Whether you're on your own or with a group, it’s a good idea to keep your wits about you at all times. That rack of beer you intend to consume all on your own may seem like a feat worthy of victory, but if that comes at the cost of your ability to maintain your own level of awareness, it’s probably not worth it — particularly if you’re in a new location or somewhere out of immediate range of help.
With all this in mind, I've put together a list of ways to help ensure the safety of you and your friends while you continue to celebrate your freedom.
Know your surroundings
This may seem obvious, but knowing your surroundings is an important part of your safety. This is especially important if you’ll be traveling somewhere with a large concentration of human bodies, be it a music festival, a beach locale, or simply a city to which you haven’t acclimated. Before heading out, check out a map of the area where you’ll be spending your day, and be sure to have a designated meeting spot should anyone in your group get separated.
Know your mode of transportation beforehand
Figure out your rideshare, your Uber, or your public transportation situation before you go out. It’s easy to find yourself stranded without a car in sight in some neighborhoods, and that’s not a chill position to be in if you’re alone, intoxicated, or just a person in the wrong place at the wrong time.
At the risk of sounding like your nagging mother, if you’re going somewhere warm and sunny, put some damn sunscreen on your body. Sun trauma is no fun, so be smart about how long you’re exposing your skin.
Practice safe sex
Regardless of whether or not you intend to meet a vacation babe whose admiration for Sleater-Kinney mirrors your own (hey, you never know), it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
It’s probably fair to assume we’ve all seen some really unbelievable shit happen when someone’s been drinking to excess. People are moved to do things they’d never dream of attempting sober when tipping back the sauce (blame the booze, or blame the placebo effect — it happens regardless), and we’re certainly aware of the dangers that those situations invite.Don’t drink alone, don’t get slammed in a shady environment, and definitely don’t agree to anything you don’t feel comfortable with. Try to remember that drinking responsibly means looking after your buds just as much as they’re looking out for you. Again, buddies are invaluable resources on holiday.
Don’t accept substances from strangers
Think of this as an extension of a childhood mantra and repeat after me: I will not accept candy [drugs, or, alcohol] from strangers. Now sear it into your brain so that even under the influence, the idea of taking anything from unfamiliar adults won’t be given a second thought. (What constitutes a “stranger,” you ask? A person you did not embark on this journey with is a fairly reliable litmus test.)