Spring Break 2012 officially begins with the end of class this Friday, and many of you are leaving town for the beach, ocean, and spring break experience. While the image of lying in the sun sipping a pre-paid drink surrounded by thousands of other college spring breakers probably comes to mind, be forewarned that there is a reason this trip tends to be once in a lifetime. Your week will be one for the books, but that means making it back to Georgetown alive. Here’s a list of useful tips I wish I had last year at this time, pre-Punta Cana:
- Bring as many granola bars, bagels, and other packable snacks as possible. Do this, or you will probably be drinking on an empty stomach for the majority of your week. Feeding the college spring breakers tends to be far from the resorts’ top priority, so do yourself and your stomach a favor and bring a good amount of your own food.
- Buy your suntan lotion before leaving. Unless you want to spend all of your money the first day on lotion, buy some at a pharmacy in D.C. The resorts know that they are your last option and can get away with charging obscene amounts. Also think about bringing some aloe — there’s a good chance someone on the trip is going to wake up with a wicked sunburn.
- Make your first purchase a jumbo jug of water. It’s a safe bet that the water at your resort is not drinkable (and trust me, better safe than sorry). Leave this out before going out for the night as a reminder to drink that and not the water from your sink when you get back.
- Bring your cheapest pair of sunglasses. You will lose them.
- Get to the beach as early as possible. If you wait too long, you will end up spending most of your day sleeping in the hotel room rather than out in the sun. Even if you are feeling it from the night before, better to sleep it off in the sun where you’ll get a tan.
- Bring a flip-cam. Just in case some of your memories are hazy. It will give a good laugh once back on campus, too.
- Avoid spring break contests at all costs. You cannot imagine what they ask people to do, and even more so what people agree to do. Either way, you are much better off as a spectator than a participant.
- Buddy system is essential. I can’t think of anything more terrifying than being lost and by myself on spring break.
- Allot a 1-week recovery upon your return. A straight week of fun has a price, so be prepared for a week spent mostly in bed when you return.
- (Just for girls) Wear tightly fastened bikini tops. I think you can all imagine why.
Photo: Courtesy Laura Fels