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The snow is starting to melt, March Madness is around the corner, and its midterms. This can only mean one thing; spring break is here too! Universities around the country are gearing up not only to challenge the best of the best in basketball, but also to let their students leave for a week of freedom.

So, you’ve made your plans, booked your accommodations, and bought a cute new outfit or bathing suit for your adventure. Now you’re down to the wire and feeling a little stressed about leaving in a week. What can you do to ensure that you have the best spring break to record?

Packing:

This is one of the most stressful parts of any trip. When packing for spring break, you may have to consider bag size, clothes, accessories, toiletries, and important extras. Make sure that you take a bag that is the appropriate size for whatever transportation you are taking. Also, consider taking a big tote or backpack as a carry on or personal item so that it will be useful as a purse/carry all/and beach tote. When you are packing, clothes lay out an outfit for each day and remember you can re-wear pants, skirts, and cover-ups. Decide which nights you may go out to eat or enjoy the nightlife and pack a few dressier outfits.

If you can reduce your shoes to 2-3 pairs you’ll be much happier when your bag isn’t extremely heavy. Think about bringing one pair of dress shoes, tennis shoes, and comfortable walking or relaxing shoes. If you are going somewhere tropical throw in a pair of flip-flops. Another tip is to skimp on the accessories. Bring 1-2 pieces of functional jewelry that can double as nighttime wear, a scarf, sweater, and  jacket if you’re going somewhere cool or cold.

Toiletries are always a challenge too. Remember to pack sunscreen, shampoo, and razors, because they may be more expensive at stores that are popular spring break destinations. Only take one bottle of perfume, a hairdryer, minimal makeup, and a hairbrush. This will keep your toiletries bag slim and sleek. The last thing to remember when packing is not to forget important documents like your passport, plane tickets, car insurance, travel insurance, house keys, and driver’s license.

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Tips and Tricks

There are always things you will forget or not be prepared for when you go on spring break, so make sure you are as ready as possible to prevent issues!

  • Reservations – Depending on where you are going it may be very crowded with the spring break crowds. If you have a large group or want a romantic dinner for two, call ahead at restaurants to avoid long waits!

  • Expenses – If you are going somewhere that is a traditional “spring break hot spot” keep in mind that everything will be twice as expensive that week. Convenience stores and restaurants tend to run slightly higher prices for tourists, and activities in the area may be running on ‘tourist prices.’

  • Food – While eating out can be fun it is also very expensive. Keep expenses low by going to the grocery store and buying some food so you don’t feel pressured to eat out for every meal.

  • Wear sunscreen – As silly and basic as this sounds this is one of the number one mistakes spring breakers make. Not wearing sunscreen is a bad idea and it can make the rest of your trip unenjoyable if you are a lobster and can’t lay out.

  • Medications – Someone may become sick or not feel well while on spring break. Make sure to bring a small kit with medicine like Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, cough suppressants, Band-Aids, and triple antibiotic ointment.

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Staying Safe

Whether you are going to the beach, to the mountains, or out of the country, everyone needs to keep safety in mind.

  • Don’t travel alone; whether that means driving to your destination alone or walking around during the day.  You should never be by yourself. If you need to go somewhere at night, be sure to call someone while you go.

  • Don’t stop at gas stations or stores where there is little activity or at night unless it’s necessary.

  • Don’t wear flashy items such as watches, jewelry, laptops, iPads, etc.

  • Don’t carry checks or a lot of cash on you at any point.

  • Use the hotel’s safe if they have one. If room doesn’t have a safe, ask the front desk if they can store items such as passports, checkbooks, and jewelry in their security room safe.

  • Keep mace in your pocket. It’s better to have it and not use it than to not have it at all.

  • Use common sense about drinking. Don’t accept drinks from strangers, watch your beverage while you’re out, and pace yourself.

These are just a few simple tips and tricks to help make your spring break a safe and successful! Spring break is supposed to be fun and relaxing so do all you can to prepare yourself from getting into a bad situation and ruining your trip! Happy Spring Break everyone!

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