It's Spring Break Time; Here Are Some Safety Tips

Amy Bertrand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 06, 2012

Spring break means party time for many college (and even high school) students all over the country. Goodness knows I saw enough of them on one Caribbean cruise I went on two springs ago.

But sometimes partying and unfamiliar places don't mix. Marcia Peot, full-time police officer and chief safety officer at StreetSafe, a company that offers several personal safety devices, offers the following reminders:

--Don't let your guard down. Being on vacation is not an excuse to throw caution to the wind and do something you wouldn't normally do or put yourself in an unsafe situation.

--Research the place you are visiting before you go, especially if it's a foreign country. Find out if there are dangerous areas you should avoid, familiarize yourself with local laws and customs, and know where to go and what to do in case of an emergency.

--Stay in groups or use the buddy system. You are more of a target when you are by yourself.

--A stranger is still a stranger, even on vacation. Do not accept a ride or go off somewhere alone with a person you don't know.

--Do not drink excessively. When you are intoxicated, your physical reflexes, awareness of your surroundings, and ability to make decisions become impaired, making you an easy target.

--Never leave your drink unattended and do not accept beverages from anyone other than the bartender or waiter.

--The beaten path is the better path. Stick to populated and well-lit areas, don't take short cuts, and familiarize yourself with the area before heading out.

--Make sure your hotel room is locked at all times. Do not advertise your room number, open the door for anyone you are not expecting, or bring strangers back to your room.