Spring break season is finally here! The cold weather is long gone and it's time to catch some rays. If you're a parent, you may have had a trip planned since Christmas for your kiddos and if you're a teen you might be vacationing with your friends. College students finally have a break and groups of twenty-somethings are sure to crowd the popular spring break destinations.
Wherever you fall, it's important that you follow a few travel tips in order to make your trip go smoothly!
If you're driving:
Take Turns Behind the Wheel
When you're traveling a long distance with a group, it's important that you each take turns driving so that everyone is well rested. Drowsy driving is very common in teens and young adults. If you're tired, have someone else take the wheel. Additionally, whoever sits shotgun should stay awake to keep the driver company, because two alert drivers are better than one.
Put Your Valuables Away
Although this seems like common sense, many people don't think about hiding the items in their car. It's important to never leave your valuables in plain view. Doing so makes you a target for car break ins. You never know what the population is like when you're in a new place, so taking this precaution can save you. Additionally, always lock your doors and keep your windows rolled up when you aren't in the vehicle.
Identification, Registration, & Insurance
Everyone in the group should bring their ID along on the trip. Additionally, be sure that the vehicle you are driving has up-to-date registration and proof of insurance.
Use Hands-Free Devices
If you are driving to your destination, make sure that you use a hands-free device to listen to music and use your GPS. In Georgia, this is now a requirement. Even if it isn't the law in other states, it is still a great safety measure for you and your passengers. Getting into an accident because of your cell phone is the last thing you want on your spring break vacation. Here's a list of the best, inexpensive hands-free devices.
Service Your Vehicle
Before hitting the road, be sure to have the vehicle you'll be taking serviced.
Car Emergency Kit
When traveling, it is always a good idea to have a car emergency kit in your trunk. Even with proper servicing, you never know when you'll have a flat tire or your battery will go dead. Our car emergency kit suggestions can be found here.
If you're flying:
When you're flying, less is more. Try to pack light and bring only a carry on bag. This can make your airport experience less stressful.
When you are at the airport, be aware of your surroundings. From parking decks, shuttle buses, security lines, and the terminal itself, you never know who's around you. Keep your luggage close to you at all times to prevent your items from being stolen or lost.
No matter how many times you have flown, it's necessary to always listen to the pre-flight briefing. This ensures that you know where the closest emergency exits are in the event that they need to be used.
Stay With Friends + Family
It's always important to stay with your group, but especially while you're in the airport. Getting separated from your friends or family only puts you at risk. Staying together helps everything run smoothly.
If you are going on a more extravagant spring break, it may require a bit more planning and a longer checklist. If you're cruising or leaving the country, follow these tips:
Cruises and out of country destinations usually require further identification than just your state issued ID. Check your travel site to see what's required. A passport or birth certificate are most common.
It's very important to carry a small amount of cash and instead bring at least two credit or debit cards. Most of the time, you can't use cash on cruise ships, so therefore it isn't necessary. ATM's are always available in other countries, so you can get cash as needed. Keeping a small amount of cash is better for your safety, especially in the event of robbery. Leave an alternate form of payment in your hotel safe, so that you have a backup if your primary payment is lost or stolen.
When you're going to a new place, it's important to familiarize yourself beforehand as much as you can. In foreign countries, especially, it's easy to get turned around and lost. Bring a map and don't take shortcuts. Also, before traveling to a foreign destination, take time to learn their customs and laws. It is smart to learn a few phrases in their language and be familiar with what may come off as offensive to those in another country.
Adjust Your Phone Plan
It's important to ensure that you will be able to use your phone while you're away. If you're cruising, it is smart to purchase a wifi plan so that you can stay in touch with those back home, especially if an emergency arises. In foreign countries, your phone may work differently. Talk with your provider to see your options before leaving for your destination.
Know an Emergency Number
In the United States, we have 911 memorized. Learn the equivalent emergency number for wherever you are going so that you are prepared in the event that you need to use it.
Leave Valuables at Home
Safety has a lot to do with what you pack when traveling abroad. Leave your flashy valuables, such as jewelry and watches at home.
For beach safety tips, read here.
Spring break is an exciting time, but without the correct safety precautions you can put yourself in a lot of danger. If you are involved in an accident or are otherwise personally injured during spring break, it is wise to seek legal representation for your potential case. Contact Kaufman Law with questions.