Are you and your family planning to depart on a spring break trip soon? If so, you’re likely anticipating all of the fun you’ll have once you arrive at your destination—especially if you’re heading somewhere warm! While you may have spent time planning your vacation, have you thought about how to avoid some of the safety risks that you may encounter during your trip? If not, don’t worry, we’ve compiled the following spring break travel tips to help you avoid them and to keep you and your family safe.
1. Research your destination thoroughly. You have probably already spent some time looking into all of the great things you can do at your chosen vacation spot, but have you looked at the places and activities you should avoid while you are there? Spend a little bit more time before you leave on your spring break trip to learn as much as you can about the place you are going and any areas that may be unsafe. In addition, make sure you plan your activities and travel routes in advance to reduce the risk of getting lost or disoriented in a place that is unfamiliar. If you can, leave a copy of your spring break travel itinerary with a family or friend at home so someone knows your family’s plans.
2. Pack only what you need. While many of us focus on the clothing and toiletries that we need for our spring break getaway, there are other items that you may be tempted to take with you that can actually have a negative impact on your personal safety. For example, it is best to avoid bringing anything that flashy or expensive (such as jewelry and cameras) on vacation to avoid being targeted by thieves. Instead of carrying large quantities of cash, use ATM’s (in well-lit public areas) to replenish if you need to. If you are taking credit cards, take only the ones you plan to use and make photocopies of the front and back of them to leave with someone at home. This will make it much easier to cancel your cards if they are lost or stolen while you are on your spring break trip.
3. Share your spring break plans and memories after they happen. While it’s tempting to post about your vacation plans and share “in the moment” pictures on social media, online safety experts agree that it’s best to wait until after you’re back from your trip to do so. Otherwise, would-be thieves may be able to tap into your itinerary and take advantage of your absence to break into your home while you are away.
4. Take care on the roads. If your spring break travel plans involve a road trip, you will want to make sure that the vehicle that you are driving is well-maintained and that each person planning to drive is properly insured. Also, if your road trip involves driving for long periods, alternate drivers and have someone sit shotgun to help decrease driver fatigue, keep an eye on traffic and make sure you’re staying on your planned route.
5. Make your medicine mobile. Unfortunately, illness and injury do not take vacations—and they can really put a damper on your spring break plans. Consider whether you need any additional medical insurance while you are away, especially if you are heading to a different country, and be prepared for common complaints such as nausea, fever, headaches and minor injuries by packing accurately labeled pain and fever relievers, an anti-diarrheal remedy and any prescription medications you may need in your purse or carry-on luggage. In addition, bring the name and number of your family physician and a travel-size first aid kit with you.
6. Relax, but stay aware. For most of us, a vacation offers the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy time away from the regular routine; but you should still exercise common sense when it comes to keeping your family safe. Staying aware of your surroundings, especially if they are unfamiliar to you is key to avoiding unsafe situations—this applies to your final destination and to every point on your way there, including any airports or hotels you use. In addition, if you are traveling with children, discuss with them what to do if they get separated from you while away from home and make sure that they know your full name and phone number should they need to give it to emergency personnel or another “safe” stranger.
After the long, cold winter we have had, taking a spring break trip offers some very welcome relief. However, whether you’re just visiting relatives a few hours from home, or you’re leaving the country for your vacation, it’s wise to keep the safety of you and your family in mind and use these spring break travel tips so you can relax and focus on making memories rather than dealing with unfortunate mishaps.
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About the Author:
Kris Guerrero-Merkel is a member of the personal lines sales team at Benz Insurance in Ann Arbor, MI. He enjoys watching Notre Dame and Chicago Bears football, but also has a soft spot for University of Michigan athletics. On the weekends he can be found watching old movies or exploring any of Ann Arbor’s fine food establishments. He also enjoys cooking anything and everything under the sun, his potato soup is perfect for the cold winter months.