Travel Health and Safety Tips for College Students

Jun 17, 2019 by

When college students travel for summer vacation or spring break, it’s important that they focus on staying safe and healthy. There have been a string of recent news stories about people traveling and facing difficult situations, including sicknesses and being stranded while hiking. Whether you’re a student traveling somewhere in the U.S. like Myrtle Beach, or you’re going to an exotic locale around the globe, the following are some things to keep in mind.

Get Enough Rest

College students are already severely lacking in sleep based on studies, and traveling can only add to that. Whether you’re going on a short- or longer-term trip this summer, try to focus on getting quality sleep as much as you can.

If you’re traveling to another time zone, you also have to think about how it will affect your sleep-wake cycle and how jet lag can keep you from regulating your sleep patterns and feeling your best.

If you are traveling and you find that you have a night where you stay up later than you normally would, try to get up at the time you typically do but then nap later in the day. This is less disruptive to your sleep patterns than sleeping in.

Plan a Time to Contact Home Each Day

If you’re traveling in the U.S., it might not be difficult for your loved ones back home to contact you, but if you’re going somewhere you might not have cell service you should set up a time where you’ll contact home each day. This lets your family know when to expect you, and when to feel concerned if they don’t hear from you.

Don’t Go Anywhere Alone

It’s not a good idea, no matter your summer travel destination, to go anywhere alone as a college student. When you’re traveling and you’re not familiar with where you are, it makes it even riskier to do things alone.

Make sure you always have at least one person with you at all times, particularly in the evening, when you’re swimming or if you’re doing some kind of excursion.

Drink in Moderation

There can be the sense that college and drinking go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If you’re of legal drinking age wherever you might be, drinking some alcohol is probably fine,but you should do so carefully.

First, drink only in public places, because if you do so in a more remote or secluded place, you are more likely to be a victim of a predator.

Also, don’t do certain things like swimming while under the influence, and be aware of the effects alcohol can have on your inhibitions. Always keep your drink with you and never accept a drink from a stranger or leave one unattended.

Be Careful With Social Media

It’s common for college students to document most of what they do on social media, but be careful with the photos you share, as well as check-ins at different locations on sites like Facebook. This can alert potential predators to where you are.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is more likely when you’re spending a lot of time in the sun, sweating a lot and when you’re drinking alcohol. Make sure you stay hydrated while you travel this summer, even if it means taking a water bottle with you everywhere you go.

The effects of dehydration can be mild and include symptoms like dizziness or fatigue, but can also be severe.

Keep Your Important Documents Safe

If you’re traveling internationally, you will bring your passport with you. You may also have your health insurance information and another form of ID, so make several copies of each. You can place a copy somewhere in your hotel room or carry it with you, and you can have your family keep a copy for you in case you need it mailed back to you.

Finally, as you’re preparing for your summer travels if you want to stay healthy think in advance about what you’ll eat. Do some research to find affordable and relatively healthy restaurants near where you’ll be staying. If you have a list prepared, you’ll be less likely to make an unhealthy choice. You should also stock up on some of your own healthy snacks that you can have between meals and options that will help prevent you from getting too hungry between each meal.

Summer travel for college students can be fun, but there are also responsibilities to keep in mind in terms of keeping yourself safe and healthy.

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