Be careful this spring break

Hot tourist spots tend to have higher crime rates

We’ve spent the past eight weeks trying to survive through homework, meetings, presentations and snow just waiting for spring break.

I’ve been counting down the days until this care-free week and now it’s almost here. Anyone who can afford a trip away from the cold weather will probably be heading out of Big Rapids within the next few days.

But students may want to be a little cautious when visiting some of the most popular spring break destinations like Cancun, the Dominican Republic and Florida.

According to the US Department of State, a travel warning was issued Feb. 8 for Mexico. The Breeze student newspaper of Harrisonburg, Virg. said Cancun and “other popular vacation destinations” have travel warnings because of cases in which US citizens were kidnapped, car-jacked, killed or victims of drug violence.

I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, but be careful this spring break. We all want to live the college spring break experience, but I hope everyone will use a little common sense next week. There are some scary facts out there. For example, the US Department of State estimated more than 34,000 people have been killed in drug-related crimes in Mexico since 2006.

The Dominican Republic is a pretty common place for students to take an alternative spring break and go on a mission trip, but it is not the safest country to visit because of protests, strikes and sex-trafficking. Back in 2007, more than 50,000 women were sex-trafficking victims. Also, according to the 2010 FBI report, Orlando, Fla. is the 13th US metropolitan area with high risks of crime.

Because of these statistics, I wanted to research some spring break tips. After reading the Campus Grotto, an “inside source at college,” here are a few suggestions I thought I would share with everyone: Stay in groups of three, avoid travel agency schemes, don’t drink the water in Mexico, always look out for others in your group and bring/wear condoms.

Be safe, enjoy your spring break and don’t forget your sunscreen.