Five Tips to Stay Safe on Spring Break
Spring Break has long been a retreat for kids and adults alike, and this year is no different. Whether you're heading to the beach or a big city, there are a number of precautions you can take to stay safe on vacation. Personal Safety Expert David Nance weighs in on staying safe this season.
"Spring Break is great for letting loose and taking a vacation from the real world," says Nance. "But we still have to be aware of our surroundings and make sure we're not putting ourselves in danger."
Below are five safety tips Nance suggests:
1. Don't Let Your Guard Down: A spring break destination can create a false sense of security among vacationers. Don't assume that fellow spring breakers will look out for your best interests; remember they are essentially strangers.
2. Don't Reveal Your Location on Social Media: Think twice before sharing every detail of your spring break on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare etc. Before leaving for your trip, review your security settings to ensure that information you post to social media is as private as possible. However, even with strict security settings, be aware that posting information about your whereabouts or activities can still reveal details that are accessible to the public. Use your best judgment when "checking-in" on Facebook or Foursquare and geo-tagging images you post to Instagram. Be cautious of revealing personal information through status updates or tweets with Twitter trends like #SpringBreak and #SB2013.
3. Get Local: Know your accommodation address and the safest routes to and from your local destinations. Before leaving a hotel, ask the concierge for a business card with the hotel address or write the address down if you are staying at a rental property to ensure you have the correct address. Have the number for local cab companies on hand too and always keep enough cash on you to take a taxi home. Carry your cell phone with you and if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, shoot a quick text for a "friend-assist." Know who to contact in the event of an emergency, such as 911 or local authorities. Make a back-up plan before you go out just in case something happens to your cell phone.
4. Stick Together: Stay with friends and make sure you have a plan if you get separated. Check out your surroundings before you go out and learn a well-lit route back to your hotel or rental property. Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be aware of what's going on around you, especially if you are walking alone. Be alert and aware at all times.
5. Drink responsibly: Alcohol impairs your ability to think rationally, so it is important to know your limits and drink in a safe and responsible manner. It is safest to stick with bottled drinks on vacation, as there is less risk of someone slipping something in your drink. Be sure to never leave your drink unattended and do not accept drinks from anyone other than the bartender or server.
Additional Safety Tips from David
Get There Safely: Traffic accidents resulting in serious injuries and fatalities occur every year as students and sometimes even parents fall asleep at the wheel. Be sure to have a minimum of at least one other person awake while you are driving. If you are tired, get a hotel for the night.
Be Safe Indoors: Lock your possessions in safes and be careful who you let in and out of your room. It's always better to have parties in other hotel rooms. You should lock doors and windows at night, especially balcony doors, as it's very common for intruders to break in through a window or balcony while you are sleeping.
For more information about college safety programs and personal defense programs in the Chicagoland area, visit David at www.personalsafetyexpert.com . All programs support the charity RAINN. For more info visit www.RAINN.org.
About David Nance
David Nance is a nationally acclaimed safety expert who works with police departments around the world. His training program for law enforcement has certified over 3,000 law enforcement instructors on the use of force, defensive tactics, and the right way to use pepper spray. Nance has been featured by The History Channel, Spike TV, The Doctors, Fox News Channel, Philadelphia Daily News, the National Rifle Association's self-defense video series, and many other outlets nationwide. Nance also created the SABRE Law Enforcement Division, the SABRE Law Enforcement Training Divisions with over 4,500 certified instructors worldwide and the SABRE Personal Safety Academy, with more than 400 personal safety instructors nationally. For more information visit www.personalsafetyexpert.com/.