By Leah Burdick
Spring break is the time of year that every college student is eager to get to during the spring semester. After midterm week everyone is excited to pack their bags and head off campus. Some do decide to spend their relaxing week on campus and others want to go home and spend time with family, but many are ready to travel to a new location.
Although The University of Tampa’s spring break has come to an end, spring break season carries on through the month of April.
When all you can think about is where to relocate the thought of safety is the last to think about. For something that is overlooked by many, safety during spring break is most important. I don’t want to sound like a parent or professor, but choosing the safest options during your vacation should be more prioritized.
There is danger that is always present in society even if it’s hidden on the beach, hotel, or bar. Before talking about some safety tips I think it is important to talk about incidents that have happened on others trips to signify that you always have to be careful.
Christine Englehardt, 24, attended spring break in Miami, Florida last year and was raped and murdered by two North Carolina men that she brought back to her hotel room. Englehardt met the two men at South Beach when later they drugged her with fentanyl, according to Fox News. This was a tragedy that set a curfew for the rest of the week in Miami and took months for the men to get prosecuted for their actions.
Mexico is a popular location for spring breakers. They want to go out of the country and experience vacating in a new location, but many are not prepared for the dangers that have occurred. The FBI has advised spring breakers to stop traveling to certain parts of Mexico after four American spring breakers were kidnapped and two of them were murdered this past week, according to Fox News. This is not the first time incidents have happened in Mexico. Here is a list of other tragedies from Mexico.
No one thinks that these incidents can happen to them, but no one is ever 100% safe. It is important to realize that taking safety precautions does not make your break lame, but instead keeps you and your friends from getting hurt or put in danger.
If you plan to Airbnb, make sure to look up the location of the house. Read the reviews that others who have stayed there left. Look into the host profile information to ensure that they are super hosts or have at least done a decent amount of renting before staying in their home.
When you have found a house you like and have arrived there, check your surroundings and get used to who your neighbors are if there are any. Check to make sure that there are no cameras hidden in the house and to keep the doors and windows locked at night.
If anything seems wrong or you have noticed something change, contact your hosts to see if they have any information about your concerns or contact Airbnb for a refund and leave if the situation has caused anyone to be in danger.
It is a lot different to travel outside the country, especially if one is traveling to a location they have never been to. It is exciting and fun to go somewhere different, but that is when it gets difficult to make sure where you stay is safe.
According to Mapping Megan, the first tip they recommend when traveling abroad is to make sure the hotel has a 24-hour Receptionist. This allows a lower likelihood of anyone suspicious entering the hotel and if anyone is lurking around your room you can contact the front desk for help.
Mapping Megan has multiple tips about hotel travel. For example, what floor to pick, where the room is located in the hotel and the most obvious one checking reviews.
This might all sound difficult and become extra work, but as college students planning to go off on their own it is important to take these safety precautions. Some other basic precautions are not taking drinks from strangers, traveling in a group, having your phones on you and making sure no one is following you.
I recently went away for spring break as well. I had a blast with my friends and we had no issues because we felt safe. Even when out on the town we were able to enjoy ourselves like everyone else while also keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
Before heading to our location we booked a house through Airbnb and read every review and made sure we stayed at a house whose owner was labeled a super host.
This research and added safety did not take away from us having fun and enjoying our time away from school. It allowed us to feel at ease when coming back from a long day and night knowing we were in a safe neighborhood and had a trustworthy host.
I hope that this article can give you some insight into the importance of being careful and how to stay safe while having a good time on spring break. Don’t overlook this as an article trying to take away people’s fun, but as one that helps keep you and your friends safe while having a fun time on spring break.