March 9, 2018
It’s the time of year when millions of college-age students flock to the beaches of the U.S., while others may plan an international adventure. Everyone plans for a great vacation without thinking of the potential safety and security issues that can arise.
It is important, no matter where this Spring Break takes you, to remain safe and have the knowledge of what to avoid, how to avoid it, and what to do in an emergency situation.
Standard Travel Advice
- Don’t purchase, use or import/export drugs. Many U.S. citizens overseas are arrested for pursuing this kind of activity, and the U.S. State Department/Embassy will not bail you out.
- Take warning flags on beaches seriously.
- Only use licensed and regulated taxis or rideshare services. Do not get into a vehicle with a stranger.
- Avoid participating in demonstrations and other political activities.
- Obey the local laws. Do your research before you go!
- Get proper nutrition and stay hydrated.
- Use sunscreen. Keep your eyes protected; wear sunglasses, even in snow.
- Be cautious about revealing personal information and plans when talking to strangers.
- Consider prudent choices when it comes to alcohol, altitude, and other scenarios that can inhibit judgement.
- Where possible, obtain small denominations of currency and keep the bulk of cash and cards in a money belt, which should only be accessed in private places.
- Use insect repellents:
- Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide long lasting protection.
- If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.
- Do not spray insect repellent on the skin under your clothing.
- Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing.
- Always follow the label instructions when using insect repellent and/or sunscreen.
- If someone or something seems suspicious, contact local authorities as soon as possible.
- U.S. citizens traveling abroad should consider registering in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. If you are the citizen of another country, consider registering for your country’s equivalent.
On February 21, an explosive device detonated on a tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen resulting in injuries, including U.S. citizens. Then, on March 1, an undetonated explosive devices were found on a tourist ferry that operates between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. These incidents prompted the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City to release security alerts, which includes prohibiting government employees from using these ferries. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City released a security alert on March 7 about a security threat in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is instructing travelers to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to exercise increased caution if utilizing one of these ferries.
For country-wide information, please see the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico.
The U.S. Embassy in Nassau, the Bahamas, issued a security alert for Spring Break travel. While it is a ‘security alert’, the information is to assist travelers in having a safe, fun vacation:
- Know your environment: do not travel or walk alone after dark in isolated places.
- Avoid jet ski operators
- Drink responsibly: Stay in a group of friends who have your safety in mind when in clubs, bars, and walking in dimly-lit areas. Watch your drink at all times.
For more information, please see the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas.
The University of Texas does not govern personal travel/vacation, but we want to help spread knowledge of travel safety.
Have a great Spring Break!