With Spring Break quickly approaching, there are several things that students can do to avoid any mishaps while on vaca­tion. It can be easy to get caught up in excitement and forget some of the simplest ways to stay safe.

Be careful of meeting new people and the hidden agendas they may have. Always go out with a friend, and let other friends know where you are going.

Try to learn about the area you are going to before you take your trip. Look up local restau­rants, reviews, tourist sites, etc. When arriving, take note of some key places and try to remember how to get there. Knowing where the local police department or United States Embassy is also a good idea. Having a can of mace is also a good idea so that you can defend yourself if need be.

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and bring a backup battery with you just in case. That way if you need to call for help or use GPS you will be all set. If you do get lost or need to talk to some­one, make sure that you know some common sayings in the language of the country you are going to such as “help,” “thank you,” “how much,” “where,” etc. Knowing basic forms of commu­nication can be useful.

It is also important to keep your license and other identifica­tion with you at all times. If you are outside of America, keep your passport in a safe location in your hotel room. Keep your important personal belongings inside the hotel room safe. This could in­clude a spare credit card, jewelry, money, etc.

Using a credit card while on vacation is good too. Try to limit cash spending and use a credit card instead. Using a credit card is best because if you lose your wallet, you can simply cancel the credit card immediately whereas if you lose cash, it is most likely gone forever, and losing a debit card can allow people to have eas­ier access to your bank account. They might have been watching you for a while and taken note of the numbers you punched in at the ATM earlier in the day.

These are just some of the easier ways to stay safe while still having fun traveling. Have an awesome, safe, and fun spring break everyone.

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