The Daily Gamecock

Column: 6 essential tips to follow on your next spring break trip

Spring break is swiftly approaching, so it’s important to remember that traveling smart and taking precautions is key for a safe and memorable trip. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning a spring break getaway.

Research, research, research

Researching where you plan to stay is crucial for multiple reasons, such as knowing what the surroundings are like, whether there are any potentially dangerous areas and what the best hotels or hostels are. For any big venture, being knowledgeable is the best way to stay safe. Chris Carnicelli, the CEO of travel insurance company Generali Global Assistance, said he recommends “staying informed about destination-specific guidelines and avoiding areas with potential travel restrictions or safety concerns” when planning a vacation. Knowing integral information, such as the culture and customs of your destination — especially if you are traveling internationally — is the first step to a successful spring break. 

Travel in groups

Traveling in groups provides many benefits, such as cutting down on travel costs and increasing the safety of each member. One way to stay safe while traveling in groups is by sharing locations with one another through apps such as Life360. The app's website advises users to have someone with them and someone to check in with at all times. There is safety in numbers and a lower possibility of running into danger. Traveling in groups can also provide a better sense of security with the knowledge that you are not alone but surrounded by friends. 

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Make an itinerary

Planning out each day of your trip in detail will pave the way for a smooth travel experience and ensure that you won't be scrambling for things to do. Researching is of the utmost importance, especially when it comes to planning activities and figuring out which places to visit. It’s important to stay knowledgeable and be aware of any potential setbacks that might occur, whether it means buying tickets to museums in advance or making a reservation at a restaurant. An itinerary will allow groups to know where they are going rather than making frantic last minute decisions. Another benefit is being able to share the layout of your trip with family and friends in the event of an emergency.

Budget and manage money 

Spring break is no small expense. Between plane tickets, hotel bookings and daily activities, it is important to manage your money wisely. This means allocating funds for spring break-specific expenses. Planning ahead is crucial in order to regulate how much you are willing to spend during the trip. Capital One bank offers resources for college students to learn about student travel discounts they might be eligible for. It's also important to watch out for travel-related scams when planning a spring break getaway. The Better Business Bureau reported in 2022 that the median loss from travel scams totaled almost $600, which could be considered a significant amount of money to anyone, especially college students. The Federal Trade Commission provides common signs of a scammer that travelers can look out for as well as ways to avoid them, such as doing thorough research into the travel company. College students may appear as an easy target for scammers since they tend to be less experienced with credit and finances, so it is vital to stay informed and make smart financial choices on you trip. 

Drink responsibly

Part of spring break for college students might involve alcohol, especially since many countries have drinking ages lower than the United States. But that doesn’t mean students should recklessly take advantage of the opportunity. Psychology Today reports that 44% of female college students and 75% of male college students get drunk on a daily basis during spring break. Many college students may already participate in drinking, but doing it in an unfamiliar location is undeniably more dangerous. When consuming alcohol, it is very important to be conscious of what exactly is being consumed and just how much will affect you.

Have fun!

Above all, have fun! Spring break is a time to relax and enjoy time with your friends. College students should take advantage of this must-needed reprieve from school and stress.

But make sure to practice these tips to allow for a stress-free and relaxing break this semester. Stay aware, stay informed and stay safe!