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While many students stay on campus or go home to see friends or family on Spring Break, others escape to warm beaches and sunny mountain tops. If you’re traveling this Spring Break, keep the following tips in mind during your vacation:
If you plan on drinking: Know your limits. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water; avoid over-indulging in the sun as it can dehydrate you faster; keep an eye on your friends if they’ve had too much to drink; and know who to call in case of a medical emergency.
If you’ll be in the sun, wear sunscreen (applies to mountain tops, too!): Lather on a SPF 30 or higher every two hours and limit your exposure between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Follow this advice and you’ll be more likely to glow than bake.
Let’s talk about sex:
Don’t feel comfortable? Don’t do it. Always get consent from your partner; carry and use condoms; if someone in your group experiences a sexual assault, call 800-656-HOPE for a rape crisis service near you, or in Madison, contact the Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline: 608-251-RAPE. Before or after break, students who are interested in getting tested for sexually transmitted infections can call 608-265-5600 or make an appointment through MyUHS.
Stay with friends and be skeptical of strangers: Avoid walking alone at night and know where your friends are; be aware of your surroundings; and remember that there is a difference between making new friends and being alone with a stranger.
If you’re leaving Madison: Make sure your residence is secure: lock your doors and windows and secure valuable items such as bikes, scooters, computers and iPods. Let your friends and relatives know where you will be and when you expect to return; call friends or family members to let them know that you have arrived and returned safely.
If you’re traveling outside of the U.S.: Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) here; respect the people, culture, and laws of the country in which you’re a guest; learn about any recommended health precautions here.
Pay careful attention to the State Department advisories. The university currently recommends against travel to certain areas in northern and southern Mexico, following a January 2014 State Department travel warning. Click here for more information.
UHS will be open Monday, March 17 through Friday, March 21 of spring break week; however, the Lakeshore Clinic in Dejope Hall will be closed. Check the UHS website for further details regarding closures.
More spring break safety tips can be found here.
An on-call dean is always available for a confidential appointment in the Dean of Students Office in the Division of Student Life. Call 608-263-5700.
Visit SafeU for more information about safety at UW-Madison.