Five Travel Tips for Your Spring Break

The greatest and most hyped up week of the spring semester is soon approaching. That’s right, spring break is right around the corner! Everyone has his or her own stories of beach days and endless nights. However, safety should always be a top priority. Whether you are road tripping to Panama City Beach or cruising to the Bahamas, keep these 5 tips in mind!

1. On the road…

Buckle up! Take turns behind the wheel. We all have that one friend who yells, “SHOTGUN,” but it’s important to make sure that no one is distracting the driver. Make sure everyone has a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and obey the speed limit!

2. At the beach…
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of WATER. If you start feeling light-headed, get in the shade immediately. Use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and reapply often. No one wants to look like a lobster!

3. Going for a swim…

Make sure there is always a lifeguard on duty. If the tides look rough, wait until it’s safer. Try to stay within the designated swimming area and always bring someone to come with you.

4. Venturing out…

We all have that one friend who wanders off, so make a pact to look out for one another. If you are in an unknown area, stay in pairs. Go out with your friends, go home with your friends.

Get your passport...and don't procrastinate!

5. Leaving the country…

You need a passport! The passport process can take awhile, so plan about 6 months in advance before a trip abroad. Having gone abroad last summer, I had to obtain certain documents. There was a high-demand, therefore I received it JUST in time! Make sure to get all the paperwork that is necessary as well.  When flying, remember to check out the Transportation Security Administration for what you can and cannot bring on board.

College is the perfect time to get a feel for the world. Live in the moment and don’t look back saying, “What if I went with them?” or “We should have planned something.” Stay organized and safe and your trip will a blast.

So what will you do this spring break?

Written by Guest Blogger, Melissa G. of George Mason University

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Places to Visit: US Edition Part II

Two weeks ago we brought you our first installment of “Places to Visit: US Edition” in order to help you get started planning a spring break to remember. This week we’re back with the follow-up to that post and we’re bringing you another awesome list of places across the United States. From tropical travels in the Florida Keys to nature excursions in Yellowstone, you’ll be itching to pack your bags and get going!

Key West, FL - The spectacular thing about the Florida Keys, is the complete abundance of activities available in one spot. As the southernmost place in the continental United States, Key West has something for everyone, from eco-tourism and underwater adventures to relaxing beach days and shopping trips. There’s a reason the Beach Boys sang about this paradise!

New Orleans, LA – Perhaps the most interesting part of this southern city is the range of cultures from which it draws its influences – Caribbean, African, American and European. So whether you come to help rebuild in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to experience the music and jazz-filled nightlife, or take part in the wild Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday celebrations, you’ll be sure to remember your trip for years to come!

Ever gone Llama Packing? You'll have to head to Yellowstone!

Yellowstone National Park - As the ultimate haven for any nature lover, Yellowstone sits in the pristine wilderness of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Bicycling, boating, hiking – even llama-packing are possible activities for those who venture out. Don’t forget your camera, you won’t want to miss a shot of Old Faithful or any other exciting points of interest!

Columbus Zoo, Columbus OH -  Rated the Top Zoo in America by the USA Travel Guide, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio features over 7,000 animals and has recently grown to include a water and amusement park and golf resort. With reasonable admission rates and tons to see and do, any animal lover will be more than satisfied with all the zoo has to offer!

Chicago, IL - The Windy City is home to some of the most exciting things to do in America! Release your inner shopper on the Magnificent Mile or check out some art and architecture in Millenium Park. From the Skydeck to Wrigley Field, TripAdvisor touts Chicago as “everyone’s kind of town.” Don’t miss it!

We hope you’re ready to start planning your ultimate trip now that you’ve checked out our list! As always, we love hearing your input so post a comment below with any suggestions or destinations you think we’ve missed. Safe travels!

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Places to Visit: US Edition Part I

The semester might have just started, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning your Spring Break traveling extravaganza. We’re not referring to the clichéd, wild spring break as seen in movies. Instead, we have our sights set on the chance to see some really cool places without even leaving the country. So whether you’re looking for a trip on a budget, a multi-destination road trip, or to just soak up some of the United States, check out a few of the awesome places we’ve seen (or would like to see) – and don’t forget to bring your camera!

Some of these places are obvious choices, while others may fly more under the radar. However, the list is meant to be limitless so don’t hesitate to share your own picks with us!

Any book-lover has got to visit the NY Public Library!

New York City – Times Square. The Empire State Building. Central Park. I could go on forever! If you’ve never been there, you should go and if you have been there…you should go again. With countless (literally, countless) things to do, places to eat, and sights to see, you can never take too many bites out of the Big Apple. Head over to Madame Tussaud’s and snap some photos with “celebrities” (or their wax figures, at least) or take in some art at one of the many museums (I enjoy the Guggenheim). Whatever you decide to do, it will definitely make your Spring Break worthwhile.

Austin, TX – Music lovers, listen up! The city of Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World” – and for good reason! The US News compares Austin’s 6th Street to the famed Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and ensures that it has something for everyone. Looking for something a little different? Wander over to Zilker Park, which will delight sports and nature lovers alike.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor - beautiful!

Inner Harbor, Baltimore MD - Our next stop is a great place for those who don’t want education to be lost on their Spring Break (yes, learning can be fun too!). The Inner Harbor, in Baltimore, Maryland is home to both the National Aquarium, and the Maryland Science Center. Baltimore.org informs us that the Aquarium houses more than 16,000 different creatures while the Science Center features a 360 degree IMAX theater in addition to the Davis Planetarium. Having visited both the Aquarium and the Science Center, I can assure you that both are incredibly worthwhile.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA -  As a child, the opening credits of the show Full House made me want to visit San Francisco every time I saw them. Now that I’m older and wiser (okay, maybe just older) my yearning to visit this California city, especially its iconic bridge, has not waned. With places to hike, shop, and learn, the Golden Gate Bridge and its hometown are perfect to explore on your break from college.

The Space Needle, Seattle, WA - No, I’m not talking about a trip to Mars. A friend of mine traveled here recently and I have been envious ever since! The Needle’s observation deck offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding area – from the city’s towering buildings all the way to Mt. Rainier. If taking in the view from the top works up an appetite, head to the Sky City restaurant and experience dining at a whole new level.

History buffs will love visiting the Washington Monument!

Washington DC – Our nation’s capital is a fantastic place to visit because it has the feel of a modern metropolis, but is still chock full of history. While you are there, make sure you visit both the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, a big statue with an even bigger historical context. These statues commemorating two of our greatest presidents are not something you want to miss. Political affirmations aside, time spent in the District of Columbia will not be time wasted.

The Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - This final destination on the list does not require an explanation. One of nature’s greatest wonders, the word “grand” is no overstatement. With breath-taking views from every direction, The Grand Canyon offers excitement for everyone from the sightseer to the adrenaline junkie. Be sure to bring a camera, it’s a sight you won’t want to miss.

Don’t fret if you feel this list is too short, we’ll be back in a two weeks with Places to Visit: US Edition Part II! In the meantime, share with us any cool places you’ve visited or any sights you’ve just been dying to see. Bon Voyage!

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