Student and Academic Life

Health and Safety Guidelines for Spring Break Travel

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 9, 2020) – As Spring Break approaches, there are many things to keep in mind ahead of your travel. It is important to make safety and health the priorities of you and your travel squad. Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Kentucky Police Department on what you should know when you’re hitting the road this year. Also, UK offers information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) at this website: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/. Anyone from the UK community with questions, can email coronavirus@uky.edu

Before you go:

  • Be aware of health risks in the area where you are traveling. Not all destinations are the same, so it is important to know what to look out for in the area you’re headed and to monitor any changes that may take place during your travel.
  • Get the flu vaccine. It is never too late to protect yourself from the flu.
  • If you are traveling out of the country, it is important to check if your health insurance will cover medical care abroad. If it doesn’t, consider purchasing additional insurance that will cover you while you’re out of the country.
  • In addition to bathing suits and sunglasses, make a small health kit to keep in your suitcase. This could include over-the-counter medicine, sunscreen and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Make copies of your ID, passport and medical insurance documents.
  • If you’re driving somewhere, do a maintenance check of your vehicle before you leave.

During your trip:

  • Be wary of large drunken crowds. There is a higher risk of assault or sexual abuse in large, uncontrollable groups of people.
  • Wear sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when going outdoors. It’s important to remember to do this even if you’re not at the beach.
  • Prevent insect bites by using insect repellant at all times. You should apply this after your sunscreen.
  • If you’re going on tours anywhere, be sure to use a reputable guide or company. This is especially important for adventure travel, like scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, hiking or zip-lining.
  • Lock up any valuables in a secure area in your room. Also lock all exterior doors in the place you are staying, including balcony doors.
  • Don’t share too much information about your location or travel itinerary on social media. Adjust your privacy settings on your different social channels and be sure not to share personal information.
  • Never leave a drink, of any kind, unattended. Never accept a drink from a stranger.
  • Be careful when indulging in local food, especially if you are traveling out of the country. Only eat food that has been fully cooked and served hot. Drink only sealed, bottled beverages and avoid ice, as it was probably made from tap water.
  • If you are out of the country and become sick or injured, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate. They can help you locate medical services in your area, and notify your family or friends in case of an emergency.
  • Use any and all safety resources available to you. Call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Know the symptoms of alcohol poisoning: confusion, vomiting, slow or irregular breathing, blue-tinged or pale skin, hypothermia or unconsciousness.

After you return:

  • If you are not feeling well after your trip, call your doctor and tell them where you have traveled and what you did while you were gone.
  • It is possible to pick up a virus while you are traveling and not see any symptoms until you return. Telling your doctor where you have been will help them care for you to the best of their ability.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.