It’s every college student’s favorite holiday: Spring Break. As teens and young adults flock to America’s beaches for fun in the sun, it’s important to remember a few safety tips to ensure your Spring Break vacation is a safe one.

Whether you plan to stay ashore this Spring Break, or will join the thousands of others embarking on cruises to the Caribbean, the team has compiled 5 Spring Break Safety Tips to ensure your trip is a safe one:

Utilize the Buddy System

Your mom was right. The buddy system is one of the best ways to stay safe. Before you leave on your trip, be sure to ask a friend to be your buddy for the week. Agree that you will serve as one another’s accountability partner and never leave each other’s side. Have a designated meeting place established in case you two part ways. A cellular connection may be difficult to establish, especially in highly populated areas, so be sure to utilize the buddy system even if you plan to carry your cell phone. Also, if you must use the restroom, take your buddy and drink with you!

Monitor Your Alcohol Consumption

Intoxication can lead to impaired thinking and judgment, which can mean danger for anyone, but especially younger people. Pace yourself and be sure to monitor your alcohol consumption closely. Also be sure you are drinking enough water and eating enough food. It’s easy to get dehydrated. Do your best to avoid binge drinking. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.” Binge drinking can lead to irreversible consequences.

Wear Sunscreen

Drinking + sun is a bad equation. Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol so keep this in mind when you party poolside or at the beach. Take it slow and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you start feeling faint or light headed, find shade and water immediately. Use waterproof sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and reapply often. Pay extra special attention to ears, nose, face, feet, and shoulders – these areas tend to burn easily. Want more sunscreen safety tips? Click here to learn everything you need to know about sunscreen.

Don’t Drive and Drive

Many popular Spring Break destinations, including Orlando and Miami, offer driving services that are often cheaper than a cab. Be sure to buckle up while you’re in the car – and don’t bring your drink with you. Many states, such as Florida, have open container laws that make it illegal to possess an open container of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Whatever you do – don’t get behind the wheel drunk. Not only are you endangering your own life, but you are also endangering the lives of those around you. It’s not worth it. Arrive alive: Don’t drink and drive.

Keep Your Belongings Safe

Criminals love taking advantage of the craziness, confusion and often drunkenness of teens in mass quantities. Don’t be a victim! Keep your belongings locked and stored while you’re on the beach. Stow away any GPS systems and other devices. Almost all hotels offer safes. Use them! Safes are a great place to store any cash or credit cards that you don’t want to have on hand when you are out of the hotel. You can also use them to safely store any other easy to steal items such as iPads, iPods, jewelry and laptops.

We want you to have a fun Spring Break, but we also want you to stay safe. Fortunately, it’s possible to do both! By following a few important safety tips, you will be able to ensure your Spring Break trip is fun, safe and memorable for all. Have a tip we missed? We want to hear from you! Tag #DriveTheNation and let us know!