Student spring break safety advice

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Updated:

Now is the time college students, and even some high school students. are planning and booking their spring break vacations. For many, it is the first time they'll be traveling on their own.

The top destinations this year are the beaches of Mexico and Florida, though some may even be traveling to Europe.
     
Three of this year's top five destinations are out of the United States:

1.) Cancun
2.) Panama City
3.) Miami
4.) Europe
5.) Puerto Valletta

The Vice President for Student Affairs at Butler suggests parents negotiate some ground rules to make the experience safe for their students.

"They think because the student is off to college, they don't want to makes waves with their students making their own decisions," said Butler's Dr. Levester Johnson about parental input on spring break plans. "But actually they still are going through a maturation process and still need advising."

Some of the basics:

  • Make sure the student has a travel plan and a place to stay.
  • Make sure to leave contact information, itinerary, and documents with you.
  • Have students learn as much as possible about customs and laws of the places they're visiting, especially laws pertaining to drinking. 
  • Have an emergency plan which may include an insurance card and emergency cash.

It's important for students to know exactly what they're getting into. Experts advise going with a travel agency that specializes in student travel, and make sure it's a reputable one.    

And stick together. "It's the same thing we tell them on campus," said Johnson. "Travel in packs. There is safety in numbers. If you are at an establishment, watch your drink. You never know your surroundings.

Johnson also advises common sense. "I know we all want to be friendly, but if it feels like an uncomfortable situation, listen to your senses."

Experts also advise to forget the bling. Don't take expensive jewelry, smart phones or computers or travel with large amounts of cash.