Campus offers advice on planning out-of-state travel

Spring break is typically the time college students crowd the beaches and drink from dusk until dawn. Spring break does not mean students should throw caution to the wind, however. There are many tips and tricks that can help improve the experience.

It is important for students to be aware of their surroundings, said Jake Redman, founder of the travel review website

“Safety first, if you’re traveling for the first time ever,” he said. “And if you’re trying to find your way around an airport then I would recommend bringing apps with you. The best way to travel is to bring something that will make the trip more comfortable.”

Redman said he uses the app Gate Guru when flying.

“It will tell you a lot about the airport you’re at, such as the type of amenities, what you can do,” he said. “A lot of times with spring break congestion, you’ll get stuck in your connection for a little while, and with weather you might get stuck at places that you don’t want to.”

The first trip freshman Rosie McClendon took without her parents was to a concert, she said.

“I heard to watch your drinks,” she said. “Since the concert was outside, it was mainly health precautions that I was told to take.”

Senior Erin Wade said students should know who to go to if there is a problem.

“Just be careful and use common sense,” she said. “Make sure to have plans in motion just in case something goes wrong.”

Students should act like their parents would in certain situations, said senior Anthony Leggett.

“Do the same safety precautions that your parents took when you were on a trip with them,” he said. “If there are any alcoholic beverages involved, make sure there is a backup buddy who isn’t drinking. The buddy system really helps in most situations.”

Redman said students should keep a close eye on their belongings – and drinks.

“As far as spring break is concerned, there are a lot of things to watch out for that are not just travel-related, but just general tips,” he said. “One is not to drink too much, but that is easier said than done.”

Students should be sure to get enough sleep the night before when driving long distance, said sophomore Mia Adams. Placing the driver’s phone in a safe location can also help prevent texting and driving, she said.

“Be cautious, aware and alert,” she said. “Definitely wear a seat belt. Don’t text and drive.”

Before students head off to enjoy the break, accommodations should be made, Redman said. Whether booking a hotel room, or making plans to crash with family or friends, there is an easy way to do it, he said.

“If you’re booking well in advance, book directly with the property,” Redman said. “Sometimes you can find availability with the hotels if you call and ask for management. If you can do that on a Sunday night, and there’s a manger on duty, they can see rooms that are being released or aren’t being used.”

Although booking the accommodation is easy nowadays, people have to actively watch for scams, Redman said.

“Different locations have different scams,” Redman said. “Sometimes at the airport there could be someone trying to charge you more for a ride to your accommodations. You should always be in contact with your accommodations and get with their official transportation service or scope it out ahead of time.”