Dear 21-year-old me, don't take this the wrong way — you are a smart and street-wise person with lots of great comebacks for people who are bothering you, and that will serve you surprisingly well. But, there are a few pieces of spring break safety advice that you could have used on that last trip you took with your girls. Alas, with age comes wisdom, and for all of you college aged peeps who are going on a spring break trip this year, I have got some spring break safety tips from somebody older than you who still gets carded at the grocery store.
And, I promise that these aren't your run of the mill "don't take candy from strangers" safety tips. You are obviously smart enough to have gotten into college, so you definitely don't need to be told how to look both ways before crossing the street. So, what pro tips could I, your surrogate older Internet sister, have to share with my little born-in-the-90s contemporaries? Plenty — I am so glad you asked.
These tips will keep you safe and sane while you are trying to sneak a cooler full of mimosas onto a private beach. Here's how to make sure this is the best spring break ever.
1. Write down everything that you packed... now
You're gonna lose things — expensive things — if you don't make a list of the items in your bag before you get in the car or on the plane. And the last thing you want to do is to have to retrace your steps only to remember that you lent your necklace to Allie before dinner. As a matter of fact, you should probably take inventory of everything on that list before you go to dinner every night.
2. Make sure your cell phone locator app is functioning flawlessly
I don't say this because you occasionally leave your phone in the bathroom before posting those mirror selfies. I say this because if you disappear from your group, you do not want them to have to assume you're fine until morning. If you're not fine, your cell phone locator app can help your friends track you down, even if you're just upstairs in the hotel room trying to figure out how to order pizza with the TV remote.
3. Don't go more than five miles from your hotel unless you know where you are
Ever been stuck at a house party in the pouring rain and want to go home, only to realize that you're a good 17 miles away from your hotel? Yeah, stay within shouting distance of your lodgings if you want to avoid having to get really creative about your escape plans.
4. If someone seems creepy, assume that person is a creep
The sad fact of the matter is that young adults in groups attract kind of a lot of attention, be it from well-meaning onlookers who want to live vicariously through your squad's experience or from someone with less noble intentions. Skip the benevolent attempts at politeness and dismiss anyone who seems like they might be latching onto your group without an invitation. Better to hurt someone's feelings than to invite a potentially dangerous person into your dance circle.
5. Use the buddy system
When you're traveling with your crew, pair up and be accountable for each other, because it's important to pay as much attention to your friends' safety as you pay to your own.
6. Don't keep a low profile
Here's an unusual piece of advice. Parent-wisdom would traditionally tell us that if you don't want to attract negative attention, keep your head down and lay low. In reality though, wouldn't you prefer if people noticed if you weren't there? As long as you stay with your group, be as obnoxious as you want to be, and your assertiveness will likely scare off anyone lurking in the background.
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