Making a List and Checking It Twice: Last-Minute Spring Break Checklist

Day 96: Packing

Spring break exploits have pretty much become a rite of passage among college students. Many students now look forward to this mid-semester break as a way to free themselves from the shackles of schoolwork and binge on fun in an exciting destination. This often leads to students traveling to warm coastal regions both in the United States and in other countries.

While spring break trips are all good and fun, they do require a little planning to make sure they go as smoothly as possible. On the home front there are a number of considerations you’ll want to keep in mind as you prepare for a problem-free adventure. Here are five key tasks to add to your last-minute spring break checklist.

Hold your mail and newspaper

Okay, so maybe newspaper subscriptions aren’t all the rage with today’s college students. But mail is still a fact of life, and failing to have it held could increase the risk of it being lost or stolen. A simple call or visit to the local post office can arrange for your mail to be held while you’re away and delivered once you’ve returned. It’s a worthwhile safeguard that also happens to be free.

Empty your fridge and trash

It doesn’t take long for spoiled foods to get out of hand, and when those messes are given time to incubate and prosper, the resulting smells and messes could be tough to get rid of. Go through your refrigerator prior to your vacation and throw out everything set to expire while you’re gone. And be sure to empty your trash before you leave; failure to do so could cause you to be greeted by a swarm of fruit flies upon your return.

Line up insurance and cell phone access

If you’re headed out of the country—whether to Mexico, the Caribbean or elsewhere—your health insurance isn’t likely to follow. Since most policies don’t cover international travel, you’ll need to find and purchase an international travel medical insurance policy. This policy will guarantee health care coverage if you have an accident or other medical emergency while abroad.

Also, it’s important to have cell phone service while traveling in order to stay in touch with family and friends, and also for safety reasons. You don’t want to be caught with a flat tire and no cell phone! Check with your cell phone provider to see if your phone will work in your spring break destination; if not, make arrangements to either change your service or possibly buy a cheap prepaid cell phone or a phone card of some kind.

Turn out lights and unplug appliances

There’s no point in paying for utilities you won’t be around to enjoy. Turn off all your electronic devices and unplug appliances to minimize energy consumption while you’re away. You’ll save some money and do a little good for the environment.

Let someone know you’ll be gone

Regardless of where you live, let a neighbor or even local law enforcement know you’ll be out of town for a while. You can even ask these parties to keep an eye on your place and to report suspicious behavior. This safeguard will minimize your risk of having your home victimized, as well as giving you peace of mind while you’re out of town.

By tying up loose ends before you leave on your spring break travels, you can reduce the risk of something going wrong. It’s not in the nature of some college students to cover their bases ahead of a spring break trip, but doing so can save you from some huge hassles and headaches. Get a jump start on your travel plans to procure a more relaxing time, no matter if you’re jetting off to Cancun or just heading home to Mom and Dad’s.

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