Tips for Staying Safe at Panama City Beach This Spring Break

With spring break season in full swing, Panama City Beach is packed full of visitors enjoying their time off work and school. While this beach town may have a reputation as a spring break paradise, you still need to exercise caution while visiting.

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Drive and Get Home Safely
If you plan on driving a long distance to Panama City Beach, there are some road trip safety tips that should be followed. Take turns driving, and make sure that the person in the front passenger seat is always awake to keep the driver company. Whether you're driving within the state or across the country, take frequent stops to avoid fatigue and give the driver a break. And please wait until you arrive in the city to let the party to begin.

Also keep an eye out for MapQuest brand ambassadors who will be handing out taxi vouchers at popular Panama City Beach spring break locations. Use the voucher for a safe ride back to your hotel on us.

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Eat, Eat, Eat!
With days spent on the beach or by the pool and nights out with friends, it's easier than you think to miss a meal. This is the one thing that should be avoided, especially if you're going to be drinking. The best foods to eat before drinking alcohol include a combination of lean sources of protein and healthy fats. These types of foods slow the speed that alcohol is absorbed, and are much healthier than the refined carbohydrates you will find in fast food.

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Practice Sun Safety
If you don't know this already, drinking and the sun don't mix. The sun can maximize the effects of alcohol, which means that you need to be careful if you're drinking poolside or on the beach. The easiest way to do this is to find a shaded spot, take it slow, and make sure that you're consistently drinking water between alcoholic beverages. And don't forget the sunscreen!

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Hot Tubs and Alcohol Don't Mix
When the sun goes down, drinking in the hot tub may seem like a great idea, but we urge you to reconsider. When you drink in a hot tub, the effects of the alcohol are felt sooner and are much stronger, which can lead to blackouts. Hot tubs can also lead to dehydration, and this risk is significantly increased if you're drinking, as alcohol also dehydrates you. If you do decide to have a drink in a hot tub, make sure that you drink plenty of water and limit the time you're in the tub to a few minutes.

Friends playing in waves at beachGetty Images/OJO Images RF​

Come With Your Friends, Leave With Your Friends
This is one of the most important tips if you're spending time in Panama City Beach for spring break this year. No matter where you are or what you're doing, remember this golden rule: If you come with your friends, leave with your friends. Enforcing the buddy system and staying in groups is the best way to stay safe. Even when you're in a group, always be aware of your surroundings and know where you can go for help if it's needed.

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Keep the Beach Activities Virgin
This year Panama City Beach won't allow any open alcohol on public beaches. There are plenty of other things to do on the beach, and plenty of other places to get your booze, so rather than having to ask your friends to bail you out, keep the beach daiquiris virgin this year.

Tori Holmes is a freelance copywriting and social media specialist living in Amsterdam. She will be skipping the beach this spring break and hitting the slopes in Norway instead.