March 30, 2015 4 min read
Believe it or not, there are things you need to pack for Spring Break that are just as important as a swimsuit and a cooler of adult beverages. So before you head for the beach, be sure to tuck away these items for the perfect survival kit.
I know a lot of you are going for tans, but more likely you’re going to end up as red as a lobster absent sunscreen. Next to the water on an exposed beach, the sun is merciless and will cook you far behind that caramel color you’re seeking. Be the responsible one for once and suggest your group applies sunscreen regularly, and they’ll thank you later when they’re able to actually put on a shirt without wincing in pain.
I hope you’re not spending too much of your spring break on the phone, but you’ll need it all the same for emergencies and corresponding with friends. But on long days, your trusty mobile is bound to run out of juice quicker than you expect. And when you get back to the hotel, the few outlets present might be monopolized by your roommates. A good mobile charger can be picked up for twenty bucks or less, is barely bigger than a tube of lipstick, and can give your phone the extra lifeline it needs to make it and provide a needed call for a taxi, roadside assistance, or a serious emergency.
Debit and credit cards work for most cases, but you don’t know if you’ll be able to find an ATM, or if those available will be overwhelmed by other Spring Breakers. It’ll also be easier to leave tips or split a restaurant bill, and frequent areas that are less accommodating to credit cards. Be sure to have a secure way of storing your greenbacks that makes it safe from theft.
I know the average Spring Breaker thinks themselves, well, unbreakable, but injuries can happen. Always take precautions to stay safe, but in a worst case scenario you’ll want to be prepared to see a doctor. Avoid any delays in getting care or later billing issues by tucking away your insurance card for such emergencies. Be sure to also have a copy of your medical records and a list of any prescription medications you take in the event things take a turns for the worse.
Yeah, water seems obvious, but never underestimate the short-term thinking of those in our nation’s higher education institutions. You’re likely to see plenty of people camped out on a sun-baked beach with nothing to drink but the one type of beverage that actually dehydrates you. Be sure to throw some water in the cooler, and maybe even throw on a Camelbak or other hydration pack to take some sips of sweet H20 in between libations. A reusable water bottle is also great for reducing waste and will help remind you to keep it filled.
Please don’t even think about trudging around the beach barefoot. Odds are you’re going to tread over rocks, baking pavement, and in especially unlucky situations, a hidden piece of glass. Tuck away a good pair of sandals or watershoes and you’ll be able to head straight from the beach to grab a bite to eat, and all without having to gingerly skip over hot concrete. Protect your feet and they’ll be ready for dancing at the downtown clubs later that night.
Perhaps your roommate is sawing logs, or that budget hotel room which seemed like such a great deal at the time turns out to be just next to the 24-hour pool bar. We all like to party well into the night, but when you need your rest, you’ll be thankful you have these to block out any ambient noise. It’s about the only realistic way you’re going to make things quieter for yourself on Spring Break.
Spring Break is mostly fun, but there will be moments where you’ll be hurting. From sunburn to sprained ankles on the dance floor to brutal hangovers, a lot can get you down on Spring Break. But in scenarios where a hospital isn’t needed, a few ibuprofen can allow you to rally back and make the most of your vacation. Ibuprofen is relatively safe, but use it with moderation all the same.
In your hotel room there’s likely to be a limited number of beds, and hence, a finite number of pillows. And in the real hole-in-the-walls that are within the budget of the average college student, the pillows are not the kind you’d wanna run a blacklight over. Tuck your own trusty pillow under your arm for a comfortable, sanitary night’s sleep, even in times where you have to crash on the floor. As a bonus you’ll have a pillow for the drive back home.
Everyone’s impressed with your $100 Ray-Bans and Costas, but Spring Break has a tendency to make us lose things. Even with a good strap for your preferred shades, there’s no guarantee they won’t be accidentally abandoned or stolen, so take no chances and pick up a few cheap pairs at the dollar store. A lost pair won’t put a damper on your trip, and you might even be able to hand out a few spare pairs of sunglasses and make some new friends.
With this arsenal of Spring Break items, you’ll be safer, better rested, and able to focus on the more enjoyable parts of the trip. You’ll need a quality bag to store and easily transport your belongings, but most of these can be picked up with a quick trip to the closest convenience store, and for just a few bucks. So get packing and hit the road, confident that you’re prepared for whatever Spring Break can throw at you.
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