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Staying safe during Leaving Cert holidays

The post Leaving Cert holiday has become an important rite of passage for students across the country. However, all too often it is a holiday to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Do you really want to be re-acquainted with last nights greasy chicken burger time after time again? Or spend the rest of your life with a dodgy tattoo of something silly, planted (god knows where) on your body? .. I didn’t think so.

Don’t let this happen to you by taking on board some of these tips for holidaying abroad:

1. Do some research before you go - make sure you know what you will be faced with upon arrival and ensure you are prepared. Didn’t realise your accommodation was a 30 minute walk from the beach and the strip? .. Uh oh.

2. Make sure you have valid travel insurance that will cover you on your holiday. Be aware that many insurance companies will not cover any accidents that may occur while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

3. Pack sensibly - It may seem like you will need five pairs of heels but in reality you won’t. In fact, flat shoes are best for nights out abroad as you will most likely spend time on the beach and walk home from the clubs and bars each night. Don’t bring any extremely valuable items with you on your holiday. There is always a risk that you will have belongings stolen from your room or bag.

4. If this is your first time away from home remember that you have no experience travelling abroad. Keep your wits about you and try to avoid any hazardous situations. Maybe pass on that bottle of vodka your friend is adamant to buy and drink on the plane...

5. As you are away from home in a foreign country that is unfamiliar to you, make sure you have your wits about you at all times and stay with your friends!

6. Unless you want to look like a lobster (and risk getting serious sun damage), apply sunscreen regularly especially after swimming in water. Don’t spend too much time in the sun and try to keep your head covered so as to avoid sunstroke.

7. Always have your phone charged and turned on during nights out so as to keep in contact with friends. Stay with a group and don’t go anywhere alone with strangers. It may seem like people you have just met are your new best friends for life, but this is not always the case!

8. Bring some cash with you in case of emergency. All too often students are stuck standing at an ATM having just watched the machine munch on their bank cards. Prepare for this in advance by bringing some cash with you, making sure not to store it all in one place.

9. Take note of local laws - regulation differs from country to country and there may be some important things you will need to know to avoid. Looking at websites of local authorities will help you with this.

10. Limit drinking alcohol to night time - don’t be fooled to believe that you can't have fun without it! You have most likely forked out a substantial amount of money to go away on your holiday, so make the most of it by doing some local sightseeing. Give your body a chance to refuel so as you can continue to have fun for the entire trip.

11. Most importantly, know your limits and be aware of what you are drinking. If you feel your exams have gone badly don't drown your sorrows by turning to drink - believe me, you will regret it the next day. Make sure to watch your drinks and don't leave them down anywhere unattended.

12. Stay hydrated and don’t start to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Drinking water is even more important in the sun as you will get dehydrated much quicker than you would back home. Keep yourself feeling good by being sensible about what and when you eat and drink. Staying safe while abroad is incredibly important, and with some care you will most likely be left with a fantastic holiday to remember. Make sure to have fun and enjoy your well earned relaxation time!