Patrick Cao, Editor-in-Chief
The following information is provided by the president of Inverotel, Encarna Piñero, and his article, “It’s Spring Break Planning Season. Here’s How To Stay Safe and Have Fun.”
Spring break is just around the corner at BCC (March 9-14) and lots of students are looking forward to it. Who can blame them? Between the stress of school/work and the harsh, cold winters we endure in New Jersey, everyone needs a little break.
A vacation is an excellent way to relieve stress while also getting the experience of traveling somewhere new. With that said, never forget that it could potentially be dangerous at times.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by PSB, a research and analytics consultancy firm, states that 82% of U.S. travelers said that their biggest concern when picking a destination is food and water safety.
To relieve these worries, here are five simple steps to ensure a safe, secure and fun time traveling on vacation.
- Review your potential destination: Research is a critical step to turning a decent vacation into a great one. I know what you’re thinking: “But I’m trying to relax! Why do research? It sounds like homework to me.” However, making the effort to read reviews from multiple sites while deciding which resort you want to stay in, and what local attractions you want to explore, will bring the most value out of your vacation. Also, when reading reviews, try to distinguish the fake reviews from ones that are authentic. Typically, reviews that have similar language and seem to follow a formula are not real or accurate.
- Confirm safety is a priority: You may base your choice of destination solely on its entertainment value. However, it is wise to choose a vacation spot that is committed to making its mission about safety and security for its travelers. For example, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic has recently launched the Punta Cana Promise, an 8-point pledge detailing safety and security measures taken by over 50 resorts to assure travelers of their commitment to safety, security and service. To learn more, visit https://www.puntacanapromise.com.
- Ensure access to cellular service and money: This is the time to show how important your smartphone is. Always have your phone on you at all times and make sure to call your carrier beforehand to confirm you’ll have coverage during your time on vacation. Additionally, contact your bank and make them aware of your travels in addition to traveling with cash or traveler’s checks. This avoids any problems with accessing your funds for the gift shop or restaurant dinners.
- Crime map your destination: Websites like SpotCrime or Crime Reports can help track the crime density of your potential destination and ensure a safer time while vacationing. Both sites are excellent resources for tracking real-time safety of destinations, especially when you’re not too familiar with the place you chose to visit.
- Enroll in STEP: If you’re traveling abroad, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a service provided by the U.S. Government that connects you to the embassy of your desired vacation spot. The program will also alert you of any natural disasters and civil unrest in the area while enrolling you in the embassy to keep you in contact with your family, even in a state of emergency. To learn more, visit: https://step.state.gov/step/
So, before BCC students decide to splurge on swim shorts and sunscreen, it is highly advised to take an initiative in security to ensure both a fun and safe vacation.