When I was in college, I always looked forward to spring break. It was a welcome respite from the stress of midterm exams and the brutal New England winter. One year, I visited three different countries during a Caribbean cruise. While preparing for the trip, I focused on packing the right clothing and making sure I remembered my sunscreen (SPF 45, of course). If I had known then what I know now, however, I would have made sure I also checked out the State Department's resources for student travelers.
Every student's first stop should be studentsabroad.state.gov. It's a one-stop shop with useful safety and travel tips. After reviewing the information about the country that you are visiting, you should sign up online for our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). You'll automatically receive safety and security updates so you can make informed trip-planning decisions. It's free and takes just a few minutes to enroll.
Even if you're not at your computer while you're on vacation, you can still stay connected to the State Department by following us on Twitter, becoming our fan on Facebook, or downloading our Smart Traveler iPhone app.
My colleague, Cory, and I put together this YouTube video to remind students about the importance of being smart and safe while on spring break. We'll also be hosting a live webchat via Facebook on Tuesday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Submit your questions in advance, or send them in during the chat.
I wish all of you a happy and safe spring break!