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Spring Break Time!

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Ah, Spring Break! The countdowns are nearing zero, the kids are getting antsier for a week free from school, and you just finished updating your vaccinations.

Wait…what?

Regardless of your spring break destination, make sure to check out the list below for some travel reminders you may have overlooked. Be prepared for wherever you go.

 

THE BEACH – http://www.cdc.gov/features/workingoutdoors/

  • Stock up on sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you have sunscreen more than two years old, throw it away – it doesn’t offer the same protection anymore! And remember, SPF is affected by rain, wind, water, and bug spray, so the more the merrier.
  • Don’t swim at night! A moonlit dip in the ocean may sound fun, but it’s also extremely dangerous.
  • At a party scene? Use the buddy system, and never leave a party alone. Carry around your hotel information with you, too, in case you get lost.
  • Make sure to drink more water than usual. That hot, tropical sun can get to you faster than you think. Remember: if you’re thirsty, you’re already slightly dehydrated.

THE MOUNTAINS – http://www.cdc.gov/Features/AdventureTravel/

  • Just because it’s cold, it doesn’t mean you still can’t get sunburnt on the slopes. Stock up on sunscreen for your ski trip – see the SPF advice above. Bring lip balm too – winters are dry out west!
  • The same goes for your eyes; to avoid snow blindness, wear a good pair of UVA/UVB blocking shades. Better yet, invest in a pair of goggles: they won’t fall off, they’ll keep snow out of your eyes, and they protect your eyes from tree branches should you unexpectedly visit the woods!
  • Wear layers! Working up a sweat during the day can make for a chilly evening as the sun sets. With long underwear, wool socks, a vest, hat and gloves, you’ll be prepared for any weather.
  • It may seem obvious, but pay attention to avalanche warnings, and don’t enter any restricted areas. Always ski with a buddy, and know your limitations.
  • Avoid altitude sickness by drinking tons of water. If you’re asthmatic, make sure to carry your emergency inhaler around in case the high altitude triggers an attack.

ABROAD – http://www.cdc.gov/features/springbreaktravel/

  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date, and check the CDC’s safe travel updates for notifications on current disease outbreaks.
  • Consider health insurance, and always check the political climate of the country you’re traveling to in order to ensure you’ll have the safest trip.
  • Be careful of what you eat. You may have been advised to avoid the water in a certain country – but that extends far beyond drinking it. Avoid salads and fresh fruit/veggies (unless you peel them yourself), as they are often washed in tap water. Ice makers use tap water, too, as do showers and sinks. Also be aware of undercooked food in general – only eat it when it’s served hot.
  • Leave your travel itinerary and hotel numbers with family or friends at home so someone always knows where you are.

ROADTRIP – http://www.cdc.gov/features/InternationalRoadSafety/

  • As tempting as it may be to lie out in the back of a van after your 2AM-5AM driving shift, always wear your seatbelt. An uncomfortable nap is highly preferable to the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Get enough sleep. As soon as you begin to feel drowsy at the wheel, it’s time to pull over to rest or switch drivers. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
  • Map your route ahead of time, and check to see tolls, construction, and the weather for each state you’ll be passing through. Don’t rely solely on a GPS or smartphone, as they can be lost, stolen, or broken – not to mention, the batteries can die at the worst time. Carry road maps with you; they can always be found at the nearest gas station.

 Wherever you go (or don’t go), get some well-earned rest, stay safe, and HAVE FUN!

 

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