Panama City spring break is an event everyone looks forward to. Unfortunately, like many other major holidays, spring break also has its dark sides. Every year, several spring break-related deaths are recorded across the country. This number went up significantly during the peak covid period.
During this period, many spring breakers, partygoers, and revelers from across the country suffer the consequences of not shutting down the spring break earlier. Those who didn’t die ended up infecting their community and contributed significantly to the number of covid related deaths.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the dangers of not shutting down spring break earlier and other risky activities associated with this period.
The History of Spring Break
Spring break is the time of year when most schools, colleges, and universities close their doors and give students a break from academics. The first spring break started in 1938 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Since then, students have been taking advantage of the period to party as much as they want, dance hard, and drink as much as they can.
By 1985, the crowd had become unbearable; hence, there was a need for alternative spring break locations. Today, Cancun, Mexico; Panama City, Florida; and South Padre Island, Texas, are the most common spring break locations. Spring breaks have evolved and have been about activities, partying, and fun.
Risky Behaviors During Spring Break
While spring break is meant to be a time of relaxing and recharging, it also has a lot of dangerous effects. Below are some of the dangers you should watch out for:
- Alcohol consumption
Alcohol is one of the most common substances used by college students during spring break. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health problems, including liver disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.
- Smoking cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes is another risk factor for many diseases and conditions. It tends to lead people into other forms of drug addiction.
- Unsafe sex practices
These include having unprotected sex with multiple partners. Unsafe sex can result in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, or HIV/AIDS.
How to Protect Yourself During Spring Break
Driving late at night is common to spring breakers; however, it’s risky. The majority of accidents and traffic deaths occur at night. In situations where you have to travel at night, ensure you’re alert and wide awake.
Don’t Disclose Your Location Online
You might think it’s fun to share where you’re going on Instagram or Snapchat, but if you’re sharing this information with someone stalking you, it might be dangerous. People could use the location posted to track you down.
Get Up-to-date On Your Vaccines
The importance of being vaccinated can never be overemphasized. The best way to avoid getting sick is by keeping yourself up-to-date on your vaccines. If you’ve missed any shots or you’ve never been vaccinated at all, make sure to get them ASAP before heading out on spring break.
Be Security-conscious at Your Hotel
Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you at all times. Be especially careful when entering and exiting buildings or hotels. Keep valuables out of sight, and don’t leave your room key in an easy-to-find place.
Avoid First-floor Hotel Rooms
Hotels are one of the most popular places for spring breakers, but they’re also often the place where most thefts happen. If possible, avoid hotel rooms on the first floor. These rooms are often easy targets for criminals.
Take A Copy Of Your Passport
Make sure you have many copies of your passport and keep the original copy in a safe place. This way, you can fall back on another if one is stolen. You should also leave a copy of your passport with a trusted fellow in case you misplace the original one.
Carry Extra Cash
It’s important to have emergency cash on hand during spring break because you never know when you’ll need it. You might decide to buy something at the last minute or do something spontaneous like go out with friends.
Carry Emergency Phone Numbers
If you’re traveling alone, it’s also important to have emergency contact information written down somewhere nearby in case something happens to you. Most hotels collect this information before allowing you to lodge with them.
Create a Code Word
Create a code word that only you and your friends know. When you’re in an uncomfortable situation, you can use your code word to let them know you need to leave.
Despite the potential risks of spring break, it is still a fun period for everyone. You just need to follow the safety measures above.