16 Spring Break Vacation Safety Tips for Family, Friends or Solo Trips

Spring Break is a great time for students, families, and anyone tired of a long winter to head to the sunshine and blow off some steam. However, it’s important to make safety at least as important as revelry in your Spring Break travels.

These 16 tips can help your Spring Break travels be the fun, relaxing escape you’ve been looking for – without the added stress of travel headaches, mishaps, or disasters.

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1. Keep your location on the down-low

Don’t broadcast your location on social media; there’s plenty of time for that once you get back home.

2. Stick together

Adopt the buddy system, carry a wing-person, assign a designated driver, whatever. Just remember there’s strength in numbers.

For parents and kids, have the “stranger danger” talk before you leave. Make sure each older child has a phone you can track, and consider AirTags for younger kids.

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3. Be anti-viral

Airlines like to talk about mitigation procedures, but planes are still basically flying petri dishes.

To help lessen your chances of getting an airborne illness when you’re in the air:

  • Use hand sanitizer liberally
  • Bring antibacterial wipes
  • Bring your own pillows and blankets

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4. Carry copies

Don’t leave without copies of important documents, plus lists of phone numbers and addresses.

Documents you need to carry include:

You should also have phone numbers and/or addresses for:

You may want to stash multiple copies of your passport and other key documents throughout your luggage (and in the hotel safe) in case you lose one, and it’s a good idea to leave a copy with people back home.

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5. Be money-smart

If you’re traveling internationally, stop at an ATM in a well-lit, well-trafficked part of the airport shortly after arrival and pick up $20-$50 in the local currency. It’s helpful for tipping, impulse purchases, and emergencies.

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6. Be water-smart

The Centers for Disease Control note that 70% of deaths from recreational water activities involve alcohol, so don’t drink and swim or boat. Also:

  • Swim where the lifeguards are professional and attentive
  • Watch for waves, rip currents and riptides
  • Don’t dive headfirst when you’re not sure of the water’s depth
  • Assign a responsible adult to watch young swimmers
  • Latch and/or lock gates to pools at vacation rentals
  • Follow posted warnings about dangerous marine life, algae blooms, bacteria, and other water dangers
  • Wear life jackets in boats, canoes, and kayaks
  • Complete a boat-safety course
  • Do a complete seaworthiness check of any boat you’re renting or borrowing
  • Know where you’re going when boating or paddleboarding, and understand prevailing winds and currents

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7. Be sun-smart

The sun will bake you like a ginger snap if you’re not careful – so be careful. In particular:

  • Apply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) every 30 minutes, and after swimming and sweat-producing activities
  • Remember that insect repellent goes over sunscreen
  • Stay out of the sun in the midafternoon, when the sun's rays are strongest
  • Minimize sun exposure for children six months and younger
  • Wear sunglasses, hats, long-sleeve shirts, and pants whenever practical

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8. Eat healthy

Okay, you’re on vacation. Still try to:

  • Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and lean meat and fish.
  • Stay away from any street food that isn’t hot and freshly cooked.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, in water you know is drinkable.

Speaking of which, drink lots of water – bottled if you have to. If you don’t have access to bottled water, other bottled drinks (in moderation) are acceptable substitutes.

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9. Sign up for STEP

The State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) helps you stay up-to-date on safety conditions at your destination, and can help the nearest embassy or consulate contact you in case of emergency (and vice versa).

Signing up for STEP is free and easy, but you have to re-enroll with every new trip.

10. Stay public – but blend in

Try to dress, walk, and act like a local. However, acting like a local does not mean traversing the dark alleys where the locals walk. Try to stay in open, public areas as much as possible.

11. Stay private

Holing up in your room occasionally might be a good idea if you’re looking to stay safe during Spring Break.

If you’re having a night in, tell the front desk not to give anyone your room number. If someone knocks on your door, ask who it is. If you’re not expecting anyone (even if they claim to have food), call the front desk.

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12. Watch your bags

Keep purses, backpacks, and other bags in sight at all times. Wear your purse across your body, and don’t hang it on the back of a chair.

In addition, keep your backpack in front of you when standing in line, or consider buying a secure backpack with slash-proof straps.

Finally, don’t leave valuables in a purse or backpack when swimming or playing at the beach.

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13. Speak their language

Learn a few simple phrases in the local language that will help you talk to police, cab drivers, shopkeepers, and other important people.

The local language too hard? Use an app like Google Translate for real-time translations.

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14. Tell people where you’re going

Don’t just tell your mom and dad that you’re going to Cancun for Spring Break – tell your plans to friends that are with you, and have them check on you periodically to make sure you’re okay.

In addition, consider downloading a “safe-button” app like Noonlight to summon help in an emergency.

15. Always think safety

Safety is a state of mind, but it shouldn’t be an obsession. You can have fun and stay safe at the same time just by thinking about what the appropriate, safe behavior is in any situation.

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16. Get travel protection

If any group of travelers needs travel protection, it’s Spring Breakers. They don’t have a lot of travel flexibility, the weather can be iffy, and things can get crazy. For those reasons and many others, travel insurance with travel assistance, like the plans from Generali Global Assistance, are a great idea.

Get a quote today, and get ready for Spring Break!


An awesome Spring Break deserves quality travel protection
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