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: Anyone from the UK community with questions, can email

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.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.