying on idyllic, sandy beaches, Spring Break presents its own set of unique risks for young adults. The combination of alcohol, big crowds, sun and traveling abroad, while it can be a blast, it can also bring threats to the safety and well-being of young travelers. With a little preparation and consideration, spring break can be a fun and safe trip for any traveler.
Partying is a hallmark of Spring Break, and letting loose after midterms is one of the best aspects of the vacation. Excessive partying, however, poses great risks to students in multiple ways, from making them more susceptible to injuries and assaults, to rowdy behavior and arrests.
- The average man consumes 18 drinks a day on spring break and the average woman consumes 10 (Trauma Foundation)
- 60% of spring breakers are injured, oftentimes these injuries are self-inflicted (infographic)
- South Padre Island, a popular Spring Break destination, averages 25 arrests a day (infographic)
- Since 2004, there has been a 75% percent in ecstacy-related emergency room visits across the nation, and this “club drug” is not hard to find on Spring Break (ABC News)
Before leaving on your trip, make sure to check if your health insurance will cover you at your destination. If traveling abroad, consider travel insurance to cover any medical expenses that could arise due to accidents that your health insurance plan may not cover. Always be diligent when partying in an unfamiliar place, make sure you have the address and phone number of your hotel, stay with your friends and keep your eye on your drinks. The odds of being sexually assaulted go up when alcohol is involved, be sure to protect yourself.
Theft is something all travelers should be aware of, and before you leave, investigate whether the area has a high crime rate or pick-pocketing rate so you can prepare accordingly. When lots of partying is involved on a trip, it can be easy to misplace or lose any of the things you brought along. Consult with your parents about whether their homeowner’s policy will cover your belongings while you are away, and consider the deductible on their policy. You may want to consider renters insurance, which will cover your belongings without jeopardizing your parents’ policy. Renter’s insurance will also cover the items you leave behind in your dorm room or apartment while on break, on the chance your room gets broken into.
The average student will spend $1,100 a week on Spring Break, according to this infographic. That’s no small amount on a student budget! A snow storm or illness could delay even the best laid travel plans Consider travel insurance to protect your trip from any delays, be it a snowstorm or a sudden illness.
Traveling to an unfamiliar place generally carries risk along with it, so make sure to acquaint yourself with your surroundings before you reach for a drink. Before you leave, check out the Students Abroad site by the Bureau of Consular Affairs and the U.S. Department of State and check for any travel advisories specific to your destination. They have many helpful resources for a variety of situations you may encounter.
Most likely, you will have a great week and lots of fun in the sun, but it never hurts to ensure you are prepared. Here are a few resources you may want to take a look at before you depart to make sure you travel as safely as possible: